Feature comparison

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Revision as of 20:40, 24 July 2013 by Sampo Niskanen (talk | contribs) (Usage: Update usage statement for mid 2013)
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This page provides a side-by-side feature comparison of OpenRocket and RockSim. Both represent the latest version of the software.

While hosted on the OpenRocket wiki site, we have attempted to make this an objective comparison between the functionality of the two software products. If you think something is wrong or omitted, please contact us.


OpenRocket RockSim
License Open Source (GPLv3) Proprietary
Price Free $124
Supported platforms Windows, Mac, Linux Windows, Mac
Supported file formats ORK, RKT RKT
Anti-piracy copy protection None PACE

UI features

OpenRocket RockSim
Side/back view Yes Yes
3D view Yes Yes
Export 3D design No Yes (3DS)
Design view rotation Any angle Side and top only
Live CG/CP view Yes Yes
Realtime simulation Yes No

Design features

OpenRocket RockSim
Basic components Yes Yes
Freeform fins Yes Yes
Asymmetric fin configurations Yes Yes
Tube fins No Yes
Ring-tail fins No Yes
Fins attached to fins No Yes
External pods No Yes
Canted fins / roll stabilization Yes No
Standard component libraries Yes Yes
Decals Yes Yes
Clustering support Yes, modifiable Yes, one-time wizard
Staging support Yes, unlimited Yes, 3 stages

Simulation features

OpenRocket RockSim
Degrees of freedom 6DOF 3DOF
Geodetic calculation (Earth coordinates, coriolis effect) Yes No
Simulations extensible by own code Yes No
Simulation animation No Yes
Plotting any simulated variables Yes Yes
Exporting simulated data Yes Yes
Computing custom variables Yes No

Optimization and analysis

OpenRocket RockSim
General design optimization Yes No
Mass optimization Yes (using general optimizer) Yes
Stability analysis Yes, per component Yes, per stage
Drag analysis Yes, per component Yes, per stage
Roll analysis Yes No


OpenRocket RockSim
Schematic view Yes Yes
Stability information Yes Yes
Simulation results Yes Yes
Parts list Yes Yes
Component templates Nose cone, fin sets Nose cone, fin sets, centering rings
Fin placement guide Yes No
Export to PDF Yes No


One attribute of interest when comparing pieces of software is how much each software is used and how much of a community exists around the software. While it's impossible to get an objective measure of the usage and community activity, Google Trends does a rather good job at providing an indication of the relative interest levels over time.

As of mid 2013, RockSim receives more search hits than OpenRocket, however, OpenRocket is not far behind. The first version of OpenRocket was released in May 2009, RockSim in 1997.