Star Raiders is a video game for the Atari 8-bit family of computers. It was released in cartridge form by Atari in 1979, programmed by Doug Neubauer, an Atari employee. It was also later ported to other Atari computer and game platforms. The game simulates space combat in 3D between the player's powerful ship and an invading fleet of alien 'Zylon' vessels.
Star Raiders was distinctive for its graphics, which (under most conditions) represented an out-the-cockpit, first-person view from a fictional combat spaceship traveling through a streaming 3D starfield in pursuit of enemy spacecraft. The game's attract mode, a simple streaming star field, was a common sight in computer stores of the early-1980s to show off the Atari computers' graphics capabilities.
While there had already been simple target-shooting games using this perspective (including 1977's Starhawk), Star Raiders had considerably higher quality graphics and more complex game play. As a result, it inspired both imitators throughout the 1980s and later-generation 'space combat simulation' games. Notably, it is one of the games that inspired the seminal title Elite, and thus the Wing Commander and X-Wing series. It is also one in a series of first person space shooters (including 1977's Starhawk and 1979's Star Fire) that appeared in the late-1970s and were arguably predecessors of the later seen first-person shooter genre.
Star Raiders was criticized at the time for violent gameplay. In 2007, it was included as #2 in a list of the 10 most important video games of all time, as compiled by Stanford University's History of Science and Technology Collections.
As the pilot of an interstellar starship, your mission is to destroy all enemy spacecraft on the galactic chart and prevent them from destroying your starbases. There are three different types of fighters roaming throughout the galaxy; cruisers, fighters, and basestars. With the help of your galactic map, you can find the sectors of the galaxy where these fighters are located and then warp there to destroy them. When all of the fighters in a sector are destroyed, you can warp to a new location for the next battle. Be sure to keep an eye on your starship's energy level; warping to new locations, being hit by enemy fire, or colliding with an asteroid will drain your energy. If you completely run out of energy, your starship will be destroyed, however you can warp back to a starbase to refuel at any time. Returning to a starbase will also repair other types of damage your starship can receive, such as faulty engines, loss of your shields, and faulty photon torpedoes. When all of the enemy ships have been destroyed, you win the game and receive a rank.
More details about this game can be found on