This article was published on April 15, 2024

Gamers suit up: You can now build ESA’s future lunar base in Fortnite

Epic Games worked directly with ESA scientists to design Lunar Horizons

Gamers suit up: You can now build ESA’s future lunar base in Fortnite

Space nerds delight: you can now play as an astronaut in Fortnite. You can even team up with your buddies to build a lunar habitat based on real future missions of the European Space Agency.

Designed by Epic Games, Lunar Horizons is set at the lunar south pole. This is the point on the Moon deemed most suitable for human habitation due to the possible existence of water ice.

Epic Games worked with ESA’s human and robotic exploration experts to create a lifelike 3D environment for the game. This includes replicating the Moon’s micro-gravity.

In Lunar Horizons, you’re free to explore the Moon’s surface by yourself or in multiplayer mode. The mission is to collect resources and construct ESA’s 3D-printed lunar base. Architecture firm Hassell unveiled designs for the lunar habitat earlier this year.

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The base is intended to provide a home for up to 144 astronauts. It will be constructed like LEGO, using 3D-printed bricks made from lunar soil.

Learn about real space missions in Fortnite 

In Lunar Horizons, players work with tools like a Regolith Advanced Surface Systems Operations Robot (RASSOR) to dig up lunar soil and construct each module of the base. “The best way to do that is by teaming up with friends in multiplayer mode,” said ESA.

Other than promising plenty of fun — especially for space nerds — the game allows players to “discover amazing facts about real-life European Moon missions, the wonders of space, and the work of ESA,” said the agency.

A 3D-render of what ESA’s lunar base will look like. Credit: Hassell/ESA

ESA provided digital models of elements that players can interact with, like its Argonaut lunar lander. The agency plans to launch Argonaut sometime in the 2030s to deliver cargo, infrastructure, and scientific instruments to the Moon.

ESA has previously used Epic Games’ Unreal engine to create many of its digital models. This made adding them to the new game a lot easier.

“Lunar Horizons provides a fantastic opportunity for ESA to reach a huge audience, to tell them about the agency and to share with them our passion for space,” said Emmet Fletcher, head of ESA’s branding and partnerships office.

Lunar Horizons is available now in Fortnite for free. To play, simply copy and paste this code 3207-0960-6428 by searching for ‘Lunar Horizons’ in Discover.

Check out this video to find out more about how Lunar Horizons was made:

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