Many of the pseudo simulators feature faster than light travel.Examples of true simulators which aim at piloting a space craft in a manner that conforms with the laws of nature include Orbiter, Kerbal Space Program and Microsoft Space Simulator.
Kerbal Space Program can be considered a space simulator, even though it portrays an imaginary universe with tweaked physics, masses and distances to enhance gameplay.
Nevertheless, the physics and rocket design principles are much more realistic than in the space combat or trading subgenres.
Space combat games tend to be mission-based, as opposed to the more open-ended nature of space trading and combat games.
The general formula for the space trading and combat game, which has changed little since its genesis, is for the player to begin in a relatively small, outdated ship with little money or status and for the player to work his or her way up, gaining in status and power through trading, exploration, combat or a mix of different methods.
The game Lunar Flight (2012) simulates flying around the lunar surface in a craft resembling the Apollo Lunar Module.
genre feature futuristic scenarios involving space flight and extra planetary combat.
Piloting is generally limited to dockings, landings or orbital maneuvers.
The reward for the player is on mastering real or realistic spacecraft, celestial mechanics and astronautics.
In some instances, plot plays only a limited role and only a loose narrative framework tends to be provided.
In certain titles of the X series, for instance, players may ignore the plot for as long as they wish and are even given the option to disable the plot completely and instead play in sandbox mode.
However, open-source and enthusiast communities managed to produce some working, modern titles (e.g.