Welcome to Mars Horizon and your mission to reach the Red Planet. Mars Horizon places you at the head of a space agency at the dawn of the space race. Your task is to guide your agency through time, and all its technological advances, until you successfully step foot on Mars. There are many viable ways to manage your agency and achieve your goal. To help you work out your preferred method, here are some Mars Horizon tips that will get you started and steer your journey through space.
1. Choose the right experience for you
We have 3 different game modes available, each fully customisable and offering its own challenges.
- Explorer – a relaxed experience. Missions are less demanding, and there’s reduced competition from other space agencies.
- Pioneer – a balanced experience. Missions will test you, and other space agencies are competitive.
- Veteran – a demanding experience. Missions are tough, and other space agencies are extremely competitive.
2. Create your own agency with the traits you prefer
There are 5 playable agencies to choose from in Mars Horizon – ESA, USA, China, Japan, and Russia. Each has unique traits that offer advantages in the space race, such as diplomacy bonuses or flexible launches. You can choose to play as one of the preset agencies or create your own. Choose your name, the location of your base, your flag design, and then pick the traits that match your playstyle.
3. Plan out your base carefully
Pay attention when determining the layout of your base as there are benefits and costs to consider. You will likely need to clear space to fit new buildings in – and that comes at a cost. Some buildings provide extra buffs when situated next to each other, but others give you negative penalties, so plan carefully!
4. Be aware of what other agencies are doing
Keep an eye on the Recent Events button and the announcements pop-ups as you move through time. These will let you know when a competing agency is planning a mission so you can make sure they’re not about to beat you to it. Each Milestone mission also has its own Space Race screen which shows you where you place against the other agencies in the race to completion.
5. Work together to achieve your goals
You don’t always have to compete with other agencies. Keep an eye on the diplomacy menu and you’ll see that you can build relationships with other agencies, and propose joint missions with your allies. Share costs, science, and success!
6. Think about your launch date
Choosing the right time to launch your rockets is crucial. Risking an earlier launch with less reliability gives you the chance to achieve the milestone first. However, waiting for a later launch can increase your chance of a successful launch. Once you’ve unlocked training you’ll be able to reap higher rewards too. But this also means other agencies might beat you to the launch.
7. Complete bonus objectives and request missions
If you’ve achieved the goals for your mission you can keep playing to get bonus objectives. These exist above the initial mission requirements and will give you extra resources. The same goes for optional request missions, which grant you further benefits if you successfully take them on – this can be anything from money to upgrades for your vehicles, or science.
Bonus tip: Become a real life space expert with Spacepedia
As you research and unlock content in Mars Horizon, you’ll also unlock entries in Spacepedia – our glossary of all things space. Read up on the history of events from the game, take a closer look at the rockets you’re building, and learn about all the wonders of the solar system.
Good Luck Commander and try the game today on Xbox One!
The Irregular Corporation
You’re in charge of every element of the journey into space: success rides on your decisions.
Will you push to stay ahead of the other agencies, or focus on testing and research? There are multiple ways to ensure the first person on Mars is under your command. Every choice matters: will you invest in the most advanced technology or take risks in the rush to the red planet?
Using actual events and missions as inspiration, can you handle the challenges faced by real space agencies?
Management is a vital aspect of Mars Horizon. You’ll need to design and build the right spacecraft, hire and train the crew, and make strategic decisions as mission control to survive the journey to Mars.
Enter into diplomatic partnerships with other agencies to share the rewards of space exploration, or risk going it alone to gain greater prestige. Construct the ideal rocket from historically-inspired vehicle parts. Hire contractors to construct vehicles and use their unique benefits to gain a key edge over your competitors.
Launching a payload into space is only the first step. In assuming the role of Flight Director of mission control, you’ll need to manage your spacecraft’s resources and solve strategic challenges in turn-based missions in order to succeed. But beware: space is a very unforgiving environment.
These are the critical moment-to-moment decisions of mission control; do you spend power to fix a malfunctioning antenna or save it in case of an oxygen leak? Perhaps risking that extra three months of mission planning could have avoided this issue?
Mars Horizon has been made with the input and support of the European Space Agency (ESA) and the UK Space Agency. We’ve collaborated with numerous experts in space exploration from the ESA in creating Mars Horizon. From engineers developing the technology used in Mars programmes, to those designing the next generation of missions, bringing an unprecedented level of authenticity, realism and legitimacy to the gameplay and its scenarios.
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