Scenarios and mods


The Nuclear War Simulator includes a number of scenarios that are very easy to use. If you are new to NWS these scenarios will help you to get started quickly and get an overview of different functions and possibilities. If you are experienced with NWS, you can use these as a basis to create your own scenarios. Some scenarios are tightly scripted, while others are meant to be used for experimentation.

Most scenarios can be used as a sandbox. For example, one scenario contains nuclear forces of the US and Russia in addition to the military bases of several European nations. One initial attack plan is defined and, if executed, will trigger an uncontrolled escalation by the AI. You are however free to trigger the escalation by creating your own attack plans or using the single detonation tool. You can also disable the AI and simply use the objects to create your own scenario.

Some scenarios have no AI and instead include a tightly scripted series of attack plans that can be executed one by one or in a timed sequence to tell a story.

Other scenarios are not realistic but are designed to explain different aspects of nuclear weapons technology and strategies. Such aspects include
– Mutually assured destruction
– Early warning satellites and radar
– Launch on warning
– False alarms
– Missile defense
– Different types of delivery systems
– etc.

There are other scenarios where the user has no control over the events but instead replays a prerecorded sequence of launches and detonations. Such a scenario can be used to tell a very specific story or to share the results of the detailed HYSPLIT fallout calculation. HYSPLIT can take multiple hours of calculation on large scenarios so this is a convenient way to save and share the results. Currently, NWS includes the results of all 12 scenarios of the OPEN RISOP database by David Teter (

Mod types

A mods browser is integrated into NWS and allows easy download of different kinds of mods. Currently, there are 5 types of mods:
– Scenarios
– Blueprints (predefined warheads, missiles and objects)
– Object icons
– Loading screens
– Background music

Other types of mods, like predefined object groups, will probably be added in the future. A tool to upload user-made scenarios is also integrated into the simulation.