First Content Update Released, Smuggling, Music Overhaul, Changelog 0.5.18292

Greetings, pilots!

DRUM ROLL! After being smoke-tested by daring Early Access test-pilots without running into any [major] issues and after various last-minute tweaks & fixes addressing community feedback on the experimental version, we’re excited to announce that we just pushed the button to release the first content update, EVERSPACE 2: Contracts/Hinterland, on Steam and GOG – WOOT! Make sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, and join the Discord for future chances to jump in early on upcoming builds!

While we’ve already shared quite a lot in our previous Kickstarter update, we’ve put together a 12 min explanation trailer to wetten your appetite if you don’t mind spoilers, that is:


The biggest addition, beyond all the new contents, previously revealed on Kickstarter, is a multi-stage smuggling mission taking pilots to several locations in Union through the continued story campaign included in this update. It features cuddly Elek helping you out, drawing enemy fire while you deliver precious, yet highly volatile cargo stored behind your cockpit seat. Meaning, better to keep your finger off the trigger and sneak around hostile units by using the environment to your advantage.

Steer clear of the firefight while hauling an explosive payload! Volatile cargo is dangerous, but it pays top rates. To stabilize hazardous goods between Supralight jumps, quick pit stops will cool things down.

We’d love to hear your feedback about these kinds of missions—we plan to add more smuggling activities in the future for all those space truckers who enjoy making extra credits on the side. Still too early to say how exactly it works, but illegal smuggling jobs might have an impact on your trading reputation later in the game. Would be dope if we even added special gear and certain ship class capabilities in the future that would come in handy for dubious tasks further down the line, wouldn’t it?

Music Overhaul

Now, before you frantically click on the link to the 100+ entry changelog to find out what else is new in our first major content update, let’s talk about what’s under the hood of Added/Improved various music tracks, plus some general thoughts about music in video games and EVERSPACE 2 in particular.

Disclaimer: Having a great soundtrack alongside everything else we’re making for EVERSPACE 2 is hugely important to us. The team is filled with suckers for great music so this section grew longer than planned; Anyone who always turns off in-game music to listen to their favorite playlist on Spotify, feel free to skip right to the end with the link to the changelog; no hard feelings! 🙂

Meet our one-man-army sound designer & director Gero! He has been “lost in music, caught in a trap, no turning back” Sister Sledge-style in his sound-proved studio at our office without going nuts all by himself. For over two years, he’s been composing and tweaking well over 60 tracks, mixing a plethora of iconic SFX for primary and secondary weapons, activated ship devices and consumables, distinctive audio clues about environmental events, UI actions, as well as directing and editing countless hours of voice acting. If that wasn’t enough, Gero is also a veteran audio programmer, making all that in-game audio magic happen at the right time and place. Oh, he also does layout edits for the cinematics and in-game cutscenes. It’s been a ton of work and it’s far from being finished, but as long as coffee doesn’t run out, all is good, Gero assures us.

We probably all agree great music and fitting SFX has always been super important in video games. Even if excellent game audio might elevate the game to higher levels for many players just subconsciously, playing your favorite games, from 8-bit classic to the latest AAA blockbuster, without music can make you realize how much of the total experience is missing.

Now, when making an open-world space action RPG, many epic soundtracks from iconic space movies and sci-fi shooters immediately come to mind as inspiration. From Star Wars, Star Trek, and Battlestar Galactica to Halo, Destiny, and Fallout—the list of fantastic sci-fi music is endless. Expectations for a top-notch sci-fi action RPG score are very high, especially when the visual fidelity is so good. However, we don’t have a AAA budget for a highly-decorated composer and full-sized orchestra to produce several hours of in-game music. Even if we did, we think it wouldn’t be the right fit for this title.

So, being budget-limited and wanting to produce as much as possible in-house, we had to come up with a music direction that Gero could produce all by himself on keys and guitar along with high-quality percussion samples and all sorts of SFX from premium sound libraries. Instead of trying to produce an epic space opera score on a budget, we doubled down on Gero’s variety of talents and went for the iconic sound of 80s electronic pop music, like in the first installment, but with some modern EDM vibes thrown into the mix.

If you want to read a deeper meaning to the change of our music direction for EVERSPACE 2, you could say that EVERSPACE 1 had a rock-solid foundation of top-notch space combat and striking visual but was a bit rough around its UI/UX edges, paired with a grindy roguelite game loop and a pretty dark story campaign, held back by an edgy learning curve. The game was meant to break established rules of the classic space combat & exploration genre while bringing modern roguelike elements to the mix. Hence, its unusual music direction based on 80s synthesizer sounds and 90s electric guitar riffs, combined with modern beats.

With our change of direction for EVERSPACE 2, the stakes are higher than ever. As our new title appeals to a much larger audience and is meant to be more accessible than hardcore space sims, the game’s audio direction had to follow suit. Consequently, fewer quirky sounds or tracks with a strange 7/8 beat hard to jam to, instead a straight 4/4 rhythm going right into your feet, with some off-beat syncopes here and there to keep things interesting. Last but not least, a more positive score is also a better fit for the hero’s journey in EVERSPACE 2 as Adam is growing from a formerly naive clone pilot to a real human being that finds his place in life and a goal that is worth dying for.

Now, if you’re still reading and thinking “man, that sounds quite boring, and I really don’t like that one battle track with its boring theme and stomping Euro techno beat.” Don’t fret! Gero is constantly exploring his creative boundaries and with some sixty tracks already in the game and even more to come, you’re bound to find a favorite track. Gero has an open ear for feedback from the community and from our team.

Ok, everything aside: Gero has been hard at work creating new tracks and sanding off the edges on tracks in progress; while there is still a lot to be done, I gotta say, the team and I are super pleased with some of his latest work for Union.

Check this out:

All-new Union Supralight Theme


A few more disclaimers before you head on to the full changelog of the EVERSPACE 2 Contracts/Hinterland update below: As the update seems to be very stable and balanced pretty well, we probably won’t have any maintenance updates before the next content drop in Summer. Even if we did, we wouldn’t add the Vanguard, as previously considered, as we wouldn’t want to code freeze production for at least two weeks and lose precious development time just to add one more job between major beats, consequently delaying the next update.

Also, to enable us to add more main and side missions during Early Access, we’ll be working with TTS as placeholders for quite a while and have maybe one or two more voice recording sessions before the full release further down the line. We added a temporary option to disable TTS placeholders if anyone finds them immersion breaking.


  • Added new main and side missions
  • Added new player ship class: Bomber (heavy fighter)
  • Added new companion
  • Increased level cap to 15 and added three new player perks
  • Added EMP Missiles
  • Added new Outlaw units: Bloodstar Prospector, Bloodstar Overseer, Outlaw Drone Carrier
  • Added new Bloodstar-branded equipment
  • Added resolution scaling setting
  • Added NVIDIA DLSS setting
  • Added experimental HDR support
  • Added setting for third-person camera stiffness
  • Added keybindings for cycling through on-screen enemy targets
  • Added batch actions for processing multiple items at once
  • Added overview screen for data tab
  • Added new WIP narrated cinematics
  • Added new/hint indication marker for some menu tabs and items
  • Added current conditions bar to ship menu tab
  • Added dedicated mission inventory to hold mission items instead of ship cargo


  • Manual saving is now possible anywhere while not in a fight or mission
  • Balancing: Slower leveling by reducing enemy XP, slightly increased enemy DPS and HP
  • Enemy levels are more varied now. Enemies above player level more common
  • Slightly reduced Uncommon and Rare drop chances for low levels
  • There are now cooldowns when installing new weapons/consumables
  • Homing missiles now require a short lock-on sequence and missiles will only home in when fired while a target is on screen
  • Reduced Augmentation bonus from 30 to 20 per Augment
  • Increase ship slots on Homebase from 3 to 5
  • Greatly increased resulting Critical Hit Chance bonus from Precision attribute
  • HUD markers for discovered objects will now be saved and restored when entering a location/loading a save
  • Modules will now always have a Firepower, Precision, or Structure bonus attribute if rarity is at least Uncommon
  • Increased heavy ship deceleration with enabled inertia dampening
  • Show additional offscreen damage indicators in HUD
  • Reworked movement for most NPC ships, resulting in a less “beeline” attack style
  • Enemies will now boost when investigating
  • NPC ships will less likely carry the battle to the location bounds
  • Reduced Outlaw Sniper Drone focus time
  • Outlaw Destroyer: Now fires missiles while weakpoints are exposed, easier to spot weakpoints that now also change color when hit, more base hitpoints, higher weakpoint damage multiplier
  • Sniper Drone will now try to keep a 2km distance from the player
  • Consume at least 30% of the maximum ULT charge when canceling ULT
  • Faction item rewards will now have the player level when claimed
  • Challenge tasks are now tracked individually instead of the whole collection
  • Increased controller auto-aiming strength for mines
  • Auto-aiming will now ignore friends/neutrals
  • Increased the amount of damage needed for a G&B Freighter to turn hostile, but  now always turn them hostile when a container was (mostly) destroyed by  the player
  • Changed Speed Booster Recharge Speed from 500% to 300%, increased Recharge Delay from 1s to 2s
  • With a Cruise Booster equipped, you can now activate the cruise mode faster (1.8s → 1s) and closer to enemies (2km → 1km)
  • Increased charge duration and energy consumption of Rail Gun, slightly decreased kinetic base damage
  • Targets affected by EMP will now receive 30 seconds of EMP immunity after the effect ends
  • Energy Orbs: Now always floating towards the player, replaced effect bonus perk level with armor recharge, better spawn effect
  • Slightly decreased signal decoder and color drop chances for some enemy types
  • Added VFX to make Outlaw Armor Drones stand out more
  • Slightly increased maneuverability while webbed
  • Added RESIST and IMMUNE impact labels (e.g. EMP on freighters: Immune, EMP on fighters with EMP Resistance: Resist)
  • Baron Executioner: Increased kinetic damage, removed energy damage
  • Salvor Jaeger: Decreased spread, slightly increased kinetic damage / decreased energy damage
  • Show “influence” offscreen indicators for nps that are debuffing the player (e.g. webbed by Webber)
  • New Supralight theme in Union system
  • Optimized sorting options and internal order of item property priorities
  • Removed unnecessary amount selection for some item transfers
  • Added small animation and highlight when selling to rebuy shop inventory
  • Added icons and quality of life improvements for perk upgrade and the investment process
  • Custom ship style slots now display the selected colors
  • Hide HUD marker for items pulled with Tractor Beam
  • Made page indicators in customization screens navigatable and clickable
  • A small indicator is displayed below the player health bars when inertia dampeners are turned off
  • Show “tracked” icon in pickup log on top of item icon when tracked for perks
  • New mesh for the Flying Dutchess trading ship
  • Freelook/orbit cam is automatically entered when activating autopilot in Supralight
  • Autopilot can now also be activated/deactivated with target lock binding (middle mouse button is the default)
  • Player armor, health, and shield bars now all have the same length
  • Show energy bars in a different color when carrying an energy orb to make it more obvious that energy is unlimited now
  • Reworked Thermo Gun projectile VFX
  • Reduced Energized Boost “High Pressure” mode impulse to prevent physics-related issues
  • Rigged Asteroid UI displays the currently activated and the overall amount of detonator triggers
  • Changed name and appearance of tutorial “Outlaw Ravager” to “Bloodstar Overseer”
  • The game is now also auto-saved when undocking from a station and having visited a menu or made any changes
  • Decreased “create new energy sphere” hold duration from 3 seconds to 2 seconds
  • Show max level info message when reaching max level
  • Prevent save scumming in regards to ship and shop offers
  • Various UI/Menu tweaks
  • Updated  Unreal Engine to 4.26, potentially fixing some low-level issues (like  graphics crashes or problems with available resolutions)
  • Decreased Thermo Gun kinetic damage by 33%
  • Reduced magnitude of bonus attribute values (Firepower, Resistance, Precision, Utility, Structure)


  • Fixed bomb-thrower re-enabling shield after death
  • Fixed broken state when loading a save game on Ayres Relay Station with Striker
  • Fixed player ship not being auto-repaired when levelling up while docked at a station
  • Fixed energized boost “Compressor” mode stacking
  • Fixed weapons not always facing straight during Supralight
  • Fixed overlapping dialogues after finishing a job
  • Fixed finished job locations still showing on the map if they have item rewards that are unclaimed
  • Fixed tractor beam sound not pausing when the game is paused
  • Fixed camera view occasionally being automatically switched to third-person after using jump gate
  • Fixed playing time not properly updating after crossing the 144 hours mark or so
  • Fixed Interceptors “Power Converter” not using boost energy for charging weapons
  • Fixed Coil and Rail Guns having the “high-velocity” affix
  • Fixed Corrosion Injector “Mercy Kill” mode not resetting cooldown for insta-kills
  • Fixed  consumable/device keys not showing changed keybindings and also  automatically refresh many icons/buttons after a keybinding change
  • Fixed new high-risk area waypoint not immediately showing after using signal decoder at a location and setting waypoint via map
  • Fixed “tag mines” attribute of sensors not working correctly
  • Fixed having to change joystick throttle or other axis input again after pause/resume in order to receive the current axis input
  • Fixed Missile Defense System sometimes locking up in a loop
  • Fixed that when trying to use shoulder buttons as modifiers for keybindings the options menu tab would change instead
  • Fixed that activation of signal decoders was not possible if the max amount has  been reached and one high-risk area was just discarded
  • Fixed stat attributes not updating after upgrading an item
  • Fixed shop discounts falsely granted for non-equipment
  • Fixed previously used player ship in Hangar still casting a shadow when currently viewing another player ship
  • Fixed high-risk-location icon looking different in Supralight to what it looks like on the map
  • Fixed secondary weapon meshes being hidden after having switched to “1st person no cockpit view” and going back to third-person
  • Fixed dialog window being transparent after plating help message was shown
  • Fixed interact repair hold sound not stopping when moving out of interact range but still holding the interact button
  • Fixed that EMPing a mine counted as having cleared the mine although the effect wears off after some time
  • Fixed reactor repair costs not matching the mission amount
  • Fixed player mines being hostile after loading a saved game
  • Fixed mineable resources HUD marker being visible after fully mining a resource and then re-entering the location later
  • Fixed multiple bugs regarding sorting of inventories
  • Fixed a problem that showed zero credits for all items in shops
  • Fixed wrong rarity displayed in resource log (HUD) after taking-all-items action in containers was used
  • Fixed inaccessible Distress Calls being shown on the map
  • Fixed that upgraded modules may not receive mandatory firepower, precision, or structure attribute
  • Fixed devices and ULTs becoming less powerful in higher levels

Ok, that was a lot of words; time for some action! Make sure to join our next “ROCKFISH Games Show” on Twitch and YouTube, on Friday, April 30, from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm CEST / 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm EST / 11:00 am to 1:00 pm PST. 🚀👀💥🙌

See you in space!

and your dedicated ROCKFISH Games Team