Welcome to the Space Age. Humans have left Earth, but not abandoned it.
Near Orbit

Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbor life. According to radiometric dating and other sources of evidence, Earth formed over 4.5 billion years ago.[1]


Earth is the home of humanity. The Corporations have taken over the world from their skyscraper fortresses, at the same time massive armies of cyborg killers roam the shattered urban ruins of deserted cities. Countries have collapsed in more ways than one, Corporate Wars have ruined the economies and rebuilt them again. The United States has divided, Japan is the biggest Empire on the planet, China has become a rising power, Soviet Union in fights, and the EEC is looking to the stars for expansion.

Corporations like Arasaka, Militech, SovOil, and many more are the rulers of Earth. It may be the homeworld of Humanity, but with companies like Orbital Air and Mitsubishi/Koridansu creating new worlds outside, they promise a new positive future for those who go off world.

Humans expansion into space started through the ESA (Euro Space Agency) building the Crystal Palace, the Soviet Union followed after with their presence in space being limited but noticeable. The ESA owns much of what can be found in space from the cities on Luna to the space stations. JAB also has a presence in space with many work stations being built by them.



United States of America

In 2045, although no longer a superpower, the USA is positioned in the same way as Europe and Asia are after the Fourth Corporate War. Combined Operations Groups maintain the government, but others have seceded from the US, and have become mercenaries, independent kingdoms, or act in their own self-interests.[2] The US itself is reminiscent of the Wild West of the late 19th century, with a civilized East Coast and an uncivilized West Coast.[3]

Central & South America

Central America emerged from the first and second Central American wars as a union of independent states working in mutual cooperation, having expelled the United States from most of the region, aside from the Panama Canal Zone. South America came out of the Forth Corporate War as a means for nationalist factions to bid for land and influence, shattering an alliance that had only begun to rebuild by 2045.[4] This culminated in the formation of the Organization of American States (OAS), led by Argentina, Brazil, and Chile, a world power on par with the European Union.[5]



In 2045, despite being heavily affected by the Fourth Corporate War, the World Stock Exchange and Common Market remained stable, allowing most European nations, excluding Italy, Spain, and Greece, to maintain stable economies, having the corporations supplanted by European business barons. Great Britain suffered major economic troubles, amplified by immigration and antiquated technologies. The rest of Europe was recovering from the Fourth Corporate War, rebuilding financial and industrial hubs affected by the War. The USSR and the rest of New Russia had fallen to a point of being unable to feed the population, as well as a similar lack of modern technology.[6]

Middle East

The MidEast Meltdown of 1997 left many Middle Eastern nations as radioactive wastelands, with only Egypt, Syria, and Israel surviving due to their ruined states, being left alone during the Forth Corporate War. By the 2020s, the impacted areas had become safe enough for scavengers, as well as other individuals willing to traverse them, to scavenge and collect hardware and valuables from the ruined fields.[7] By the Time of the Red of 2045, alliances and power blocs were being formed or reformed to ward off invading foreign nations wanting to mine the remnants of Meltdown-afflicted nations.[8]


In 2045, the continent had been heavily damaged, recovering from various Fourth Corporate War actions, such as the biological attack and total destruction of Hong Kong and battles across the South China Sea and Mongolian Plateau for China, Japan was still recovering from the Arasaka Corporation's attempted coup, and North Korea collapsing into warlords and fiefdoms, with South Korea becoming isolationist. The Philippines and Australia had been damaged and isolated from the fighting as well.[9] Despite this, the nations of Asia managed to sustain many necessities and luxuries lost or harder to attain after the Fourth Corporate War. Preparedness for ecological shifts, a conversion from coal and oil power to American-like CHOOH2 algae farms, and birth control programs to reduce excess population growth managed to put Asian cities and nations into a position of comfort and security, although lacking personal freedoms common in other nations.[10]


New Africa had been reborn by the Fourth Corporate War as a space-dominant nation, being unified by the European nations of the Eurotheatre. The Highrider nation had formed, declaring their sovereignty and space control from the rest of the world, due to most space workers, spaceports, and construction areas being on African soil or otherwise African-related.[11]


The View From Space

At the Near Earth Orbit Zones, the skies are crowded with much space traffic and very busy Orbital Transfer vehicles unloading cargo into space shuttles as well as spaceplanes docking the various spider-webbed girders of habitats and stations around planet Earth. There are nearly 200 factories in Orbit around Earth, some are owned by the powerful Japanese corporation Mitsubishi.[1]

Not many corporations have entered orbit besides transportation that takes cargo from different parts of the planet. There are plenty of airport stations that will transport people to other colonies in the Sol System.

In Low Orbit

The Low-Near Earth Orbit, commonly shortened to LEO, zone of the Earth contains light traffic, comprised of orbital space fighters and satellites, shifting from the LEO zone to the Geo-Syn zone, dictating everything from communications to battling.[12] The zone ranges from approximately 1,000 to 3,000 miles, or 5 to 5.5 kilometers.



  1. 1.0 1.1 PONDSMITH, M. Near Orbit. 1st ed. Berkeley CA: R.Talsorian Games. 1989
  2. Cyberpunk Red Worldbook p.5: "Since the end of the 4th Corporate War, the United States has lost much of its superpower status; but that doesn't matter much as most of Europe and the Far East are in the same position. What US military exists is organized as Combined Operations Groups (COGs); task forces that combine ships, aircraft, armor, and infantry into a cohesive fighting battalion; their main mission is to deal with threats to the BosWash Corridor and the Federal Government's interests. On the other hand, since the 4th Corporate War, several of these COGs have broken away from the United States and are operating as private armies for hire, running personal mini–kingdoms, or even acting as marauding packs of well–armed raiders."
  3. Cyberpunk Red Worldbook p.5: "In many ways, the United States is very much as it was in the late 1800s—a "civilized" East Coast controlled by the Federal Government in Washington DC, a "Wild West" of independent territories west of the Mississippi River, and an unincorporated West Coast from Seattle to Mexico. The territories are pretty much on their own, hiring local militia or mercenary armies to keep the peace, while the sprawl of Night City is maintained by its own system of interlocking local factions and power blocs.
    The United States Government is still primarily centered in the Boston–Washington Corridor (aka BosWash) from New York to Miami, where it operates as the effective regional government much as the regional councils do for Night City. The branches of the Federal Government still operate as before; there is an Executive, Legislative, and Judicial Branch—these just have little or no effect on anything past the Mississippi, and their members come almost exclusively from the East and near Midwest."
  4. Cyberpunk Red Worldbook p.6-7: "After several lengthy wars with the United States in the 1990s and early 2000s, Central America emerged as a strong union of independent states, working under a pact of mutual cooperation. The US was expelled from all but the Panama Canal Zone (which it still holds by sheer military force against ongoing guerrilla aggression). But during the War, Nationalist factions in Brazil and Columbia used the Corporate fighting to support their own bids for land and influence—the result was a shattering of the old alliance that only now is beginning to be rebuilt."
  5. Cyberpunk Red Corebook p.243: "After several lengthy wars with the United States, Central America emerged as a strong union of independent states, working under a pact of mutual cooperation. The U.S. was expelled from all but the Panama Canal Zone (which it still holds by sheer military force against ongoing guerrilla aggression).
    In South America, Argentina, Chile, and Brazil rose to become the defacto leaders of the Organization of American States, having thrown the U.S. out after their actions in the SouthAm Wars. The OAS, maintained its place as a major world power, on the level European Union."
  6. Cyberpunk Red Worldbook p.6: "The Eurotheatre has been badly battered by the War and the subsequent loss of its ESA and Orbital colonies to the Highriders.
    The World Stock Exchange and the Common Market have managed to maintain a stable economy in which most of the European nations participate—the exceptions are Italy, Spain and Greece, all of which are now suffering violent, chronic political upheavals. Here, the international Corporations still have a great deal of power, but various Euro–governments have skillfully used the War to keep the Euro business barons under control. Only Great Britain has suffered major economic trouble—swamped by massive immigration and an antiquated technological base, its streets are still almost as explosively dangerous as the United States'. The rest of Europe is in recovery mode, as individual nation states struggle to rebuild damaged financial and industrial hubs affected by the War.
    Despite the massive reforms of the early 1990s (and the subsequent purge of hardliners in 1991), New Russia is still weakened by antiquated technology and still cannot feed its hungry population, although the War has leveled the playing field a bit. With the continuing failure of the region's economic and social reforms, hardliners are once again gaining strength and a showdown between the surviving cold warriors and a new generation of aggressive oligarchs is coming fast. These oligarchs are similar to the Megacorporates of the roaring 2020s; hungry, dangerous, and willing to use heavy amounts of bribery, murder, and mayhem to accomplish their aims."
  7. Cyberpunk Red Corebook p.243: "The Meltdown of the '90s left vast areas of Iran, Libya, Iraq, Chad, and the Arab Emirates as radioactive fields of glass. Only Egypt, Syria, and Israel survived intact. During the 2020s, only scavengers and the desperate entered the hot zones to hunt for hardware and valuables among the glowing ruins."
  8. Cyberpunk Red Worldbook p.6: "The Meltdown of the 90s left vast areas of Iran, Libya, Iraq, Chad, and the Arab Emirates as radioactive fields of glass. Only Egypt, Syria, and Israel survived intact, and because of their already ruined state, were mercifully left alone for most of the War. But new alliances and power blocs are struggling to take control once again now that Megacorporate power has been curtailed. With the world trade in oil and raw materials disrupted by Corporate conflict, there is a new interest in mining the remains of the Meltdown nations, and in response, many of the national groups in the Middle East are starting to band together to reform and resist the invaders."
  9. Cyberpunk Red Worldbook p.6: "The Far East and Asia are now a hodgepodge of damaged nations, with Japan slowly recovering from the ravages of the Arasaka Corporation's abortive coup. China is still recovering from the loss of Hong Kong through a biological terror attack, and fierce battles in both the South China Sea and the Mongolian Plateau for access to strategic resources has left the government exhausted and almost tottering. Korea, both North and South, have become strongly isolationist, although North Korea, drawn into the conflict by promises of Arasaka support, has collapsed into a chaos of warlords and petty fiefdoms. Hammered by the savage fighting over trade routes and oilfields, much of Southeast Asia, the Philippines and Australia are isolated, damaged, and potential prey for the next powerful group that comes along."
  10. Cyberpunk Red Corebook p.243: "While the rest of the world struggled through the ravages of the late 20th century, the nations of Asia were well-prepared for the vicissitudes of climate change and environmental degradation. China, Japan, and Korea rapidly concluded that coal burning and oil were too costly to continue basing their expansion on, and instead shifted to creating vast fields of oceanic algae that were easily converted to the CHOOH2 processes of the United States. This quantum shift also provided more food for the Asian nations' dense populations, although strong (some say draconian) birth control programs in some nations also helped reduce excess populations. Crowded and teeming with people, the cities of Japan, China, Korea, and the Philippines still managed to sustain high levels of food security, safety, and comfort even if many lack personal freedoms common in other nations."
  11. Cyberpunk Red Worldbook p.6: "Once a fractured continent of warring countries under a bewildering array of dictators, democracies and socialist states, the New Africa was born as Euro–nations negotiated with these scattered nations to build the Kilimanjaro mass driver. The African states have since established solid footholds in space—nearly one third of all space construction workers are African, and the majority of spaceport facilities and construction areas are on African soil. The resulting population has evolved into a "national" group called the Highriders; a space–based, high tech society linked by Pan–African roots and a determination never to be victims of colonial oppression again. Declaring their independence during the War (and enforcing it with commandeered orbital weapons), the Highrider Assembly is carefully neutral in the Time of the Red, ready to deal with all sides as long as their sovereignty (and control of space) is respected."
  12. Near Orbit p.5: "In Low/Near Earth Orbit (LEO), the traffic is very light. Communications, weather and spy sats shift from this zone to Geo-syn[sic] Orbit and back as their programmed routines dictate. LEO is also the domain of orbital space fighters and battle satellites, which require closer orbits and a higher degree of maneuverability.

Cyberpunk Red Jumpstart Kit World Book. Talsorian Games, 2019

Cyberpunk Red Corebook. R. Talsorian Games, 2020

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