The World’s Most (and least) POPULAR Space Games – According to Google

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There’s a number of large space games out there, from No Man’s Sky to Star Citizen, from Elite Dangerous to EVE Online. Which is the most popular? Perhaps more importantly, has interest in these games changed over time?

Epidemic Sound



  1. Small problem here in regards to measuring interest on Google trends (GT)
    Why: GT measures the maximum search volumes % of the search term.

    Eg. ED gets 1000 a month. But SC gets 500 searches a month.
    If they are both games are getting 50% searches in the following month. The graph would show the same 50% drop (not compared to each other, but compared to itself).

    In order to do this test correctly, we need access to the Google keyword traffic volume tool. Which will tell exactly how many searches per month each keyword (game title) receives.

    Hope that makes sense. But I still enjoyed the process of the analysis, so thanks Obsidian 👍

  2. Not surprised at all that No Man's Sky is the most popular. Hello Games keeps improving it and releasing new content every few months.

  3. I'd assume the interest in Star Citizen also comes from the fact that it's the highest crowd-funded video game ever. There's a lot of talk and speculation around it, be it for or against how it's been developed, how efficiently it's being developed, does it suffer from feature creep and so on. There are a lot of external things to talk about it besides how the game actually is or even how many people are actively playing it.

  4. Elite dangerous is dying and you can blame FDev…they cared more about money then a fun game…you couldn't even change your hud color without modding the game

  5. I love X4 and with the star wars mod its amazing…its just a steep learning curve

  6. Space engineers is only good on pc because without mods its more empty then minecraft year one

  7. thanks ant, really enjoyed that 🙂 always love your informative content

  8. I really didn't expect that much interest in no man's sky – but Japan being the land with the highest interest for it kinda makes sense (8:28)

  9. Global Google searches – average monthly searches:

    * last 12 months – Jul 21 – Jun 22 –

    star citizen – 823,000

    star citizen game – 5,400

    no man's sky – 550,000

    no man's sky game – 1,300

    eve on line – 246,000

    eve on line game – 880

    elite dangerous – 201,000

    elite dangerous game – 720

    * Last 3 months – April, May, June 2022

    star citizen – 1.220.000
    star citizen game – 8,100

    no man's sky – 673,000
    no man's sky game – 1,900

    eve on line – 201,000
    eve on line game – 880

    elite dangerous – 165,000
    elite dangerous game – 590

    * June 22

    Star citizen – 1,000,000
    No Man's sky – 823,000

  10. what do you think of an old dead legend called, Fractured Space. Its one of its kind.

  11. People always throw out stats on how many play, how many have bought it, etc. but like reputation, interest in said product is very important. If there's no interest, there's no product. It might be in FDev's best interest to take heed.

  12. to be honest I expected more intrest in ED considering noumber of 3rd part tools for it

  13. NMS has the advantage in a few aspects, it´s easy to learn and it´s playable with an average PC. Literally everyone can grab this title and get going regardless of time invested, 15 minutes is enough to do a mission and log off or even discover a few planets.

    As a gamer with work/family/responsibilities and limited time I usually stick to games which allow for an easy approach, simply do not have the time to invest in any sort of game with a steep learning curve. I do follow the development of scifi games in general and am happy for those who do have the time to get into more advanced games like Star Citizen, seems the future is bright when it comes to diversity.

  14. While it's not on this list or a first-person game, Starsector has been my absolute favorite space game for the last year or two. It has an excellent tactical spaceship combat engine that rewards you for carefully cultivating a powerful fleet, but the AI is very capable so it never feels too micro-intensive. The mods are great too, and even without there are a lot of cool things to see in the exploration part of the game.

    I tried several times after several big updates and I could never get into No Man's Sky, maybe because it forces me to get out of the cockpit too often. The on-foot stuff just never felt very exciting. Star Citizen has seemed interesting; but I have a constrained budget and simply can't justify spending that much money for one ship in an incomplete game. I love games where I can build a fleet and it's impossible for me to do that in Star Citizen. It's an unpalatable barrier to entry for me.

  15. No man's sky is the greatest game ever made ….period.

    I said period … that's, that. 😏

  16. I've been playing Astroneer. It's one of the few none combat space games I.e. Exploration based games available! And should be added to your list. It's come along way since its launch several years ago and has consistently greater interest than X4 Foundations.

  17. Isn't Eve online FREE? Hardly appropriate to compare free to a premium game

  18. How much of the spike in Star Citizen is due to Starfield? I've seen a lot of videos along the lines of "What does Starfield mean for Star Citizen," despite the fact that they are really two different kinds of games (Sim vs RPG).

  19. Not surprising that No Man's Sky is the most popular given it's one of the two space games that is on console and the the only one that is still getting updates.

  20. Can we really determine if content is driving the interest or interest is driving the content?

  21. Why is star citizen less popular than elite in Russia?

    Russians run scams, they don’t usually get scammed 😉

    Also these are aggregated search results not indicative of player numbers at all and could be effected by 101 diff variables.

    For example a content player base prob isn’t googling name of their own game very much, but if think something is a scam? Ya prob a lot of people googling it xD

  22. I would love to see the version of Elite Dangerous that had multiplayer but was single player focused and didn't have microtransactions. I think No Man's Sky proves that you can allow players to make a mark on the universe and be creative without having to make the game single player only and without charging for things like customization.

  23. i've been wanting to go back to space sims/games… went back but tested it on the Steam Deck No Man's Sky (optimized little dips here and there but good) and X4 (this was struggling 30fps, looks like ill be testing this on my main rig). Still salty about Elite Dangerous… and having the urge to get into Star Citizen… Hope StarField is good… Space itch is bad…

  24. This needs to be redone when Starfield comes out! Great work Ant!!!

  25. Outer Wilds – the best space game ever to come out, in my eyes. I'd love to see it on here.

  26. 3:24
    Interestingly, if you look at many of those thumbnails and titles for the star citizen search. Many of the top videos are about Starfield. The top video is even the official Starfield gameplay trailer. So I think it's safe to surmise that Starfield plays a big role in the recent spike for interest in Star Citizen. Due in part by content creators comparing and contrasting Star Citizen with what we've seen of Starfield.

  27. I do feel like there is 2 main groups of fans and its important to take into account. You have space fans wanting anything space sim and you have the mmo space fans just wanting an interactive world to share with people. Personally I used to love rpgs more when I was young but I really don't find the experience fun if I cant share it with people not a days.

    I love elite and I play on and off and would always return for new content no matter how bad it got. Starcitizen is on my radar but pre early access aint my thing. Things like Starfield or Nomanssky would never make me bad an eye now a days though. I look at most solo rpgs an a 1 month investment then your done where I want to get into a world for the long term and see how it and the community grows. I look at Starfield and I think "this will be hype for a month or 2 then no one will care just like elden ring" and that might be enough for some people but I think the more social gamer will just end up like me old and crotchy not wanting to waste time on non social experiences.

    I don't even think solo rpgs are bad, I am sure they are wonderful to many but I do think some people just play so many rpgs in there life it becomes pointless to play rpgs that aren't social. I guess what im saying is no matter how "good" these other space games are people will always return to mmo space games so meh.

  28. Great video as always. Just curious what tracks of music from Epidemic Sound were used for the video? I could hear shades of tracks that sounded inspired by the last movement of Adams' "Harmonielehre."

  29. Star Citizen may be "big", but the devs also appear a bit desperate – based on the number of shills popping up in the Corp chat channels on Eve online, pushing the game; many of the accounts have been created JUST to push Star Citizen, as they start posting about it within minutes of creating the account.

  30. I could have probably played Elite forever if the Devs weren't useless.
    Steep learning curve, great flight mechanics, but they fail so hard at making things not boring as fuck.
    I feel it would be amazing for a Battlestar Galactica game, or The Expanse or something.
    NMS is like the polar opposite of elite. Colourful and everything is easy or simple, and it was fun for a while, but the combat let's everything down.
    The best part of the game for me, is probably the base building aspect. Finding the craziest vista possible and building a monstrosity is fun.
    Hopefully No Man's Skyrim lives up to the hype.

  31. I'd be curious how chor… Chorvs? Chorus? Uhh you know what I mean… I'm interested how that compares but not interested enough to figure out how to look at these graphs myself 💀

  32. Any chance you might do a, x4: should you buy in 2022?

  33. I think the fact that Elite Dangerous competed somewhat with No Mans Sky from 2019-2021 says quite a bit about the popularity of both games on console, as well as PC. All the other games which are lower are PC only. Was it ultimately a mistake to drop ED on console?

  34. Empyrion Galactic Survival is a game I would enjoy seeing Ant do a series on, its a seriously good space game.

  35. Still enjoying exploration and space trucking in Elite Dangerous.
    One day, I may take up core mining, but I'm taking my time.

    Just live the art style and sheer scale.

  36. I'm surprised there is even interest in Elite Dangerous anymore. After all what's left? some text-only "narrative" because sure as hell nothing is in game. And some unknown, unclear, non-committal garbage roadmap where literally they cannot disappoint because they said nothing.

  37. Im glad to see hello games doing well… however my go to game in the past 2 years has been Empyrion galactic survival.

  38. eve onlines fate was sealed when pearl abyss bought it. since it happened, its now full of mtx and for game that was all about players making everything from zero, you can just straight buy ships and skillpoints from store now. loved the game but sad to see the state its in now

  39. Title should say VPN commercial, man i get u want some extra income but this clip was more about VPN than anything else.

  40. My problem with No Man Sky is that its not about space exploration, or sci fi. Its a great fantasy farming base building game.

  41. You want to know why NMS is so popular? It's got controller support and it's easy to play. Most people don't want to get a degree to explore space..

  42. those graphs seem to match my feelings quite well.
    used to love ED, but havent touched it in a while
    don't really care much for eve or SC
    initially interested in NMS but saw how that launch went and started ED. recently saw how well it had improved and loved playing it since.

  43. Scam citizen doesn't belong in any meaningful list of games.

  44. I find out one space game that's kinda when Space Engeneers and No mans sky Fu*k together. Empyrion: Galactic survival.

  45. Thank You Obsidian. Liked, and Shared.

    Edit: My favorite game is EVE Online. It may get a boost here, and there, which is a decent thing but it will only delay the inevitable which is either release EVE Online as a standalone local/server based game just like what the developers have done for WURM online, then gradually release DLC content, and also allow modders to get their tiny hairy hands on the tools by creating mods which will only make the game better OR pull the plug (I really hope they don't do this).

    If they did do this we will be left to feed on are our memories, and videos of when EVE Online was great.

    The owners of EVE Online can gradually do this with no interruption since WURM Online is still being played all the while they released a full single player version with the option to create your own server. I wouldn't mind purchasing certain DLC's for this sort of version for EVE Online.

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