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 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 galaxy nearby to rip apart the Milky Way.

With an HTC Vive, Oculus Rift+Touch, or WMR headset, 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


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 (now called Universe Sandbox Legacy) 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 a new version of Universe Sandbox. Funded entirely by the sales from Universe Sandbox Legacy, the 12-person team now spans 4 timezones and includes a dedicated physics programmer and an astrophysicist.


Universe Sandbox Legacy

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

Universe Sandbox

  • 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
  • Procedurally generated planets, stars, & galaxies
  • Historical simulations - ride along with Juno, New Horizons, & other spacecraft
  • Original soundtrack by Macoubre (available for purchase in the future)
  • VR support for HTC Vive, Oculus Rift+Touch, & WMR
  • Support for 20+ languages
  • Share & explore simulations on Steam Workshop

Virtual & Mixed Reality

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

In early 2019, we received a grant to develop Universe Sandbox for Magic Leap as part of the first round in their Indie Creator Program. Out of the 6,500 applicants that applied, we were one of the lucky 30 that were accepted. Learn more in our blog post


If you feature Universe Sandbox, 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.


Teaser  YouTube

Update 20 Gameplay  YouTube


Universe Sandbox ² User Interface
Earth and Mars Climate
Stellar Evolution
Juno & Jupiter
Roche Limits
Saturn, Neptune, & Earth
Earth & Moons
Universe Sandbox Team Meetup in 2018 (Not pictured: Jacob, VR Developer)

Download SVG files for Universe Sandbox logos & icons


Promo Art

Universe Sandbox Promo Art
Universe Sandbox Promo Art

Request Press Copy

Bringing the Magic of Universe Sandbox to Magic Leap

What's Next for Universe Sandbox | Spring 2019

2018 Retrospective

The Universe Just Got Bigger: Steam Workshop Support | Update 22

About Giant Army

Creating software by standing on the shoulders of giants.

Learn more

Universe Sandbox 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

David Rappo

Mat Solomon
Quality Assurance

Jacob Williams
VR Developer

Erika Nesvold
Astrophysicist & Developer


Jared Meier
Operations & Support

Historical Contributors

Naomi Goldenson
Climate Scientist

Eric Hilton

Chad Jenkins
Developer & Technical Artist

Steven Kasparek
Quality Assurance

Toby Halter
3D Modeler

Sergey Tabakov
3D Modeler

Rahul Meda
Physics Developer

Barry Ruff
Graphics Developer

A Shell in the Pit Audio
Sound Design

Jules Litman-Cleper
Sound Design

Full Credits for Data, Research, & More

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