Giant Army
Based in Seattle, Washington

Release date:
Steam Early Access release:
August 24, 2015

PC, Mac, & Linux/SteamOS



Create and destroy on a scale you never before imagined.

Universe Sandbox ² is a space simulator that merges gravity, climate, collision, and material interactions to reveal the beauty of our universe and the fragility of our planet.

Realistically model our solar system or bend the laws of physics, speed up time and watch stars evolve till they supernova, manipulate Earth's seasons or twist its orbit outward and freeze the oceans solid, then spawn a nearby galaxy to rip apart the Milky Way.

A complete rewrite of the original by a team that now includes an astrophysicist, a climate scientist, and a dedicated physics programmer, this sequel opens doors to greater power and exploration.

With the recent addition of support for the HTC Vive/SteamVR, you can fly around your simulation, melt planets with a giant laser, and hurl them around with a flick of the wrist.

Now available on Steam Early Access for PC, Mac, and Linux/SteamOS: Buy Universe Sandbox ²


Universe Sandbox began as Dan's personal project - a physics program that would make a nice portfolio addition. It wasn't long, however, before he realized the potential of this powerful gravity simulator: It didn't just appeal to computational physicists; it opened a door to understanding our complex universe. And besides, who doesn't want to smash Earth into Mars? Sure enough, it quickly became a Steam-success story.

Simulating the universe, however, is never a completed task. Universe Sandbox was a great tool for exploring (and destroying) the cosmos, but there were some things missing. What about comets? What about dark matter? Or how about the pressing issue of climate change?

The scope for the sequel meant that it could no longer be just a one-person project. In Fall 2011, Dan hired two additional developers and began creating from scratch Universe Sandbox ². Funded entirely by the sales from the original Universe Sandbox, the eight-person team now includes a dedicated physics programmer, an astrophysicist, and a climate scientist.


Universe Sandbox Legacy

  • Phase 1 Release | May, 2008
  • Phase 2 Release | May, 2010
  • Steam Release | Apr 29, 2011

Universe Sandbox ²

  • Alpha 1 | Closed Testing | December 4, 2013
  • Alpha 10 | Access Available for Purchase through Our Website | August 25, 2014
  • Alpha 16 | Steam Early Access Release | August 24, 2015


  • Climate simulation
  • Advanced collision simulation
  • Stellar evolution and supernovae
  • Terraforming
  • Material system | Build planets out of hydrogen, iron, rock, & water
  • Light-warping black holes
  • Dark matter
  • Procedural surfaces and planets
  • Original soundtrack by Macoubre (available for purchase in the future)
  • VR support (currently only HTC Vive/SteamVR)

Virtual Reality

In late 2015, we began work on supporting VR for Universe Sandbox ². Universe Sandbox ² VR was officially released on April 5, 2016 as a free update to the desktop version.

Currently Universe Sandbox ² supports the HTC Vive/SteamVR. We are looking into future support for Oculus Touch.

To run Universe Sandbox ² VR:

  • Make sure Steam has downloaded the latest update
  • Launch Universe Sandbox ²
  • In the popup dialog box, select "Launch Universe Sandbox ² in Steam VR Mode" then click Play

Check out the user-created VR gameplay video below.


Please note how we type "Universe Sandbox ²" with a space between "Sandbox" and the superscript 2.

If you feature Universe Sandbox ², please include a link to:

If published on the web, please make these clickable links.

See our Usage page for more details on our guidelines.


VR Gameplay Video (created by user Bradley Lynch from a recent build)  YouTube

Alpha 16 Preview  YouTube

Alpha Teaser (from an early version)  YouTube

Gameplay Video (from an early version)  YouTube



Universe Sandbox 2 Icon.png
Universe Sandbox 2 Logo-for-light-backgrounds.png
Universe Sandbox 2 Logo-for-dark-backgrounds.png
Universe Sandbox 2 Logo-for-dark-backgrounds.png
Universe Sandbox 2 Icon.png

Download AI file for Universe Sandbox ² logos & icons


Promo Art

Universe Sandbox ² Promo Art
Universe Sandbox ² Promo Art

Request Press Copy

What We're Working on for Alpha 17 & Beyond

Climate in Universe Sandbox ²

Future Earth Climate Scenarios in Universe Sandbox ²

Simulating the World of Game of Thrones in Universe Sandbox ²

Black Hole Rings in Interstellar & Universe Sandbox ²

About Giant Army

Creating software by standing on the shoulders of giants.

More information can be found here.

Universe Sandbox ² Credits

Dan Dixon
Creator & Director

Christian Herold
Lead Developer

George Steinröhder
Lead Graphics Developer

Thomas Grønneløv
Lead Physics Developer

Jenn Seiler
Astrophysicist & Developer

Jonathan Hoy

Dave Nelson
Mobile Developer

Rahul Meda
Physics Developer

Sergey Tabakov
3D Modeler

David Rappo

Mat Solomon
Quality Assurance

Jacob Williams
VR Developer


Jared Meier
Operations & Support

Naomi Goldenson
Climate Scientist & Historical Contributor

Eric Hilton
Astronomer & Historical Contributor

Chad Jenkins
Developer, Technical Artist, & Historical Contributor

Steven Kasparek
Quality Assurance & Historical Contributor

Toby Halter
3D Modeler & Historical Contributor

Full Credits for Data, Research, & More

presskit() by Rami Ismail (Vlambeer) - also thanks to these fine folks