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Physics Engineer - Planetary Destruction

Cross-Platform Engineer

Controls Reference

The controls listed below are for Universe Sandbox Legacy.


For a list of keyboard shortcuts in Universe Sandbox, click Home > Help within the app.


Mouse | Keyboard | Wiimote




Left Click

Select a body.

Click a selected body to focus on it.

Right Click Click on a body to show properties popup.
Click and Drag Rotate your view around the focused body.
Mouse Wheel Zoom in and out


Main Controls

ESC Show / hide the Menu
Enter Show / hide the Control Panel
Alt + Enter Toggle windowed / full screen
Tab Show / hide play button & clock
Ctrl-O Open a system
Ctrl-S Save a system
Ctrl-R Restart the current system
Ctrl-F Show the Find Tool
F1 Quick reference info
F2 Open a system



System Commands

F Create a new body
Z Zero system momentum
X Halve all velocities
O (the letter) Orbit All - forces all bodies to orbit their current gravitational parent



Simulation Controls

Spacebar Start & stop time (play/pause)
E or Numpad + Speed up time
D or Numpad - Slow down time
A or Numpad Enter Auto time step
R Reverse all velocities
Ctrl-Numpad Enter Real Time (where 1 simulated sec = 1 real sec)

= (plus key)

Increase gravity
- (minus key) Decrease gravity
0 (the number) Turn gravity off
9 Set gravity to 1.0 (normal)
8 Set gravity to 0.5
7 Set gravity to 0.25
6 Set gravity to -1.0 (negative)
U Toggle between collision modes
Shift-i Change the collision elasticity in bounce mode.


Body Commands

Select a body to use these commands.

V Light Pulse

Sets the radius of the body so that its escape velocity equals the speed of light (this is the Schwarzschild radius)

P Set body to the center of the system. This shows all movement of other bodies relative to the hovered body.

Move Body:

Hold down this key and move the cursor to move the hovered body.


Rotate Body:

Hold down this key and move the cursor left or right to rotate the hovered body. While holding down the key also press Shift or Ctrl to rotate on the other 2 primary axis.



View Controls

W or F7 Zoom In
S or F8 Zoom Out
Shift-F7 Decrease Camera FOV (field of view)
Shift-F8 Increase Camera FOV (field of view)
B Show / hide bodies
T Show / hide trails
L Show / hide labels
H Show / hide highlights
G Show / hide grid
; (semicolon) Show / hide relationship lines (connects bodies with their gravitational parent)
Ctrl-D Clear dust
Ctrl-T Clear trail data
C Next color mode
Shift-C Previous color mode
Ctrl-C Toggle 3D mode on/off
Ctrl-B Toggle Background on/off
Ctrl-G Toggle Glow on/off
Q Toggle drawing size of bodies (always visible or true to scale)
[ Decrease # of drawn trail segments
] Increase # of drawn trail segments



Capture Controls

F4 Toggle movie record (multiple screenshots)
F9 Take hi-res screenshots
F12 Take screenshot
Ctrl+F12 Take screenshot with UI




Set hi-res screenshot to 2x2, 4x4, or 5x5 (default is 3x3)



Experimental & Unfinished Features


Shift-B Toggle between different calculation modes for particles/dust. (effect is not obvious - the default mode is more accurate)
Ctrl-N Toggles between normal and Modified Newtonian Dynamics (currently disabled)

Strange forces - Causes bodies to repel each other when they get too close. Works great with the simulation "Moons, small cluster"

(This isn't based on anything real.)

3 Restore saved camera position (not currently working)



Adjust engine scale (outdated controls, no longer works)






Quick load a specific simulations (used for testing)
Y Fire a 'photo torpedo' - Triggers an explode command on any body it intersects
Ctrl-L Toggles experimental light mode
F3 Toggle between zoom and normal modes (not currently working)
Shift-R Create rope between body #1 & #2
Ctrl-Shift-R Show/hide rope slider controls




(currently only works in Universe Sandbox 1)


Select body.

B Show control panel
Up / Down Zoom In / Out
Nunchuk stick Rotate the camera