General Questions
Q: How many real objects are there in SpaceEngine, and how many are generated by the program?
A: The entire Hipparcos catalog of stars, as well as all known extrasolar planets, over ten thousand galaxies, and all of the most prominent objects in our Solar system are included. This adds up to over 130 000 objects. As for procedural objects, there are more galaxies and star systems in SE than exist in reality in all of the observable universe.


Q: May I make a video with SpaceEngine or use screenshots or skyboxes made with SE for my own use?
A: Yes, you may use SpaceEngine products for non-commercial use as long as you cite SpaceEngine as the source for those assets. Please see the license page for full details.


Q: Why are there some gigantic dwarf stars, and small giant stars?
A: The Hipparcos-based star catalog that SpaceEngine uses contains some errors and missing data. If you find a real star which seems to have erroneous data, please post its name in this thread, this will make it much easier to fix the stars in the future.


Q: Why is Vega binary, but 40 Eridani is solitary? Is it a bug?
A: This is not a bug. SpaceEngine currently has an incomplete catalog of binary stars, so it makes some real binary/multiple stars are still represented as a solitary. But you make contribute to the development of the program by making a script for a binary or multiple star which are not represented in SE.


Q: Why do stars like Eta Carinae and Deneb have such low luminosities?
A: Most of the light from these stars is blocked by interstellar dust before it reaches Earth, so these stars do not look as bright as they really are. When these stars are put into SpaceEngine using their apparent magnitudes, it gives them low luminosities. Unfortunately, SE cannot simulate interstellar extinction, so it is impossible to have their luminosities be correct without making them look unrealistically bright in the sky.


Q: How can an Ice Giant be “Hot”? This makes no sense. Is it a bug?
A: “Ice Giant” is a scientific term for a planet that has a mass between 10 and 50-70 Earth masses and composed primarily of water, ammonia and methane. These substances in the planet’s interior are in the form of a high pressure high-temperature modification of ice, so the planet is called an “Ice Giant”. Surface temperature doesn’t matter.


Q: How can an Oceania be “Hot”? This makes no sense. Is it a bug?
A: “Oceania” is a scientific term for a planet up to 10 Earth masses and composed primarily of water. Surface temperature doesn’t matter. On a hot oceania, water in the upper atmosphere is in the form of hot vapor, but farther down it smoothly transitions into a liquid state under high pressure. Even deeper it turns into a solid state called ice VII.


Q: How can I add my own objects to SpaceEngine, or modify existing ones?
A: Go to the Manual > Making addons page of the website. It contains detailed manuals about modding in SpaceEngine. You can ask question and share your work with community in the Mods and addons forum.
Q: How do I find Earth?
A: Hit [F3], type “Earth”, and press [Go to]. Alternatively, press [Shift]-[H] several times (this will select Milky Way, the Sun, Earth), and hit [G] key.


Q: How do I move?
A: Press [W], [A], [S], [D], [R], [F] or arrow keys.


Q: How do I change velocity?
A: Rotate mouse wheel or press [+] or [-] keys. Hold [Ctrl] to switch between default velocity presets.


Q: Why does the camera always reset when I release the middle mouse button?
A: The Middle Mouse Button is for “looking around” without changing the camera’s fixed aim or inertia. Use the Left Mouse Button to rotate the camera.


Q: How do I go to an object?
A: Select it with a left-click and press [G].


Q: How do I go to an object faster?
A: Select it with a left-click and press [G] twice.


Q: How do I land on a planet?
A: Select a planet with a left-click and press [Shift]-[G] or [Ctrl]-[G].


Q: How do I control space ships?
A: This is a large and complex topic. Read about it here.


Q: My space ship won’t move.
A: Time is paused. Unpause it with the [Space] key.


Q: How do I remove text info from the screen?
A: Press [Ctrl]+[~]. Press it again to restore the text.


Q: Is there a way to use the program and change settings without using keyboard commands?
A: Yes, SpaceEngine has a toolbars on the lower left and lower right of the screen. To open a toolbar, mouse over the edge of the screen that the toolbar is located at. To lock the toolbar open, press the pin icon. Hold the mouse over a button to learn its function. Some buttons controls the program, other opens a various settings menus.


Q: Is there a way to prevent dim stars and planets from showing when bright objects are shown on screen?
A: Yes. Press [V] to toggle autoexposure. Alternately, you can toggle it in the graphics menu.


Q: Is there a framerate counter? How can I activate it?
A: Yes. Open the console by pressing [~], type “FPS”, and press [Enter]. This will enable the framerate counter.


Q: Is there any way to change the light settings, so that I can change the camera exposure or compare the relative illumination of different planets?
A: Yes. Press [Ctrl]+[F4] to open the graphics menu. “Real planet brightness” allows you to compare how much illumination different planets receive from their suns. “Real sun brightness” allows you to compare the relative brightness of different suns in a system. The magnitude and brightness menu [F7] allows you to change the camera’s exposure, the ambient light level, and magnitude limit settings.


Q: I have other questions about controls.
A: Look at the readme_eng.txt file located in the SpaceEngine\docs\ folder, it contains a list of all controls in the program. Alternately, you can open the in-game controls menu by the [F8] key to view and modify the controls.
Q: I’m having problems running SpaceEngine. What should I do?
A: Please go to the Troubleshooting thread, choose your SpaceEngine version, and follow instructions.


Q: I read the thread and tried all the suggestions, but SpaceEngine still doesn’t work.
A: Post about your problem in the Troubleshooting thread (after choosing your SpaceEngine version), and please include your se.log file (see the top of the thread for instructions).


Q: Planets are flat and blurry.
A: You are probably on Earth, Mars or some other Solar system planet. Go to another star system and look for its procedural planets.


Q: Why are Solar system planets flat and blurry?
A: This is not a bug. They use real photo textures with limited resolution, so when viewed from a close distance they look blurry. To increase quality, download hi-res texture add-ons. But even then procedural planets will have a much greater level of detail.
Q: When is the next release coming out?
A: There is no release date. It will be out when it’s done.


Q: Will there be a version for game consoles, like Xbox and Playstation?
A: No, this is not currently planned.


Q: Will there be a version for Android and iOS?
A: No, because there would be no point: very few - if any - mobile devices are powerful enough to even theoretically run SpaceEngine.


Q: Is this project open source?
A: No. SpaceEngine is proprietary closed-source software, and there are no current plans to make the source code available.


Q: What engine does SpaceEngine use?
A: SpaceEngine does not use any pre-existing engine, everything was created from scratch.


Q: What language is SpaceEngine written in?
A: The core program is written in C++ and the shaders are written in GLSL.


Q: Is there a SpaceEngine SDK? Can I use the engine to make my own game?
A: Not currently.
Other Questions
Q: I still have questions.
A: Ask any other questions you may have in this forum thread, and we will try to answer them.