Universe Sandbox Wiki

This page is a guide for getting started in Universe Sandbox.


To get familiar with the basics of Universe Sandbox, try browsing the tutorials in Home > Guides > Tutorials.

These will show you the basics of the interface, introduce you to various tools and settings, and give you some ideas for starting your journey of astronomical creation and destruction.

Exploring the Included Simulations[]

Universe Sandbox includes hundreds of built-in simulations to explore.

Go to Home > Open to browse a list of included simulations. You can filter the list by selecting a category, such as Collisions, Explosions, Historical, Exoplanets, and Galaxies.

Creating a Star System[]

Custom simulations can be very simple or very complex, and can vary widely, but a good place to start by with creating your own star system.

Here's a simple list of steps to get you started:

  1. Select Home > New to load an empty simulation
  2. Open the Add tool from the Tools menu in the bottom bar, and select a star
  3. Click in the simulation to add your star
  4. Select a planet from the Add tool menu
  5. Add your planet to the simulation

Your planet will automatically begin orbiting your star. Next, try adding moons, rings, and asteroids.

Learn more in the Add Tool tutorial: Home > Tutorials > Add Tool

Viewing & Changing Properties[]

Universe Sandbox allows viewing and editing dozens of properties for every object in a simulation. To view properties for any object, right-click on it, or click on it once and then click on its mini-info panel on the right side.

Try changing a property and seeing how it affects your simulation. For example, in the default Solar System simulation, increase the mass of the Sun and see how it increases its gravitational influence and pulls in the planets.

What if... Experiments[]

If you've explored the included simulations and created some custom systems and now don't know what to do, try to think of a "What if..." experiment. This is a great way to come up with an idea for a new simulation you can create, or an idea for how you can change an existing simulation to see unexpected and interesting results.

First, think of a question, like "What if the Sun disappeared?"