Space Engine: New Worlds is set at the dawn of the 31st century, during a time period that most humans consider to be a golden age for interstellar exploration. While it is a thousand years from now, most humans are living throughout the Milky Way galaxy from domed cities on asteroids to terraformed planets with Earth-like life. Unlike the previous millennium, the 4th millennium is widely believed to be one of the most peaceful times Humanity has witnessed.

However, as the millennia peacefully passes by, the 5th millennium will witness a devastating war that will rip apart the main government and fragment the human race into thousands of rogue groups, searching for planets that will become the central power of their government. Nova Terra becomes the central world for the United Terran Democracy.