Submarine simulator
A submarine simulator, or subsim for short, is usually a computer game in which the player commands a submarine
A submarine is a watercraft capable of independent operation below the surface of the water. It differs from a submersible, which has more limited underwater capability...

. The usual form of the game is to go on a series of missions, each of which features a number of encounters where the goal is to sink surface ship
Surface ship
A surface ship is any type of naval ship that is confined to the surface of the sea. The term is primarily used to mean any modern vessel type that is not a submarine; although a "surface ship" may range in size from a cutter to an aircraft carrier, the weapons and tactics have some commonality,...

s and to survive counterattacks by destroyer
In naval terminology, a destroyer is a fast and maneuverable yet long-endurance warship intended to escort larger vessels in a fleet, convoy or battle group and defend them against smaller, powerful, short-range attackers. Destroyers, originally called torpedo-boat destroyers in 1892, evolved from...

s. Submarine simulators are notable for the highly-variable pace of the game; it may take hours of simulated time to get into position to attack a well-defended convoy
A convoy is a group of vehicles, typically motor vehicles or ships, traveling together for mutual support and protection. Often, a convoy is organized with armed defensive support, though it may also be used in a non-military sense, for example when driving through remote areas.-Age of Sail:Naval...

, and sub simulators typically include an option for players to adjust the ratio of real time to simulated time up and down as desired.

Most subsims use World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 as the setting; its submarine warfare was lengthy and intense, the historical material is extensive, and the limited capabilities of the period's submarines place a high premium on game playing skill. Games usually feature either US submarines in the Pacific, or U-Boat
U-boat is the anglicized version of the German word U-Boot , itself an abbreviation of Unterseeboot , and refers to military submarines operated by Germany, particularly in World War I and World War II...

s in the Atlantic. Another popular category is modern attack submarines, especially those of the Los Angeles class
Los Angeles class submarine
The Los Angeles class, sometimes called the LA class or the 688 class, is a class of nuclear-powered fast attack submarines that forms the backbone of the United States submarine fleet. With 43 submarines on active duty and 19 retired, the Los Angeles class is the most numerous nuclear powered...

 also known as "688s" after the ship number of the first of the class.

Game displays generally include an overhead map or "radar" view, showing the submarine and any ships whose position can be detected, the periscope
A periscope is an instrument for observation from a concealed position. In its simplest form it consists of a tube with mirrors at each end set parallel to each other at a 45-degree angle....

 view if the sub is close enough to the surface, a set of gauges showing depth and course, and a boat plan showing torpedo
The modern torpedo is a self-propelled missile weapon with an explosive warhead, launched above or below the water surface, propelled underwater towards a target, and designed to detonate either on contact with it or in proximity to it.The term torpedo was originally employed for...

 availability, damage to various subsystems, and so forth.

Subsims were especially popular in the earlier days of computer gaming. The graphics demands were well-matched to the hardware of the times, as was the computing load; ships move relatively slowly, and an encounter typically entails fewer than a dozen objects moving simultaneously. More recent games enhance the graphics, although much of it is "chrome", for instance using photorealistic interiors instead of a panel of gauges.

The first submarine simulator available to the civilian public was Thorn EMI's Submarine Commander of 1982.


  • 1914 Shells of Fury (2007)
  • 688 Attack Sub
    688 Attack Sub
    688 Attack Sub is a submarine simulator game designed by John W. Ratcliff & Paul Grace, published in 1989 for MS-DOS systems and 1990 for Amiga computers by Electronic Arts...

  • 688(I) Hunter/Killer
    688(I) Hunter/Killer
    688Hunter/Killer is a 1997 submarine simulator game. Developed by Sonalysts Inc. and published by Electronic Arts and more recently by Strategy First for Windows 95 compatible operating systems. It is named after the 688 Los Angeles class of United States submarine, and was a successor to the...

  • Aces of the Deep
    Aces Of The Deep
    Aces of the Deep is a World War II Submarine simulator game developed and published by Dynamix for MS-DOS in 1994."Aces of the Deep" was the last installment of Dynamix's "Aces" series, which included the flight simulators Red Baron, Aces of the Pacific, and Aces over Europe...

  • AquaNox
    AquaNox is a series of submarine-based shooter/simulation games set in the distant future. The collection includes AquaNox, AquaNox 2: Revelation and AquaNox: The Angel's Tears...

    series. (1996–2003) Heavily stylized, futuristic series sharing more in common with space combat simulators.
  • Archimedean Dynasty (1996)
  • Command: Aces of the Deep (1995)
  • Dangerous Waters
    Dangerous Waters
    Dangerous Waters is a naval simulator developed by Sonalysts Combat Simulations, and was released on February 22, 2005.-Overview:Dangerous Waters features many player-controllable units deployed in the armed forces of 18 different countries. Campaign mode allows a player to control forces as the...

  • Danger from the Deep
    Danger from the Deep
    Danger from the Deep is an open-source World War II German U-boat simulation and is abbreviated as DftD , striving for technical and historical accuracy.- Requirements :...

    (2010 - Open source)
  • Das Boot: German U-Boat Simulation (1990–91)
  • Deadly Tide
    Deadly Tide
    Deadly Tide is a PC video game; a rail shooter released by Microsoft Game Studios in 1996.-Plot:The player takes on the role of the last remaining fighter left to save Earth from an alien invasion in the role of one of Earth's elite "hydrofighter" pilots. Five years have passed since the aliens...

  • Deep Fighter: The Tsunami Offensive (2000)
  • Dive to the Titanic (2010)
  • Enigma: Rising Tide
    Enigma: Rising Tide
    Enigma: Rising Tide is a naval vehicle simulation developed by Tesseraction Games and published by Dreamcatcher Interactive. It was released for the PC in August 2003...

  • Fast Attack: High Tech Submarine Warfare (1996)
  • GATO
    Gato (computer game)
    GATO was a real-time submarine simulator published by Spectrum HoloByte in the 1980s for use on several platforms, including the Apple IIe and Atari XE Game System. It simulated combat operations aboard the Gato-class submarine in the Pacific Theater of World War II...

  • Grey Wolf
  • The Hunt for Red October
    The Hunt for Red October (video game)
    The Hunt for Red October is video game based on the movie The Hunt for Red October. It was released in 1990 and was available for the Nintendo Entertainment System, Super NES and Game Boy.-Gameplay:...

    (1987–90 depending on target platform)
  • Iron Wolves
  • Periscope (1966)
  • Radar Mission (Mode B) (1990)
  • Red Storm Rising
    Red Storm Rising (video game)
    Red Storm Rising is a computer game based on Tom Clancy's novel Red Storm Rising and released in 1988 by MicroProse. The player is put in charge of an American SSN submarine in the Norwegian Sea Theater with the overall role of a hunter killer performing various missions in the context of the...

  • Silent Service
    Silent Service (video game)
    Silent Service is a 1985 submarine simulator computer game. It was designed by Sid Meier and published by MicroProse for various 8-bit home computers, and in 1987 for 16-bit systems like the Commodore Amiga...

    series (1985, 1990)
  • Silent Hunter
    Silent Hunter
    Silent Hunter is a World War II submarine combat simulation for MS-DOS, developed by Aeon Electronic Entertainment and published by Strategic Simulations in 1996. The game takes place in the Pacific War during World War II, the player commanding a submarine of the United States Navy. Most...

  • Silent Hunter II
    Silent Hunter II
    Silent Hunter II is a WWII U-boat combat simulation from Ubisoft for Windows 95/98/ME. It was originally being developed by Aeon Electronic Entertainment, the developers of Silent Hunter, but they had to leave the project unfinished, and Ultimation Inc. finished it...

  • Silent Hunter III
    Silent Hunter III
    Silent Hunter III is a submarine simulation developed by Ubisoft Romania and published by Ubisoft. It was released for the PC on March 15, 2005. Like Silent Hunter II, it places the player in command of a German U-Boat during World War II and the Battle of the Atlantic...

  • Silent Hunter IV (2007)
  • Silent Hunter V (2010)
  • Silent Steel
    Silent Steel
    Silent Steel is an unorthodox submarine simulator computer game by Tsunami Games. It was created during the influx of 'interactive movies' during the 1990s. The game is made entirely in FMV with real actors and surroundings...

  • SSN-21 Seawolf
    SSN-21 Seawolf
    SSN-21 Seawolf is a submarine simulator game designed by John W. Ratcliff and published for MS-DOS systems by Electronic Arts in 1994.The player takes command of a US Seawolf-class submarine and fights in 33...

  • Steel Diver
    Steel Diver
    As of June 2011, Metacritic's aggregate score is 58. IGN gave Steel Diver a 7.0/10, praising it for its addictive gameplay, but gave caution that the slow paced strategy is not for everyone...

  • Sub Battle Simulator
    Sub Battle Simulator
    Sub Battle Simulator is a naval combat simulation computer game released by Epyx in 1987. The game was developed by Digital Illusions, Inc...

  • Sub Command
    Sub Command
    Sub Command, subtitled Akula Seawolf 688 is a submarine simulator computer game designed by Sonalysts Combat Simulations and published for Windows systems by Strategy First in 2001.The player commands one submarine: a U.S...

  • Sub Culture
    Sub Culture
    Sub Culture is a submarine action/adventure computer game, developed by Criterion Studios and published by Ubisoft. It was released in 1997, and was often praised as a solid title, but received little recognition and had only limited sales.-Story:...

  • Sub Hunt
    Sub Hunt
    Sub Hunt is a simulation video game released by Mattel for its Intellivision video game system in 1982. Players take control of a wolfpack of submarines attempting to stop an enemy invasion.-Gameplay:...

  • Sub Mission (1986)
  • Subwar 2050
    Subwar 2050
    Subwar 2050 is a futuristic 3D submarine simulator computer game developed by Particle Systems Ltd., Michael Powell acting as the lead designer, and published by MicroProse Software, Inc. The game was released in 1993 for DOS and 1994 for Amiga and Amiga CD32. In 1994 a expansion pack, Subwar...

  • Tom Clancy's SSN
    Tom Clancy's SSN
    Tom Clancy's SSN is a simulation of the 688i nuclear hunter/killer submarine. The game player is in command of USS Cheyenne in a limited war against China over the Spratly Islands...

  • U-BOAT
  • Up Periscope! (1986)
  • Virtual Sailor
    Virtual Sailor
    Virtual Sailor, created by Ilan Papini and published by Quality Simulations and Hangsim, is a shareware program which allows users to operate a wide variety of vessels in world-wide locations. Both the graphics and boat dynamics have been designed to be as realistic as possible, and the software...

  • Wolfpack (1990's)

Adventure game Codename: ICEMAN
Codename: ICEMAN
Codename: ICEMAN is a graphical adventure game made with the SCI engine and published by the American computer game company Sierra On-Line in 1989. The lead designer was Jim Walls, who also created the Police Quest games...

 (1989) by Sierra On-line, contained a Submarine simulator portion.

AUV Simulators

There are also a number of simulators available for underwater robots
Robotics is the branch of technology that deals with the design, construction, operation, structural disposition, manufacture and application of robots...

 such as AUVs. These simulators are commonly used by research institutes for testing robot control and coordination algorithms before or during the development of a submarine.

External links

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