Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Yeah, it's kinda like that.

"Imagine it... The Victorian Age accelerated. Starships and missiles, fuelled by coal and driven by steam. Leaving history devastated in its wake."

The Doctor, Doctor Who, "Tooth and Claw"

Retro-style Speculative Fiction set in periods where steam power is king. Very often this will be in an Alternate Universe where the internal combustion engine never displaced the steam engine, and as a result all manner of cool steam-driven technologies have emerged, ranging from the plausible to Magitek with a Hollywood Science Hand Wave or the power of The Spark of Genius. Largely, steampunk runs on Rule of Cool. Sometimes combined with the work of Charles Babbage on mechanical computers to produce a kind of retro Cyberpunk set entirely in the Victorian era or a close analogue, with Dickensian exploitation.

Steampunk may be a modern reflection of the 1930s–40s trope of The Gay Nineties, an idealized version of the 1890s. The term "steampunk" was coined by K. W. Jeter to describe the speculative fiction stories in a Victorian setting that he, Tim Powers, and James Blaylock were writing in the early 1980s in contrast to the Cyberpunk stories like Neuromancer that were saturating media. Steampunk's modern incarnation may be considered a reaction to the popular dystopias of that time: the positive power of the imagination and subversion of the New Technology Is Evil trope are common steampunk themes, although recent Steampunk is increasingly likely to deal with dystopian societies, sometimes even drawing upon the works of Charles Babbage to theorize humans with mechanical brains and other things rendering them Cyberpunk in all but backdrop.

Elements of steampunk that are set in the American frontier are usually referred to as "Cattle Punk". Some writers and fans refer to the "shiny happy" version as "Victorian Fantasy", "Gaslamp Fantasy" or "Victorian Futurism". Supernatural or paranormal tropes are more frequently included in this approach, in which case the Encyclopedia of Fantasy favours "Gaslight Romance".

Jules Verne, the first Speculative Fiction writer, is the king of this trope. He and H. G. Wells are often mentioned as the foundation of a literary steampunk's reading list.

If instead of industrial era technology, the setting has pre-industrial technology, see Clock Punk, and if it includes internal combustion engines in place of steam, see Dieselpunk, though there can be crossover between them if used purely asthetically. Many examples of Steampunk mix in a few mutated monsters (probably in homage to Charles Darwin living roughly in the era depicted), thereby bordering upon Biopunk. If it assumes the truth of Victorian-era science, it may also become an example of All Theories Are True. Visual media (and the real life Steampunk subculture) will never miss a chance to showcase some seriously Awesome Anachronistic Apparel, and for Fan Service's sake a woman in a corset must be involved at some point.

Of course, the difference in values between the Victorian era and the present are rarely mentioned, unless the work is emphasising the "Punk" side of things more than most of them do.

However, any Victorian-era society which actually tried to create steampunk technology would soon find itself in stark trouble. The power requirements necessary to make real-world versions of steampunk devices (or at least Victorian-era versions of 20th century technology) would be enormous, and would soon exhaust all available supplies of coal and wood. A real steampunk society would have to either immediately transform into a fully modern society (with oil, gas, and nuclear power driving devices made of modern, lighter materials) or would quickly become, in all probability, a technological dead end.

To a large extent, it seems like the fantasy genre is quickly moving away from traditional medieval Heroic Fantasy settings and more towards settings inspired by Steampunk. Some modern fantasy authors even combine the two.

Not to be confused with Goth, although the two subcultures do share a similar fashion sense and there is some crossover. Should also be noted that Steampunk is not rooted from the Punk subculture.

Compare with Cyberpunk, which shares some similarities with Steampunk.

For a list of tropes common to Steampunk, check out the Steampunk Index.

The genre is known to drown in superficial imitation, in particular the quasi-Victorian style sometimes called "cogfop" - which is usually defined as "fop with cog glued to the top hat". In that randomly sticking some gears on it doesn't make it steampunk. To clarify a little, as far as hardware hacking or Makerism specifically are concerned, (as opposed to the purely fictional stuff) the Steampunk aesthetic exists on the basis of the idea that something looks good because it is good; i.e., a thing's image is an outgrowth of its (effective) fundamental design. This can be achieved in practice, by adhering to a proven engineering tradition, such as the UNIX design philosophy. This video may also help to explain it. Further betrayed by Regretsy's "Not Remotely Steampunk" section; there seems to be a certain amount of Trope Decay surrounding this subgenre.

Examples of Steampunk include:

Anime and Manga

Comic Books


  • Treasure Planet features a really interesting fusion of Steampunk and Cyberpunk, merging Steampunk-style culture, aesthetics, and physics with Cyberpunk-level technology.
  • Atlantis: The Lost Empire has some aspects of Steampunk in the beginning, considering that in 1914 the characters travel to Atlantis in a submarine so technologically advanced at least in design and features that it hasn't been made 95 years on. Oh, and, the giant drill truck.
  • Steamboy, obviously.[context?]


  • Chapter 13: Steam Cyborgs, from Hells Children, by Andrew Boland. Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
  • Airborn and its sequels by Kenneth Oppel are a recent example of YA steampunk. Airships and ornithopters abound!
  • Anti-Ice by Stephen Baxter. The discovery of Applied Phlebotinum at the South Pole in 1870 causes the Victorian age to go steampunk. The book starts with the destruction of Sevastopol by a single anti-ice shell (ending the Crimean War) and includes a Jules Verne-like trip to the Moon.
  • Queen Victoria's Bomb by Ronald W. Clark, about the invention of an atomic bomb a hundred years earlier. It has limited consequence however, as knowledge of the invention is suppressed by the Queen.
  • William Gibson and Bruce Sterling's 1990 novel The Difference Engine, while not actually the first instance of Steam Punk, is credited with popularizing the genre in the west. It's also a lot more "punky" than the ones that followed, with it's steam-driven Dickensia practically qualifying as a Dystopia.
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events often drifts into this territory.
  • Theodore Judson's Fitzpatrick'sWar, a Roman à Clef of the life of Alexander the Great, takes place in a steampunk future environment. It's later revealed that this is because a secret society set up a Star Wars Defense Grid in space to fry any electronic devices on the planet's surface with giant lasers.
  • Jay Lake's Clockwork Earth series is set In a World where the "Watchmaker analogy" of Deism is real in the most literal sense: the world is divided at the equator by an insurmountable wall that connects the Earth to the heavens with giant brass cogs. Instead of stars, you can see other planets' clockwork tracks. The Britain Empire retains all her Northern Hemisphere lands, including the Americas, the Victorian/Edwardian era protagonists have all sorts of interesting steampunk devices, including airships, and the Angel Gabriel is made of brass and cogs.
  • China Mieville's works contain some elements, most notably Perdido Street Station and The Scar.
  • L.E. Modessitt's Recluce saga flirts with the genre. It never quite gets there, however; the leadership of the titular nation deliberately withholds the steam-based technology from general knowledge in an effort to preserve the status quo. But that doesn't stop things from getting out of hand in The Death of Chaos entry in the series.
  • Michael Moorcock's The Warlord of the Air was an early example of this trope.
  • Since the series revolves so much around time, it's fitting that Garth Nix's Keys to the Kingdom series features a lot of clockpunk-esque technology when inside the House.
  • S.M. Peters's Whitechapel Gods has a Steampunk god, in addition to a clockwork counterpart, both of them with their own armies of coal-driven and clockwork soldiers, respectively. This particular novel draws heavily on the "punk" park of Steampunk; it's not a happy place.
  • The His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman includes steampunk elements. They kept the Victorian ethics, atmosphere, and style of interior decoration but ditched steam in favour of electricity (or ambaric power if you prefer).
    • Fuel sources for ambaric power are never explained. Naphtha (gasoline or petroleum) is mentioned a few times, so presumably they use gas generators for the electricity.
  • Philip Reeve's Hungry City Chronicles are YA examples.
  • Doctor Grordbort's Contrapulatronic Dingus Directory is a stimulating compendium of Cool but Inefficient destructive devices, electro-motive engines and health-enhancement machines for all enthusiasts of the genre known as "steam-punk," plus those gentlemen of leisure who feel that their masculinity would be grossly enhanced by the acquisition of an Exterminator of Prodigious Dimensions.
  • Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea set in Victorian times and featuring a technologically advanced submarine, would qualify if not for the minor detail that the book was written during the Victorian era.
    • Same for some of H. G. Wells' books.
  • The Court of The Air by Stephen Hunt is this set in an Alternate History—very alternate—as is The Kingdom Beneath the Waves, a semi-sequel set in the same universe a few years later and featuring some of the characters of the first book in larger or smaller roles. The Rise of the Iron Moon is the third book, a more closely related sequel.
  • The Affinity Bridge is a self-styled SteamPunk detective story heavily involving, amongst other things, airships, something of a plucky sidekick and revenants. However, it is a surprisingly good example of genre fiction, although Your Mileage May Vary.
  • Anthony Trollope wrote mainly fairly realistic novels. But towards the end of his life, he wrote The Fixed Period which imagined a world of his future in which people got around on "steam-powered tricycles" and played cricket with "a mechanical steam bowler". By the way, he wrote this in the early 1880s, making this Older Than Radio.
  • The trilogy Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld is about an Alternate History version of World War I fought between the 'Darwinists' (the Entente Powers), who use fabricated animals, and the 'Clankers' (Central Powers), who use mechanical walkers and zeppelins.
  • The Oz books, surprisingly enough. Yes, the place is loaded with magic, but it also has some interesting technological features like prosthetics (Nick Chopper, Captain Fyter), cell phones (The Wizard, on one of his return trips, whips one up), Ridiculously-Human Robots (Tik-Tok), artificial life forms (ChopFyt), and cities that can sink or rise mechanically (plot point in Glinda of Oz).
  • The Clockwork Century series is an Alternate History created by Cherie Priest, in which the American Civil War has raged for nearly two decades thanks to both sides adopting Steampunk and Dieselpunk technology, and features Sky Pirates, Cool Airships, Mad Scientists and a Mama Bear heroine.. Oh, and there are also zombies.
  • Arcadia Snips and the Steamwork Consortium is steampunk played straight.
  • The Neo-Victorian clade from The Diamond Age deliberately modelled their technology to be aesthetically Victorian and steampunk-ish despite having a full mastery of nanotechnology.
  • Havemercy features a military fleet of magical clockwork dragons. This may technically fall under "clockpunk" more, but it is often associated with the Steampunk aesthetic.
  • The Parasol Protectorate Series by Gail Carriger features heavy Steampunk elements, along with an alternate history London where supernaturals influence society.
  • Arthur Slade's The Hunchback Assignments series is full-on late Victorian steampunk.
  • George Mann's Ghosts of Manhattan takes place in a world in transtition between Steam Punk and Dieselpunk.
  • Both the titular creature and the verse itself are rather steampunky in appearance.
  • Predicted in the conclusion of The King by Rudyard Kipling.
  • The Apt races in Adrian Tchaikovsky's Shadows of the Apt use a lot of this type of tech together with some clockwork tech.
  • The Vampire Empire trilogy by Clay and Susan Griffith
  • Sharonan society in David Weber and Linda Evans Hell's Gate series is based on a combination of this and Psychic Powers.
  • Steampunk meets Robot Uprising in the short story Trois morceaux en forme de mechanika by Gord Sellar, in which an uprising of mechanikae beginning in 1897 Bohemia leads to the destruction of humanity and their culture, with a melancholy aftermath as the robots try to come to terms with what they've done through art and music.
  • Dexter Palmer's debut novel The Dream of Perpetual Motion brings Sophisticated As Hell to a new art form, with elements of The Tempest, The Wizard of Oz, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
  • The Pax Britannia Shared World, including Jonathan Green's series about Ulysses Quicksilver, Agent of the Empire, and Al Ewing's Mexican adventurer El Sombra (overlaps with Cattle Punk). Contains lots of Shout Outs.
  • The Falling Machine by Andrew P. Mayer (Book 1 of an ongoing trilogy) is about a Steampunk Superhero team called The Society of Paragons.
  • The Corsay Books are steam punk flavored with some heavy dashes of Lovecraft.
  • Devon Monk's Age of Steam,
  • Mortal Engines
  • Boneshaker
  • In Ian McDonald's Planesrunner Earth 3 or E3 is a mix of this and Raygun gothid. Coal is the main fuel because there's no oil but there are no steam engines because the electric motor was invented first. There are airships but their gasbags are woven of carbon nanotubes, vehicles all operate off a power grid but their computers or "comptaters" use vacuum tubes. The protagonist refers to it as "electropunk".
  • Andrew mayers Society of Steam series which is about steam powered superheroes and villains in the Gilded Age.

Live Action TV

  • The Adventures of Brisco County Jr was borderline Steampunk.
  • Richard Dean Anderson's series Legend had a single genius inventor character that created all manner of steampunk gear, but the world at large didn't have it.
  • The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne is a Steam Punk series on the Sci-Fi Channel set in the Victorian era.
  • The Wild Wild West (but less so than the movie). It had a steam powered tank, and at least two instances of steam powered robots being used by Dr. Loveless and other Mad Scientists on the show.
  • Doctor Who. The Christmas special episode "The Next Doctor" (set in 1851) had elements of this, including a hundred-foot high steampunk Cyber-King.
    • "The Girl In The Fireplace" had clockwork robots in Gorgeous Period Dress. Beautiful and Nightmare Fuel in one package.
    • The Eighth Doctor's ridiculously sexy new Steampunk TARDIS interior from the 1996 TV movie.
    • Also the design of Eleven's TARDIS has a few steam punk nods.
    • The 2010 Christmas Special, "A Christmas Carol," had strong steampunk elements as well.
    • "The Power of the Daleks" had a definite steampunk feel. Or would have done, if the 1967 audience had known about steampunk.
  • Torchwood. Captain Jack, captured by Torchwood agents in the 19th century, is interrogated by means of a Patent Electric Torture Device, with the inventors' faces on the lid.
  • Voyagers had a cool steampunk vibe to it.
  • Sci Fi Channel's 3-part 6-hour mini-series Tin Man, a re-interpretation of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, has a distinctly steampunk feel to at least the architecture and machinery, with just a tiny bit of cyberpunk thrown in for higher tech purposes. Appropriate to the setting. See "Literature." The Oz books were loaded with steam-tech.
  • Warehouse 13 plays with this, especially in terms of aesthetics, although it's a bit closer to Dieselpunk in terms of the artifacts being handled (like the Farnsworth). The field agents, however, use fairly standard modern tech.
  • Fringe episode "Brown Betty" has Steampunk and Schizo-Tech designs throughout the episode. Although the episode was more Dieselpunk as a whole.
  • In one episode of NCIS: Los Angeles, Abby goes to a "steampunk bar." But the steampunks are really just goths wearing brown, they all act rude like punks are expected to act and their vocabulary is laced with words borrowed from Harry Potter.
  • Castle had an episode set in a steampunk-themed club, and Castle went all-out getting into the part.
  • In an episode of Stargate Atlantis, Col. Sheppard and Dr. McKay had been playing an RTS game they had found on the station, where they each built up and controlled neighboring countries. At least, they thought it was a game, until they found a planet with countries built up exactly like they had specified. Dr. McKay's country was fully steampunk, with leather and brass, goggles, steam power and dirigibles.


New Media

In Space, No-one Can Hear You...At All!

Tabletop Games

  • The Iron Kingdoms RPG published by Privateer Press is built on Steampunk. Steampunk and awesome.
  • Also by Privateer Press, tabletop wargame War Machine is also heavily based on steampunk tropes; with substantial magic and supernatural elements added in.
    • No surprise when it's also set in the Iron Kingdoms. Why make a whole new steampunk setting when you've already got a great one in-hand?
  • The Role-Playing Game Space: 1889, as well as the even more obscure licensed audio dramas based on it.
  • The Role-Playing Game game Mutant Chronicles (along with its tieins, collectible card game Doom Trooper, battle game War Zone and the 2008 feature film), although it takes place somewhere in the XXVII Ith century, is actually a Steampunk, as the Mutants and Dark Symmetry (a kind of evil power field) rendered all electronic devices unreliable and therefore practically unusable, so humanity was forced to rely on steam-powered ones. This was averted in later editions of War Zone, where the universe turned more to Dieselpunk and Cybertronic remained straight Cyberpunk.
  • Warhammer Fantasy's Dwarves and Chaos Dwarves have loads of Steampunk contraptions, including a chopper and for one character, body armour which helps him move.
    • The Empire also has a steam-powered tank.
  • The Alchemical Exalted are heroes of a clockwork world who are implanted with steam (and other weird materials) powered devices that make them more effective as hero figures.
  • The D20 roleplaying game Etherscope is set in a Victorian, steampunk world complete with the usual paraphernalia. The main difference being the existence of the titular 'etherscope' which allows for the creation of computer-like mechanisms, amongst other things...
  • While Dungeons & Dragons is generally a High Fantasy RPG, Gnomes tend to border on, or full-out jump into, Steampunk. The Spelljammer setting in particular uses this, where Gnomes even have "rocket ships."
    • 3.5 even features several Prestige Classes made for Gnomes which feature them as Steampunk or Clockpunk mad scientists.
    • Eberron invokes this trope, along with Magitek, but is more magic-based technology than Steampunk. Actual technology is rare and often not worth it, due to magic being so readily available and easy to learn.
    • The Artificer (the "13th class" of D&D) revolves around this. While it originated in Eberron, it was introduced to mainstream D&D in Tasha's Cauldron of Everything.
    • Some of the more advanced realms in Ravenloft feature steampunk elements.
  • GURPS 3rd Edition had a Steampunk sourcebook, which included various Steampunk devices, details of Victoriana, and contained three Steampunk settings: Etheria (Planetary Romance); Iron ("conventional" dystopian steampunk) and Qabala (a weird variant, essentially "Golempunk"). This was followed by Steam-Tech, with further gadgets including an automaton detective (which was not intended to resemble bMr Holmes of Baker Street in any way). In GURPS Tech Level terms, Steampunk is considered TL5+ 1 (that is, as far advanced as TL6, but different).
  • The Mage Knight "Black Powder Rebels" faction was highly steampunk, including steam golems and a steam tank.
  • Polish RPG that is on its way to an English release - Wolsung: Steam Pump Fantasy. It's more Steam than Punk and the authors themselves call it Victorian Fantasy. The setting is something similiar to our world on the brink of the X Xth century, but filtered through pulp fiction from the time, with a little bit of classic fantasy and lots of pop culture inspirations.
  • Airship Pirates is an RPG based on the songs of Abney Park (see Music), with all the steampunkery that implies - indeed, the world it describes is arguably even more steampunk than the songs, since the band describe themselves as "the only Airship Pirates" which the game understandably... changes.
  • Unhallowed Metropolis is set in the 22nd century, after a Zombie Apocalpse wiped out human civilization around 1900. Humanity has finally regained control of a few areas, and id going back to the last golden age of civilization, resulting in a "Neo-Victorian" culture with many elements of this.
  • French Ecryme RPG is set in an alien world with strong Victoria-era aesthetics and classical steampunk technology.
  • Castle Falkenstein uses an essentially steampunk setting with some supernatural elements (including Engine Magick) added for a good measure.
  • Victoriana, an Alternative History RPG set near the mid-XIX century has some definitely steampunkish tinge to it.
  • Deadlands is essentially steampunk of the Weird West variety. It handwaves typical technological limitation of steampunk technology by introduction of 'ghostrock', a kind of coal imbued with spiritual force that can give off tremendous amounts of energy and has other properties very useful to any Mad Scientist. Also, Manitous.
  • In Genius: The Transgression Steampunk is the latest fashion fad among mad scientists. Humorously the actual Victorian mad scientists didn't create much in the Steampunk style but many of them did use Baroque styles based on idealised 17th century fashions (which was also not actually used by 17th century mad scientists).
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! game, the Ancient Gear archetype has this feel to it.


  • Wicked: The Musical has the Clock of the Time Dragon, which is part Steampunk and part Clock Punk; the Japanese version cranked it up to ten on the Steampunk scale.

Theme Parks

  • Following the 198-something revamp of Disneyland California, Tomorrowland was whole-heartedly turned into this, described as something "straight out of Jules Verne's works." Walt Disney World's Tomorrowland followed suit in the early '90s.
    • Also, the Tomorrowland in Disneyland Paris still is something "straight out of Jules Verne's works."
    • Tokyo Disneysea has a VERY steampunk section known as the Mysterious Island, also based on the works of Jules Verne.
  • Alton Towers, a popular English theme park, has lots of steampunk influences, mainly focussing on the theme of Victorian travel and discovery. One in-park hotel is Steampunk themed, complete with a giant airship and pith-hated gent in the lobby, and one of the park monorails is painted to appear as a locomotive carriage, full of exotic contraptions and the like.
  • Fans of Universal Orlando's Halloween Horror Nights nerdgasmed when they discovered that one of the scarezones in 2010 was Saws n' Steam; fissures opening in the ground cause the oceans to dry up, forcing the homicidal citizens of New Yorkshire to take up steam-powered chainsaws and carve up passerby to extract the water from their bodies. The zone notably features a MASSIVE amount of fog in a small alley, as well as chainsaw-wielding maniacs with goggles and leather on each end and a stage with a steampunk police officer monologuing about how they plan on rebuilding their city; one section of the stage has a tank full of body parts that ocasionally fires streams of water at the crowd.


  • Monster High has Robecca Steam, a robot daughter of a mad scientist. Her fashion style is somewhat outdated, but because it evokes Steampunk aesthetics, it is quite chic.

Video Games

  • BioShock (series) has steampunk "wallpaper".
  • MMORPG example: In City of Heroes, one of the most dangerous and tricky archvillains around is "Nemesis, the Prussian Prince of Automation," sometimes referred to as the Brass Prince. He uses Steampunk technology that easily matches and surpasses most of the sleek sci-fi technology of the universe, right down to his personal, steam-powered battlesuit. Oh, and how 'bout a steam-powered cybernetic implant?
    • On the player side, there's some pretty funky steampunk costume pieces. They sadly lack boots in the set, but the Piston Boots fit very well. (no pun intended) As a new development, the new Going Rogue expansion includes a Praetorian group of heroes in steampunk inspired garb fighting against the tyranny of Tyrant's empire. Their design highly resembles a heroic, steampunk version of the Primal Earth Freakshow villain group. They are also putting out a Steampunk pack on July 1[when?] for players.
  • The PC game Syberia and its sequel were full of Steampunk.
  • The RPG Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura features an unusual take on the concept. It is set in a stereotypical High Fantasy world featuring humans, elves, dwarves, gnomes, halflings, ogres, orcs, various crossbreeds between them and other such trappings of Tolkien-esque fantasy. The twist is that an industrial revolution began in this world called Arcanum circa 60 years earlier, with the result being that most of the main cities of the world are at at steampunkish version of late 19th century industrialised societies level of technology. This means that railroads, pneumatic tube subways, telegraphs, gnomish capitalists, orcs as mistreated factory workers and other fantasy-ish twists on concepts taken from steampunk or history are present. A prominent theme is the conflict between Magic and Technology, where Magic is based on the caster subverting the usual laws of physics through willpower and the new-fangled Technology is based around exploiting the laws of physics to achieve a desired result, thus actually strengthening the laws of physics around machinery. The net result is that having a magic user present can cause a machine to malfunction, and a complex machine can in turn cause magic to fail in a certain radius around it.
  • The Thief game series has a generous mix of Darker and Edgier Steampunk and Clock Punk, especially in the second game with the Mechanist technology.
  • Final Fantasy constantly cycles between this, Cyberpunk, clockpunk and every Punk in the book.
  • The Temen-ni-Gru tower in Devil May Cry 3 has elevators and monorail trams, amongst other things, powered by clockpunk. Even complete with power shortages.
  • Morrowind had a vanished race of dwarves who used steampunk technology. Their clockwork robots and steam-powered cities still repaired themselves hundreds of years after the dwarves misused the gigantic heart of a dead god, and caused their entire race to wink out of existence.
  • Steambot Chronicles (Bumpy Trot in Japan) utilizes steam-powered robots for everything (except flying, because most Trotmobiles can't fly).
    • Actually it's only the large trots that are steam-powered. The rest are powered by internal combustion engines. As illustrated when fuel prices (along with others) skyrocket when the desert oil wells are captured by the Bloody Mantis.
  • Shining Force and its sequel, Shining Force II, featured steam-powered armor, ships, and robots.
  • Almost all technology in the "present" in Dark Cloud 2 is steampunk. Even the weapons.
  • This is the whole PREMISE of the new MMORPG Neo Steam.
  • The Goblins and Gnomes of the Warcraft series are steam punk fanatics, each trying to outdo the other with technological prowess.
  • The Vinci faction in RTS Rise of Legends are an example of clockpunk that creep into steampunk as they ramp up their technology tree - notably in the Steam Cannon, Steam Tank, Steam Fortress, and, eventually, a giant spider-crab robot known as the Land Leviathan.
  • The scrolling shooter video game Steel Empire.
  • The excellent flash game Dirk Valentine and the Fortress of Steam. As you'd guess from the title, the game practically runs on Steampunk.
  • Another flash game example is the Stormwinds series (it can be found on this website).
  • In Snoopy Flying Ace, the weapons Snoopy uses are outlandishly over the top, to a Ratchet and Clank degree. The weapons and airplanes are steam punk influenced, with a bit of comic book sci fi thrown in. Also the Zeppelin doomsday devices.
  • The Wild ARMs JRPG series combines this with The Western and Scavenger World.
  • The RPG Thousand Arms.
  • Fable 2 is loaded to the brim with the Clockpunk variation, with clockwork mechanisms used to permit semiautomatic rifles, intricate automatic locks, and other such things in an otherwise very 18th century setting.
    • And then Fable III jumps into steampunk with both feet, as it occurs in an early 19th century setting. The Indistrial Knight DLC lets you dress up in a suit of extremely steampunk armor complete with gear motif and glowing goggles.
  • The Skytown area in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption is very steampunk-inspired (complete with enemies like Tinbots and Steam Lords), following in the footsteps of the cyberpunk-inspired Sanctuary Fortress area in Metroid Prime 2: Echoes.
  • The first four Myst games fall into this category, since they take place in the early 1800's, and Atrus' technology, though not always using steam, is at least steampunk-inspired. Myst V and Uru take place in the present day, but ancient D'ni technology continues this tradition.
  • The Northmen faction in Para World make use of some Steampunk devices. While a steam battleship would probably not fit the trope (they existed in real life), steam tanks are more fitting for the trope. This is Hand Waved by the fact that the parallel world lacks electricity.
  • While the overall series would be classified as cyberpunk or postcyberpunk, the .Hack//G.U. games feature some steampunk technology (for example, the steam bikes). In fact you even meet at least one steampunk fanatic in the game. As well as an old guard that misses the celtic roots of the MMORPG setting.
    • The Steampunk elements in the series can easily be seen by looking at the city of Mac Anu. In The World R:1 it's a Canal City ala Venice. In R:2, It's still canal city (but with a radically different layout, but the canals are rarely shown in use and steam based Robots serve as the NPCs rather then the Humans of the previous version. Steampunk fixtures are common. In the World R:X the Steam Punk elements have been removed but the layout of the city seems to be the same as R:2.
  • The "passively multiplayer online game" known at the moment as The Nethernet (previously PMOG), is based on the concept of the internet as a battleground between order and chaos, and has quite a Steampunk/Clock Punk flavour, with part of the arsenal available to players including a "mechanical watchdog" for guarding websites and more besides, despite the somewhat cartoony illustration style and Applied Phlebotinum heavy tools which some classes have.
  • The Summon Night series mixes medieval Europe with railroads, modern factories, along with other things, resulting in Steampunk. This is a result of the game's universe being populated by beings from multiple other ones, bringing influences with them.
  • Ratchet and Clank Verse - especially current-gen installments - includes visual themes not unlike Steampunk. All the futuristic machinery is pretty shiny, but rough around the edges. Newly-released Crack In Time is a prominent example.
  • Darkwatch
  • The Legend of Zelda series may slowly be drifting away from the standard Medieval European Fantasy or Ocean Punk setting and towards this, with the inclusion of steam technologies in Phantom Hourglass and its sequel Spirit Tracks.
  • Precursor technology in Jak and Daxter looks very Steampunk-inspired. Even in the technologically advanced Bad Future, whatever Precursor artifacts and robots remain appear to be steam-powered.
  • Lunar: The Silver Star has this with a giantic Base on Wheels called the Grindery that serves as the final dungeon (subverted in the remake Silver Star Story Complete, in which it is magic powered). There are also a number of steampunk enemies, including a boss called the Dragon Tank.
  • An atmospheric, moody Visual Novel fan-translated in 2009 named Sekien no Inganock, though things are called by numerous different names.
  • The Arcadia world in The Longest Journey and its sequel. Well, the part where The Empire of Azadi conquered, at least.
  • Machine Labyrinth from Sonic Rush Adventure is very steampunk, including steam cannons and pipes as level gimmicks.
  • The Professor Layton games have this, particularly in Professor Layton And The Unwound Future, where most of the game takes place in a steampunk aesthetic, although, it could be described as Clock Punk, but that's just splitting hairs.
  • Steamband is a Roguelike with a steampunk theme (One of the races is a steammecha, for example.), in which the goal is to get out of the earth's core to the surface.
  • Skies of Arcadia can arguably be this, thanks to the frequent use of airships and references to an apocalypse forcing people to live in the sky.
  • In the original Kingdom Hearts, Hollow Bastion could be considered steam punk, or at least Clock Punk.
  • American McGee's Alice has some steampunk/clockpunk influences, especially when you're in the Mad Hatter's realms. Two levels of the maze portion of the game involve making your way through a giant steam-powered machine.
  • In Drawn to Life: The Next Chapter, Lavastream is this.
  • Tales of Innocence takes place in an industrialized world, an oddity for the Tales (series), which usually sticks to Medieval European Fantasy with Lost Technology. The intro prominently shows a steam train and a steam boat, and steam engines are referenced a few times.
  • Worlds of Ultima: Martian Dreams was about a manned space journey to Mars in an alternate 19th century.
  • The MMORPG (sort of) Neopets has a world called Moltara, where all the Neopian denizens that hail from it live underground in huge steam and lava-filled caverns, and the theme of the world is very obviously Steampunk influenced. There was even a plot involving it a while back.
  • Early designs for Epic Mickey were heavily influenced by Steampunk. The finished product landed more in Schizo-Tech, but some of the early elements are still visible, like the automaton versions of Goofy, Daisy, and Donald.
  • Unwritten Legends has a class centered around the creation and use of steampunk gear.
  • Space 1889 a computer RPG based on tabletop RPG of the same name.
  • Dwemer robots and ruins in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
  • Second Life has a rather significant Steampunk population with entire regions devoted to roleplaying, including Celedon, New Babbage, Winterfell, and Steelhead.
  • RuneScape has a number of quest series that are full of steampunk. Elemental Workshop, the Penguin series (don't ask), the Dwarf series has some aspects, and a number of other series occasionally have the player operating some sort of machine that shouldn't exist in the Middle Ages.
  • Guns of Icarus is Steampunk-themed, with Zeppelins from Another World and lots and lots of Sky Pirates.
  • Robo Aleste is set in an Alternate History Sengoku period Japan that suddenly underwent a technological leap to around 1900 and started making Humongous Mecha.
  • Wizard 101 has the some elements of this scattered throughout the spiral, the world of Marleybone's technology is in the middle of evolving to this from Clock Punk. They even have Golems based on it.
  • Vessel relies heavily on the steampunk aesthetics.
  • Aztec Wars has element of steampunk in its Alternate History. The Russians, the Chinese and to some extent, the Aztecs use steam-powered tanks and turrets that have cannons mounted on them, shoot huge arrows... or... toss giant axes?!

Visual Novels

  • Engine Machines from Shikkoku no Sharnoth are some weird form of technology that has granted Victorian England technology on par or superior to our own in many ways, especially military.


Web Original

Western Animation

  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender, the Fire Nation boasts Industrial-Age innovations, such as trains and tanks powered by coal, steam, and firebending. Most of these were commissioned by extorting an expatriate Earth Kingdom inventor, the Mechanist, who dwells within a sanctuary maintained by steam-operated mechanisms and whose prize invention is a large, sophisticated steam-powered telescope. This is unsurprising, since Ghibli's works were one of the things that influenced Avatar's creators. The show got really Steampunk-y in season two, where a colossal drilling machine was introduced. Then in the third there were jet skis, and a previously introduced balloon became zeppelins. Indeed, the original concept set the series in a futuristic environment, but the idea was scrapped in favor of an ancient feel. Nonetheless, some technology was preserved.
    • Almost all of the more advanced steampunk devices only work through the natural abilities of benders. The tanks, engines, and weapons are powered either by firebenders (who serve as flamethrowers for tanks that seem to use steam engines) or earthbenders (who control crawler-like machines reminiscent of caterpillars). Submarines are propelled by teams of waterbenders, and the hot air needed for zeppelins and war balloons is provided by more firebenders.
  • The Legend of Korra takes place in Republic City, described as a "steampunk metropolis" on the official website. Technology seen so far includes more zeppelins, cameras, cars, and speakers. However, aside from the zeppelins, most of the technology is actually very realistic when compared to tech in our 1920's, the time period that influenced the show. Whether or not the setting is as steampunk as Nickelodeon claims remains to be seen.
  • In Batman the Animated Series episode "Showdown", Ra's al Ghul describes his attempt to destroy the transcontinental railroad and bomb Washington back in the 1880s with an advanced war dirigible, complete with cannons, turrets and gatling guns. Unfortunately, his son ruins it by getting Jonah Hex involved.
  • The villain Mechanicles' shtick in the Aladdin TV show. Improbable-to-impossible mechanical creations of all shapes and sizes. However, they were usually Clock Punk rather than steam-based.
    • Brownie points for earning a mention on the Clock King page. His plans were often just as elaborate as his machines, and they relied almost entirely on things running according to schedule.
  • The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello has steam and mechanical zeppelins, and is animated as though it were shadow puppets and a light box.
  • Flap Jack has some of this, in the form of two inventor brothers.
  • Rejected Nickelodeon pilot show The Modifyers featured a ton of cool steampunk-style airships.
  • Disney's Gummi Bears is filled with Steam Punk style mechanical oddities such as airships, submarines, massive wind and water generators and the venerable quick car. All of these machines are operated without electricity.
  • Yet another rejected Nickelodeon pilot, Constant Payne, was steampunk mixed with some futuristic elements.
  • The Grand Finale of Batman the Brave And The Bold opens with a short of John Wilkes Booth trying to kill Lincoln- and he fails, thanks to a space-time-hopping Batman. Seconds later, Booth whips out brass armor with steam-powered gattling gun arms. This is an alternate universe with a different timeline, as Batman subtly mentions on his way back home at the end of the short- after pounding Booth into submission, with a little help from Honest Abe himself.
  • While there is a great deal of Schizo-Tech running amok, My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic has a few elements of this.


  • The crews of the HMS Chronabelle, HMS Amaranth and MHS Hysteria (led by Captains Mouse, Vincent M. Dantes and Edward Von Arkham, respectively) are but three of the crews of dirigible aviators sailing the skies between their hometowns and conventions.

Other Media

Real Life

  • There was a little bit of Steampunk in Ancient Greece. One of the most famous examples is Hero of Alexandria who built, among other things, a primitive steam engine, a wind-powered organ, a vending machine that dispensed holy water, force pumps for fire engines, and a hydrostatically powered fountain. Some historians today actually debate why the Ancient Greeks did not have an Industrial Revolution; a leading theory is that the abundance of cheap slave labor served as a disincentive.
  • Jake von Slatt's Steampunk Workshop.
  • Datamancer's creations.
  • The Steampunk Treehouse from Burningman.
  • Weta Workshop
  • Dark Roasted Blend has lots of photos on the subject.
  • Outlands Armour
  • Steampunk jewelry Although steampunk stuff is so ubiquitous on Etsy, and the term is so often misapplied to decidedly non-steampunk crafts, that Regretsy (often NSFW, so beware) runs a regular "This Is Not Steampunk" feature.
  • Steampunk Prostethic arm works using rocket-style motors that run on steam. One of the stranger side effects this will have when in production is that the excess steam will be vented off as sweat.
  • Even today steam engines[2] drive submersibles, tremendous ships of war, and power cities. But since the water is boiled by radioactive isotopes and not by coal or wood, we tend to call them "nuclear reactors" nowadays. There's a reason they called the first Atomic Sub the Nautilus!
  • What people hardly realize today is that fact that many weird inventions in Jules Verne's novels were based on actual technologies of his time, blown Up to Eleven and therefore pretty hard to be put in practice. As Nautilus had been based on the Real Life Plongeur (1863-1872), which it resembled in description, but which also performed poorly (a top speed of barely 4 knots, while the battery-powered Nautilus was said to make 50 knots(!), Robur the Conqueror's 150 mph automobile from 1904 Master Of The World had been based on Real Life Jamais Contente racecar from 1899 (again electrically-powered) and so on. And, strangely connecting Steampunk and Dieselpunk ages together in Real Life, the British Great Western Railway ran from 1838 to 1892 high-speed trains on 2,140mm gauge tracks, prefigurating Adolf Hitler's plan of the 3,000mm gauge Breitspurbahn which was never built.
    • Other example contemporary to Verne himself: would you say this open-cabin locomotive with weird baroque wheels is a modern Steampunk rendition? Nope. It's the British Great Northern Railway Stirling Single class from the golden age of steam, able to run with train attached at 85 mph (137kph) continuously... in 1870! Makes you wonder how the crew dealt with the primitive semaphore signaling and open cabin in harsh winters.
    • Her broad-gauge sister, the 2,140mm gauge GWR Iron Duke class ran 80 mph in the late 1840s, for the matter.
    • The gigantic SS Great Eastern launched in 1858 impressed Verne enough to write a novel about it. It laid the first transatlantic telegraph cable in 1866 (and other cables thereafter) just because it was the largest ship available in the world. It had almost twice the displacement of a WWI battleship and it could sail as well as steam along.
    • The description of Professor Schultze's 1,500mm caliber giant cannon from The Begum's Millions (1879) matches a scaled-up version of the Krupp 355mm breech-loader cannon able to launch 1000pdr shells shown at the 1867 Paris Universal Exhibition (where it raised the awe of the people).
    • Age of steam saw also weird small arms designs which were far too modern and impractical for the time, as the first bullpup rifle in the world (1901) and the first semi-automatic pistol (1893).
    • The first fax machine appeared in 1888 - the golden age of steam. Jules Verne himself described it summarily in Propeller Island (1895) as "the device which wires writing as the telephone wires speech".
  • This Steampunk Turntable.
  • Modern architects slip into this trope when trying to adapt 19th century architecture and technology to modern life, instead of simply letting them to be razed and replaced:
    • Vienna's 1896 Gasometers, four giant buildings made for town gas storage. Turned into a modern complex of apartments, shopping malls and interior gardens.
    • Paris Musée d'Orsay, built in the main hall of a former temple of Steam Age, a railway station.
    • Anvers Central rail station, converted from an ornate ground level 19th century terminus station into a four-level modern station incorporating a tunnel for high-speed rail.
  • Also, the High-Tech architectural style may slip into Steampunk when it tries to incorporate in buildings exposed structures, decorations made from industrial appliances and other stuff which give to an office building the look of a modernized steam plant or oil refinery: London Lloyd's Building (even better when it does also incorporate the 1925 façade) or Centre Georges Pompidou of Paris (where glass-encased escalators also add a bit of Raygun Gothic).
  • Want this [dead link] shirt you do.
  • Whom shall you telegram? The League of S.T.E.A.M.!
  1. Yes it is an anime.
  2. They're steam turbines instead of older, less efficient reciprocating piston engines, but they're still engines driven by steam.