A space flight simulation game is a genre of flight simulator video games that lets players experience space flight to varying degrees of realism. Many games feature space combat, and some games feature commerce and trading in addition to combat. Some "Space shuttle take off simulation dating" in the genre aim to recreate a realistic portrayal of space flight, involving Space shuttle take off simulation dating calculation of orbits within a more complete physics simulation than pseudo space flight simulators.
Others focus on gameplay rather than simulating space flight in all its facets. The realism of the latter games is limited to what the game designer deems to be appropriate for the gameplay, instead of focusing on the realism of moving the spacecraft in space.
Some "flight models" use a physics system based on Newtonian physicsbut these are usually limited to maneuvering the craft in its direct environment, and do not take into consideration the orbital calculations that would make such a game a simulator. Many of the pseudo simulators feature faster than light travel. Examples of true simulators which aim at piloting a space craft in a manner that conforms with the laws of nature include OrbiterKerbal Space Program and Microsoft Space Simulator.
Examples of more fantastical video games that bend the rules of physics in favor of streamlining and entertainment, include Wing CommanderStar Wars: The modern space flight game genre emerged at the point when home computers became sufficiently powerful to draw basic wireframe graphics in real-time.
Games similar to Elite are sometimes called " Elite -clones". Space flight games and simulators, at one time popular, had for much of the new millennium been considered a "dead" genre.
Orbiter Spaceflight Simulator ; and 's commercially released Kerbal Space Program was notably well-received, even by the aerospace community.
Dangerousand No Man's Skyhave brought new attention to the space trading and combat game subgenre. Realistic space simulators seek to represent a vessel's behaviour under the influence of the laws of physics. As such, the player normally concentrates on following checklists or planning tasks. Piloting is generally limited to dockings, landings or orbital maneuvers.
The reward for the player is on mastering real or realistic spacecraft, celestial mechanics and astronautics. Classical games with this approach include Space Shuttle: A Journey into SpaceRendezvous: If the definition is expanded to include decision making and planning, then Buzz Aldrin's Race Into Space is also notable for historical accuracy and detail. On this game the player takes the role of Administrator of NASA or Head of the Soviet Space Program with the ultimate goal of being the first side to conduct a successful manned moon landing.
Most recently Orbiter and Space Shuttle Mission provide more elaborate simulations, with realistic 3D virtual cockpits and external views. Kerbal Space Program  can be considered a space simulator, even though it portrays an imaginary universe with tweaked physics, masses and distances to enhance gameplay.
Nevertheless, the physics and rocket design principles are much more realistic than in the space combat or trading subgenres.
The game Lunar Flight simulates flying around the lunar surface in a craft resembling the Apollo Lunar Module. Most games in the space combat  genre feature futuristic scenarios involving space flight and extra planetary combat. Such games generally place the player into the controls of a small starfighter or smaller starship in a military force of similar and larger spaceships and do not take into account the physics of space flight, usually often citing some technological advancement to explain the lack thereof.
Exceptions include the first Independence War and the Star Trek: It should be noted that I-War also features Newtonian style physics for the behaviour of the spacecraft, but not orbital mechanics. Space combat games tend to be mission-based, as opposed to the more open-ended nature of space trading and combat games.
The general formula for the space trading and combat game    which has changed little since its genesis, is for the player to begin in a relatively small, outdated ship with little money or status and for the player to work his or her way up, gaining in status and power through trading, combat or a mix of different methods.
Notable examples of the genre include EliteWing Commander: Privateerand Freelancer. In some instances, plot plays only a limited role and only a loose narrative framework tends to be provided.
In certain titles of the X seriesfor instance, players may ignore the plot for as long as they wish and are even given the option to disable the plot completely and instead play in sandbox mode.
Games of this type often allow the player to choose among multiple roles to play and multiple paths to victory.
This aspect of the genre is very popular, but some people have complained that, in some titles, the leeway given to the player too often is only superficial, and that, in reality, the roles offered to players are very similar, and open-ended play too frequently restricted by scripted sequences. All space trading and combat games feature the core gameplay elements of directly controlling the flight of some sort of space vessel, generally armed, and of navigating from one area to another for a variety of reasons.
As technology has improved it has been possible to implement a number of Space shuttle take off simulation dating to gameplay, such as dynamic economies and cooperative online play. Overall, however, the core gameplay mechanics of the genre have changed little over the years.
Some recent games, such as 's EVE Onlinehave expanded the scope of the experience by including thousands of simultaneous online players in what is sometimes referred to as a "living universe"    —a dream some have held since the genre's early beginnings. An additional sub-class of space trading games eliminate combat entirely, focusing instead entirely on trading and economic manipulation in order to achieve success. Most modern space flight games on the personal computer allow a player to utilise a combination of the WASD keys of the keyboard and mouse as a means of controlling the game games such as Microsoft's Freelancer use this control system exclusively .
By far the most popular control system among genre enthusiasts, however, is the joystick. The lack of uptake among the majority of modern gamers has also made joysticks a sort of an anachronism, though some new controller designs  and simplification of controls offer the promise that space sims may be playable in their full capacity on gaming consoles Space shuttle take off simulation dating some time in the future.