If you're looking for intergalactic gaming on the go, our best space mobile games list has you covered.
Mobile gaming is sometimes considered a lesser form of gaming, mostly by people who consider themselves ‘proper’ gamers, but we bet they'd change their tune if they played some of these exceptional space mobile games.
Mobile gaming has come such a long way since the early days that, at times it’s basically imperceptibly different from console or PC gaming. Sure, modern console games may sometimes have bleeding-edge graphics and physical controls, but most games can be easily approximated on a smartphone. Even better, some types of gameplay are only really possible with mobile gaming or at least are best served by the platform.
From space VR games to space board games, gaming as a whole is almost inseparable from that inky black void overhead, and mobile gaming is no exception. Whether it’s plumbing the infinite depths of the cosmos, simulating realistic rocket physics, or even a science-fantasy tale stretching across the furthest stars, there is an abundance of great space-based games available on mobile platforms.
We’ve taken a look at all of the best space mobile games available and picked the cream of the crop for your enjoyment. This list isn't in a particular order, as each of these games offers something unique.
10. Last Horizon
- Release date: November 18, 2015
- Developer: Pixeljam
Sometimes, a game can do quite a lot with so little. Last Horizon is such a game. It tells the story of a far-flung future where humanity has done what they do best and destroyed their home planet. As potentially the last human left in existence, you have to take a long journey across the stars to find and seed a new world in the hopes that humanity will continue to exist.
The controls for this game are simplicity itself. You have a thruster, and can rotate your ship right and left. Your goal is to leapfrog your way across the universe, landing on planets to refuel your ship, gather oxygen, and use ore to repair any damage. It takes a careful touch to land safely, especially with gravity and planet-side hazards working against you. All in all, this comes highly recommended as a game for anyone looking for a mindful experience, especially if you’re a fan of Lunar Lander at all.
- Release date: July 31, 2015
- Developer: Chasing Carrots
From a meditative journey across space to a comedic strategy title about making as much money as possible. Cosmonautica is a space sim that tasks you with building and managing your own spaceship and crew. Your general goal is to run a successful ship, but to do that you need money which can be made from taking on jobs, trading goods, or even attacking and stealing from other ships.
There’s a story mode to keep you occupied as well, with a tongue-in-cheek style to the dialogue and a slightly unhinged robot parrot to keep you company that alone qualifies this as one of the best space mobile games out there. There’s a lot of depth to Cosmonautica, and you can end up spending hours playing before you know it. The only slight downside is that the game requires a decent-sized screen if you want to make the most out of it.
8. SimpleRockets 2
- Release date: November 8, 2018
- Developer: Jundroo, LLC
Changing tact completely now, SimpleRockets 2 is all about crafting space-worthy vessels. This simulation has you construct your very own rocket ship and then successfully pilot it in a variety of different missions and challenges. You have a lot of control over how your ship looks and functions, but the game is also aiming for realism, so you need to make sure that your spacecraft actually makes sense.
There’s quite a barrier to entry with this one, it must be said, but it’s totally worth breaking through said barrier. It can be quite complicated to both build and fly your spaceships, but if you’ve ever wanted a game that goes into an intense amount of detail relating to astrodynamics, then you’re not going to find a better game on mobile than this.
7. Crying Suns
- Release date: September 19, 2019
- Developer: Alt Shift
If you’re looking for a darker take on a space exploration game, Crying Suns should be right up your street. The game has a lot of similarities to titles like FTL: Faster Than Light because your main goal is to leapfrog your way across a dystopian universe, sourcing fuel and dealing with enemies and other ships. The main advantage here is that you can play this one on the go, and it has a bit more of a story than FTL.
Crying Suns can be incredibly unforgiving, featuring hexagonal-tile-based combat sequences where you directly control your shipboard weapons and inter-ship fighting craft at the same time. Still, because it’s turn-based, at least you won’t have to panic about making your moves quickly, and you can always shove your phone back into your pocket if things get a bit too frustrating for you.
6. Star Command
- Release date: May 2, 2013
- Developer: Star Command, LLC
For something a bit more cheery and cartoony, Star Command is a must-have space mobile game. Not only are the brighter and more detailed sprites a bit easier to see on your smaller phone screen, but the light-hearted tone and simple gameplay make it easier to dip in and out of on a whim.
As a captain in Star Command, you have to make decisions about the running of your ship, as well as what happens during various adventure encounters. As you take on enemies and complete story objectives, you’re rewarded with three different colors of tokens that you can spend on upgrades to your ship and hiring crew. This system keeps things super simple, even if it also means that combat takes a bit of time before it works up some energy.
5. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 1 & 2
- Release date: December 23, 2014 / December 18, 2020
- Developer: BioWare
Technically, this one is a bit of a cheat because it’s two games sharing a space, but Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (KOTOR) is one of the best experiences you can have on your phone, and it doesn’t matter which one you choose to play. Part of the reason that these Star Wars-based RPG titles are so great, especially when compared with many other mobile ports of console titles, is that the mechanics slot surprisingly well into the mobile form.
If you’re not familiar, KOTOR uses a turn-based system that allows you to pause the action at a time and then queue actions you want your team to take. That means no messing around with action gameplay on a touchscreen or having to snap a controller in. You can always freeze time and just think about what attacks you want to use. Plus, you’re still getting the full story and character experience these games are famous for. Perfect.
4. Second Galaxy
- Release date: September 11, 2019
- Developer: Zilong Game Limited
EVE Online was a great space MMO, but it was also a bit intense and sort of difficult to get into. Second Galaxy is a much more stripped-down version of that same sort of game, but with the added benefit of portability. You have to create your character as one of several different factions, then go around the galaxy completing missions and constantly improving your character and ship.
There’s a fair bit of social content in the game, with player alliances playing a huge role in gameplay events. On the opposite side of the spectrum is the combat, which is pretty hands-off, forcing you mostly to make sure your ship is in great condition before you start fighting. As a free-to-play game, you do have the option of microtransactions, but the amount of content on offer that doesn’t require any monetary investment is certainly worth it.
3. Space Commander: War and Trade
- Release date: November 4, 2020
- Developer: Home Net Games
True space exploration on a grand scale can be tough to pull off, so learning that not only has a mobile game done it but has done it for free is pretty impressive. Space Commander: War and Trade is a call back to other great titles in the genre, like Wing Commander: Privateer or Elite: Dangerous. Your main goal is to explore the universe, make money, and keep upgrading your ship(s) until you become the best ship pilot in the galaxy.
As a free-to-play title, Space Commander: War and Trade does feature ads, but they’re not as intrusive as many similar games. You can opt to play them sometimes to get extra credits, or they’ll pop up once you complete a mission, but they don’t have banners or anything like that. It’s also entirely possible to enjoy the entire single-player campaign without investing any money at all, which is a nice bonus.
2. Among Us
- Release date: November 16, 2018
- Developer: Innersloth
If you haven’t heard of this one yet, then you’ve probably been living with your head buried in the sand. Among Us is a social game set aboard a spaceship that sees you and several other players attempt to keep the ship up and running while hunted by an impostor who is out to kill you. At the end of each round, your group has to pick someone to shove out into the cold void of space, in hopes of ridding yourself of the danger in your midst.
The mobile version of the game has several advantages, including being a free app that you can use to play Among Us against people locally within your vicinity. You can also pay for a proper Among Us account to play online as normal, but the option for IRL gameplay adds a certain extra bit of spice to the social aspects of the game.
- Release date: September 17, 2014
- Developer: Flow Combine
We round things out with something a little bit different. While SPACECOM is a strategy game set in space, it differs from the others on this list of best space mobile games by being solely focused on mission-based gameplay. That means you’re not going out and exploring the grand infinity of the cosmos, but rather you’re completing specific engagements across individual star systems.
Another key difference is that here you’re in control of entire fleets and units rather than a single ship and its crew. The goal is to move your ships around, take out weaker units, and gain control over the planets in a star system. As you control more ground, you produce more units, and typically your goal is to destroy a specific enemy or take control over the entire system. There’s a lot of depth here for how simple the game is to play, and it’s perfect for a bite-sized gaming session while you’re doing your daily commute.