If you’re a fan of real-time space combat, then Nebulous: Fleet Command is going to suck you right in. Sitting at the intersection between ship design and realistic sim combat, you’re both outfitter and tactical commander of a space naval squadron in Nebulous.
Nebulous: Fleet Command (NFC) is a detailed strategic-tactical space game where each engagement starts with setting courses, intuiting radar signatures, and trying to jam enemies while getting sensor locks of your own. From there, it’s anyone’s game, as weapons ranging from a suite of different missiles to energy weapons, point defense, CIWS, railguns, and good old artillery come to bear. It’s not a simple damage system, either, and individual ship components are modelled and can be hit based on where enemy fire impacts—and then damage control takes over, repairing systems mid-combat and putting out fires.
Released into early access about a week ago, NFC is the kind of hardcore combat sim that doesn’t come along too often. The sci-fi space battles are the kind of cool fights you see in relatively “hard” science fiction like The Expanse, and for some that’s enough to check the game out. It’s early stages now, with a functional tutorial and skirmishes against the AI or other players. It’s pretty early days, but a surprisingly active multiplayer community has sprung up around NFC.
You can find NEBULOUS: Fleet Command on Steam.