Space Station Sim challenges players to embark on a new age for man amongst the stars as they build a home 240 miles high, while flying at 17,500 miles per hour. The game begins in the Mission Control Centre, where the player launches new modules and components, recruits crew members, organises supply missions and manages the project budget.
As the Chief Administrator of NASA, players are challenged to build their own space station utilising modules developed from actual NASA, ESA (European Space Agency), JAXA (Japanese Space Agency), CSA (Canadian Space Agency) and RSA (Russian Space Agency) designs.
To man the International Space Station (ISS), crew members must be recruited with certain skills, specialities and character traits by the player. During the game, these factors will have an impact; crew members with a poor work ethic may not complete repairs, while certain specialists will be required to fulfil specific tasks. Initially the crew will need to be guided, but as the game progresses, they will become more automated, allowing the player to concentrate on other objectives.
Back in the control centre, players must maintain good political relationships between the different represented countries. The budget rises and falls in relation to international goodwill, forcing players to manage the allocation of resources across research, funding and construction carefully to avoid compromising development of the ISS.