Kerbal Space Program 2 promises to be a fantastically zany good time as you try to get your Kerbals safely into the cosmic beyond, but it’s also going to up the fun by allowing multiplayer. We’d known about co-op multiplayer, but recently creative director Nate Simpson revealed a special surprise: there will be competitive multiplayer as well. Players will be able to engage in a head-to-head space race to see who can launch their Kerbals safely through the stratosphere the fastest.
Simpson shared details on the addition of both co-op and competitive multiplayer in Kerbal Space Program 2 during PC Gamer’s PC Gaming Show 2023 preview. It was here that Simpson revealed details about the competitive experience players will be able to explore with friends.
“Multiplayer introduces the concept of agencies, so you can work alongside friends within a single agency contributing to a single space program in a way that's cooperative," Simpson said. “You can also play competitively between agencies, each of which is located at a different location on Kerbin. With multi-agency play you can have space races. We're excited to see all the new types of gameplay that emerge from multiplayer.”
It sounds like Kerbal Space Program’s multiplayer will be just as freeform as the main game, allowing players to fluidly choose if they want to cooperate in the same agency or compete in different agencies. One must wonder if there are other factors that may come into play as well, such as sharing, trading, or stealing ideas for your cosmonaut endeavors in order to get a leg up on the competition. Whatever the case, there are still a lot of unknowns. We don’t know how many players can play together in a single instance of Kerbal Space Program 2, nor do we know how many agencies can be in play at once. There’s a chance it could be sandbox-like gameplay where a player starts a server and others join in. It could also be private instances locked to one player’s save file.
Either way, Kerbal Space Program 2 is coming to early access in February 2023. Whatever form multiplayer takes on in the game should become clearer in the months ahead. Stay tuned for further updates and details as we get closer to the game’s early access launch.