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In real life, a Sol is the technical reference to a solar day on Mars. It is equal to 24 hours, 37 minutes, and 22.663 seconds making it just 2.7% longer than an Earth day (24:37:22.66 vs 23:56:4.09).

In Surviving Mars[edit | edit source]

Within the game context one Sol is, in essence, one turn and should be thought of as being closer to one year in terms of time passed. This is why the achievement of having a baby within 10 Sol is possible.

The game appears to truncate a sol to 24 equal-length hours. Shift 1 begins in Hour 6; Shift 2 in Hour 14; and Shift 3 in Hour 22.

Empirical comparison of the Sol timeframes[edit | edit source]

From a in-game perspective one Sol can be viewed (simultaneously and approximately) as:

  • One day regarding the drone activities, day-night cycle, RC rover missions, or the work periods (3 shifts / 24h)
  • One month regarding the crop growth or the duration of tech researches, school and university education
  • One year regarding the colonist aging, the births or the rocket travelling

Regarding the disparate timeframes[edit | edit source]

When asked on the official forums Haemimont declared the following:

"This is actually a pretty tricky one. Regarding the day-night cycle (how the lightmodel of the game changes) it is a Mars Day. Regarding the simulation (rocket travelling, people aging, etc.) it is actually closer to an Earth year, but this is not precise. The reason for which we decided to adopt this double standard is that almost nothing can realistically happen in a single day and the game would look quite weird if days flash by so fast that the gameplay is at the pace intended by us. It is often done in city builders, but creates somewhat of a cognitive dissonance when you dig into it."