Explore the Universe: The Best Space Exploration and Colony Games of All Time

Exploring new planets and turning a small galactic outpost into a thriving military base or factory is both challenging and rewarding. There’s something about starting from scratch and building everything by hand to finish a fully automated city where everything you need is at your fingertips.

Trying to pick the best space games is a galaxy-sized question. The developers have been into space adventures since the 1990s, and with everyone excited to see planets and with Kickstarter and studio crowdfunding allowing them to emerge, we’re currently just a little obsessed with beyond our little blue world and green. 

Whether you’re passionate about establishing a colony on Mars, trying to design a ship to get there, or just navigating the stars, you’ll find something for you in the space exploration games featured in this list. So, here are the three best space exploration games you can play today.

1. Astronaut

Astroneer is a space sandbox game where you play a lone astronaut sent to a planet to set up a base. While the game offers a quest log that you can follow, there is no fixed way to play it. New players are strongly advised to follow the first few missions to understand how the game works. But once you master it, the rest is up to you.

The game starts on an Earth-like planet called Silva. You can explore its roof and see the different plants on its top and the changing landscape. But you can also seek out and explore its underground features to see the secrets of the planet. There are also six other astronomical objects you can fly to for further exploration.

Astroneer is a simple and fun game to relax after a hard day’s work. But it’s also challenging enough to keep you mentally motivated as you play. Since this is a sandbox, the difficulty level of your activities is up to you. You can keep your base as straightforward or as complex as you like.

2. No Man’s Sky

No Man’s Sky is another space-themed exploration game. This game uses a procedurally generated map, ensuring you always have places to explore.

Though the game is mainly for single-player experience, you can play with friends in multiplayer mode. You can track them on your map and engage in different activities with them. Share with The Player Some activities you can do with your friends.

If you’re looking for a space exploration-themed game that offers multiple challenges, including exploration, exploitation, combat, and trading, look no further. And if you bring your friends, you’ll soon find yourself spending countless hours building a base and exploring the galaxy together.

One more thing: No Man’s Sky allows for cross-platform play. So even if you’re playing on PC and your other friends are playing on Xbox and PlayStation, you can still enjoy each other’s company within the game.

3. Satisfactory

While this game no longer allows you to travel between different astronomical bodies, You are still acting as an explorer on an alien planet. Aside from exploration, an off-planet company, FICSIT, will ask you to extract resources from the earth, build a space elevator, and deliver the components.

When you complete the objectives set by FICSIT, you gain access to more advanced systems, materials, and buildings. Eventually, you can unlock automation, allowing you to create the most complex parts without player intervention. Aside from mining and crafting, there are also some limited battles when facing hostile life forms on this planet.

In Satisfying Eventually, your base will turn into a sprawling and complex factory. You’ll find miles and miles of drive belts when you build enough. As you implement such systems, you’ll soon find yourself automatically converting essential resources, such as iron and copper ore, into sophisticated buildings and equipment.

While the game is still in Early Access, it’s already an early success. Stefan Hanna, CEO of developer Satisfactory Coffee Stain Studios, said in an interview with Game Rant That as of mid-December 2021, over 3 million copies of the title had already been sold.

Satisfying is ideal for players who want to get the satisfaction of building complex machines from scratch. So, if you love making things, consider joining the Satisfying community of three million people. But if you want to go from building a base to building a city, you should check out our list of the best city-building games instead.

Survive, explore, mine, build, and thrive.

Exploration and colonial games are a great way to unwind after a tiring day. With these open-ended games, you can play at your own pace. You don’t have to worry about surviving chaotic battles all the time, nor do you have to keep up with hectic scenes.

If you’re eager to try a new exploration game, check out one of the titles above. This will give you time to explore a new planet or two new planets, and you’ll get the achievement of building something from nothing into a sprawling base capable of broadcasting anything you can think of.