A massive online world, ever-expanding space exploration, and insane multiplayer are the key. These are elements you’re probably looking for on games like Eve Online.
The MMORPG is free and has a loyal player base. You may know it for its complexity, scale, and capacity to support thousands of players in a single battle.
Perhaps you’re overwhelmed with the game’s sheer size and complexity, or maybe you’ve played too much. Additionally, even though it’s free-to-play, most would argue it has pay-to-win mechanics.
Regardless, we recognize that you want something else, and we’re here to please your gaming desires.
Selecting The Best Games Like Eve Online
Selecting the best games like Eve Online requires us to understand what this MMORPG offers. Therefore, the games you would like should feature a blend or a twist of its elements:
- MMORPG: Eve Online offers a single and shared game world for thousands of players. There is a single server for all users and a tournament server.
- Scenario: You play in a set universe that includes over 5000 starts. The setting consists of random generation and handcrafted maps, NPCs, and areas.
- Setting: There’re four empires in the universe, each fighting for different values. There is, for example, a slave empire fighting against a democratic faction.
- Initial Setup: You create a character from four playable empires and three bloodlines for each race. Each realm offers different ships, looks, and political advantages.
- Character Customization: The character creation screen is hefty. It allows you to tweak your face, gender, apparel, background, and perks.
- Gameplay: The main gameplay is driving your ship. You can fly in 3D third-person or make the ship flight automatically. That said, the main activity is finding space rocks to mine.
- Activities: The activities are comprehensive, and you can find them on a massive user interface. Various quests, encounters, raids, research, resource collection, and explorations exist. There’re also questlines (Career Paths) that grant additional rewards.
- Skills: The skill system is akin to a mobile RPG game. There’s a broad skill menu, and you can unlock them and learn them by putting these skills into a timer.
- Ship Customization: Similarly, as you gather resources, you can improve your ship with better systems and stats and customize its appearance.
- Space combat: Space combat is complex but doesn’t rely on maneuvers. It’s about selecting your ship skills, weapons, and defensive tools to survive and win.
- Enemies: Each area of the map has a scale determining the danger and strength of the enemy NPCs. You can explore these areas to find resources, quests, and adventure.
- Multiplayer Battles: Players can join to create teams like corporations and fight against other teams for resources.
- Space Travel: You can travel short distances, but you must use “stargates” and “warps” to travel from one system to another.
- Capital Ships: You can have your capital ships as you grow in resources. These are tough and large and support other ships within.
- Economy: The economy is entirely player-driven. NPCs only sell skill books and blueprints to create ship and ship modules. They can also buy “Trade Goods.”
- Interactive Aspect: Lastly, Eve Online plays and feels like an interactive space game. The decisions happen on in-game menus, and action occurs with point & click mechanics.
Overall, we’re looking for space games that are in constant expansion and evolution – like the universe. The games we choose have strong fan support and communities, and fun space action.
Best Games Like Eve Online
No Man’s Sky
- Developer: Hello Game
- Publisher: Hello Game
- Release Date: August 2016
- Platform: Windows, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series, PS5
No Man’s Sky is currently the most popular online sci-fi game. Consider it as a first-person version of Eve Online. So, you do everything with your keys, clicks, and buttons rather than an interactive playthrough.
The setting is a massive and sprawling universe. It features thousands of procedurally generated stars, planets, and systems. Most impressively, you can fly anywhere and reach any place without loading-screen in-betweens.
Here, you can have all kinds of adventures. You can complete quests, explore, trade, fight on derelict ships, hunt monsters, and more. The main gameplay revolves around gathering resources for your growing coffers.
See, No Man’s Sky is also a crafting sandbox. You can use the resources to build bases on any planet, customize your appearance, build and customize your gear, or improve and change your ship.
Lastly, the developer’s support for the game is remarkable. The studio keeps releasing creative expansions and features, most of which are free. Some of the best examples are areas with rogue-like mechanics, empire management, and enemy NPC ships.
Battlestar Galactica Online
- Developer: Bigpoint Games rtplant
- Publisher: Bigpoint Games
- Release Date: February 2011
- Platform: Windows, macOS
Battlestar Galactica Online is an MMORPG revolving around space dogfights. You create a player and choose one of the two factions (Colonials or Cylons). These factions are in conflict, which opens massive multiplayer events against the other section.
So, the game relies on heavy co-op gameplay and team-based combat. If you enjoy the multiplayer space battle aspect of Eve Online, Battlestar approaches the formula.
The gameplay is all about the space flights. You’re a pilot, and you play in third-person 3D. You can explore various sectors in a semi-open world matter. More importantly, either faction could take control of these areas to control its resources.
Moreover, you can play with one of the four ships available and one of the three subclasses of each ship. There’s also a fourth class (Capital Ships), which serves a different purpose. When you play as part of a team, you must fill the role intended for your vessel.
Lastly, the graphics and mechanics are much more straightforward. That’s because the title plays on web browsers, so it’s easily accessible to everyone with a good internet connection. Likewise, the game features a community with over two million registered users.
- Developer: Star Gem Inc.
- Publisher: Gajin Entertainment
- Release Date: July 2012
- Platform: Windows, macOS, Linux, SteamOS
Star Conflict also focuses on spaceships, as well as ship customization. It’s a space combat/exploration MMO game where you explore and fight in a vast universe. In particular, the ship customization is quite deep and allows you to match your playstyle highly.
You can build a ship from scratch, which is the way to start the game. You can do it many times, and you’ll need to because the system is complex and tricky. And once you’re ready, you can play through the game’s storyline in a universe divided by military organizations.
Then, the gameplay is packed with action, players, and simulation systems. As a pilot, you’ll participate in hundreds of skirmishes, PvE missions, PvP battles, and battles between corporations. Other activities include hunting, exploration, and story-driven questlines.
The game goes deeper than this. Specifically, ships come in hundreds of types, purposes, and mechanics. They also come with nine different rules and hundreds of modules you can mix, match, and modify. You can even produce your modules.
Lastly, as you progress, you can take command of various battleships at the same time. Although you start with nimble ships, in time, you’ll be able to control a whole fleet. Like the commander, you can fight against alien fleets, pirates, and more.
- Developer: Cloud Imperium Games
- Publisher: Cloud Imperium Games
- Release Date: N/A (Alpha Stage)
- Platform: Windows
Star Citizen is currently in the Alpha stage, but you can now play it by joining their webpage. The production started in 2011 and is perhaps the most massive space game available.
The gameplay combines real-time space flight and a first-person shooter. Each of these systems is fully fledged, which is impressive, as Star Citizen is coming from an indie developer.
That said, the gameplay relies on various “playable modules.” Each module provides a different experience and represents another, almost stand-alone part of the game.
In particular, there’s a Hangar Module for ship customization; the Arena Commander module is the space-combat sim, and Star Marine is the ground combat sim. Each module features a different system to add a realistic and immersive layer to the game.
You’d be exploring a persistent online universe combining the three modules. You’d explore and fight on the ground or your ship for resources. Additionally, you can join with a customizable avatar and choose to pursue many types of activities (bounties, mining, quests, trading, and more).
Entropia Universe – Planet Calypso
- Developer: MindArk
- Publisher: MindArk
- Release Date: January 2003
- Platform: Windows
Entropia Universe is a classic MMORPG and virtual universe akin to Second Life. It’s as complex as it is comprehensive because it has various planets with different mechanics.
The main planet is Planet Calypso. This place offers a third-person sci-fi open-world adventure. You explore the world on foot or on a ship for resources, questing, and combat. Then, you get loot from monsters, which you can trade from currencies.
The game requires a great deal of grinding because the economy is tough. You earn PED (Project Entropia Dollars) for your adventures and can even redeem PED into US dollars. Many people take the game seriously and invest hundreds of hours “working” in-game.
Additionally, you can spend the currency on in-game items, skills, “deeds,” and services from other players. Moreover, every in-game activity requires coins or craftable things that break and decay. For example, hunting requires expendable ammo, probes, extractors, finders, and probes.
Lastly, other planets alter the mechanics significantly aside from the main planet. For example, Rocktropia revolves around music events, or Arkadia is a treasure hunting map. Some mechanics are shared across all worlds, like a “mentor” feature that allows you to earn money by guiding new players.
- Developer: Bungie
- Publisher: Bungie
- Release Date: September 2017
- Platform: PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series, Windows, Google Stadia
Destiny 2 is another genre that aims to offer an action-focused experience. However, Bungie’s title is your best pick if you’re looking for an ever-expansive online space adventure. In particular, we choose it because of its vibrant settings and quests.
This is an online and sci-fi first-person shooter-looter with character progression. The base game is free-to-play, but the developers keep expanding the main quests, areas, and features with several paid expansions.
You start by choosing a character class and completing the tutorial. After the tutorial, you reach the world’s hub, a city. Here, you can select from hundreds upon hundreds of quests and activities.
You can play alone, but the game is better (and often silly fun) with friends. So, you can join quests as part of a party or go to massive raids, multiplayer battles, multiplayer events, and others. In any case, the shooting, the looting, and the quests are intense.
- Developer: Digital Extremes
- Publisher: Digital Extremes
- Release Date: March 2013
- Platform: Windows, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series, Nintendo Switch
Warframe is another shooter looter, similar to Destiny 2. Still, we choose it because it delivers a growing sci-fi space adventure. The developer support is outstanding, and the player base keeps growing to justify the game’s constant expansion.
You start the game by choosing a “Warframe,” a super-advanced fighting suit. Then, you complete a tutorial where you learn about its fast-paced 3D combat and the active skill that comes with your case. The action combines melee abilities, high-paced mobility skills, and third-person shooter.
The game offers so much more than fighting, though. But the main gameplay is exploring a massive open-world universe for questing and adventure. You can also participate in ship battles. You’ll either shoot the ship’s weapons or fly your Warframe to board enemy ships.
The other core part of the experience is customizing your Warframe. Over 40 suits to unlock, plus hundreds of pieces to find and add to your suite. Powers, stats, and traversal abilities come with these pieces and cases.
Lastly, you can play the game alone, but Warframe is only. You can join others for superb and fast co-op experiences at any time. Warframes should use the abilities together, such as redirecting enemy attacks, blocking, or healing allies.
Ascent – The Space Game
- Developer: Fluffy Kitten Studios
- Publisher: Fluffy Kitten Studios
- Release Date: April 2016
- Platform: Windows
Ascent – The Space Game is a player-driven alternative to Eve Online. It’s a PVE space MMO game, and all of its content has been created by its community. The title constantly changes so the game can feel as complex and expansive as Eve Online.
The title includes over 270 billion star systems, which is incomprehensible. In any case, you can explore, mine, colonize, and combat the enemies you find in your explorations.
It’s also an online game; you can explore alongside other players. There’re no PVP aspects here, though, besides some minor features. So, the game is more casual and peaceful than Eve, if that’s what you want.
As for gameplay, there’re two main experiences to test. There’s a vast menu where you can trade for pieces, customize your shipyard, and customize your ship. Outside these menus, you fly around your ships with mostly interactive mechanics (point, select, travel, and attack!).
You travel around space to trade, explore, colonize moons and planets, fight against pirates, and more. There’re various activities, and they mostly rely on boosting your resource collection. The game’s continuous updates make areas, resources, and combat more complex.
- Developer: Aratog LLC
- Publisher: Trinity Project
- Release Date: September 2015
- Platform: Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android, web browser
Astro Lords is a free-to-play 3D game for PCs, smartphones, and web browsers. It blends a persistent online world (like an MMO), space, sci-fi, and strategy/management -you manage a base with a bird-view perspective and fight on a ship in 3D.
Here, you control an asteroid, which you can mine for resources. Then, you use the resources to build structures that produce ammo and mini-bots for your ships. In particular, the bots repair the vessel.
Your asteroid becomes your central hub and your stronghold. Other players can’t rob it or capture it. However, enemy NPCs can attack it. You can defend by building a Starbase and loading it with cannons, ammo, Runes, and Artifacts.
Additionally, you can control up to 6 “Captains.” You can customize these captains with one of the seven classes, and they are in control of a ship. As they fight, they level up and unlock skills.
Lastly, you can join an Arena to combat other lords, aliens, or bosses. You can also fight against enemy Starbases and asteroids, complete missions and robbery, and more. Combat happens on a 2D screen, where you manage your ship’s systems and weapons with simple clicks or tabs.
- Developer: ROCKFISH Games
- Publisher: Rockfish Games
- Release Date: January 2021 (Early Access)
- Platform: Windows
Everspace 2 is perhaps the best single-player spaceship shooter. It’s decidedly not an Eve Online copy. Instead, what you’d get from a studio solely focused on space combat simulation. Such a focus achieved various worldwide recognitions for the game.
So, this game offers a single-player, compelling, and lengthy sci-fi campaign. You play across a vibrant open world full of handcrafted settings, puzzles, perils, and secrets. You drive a ship for combat, questing, trading, and more here.
The campaign features complex challenges and space dogfights. You have various weapons systems, maneuvers, and defensive systems to defeat your enemies. You’ll also unlock skills as you play and evolve yourself as a player.
There’re also tons of side quests in the world. These include visiting derelict ships and satellites to solve puzzles—another reward at the other end of defeating robbers and outlaws. Regardless of what you do, you’ll be dashing, rolling, and dodging in 3D against heavy bombers, droners, fighters, capital ships, and more.
Lastly, you will unlock a ship collection and many ship parts and apparel to customize your vessels. You can combine ship modules, devices, weapons, and even perks. That way, you can suit your preferences and objectives.