Starbound is an extraterrestrial sandbox adventure game! You’ve fled your home, only to find yourself lost in space with a damaged ship. Your only option is to beam down to the planet below and gather the resources you need to repair your ship and set off to explore the vast, infinite...
User reviews:
Very Positive (52,559 reviews) - 89% of the 52,559 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Jul 22, 2016

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Recent updates View all (45)

July 22

Starbound 1.0 is available now!
Hey everyone!

As you may have noticed, Starbound is out!
It's been a long time coming, but it's finally here!

"Starbound won't launch! What do I do?"
If you find that you can't launch Starbound after the update, please try deleting your Starbound directory and reinstalling.

Thanks everyone!


Change log

935 comments Read more

July 8

Starbound 1.0 is Leaving Orbit on 22 July 2016!

In case you missed it, Starbound is coming out of Early Access on 22 July, 2016.

After ~5 years, the game we set out to make finally exists, and to say that it all feels a bit surreal would be a massive understatement!

While Starbound will be finished in two weeks, this isn’t the end. We will continue to update and support Starbound for as long as we can. We’ve got loads of cool ideas we couldn’t fit into 1.0 but hope to put into future updates.

Thanks again for all your support over the years! You’ve stuck with us, and it means so much.

Look out for more info over the next couple of weeks!



(original post)

913 comments Read more


“Starbound is one of the most impressive never-ending games I've ever played.”
9/10 – Polygon

“The game had a fairly rocky "early access" journey but after spending some time with the final build, but it looks like it has finally become the game we were promised all those years ago.”
4/5 – The Escapist

“I find it difficult to picture the person who wouldn’t enjoy Starbound. Parts, sure, but the whole is this sincere, incredibly ambitious sandbox that’s as full of charm, and space-faring pirate penguins, as it is stuff to build and places to explore.”
Rock Paper Shotgun

About This Game

You’ve fled your home, only to find yourself lost in space with a damaged ship. Your only option is to beam down to the planet below and gather the resources you need to repair your ship and set off to explore the vast, infinite universe…

In Starbound, you create your own story - there’s no wrong way to play! You may choose to save the universe from the forces that destroyed your home, uncovering greater galactic mysteries in the process, or you may wish to forego a heroic journey entirely in favor of colonizing uncharted planets.

Settle down and farm the land, become an intergalactic landlord, hop from planet to planet collecting rare creatures, or delve into dangerous dungeons and lay claim to extraordinary treasures.

Discover ancient temples and modern metropolises, trees with eyes and mischievous penguins. Make use of hundreds of materials and over two thousand objects to build a sleepy secluded cabin in the woods, a medieval castle, or an underwater arcade.

Starbound has been built from the ground up to be multiplayer and easily moddable. You have the tools to make the universe your own and modify the game to suit your play style - add new races, biomes, dungeons, and quests - the possibilities are limitless.

  • Choose from one of 7 playable races and customize your character
  • Save the universe in a story campaign featuring unique characters, bosses, dungeons and quests!
  • You're the captain of your very own starship! Decorate it, expand it and use it to explore a procedurally generated universe
  • Colonize uncharted planets and collect gifts from your tenants - if they like you, they may even ask to join your ship crew!
  • Three game modes - Casual (no need to eat), Survival (eat to survive/drop items on death) and Hardcore (permadeath)
  • Craft thousands of objects - building materials, armor, weapons, furniture and more
  • Capture unique monsters to fight alongside you
  • All content is available in online drop-in/drop-out co-op
  • Built from the ground up to be easily moddable. You have the tools to make the universe your own - add new races, biomes, dungeons, and quests

System Requirements

Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    • OS: Windows XP or later
    • Processor: Core 2 Duo
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 256 MB graphics memory and directx 9.0c compatible gpu
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 3 GB available space
    • OS: Windows XP or later
    • Processor: Core i3
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Discrete GPU capable of directx 9.0c
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 4 GB available space
    • OS: Os X 10.7 or later
    • Processor: 64 bit Intel CPU
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 3 GB available space
    • OS: Os X 10.7 or later
    • Processor: 64 bit Intel CPU
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 4 GB available space
    • OS: Debian Stable or Ubuntu 12.04 LTS or later
    • Processor: Core 2 Duo
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 256 MB graphics memory and opengl 2.1 compatible gpu
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 3 GB available space
    • OS: Debian Stable or Ubuntu 12.04 LTS or later
    • Processor: Core i3
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 256 MB graphics memory and opengl 2.1 compatible discrete gpu
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 4 GB available space
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Very Positive (52,559 reviews)
Recently Posted
Cheese Legs
( 66.4 hrs on record )
Posted: July 25
I bought this game in 2013, three years ago. THREE YEARS AGO. And in that time the developer Chucklefish actually managed to subtract content and add bugs. You know how the FPS drops to game-breakingly low levels in dungeons? I think it's actually worse now. I've put over 60 hours into this game and I never got past the first dungeon.

Let me impress upon you how long three years is. Let me tell you what has happened while Chucklef*ck has been holding their collective dongs.

- Undertale began and finished development. It only took a single person 2.7 years to do what an entire studio hasn't been able to do for 3.5.

- The people who made Five Nights at Freddy's managed to make four games. Four whole games. They breathed life into a viral franchise four ♥♥♥♥ing times.

- The United States legalized gay marriage and, in many places, recreational marijuana.

- The largest outbreak of ebola in world history was quelled after killing over 10,000.


- Uber.

- Edward Snowden.

- Elon Musk.

- Drones.

- Snapchat.

- Netflx.

And I'm still sitting here, with "version 1.0", unable to get past the first dungeon.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 33.2 hrs on record )
Posted: July 25
ooooooohhhhhh yyyeeeaaaaaahhhhh
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 627.5 hrs on record )
Pre-Release Review
Posted: July 25
Starbound is release.... As much rejoicing as the Robin and his minstrels in the Holy Grail, sadly this game feels emptier then when I first picked it up 3+ years ago, so much hope and promise, but in the end the game just never felt finished.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 153.5 hrs on record )
Posted: July 25
Many hours of fun. Especially if you're fresh to the game and didn't burn yourself out on it in early access like many seem to have.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 96.7 hrs on record )
Pre-Release Review
Posted: July 25
TL:DR Version.. this game took too long to release so I lost interest long ago. They promised more than they delievered and took away a lot more than they should have. I liked it BEFORE it released. BUT.. for $15 it aint bad if you like this style of game. Otherwise, wait for a sale. This is an example of when I wish I didn't buy into the early access BS.

Longer versions.. read all of the thumbs down ratings below me, they hit the nail on the head..
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 251.6 hrs on record )
Posted: July 25
One of the best games ever!

However, it's not even launching for a large part of the Starbound community and the devs don't seem to be addressing it yet. Until they address it this review will be negative.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Rocky Rickaby
( 414.0 hrs on record )
Posted: July 25
When the final release has less content than the last year and a half's worth of updates, you know something went wrong.

When a good portion of the mods on the workshop revert features of the game back to older iterations, you know something went terribly, horribly wrong.

I honestly kind of feel bad for the devs. They worked their asses off for 5 years trying to make this game a reality, and when they finally try and release it, even their most deticated followers and fans are (to put it extremely lightly) unsatisfied with the result. Not to mention when my friend got a copy of the game after release he was furious to find that he, like so many others, couldn't even launch it.

This is quite honestly one of the most massive flops of any product release I've ever seen, and it makes me incredibly depressed to say that.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 57.9 hrs on record )
Posted: July 25
If this is the full release then I can finally say that I am out. I fired the game up, it ran in windowed mode. Changed to fullscreen and the menus all disappeared, forcing me to restart the game. Ok, not a great start for the long awaited release. Started again, it started in fullscreen this time, start playing the tutorial mission and realise that none of the dialogue is showing up on screen. Have to switch back to windowed mode to see it. It's not that the edges of the screen were cut off in fullscreen, the dialogue just wouldn't show up. Another pretty bad bug to encounter right off the bat.

I've been playing Starbound from the start, when they had that absolutely horrendous penguin UFO boss battle as the first main mission. I picked it up again when it had supposedly improved and that was when I put most of my hours into it. To be fair, it certainly had improved on its tragic early release, but it still wasn't terribly good. The progression was just god awful. Get armor A so you can do mission A so you can get armor B so you can do mission B and on and on and on. Horrible, horrible game design.

Decided to return to it one last time considering it's now in full release and could actually be a decent final product now. Unfortunately it has just been another disappointment for me. The changes they've made point to massively amateur development. It's obvious what they've done is released a game in early access, seen that everyone hates the core progression and changed everything, seen that people still hate the progression and change everything again, this time with a 1.0 stamp signifying that it's the last time they're bothered.

The fact that they're making huge changes to the game shows that there was never any vision. They had some sort of idea where you travelled around different planets finding the same dungeons copy-pasted around the galaxy and that was about it. There was no real extended picture of what the game was supposed to be and it shows now where they've conjured a completely new backstory to your character out of thin air. They have no idea where they're going with anything, I expect 1.1 to probably change the entire lore of the game.

Sadly, I'll be uninstalling this game for the last time after this review. I held out hope for much longer than the developers really deserved given they went years over schedule, but if this is the final product, I think my hopes of getting a good game were in vain.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 55.8 hrs on record )
Posted: July 25
This game is incredible. I can't wait to play it multiplayer.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
The Kappanator V6
( 4.5 hrs on record )
Posted: July 25
It's a bit boring to be honest. The combat controls feel clunky, the controls in general are bad. Inventory management is a chore, looting things from chests is a chore (no option to loot all using a keyboard button, have to click for everything). Mining takes too long. Imo the matter manipulator should be able to mine at max speed from the beginning. Making mining slow is anti-fun. Just boring. And this is coming from a newcomer to the game (I have not played early access). It's too bad I went over the 2 hour limit for steam refunds. RIP 15 dollars. I had 4 hours at the time of writing this but... I'll play some more to get my money's worth, maybe i'll come to like it like Stockholm's syndrome idk.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past day
137 of 180 people (76%) found this review helpful
8 people found this review funny
454.8 hrs on record
Posted: July 24
See my hours? I know this game, and i know that i say it's by no reach a perfect game or a horrible one.

Congrats Chucklefish, if i could give a neutral review i would, consider this a close passmark of a release and even though this review is positive i'm still going to lay it down on you.

After spending years in early access most people assumed it would never be released and that the devs abandoned, they didn't and in fact were actively working on it throughout the time it was in early access. Their only major falter was the lack of finalized updates. I would by lying if i said i didn't at least once or twice feel angry or ripped off by Chucklefish. After all its not the money we paid, but the promises we paid for. Development is slow, very slow.

+You will probably spend at least 100> hours exploring and getting your gameplays worth.
+Can capture any monster you find on a planet and use it as a pet (yes, its like Pokemon, but in space).
+Procedurally generated weapons, very good ones too, you will be surprised at the variety of attacks and designs.
+Building is easy, wiring is easy, painting is easy and there are hundreds upon hundreds of different blocks and decorations.
+7 Starter races that are diverse and unique.
+Modding support for this game is well maintained.
+(near) Infinite planets that never have the same two types of monster or buildings.
+Multiplayer through steam, easy to connect via the client (can be very laggy).
+Professions are chosen by the player, you can play how you want HOWEVER some professions are blatantly more fun or better than others. The Farmer will never have that awesome shotgun the explorer does or the armor the miner has.
+OST is amazing
+Active devs, who also listen a fair bit to the community. Might even find them in the Discord or IIRC.
+Customizability is insane, akin to Terraria's system (including dyes and social slots).
+Liquid and Light dynamics are "realistic"
+Supports .ABC Files (You can play actual music in game from websites such as LOTRO)
+Boss fights are unique-ish

SEMICONS: (Things that the devs are likely to fix soon, or will fix eventually, or may not be encountered by everyone)
+/- Can feel a bit solitary, especially in singleplayer
+/- Game is unoptimized and crashes on startup occasionally
+/- Mods are sometimes undetected by the game alltogether and you might have to restart multiple times to get them working
+/- Obligatory semicon about the bugs and rush to 1.0

- AI can be pretty stupid
- The story is average, and cuts off pretty quickly with very little relevance late game.
- Some significant unbalance in both the bosses and weapons. (For their level, some are incredibly weak or easy, or very hard/OP)
- The tutorial explains gameplay fundamentals but lacks out some smaller things that people might miss
- APPLIES MAINLY TO BETA PLAYERS: If you played in beta, you will notice that a lot of content is totally gone or inconsistent, especially in tiered species weapons and the story bosses.
- Penguin crewmates are a pain in the ♥♥♥
- No ship protection in multiplayer*
- Besides farming, there is little incentive to actually build a planetary base.
- Mining can get boring quickly, especially if you are used to Terraria's systems**
- Game has a falloff point where you sit down and go "well, what next" (but that is quite some time later)
- Some mechanics seem halfbaked, where its easy to see how to improve and you are frustrated that the devs let it sit there (some bad design choices and flaws)
- Starting a new game on a server is almost impossible if the server is populated.
- Seriously, the biggest con for this game are just design flaws. Like, the hotbar for example is arguably very unintuitive and some of the aspects are left out almost completely. You will be using a feature of the game and be scratching your head "Why didn't they do ___ instead?"
- Techs are now simplified and ultimately nerfed and more boring
- Only 6 tiers? Come on, where is the 10 we had before.***
- So what are ship pets for there exactly? They do like to stand in front of my containers.
- Options screen needs a bit of a rework (if you need to explain a UI, its not a good UI)
- Wiring things in your ship can get cluttered and incredibly difficult if there are many tracks
- Matter Manipulator customization is a joke

*Any member of a party can steal or break things in your ship even still. People are divided between "simply party with people you trust" and "just give us some bloody protection options". Personally, protection options sound better because otherwise whats the point of public servers if you cant show off your ship a little bit? EDIT: After some more thought, ship protection options should just be a thing, honestly. The existence of multiplayer comes with some things you need to take for granted and one of those things are "not everyone will be a decent or honest person".

** Okay lets clear this up: Starbound is NOT a Terraria copy, YES it does have elements and inspired features that Terraria did but honestly, whats the wrong in that? Imagine how hard it would be to make a game that is nothing like any other game you've ever played. Terraria arguably perfected some aspects of the genre and there is nothing wrong with following footsteps.

*** Tiers are an iffy one, they sacrificed having 10 tiers of weapons and armor for having 6 more specialised ones; Ranged, Melee and Staffs. On top of that, where the hell are the tiered weapons for classes? They totally disappeared! In a sandbox game the idea is you have endless content and things to do - this doesn't just mean a million different blocktype, just give us some more depth and flexibility. (Should clarify, technically giving specialised class armor instead of more tiers is flexibility but it just feels cut short and i cant be the only one)

Last time i played this game on a server with friends, we didnt mine, explore, pvp, build or do quests. We all sat in a ship and played "guess the song", if that isn't simultaneously the most concerning (gameplay wise) but coolest thing then what the hell is it.

The game's development could be described as a mix of "one step forward, two steps back" and "missed opportunities" because the thing is it's easily playable but frustrating.

(removed score, decided it wasn't a good choice)

Worth the money? YES...
Runs on most computers? NO (as of right now, 1.0, which harbors some optimization problems)

Honestly i want to love Starbound i really do. To me no matter what happens now it got far enough that i enjoyed it, but was constantly disappointed in the missed opportunities

(25/7/16) Top review, didn't expect - gonna add a little more.(also edited grammar and reworded some stuff a little to better reflect my feelings_

If anyone from Chucklefish reads this, what ARE you doing? This game is confusing, because it obviously has potential (and lives up to some of it) but falls short at the silliest of things. Look at some community mods and ideas, people are screaming at you to add certain things or change stuff but it just goes overlooked. When you make a game it won't be exactly how you envisioned it to be but thats because the people who play it want some input too. You added skyrails and some other features - hell back in the day i helped get modular matter manipulators in the game but prime example, the "modular" Matter Manipulator has 12 upgrades and no actual customization. I don't want to devalue or dishearten your work but there is nothing as helpful as constructive criticism, because you seem to only take in the good things about the game and ignore much of the big criticisms. I would hate for this to be another "let the modders deal with it"
All that being said, good job thus far not abandoning or totally messing everything up, you do deserve praise for a lot of the work you have done and i won't discount that.

(word limit)
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652 of 1,050 people (62%) found this review helpful
43 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
1,645.9 hrs on record
Posted: July 23
I'll be honest here, if you've never heard of starbound before, and you like the idea of a sci-fi sandbox survival-ish game, then you'll probably enjoy starbound. I however am giving this a thumbs down, for reasons I shall go into.

Long ago, in the early access days of starbound, players glimpsed what was a relatively complete game that was clearly a framework for something greater. Something complex. Hidden behind it's grid-based construction/mining engine was a surprisingly complex universe, complete with six unique races all of which had their own history, adversities, asthetic style and personality. For once it seemed like the character's species was actually going to matter, with even the descriptions of food items hinting that different species would have to eat different food, which is a very cool idea in a survival game. This type of complexity was, for me, what set starbound apart from other games in the genre, it wasn't just a sandbox, it was it's own world with conflicting cultures and people.

The earliest sign was that racial bonuses (abilities unique to what species your character was) was planned to be in the next update. These bonuses were later changed to be tied to the race's armoursets, where wearing the full set (head, torso, leggings) of a race's armour would confer it's bonus. This was apparently done for the sake of balance, and keeping each of the races equal. Sure, I thought, but to this day racial bonuses are still not part of the game.

Starbound's development has been slow. Very, very slow. I was ok with this, as it was the developer's first game, and after dabbling in game dev myself I am aware that it can be a very difficult thing to do. Things were fine at first, a slow creep of new assets and features, adding more content to the world's random-gen system, etc. Everything you'd expect from an early access title.

However, somewhere during development, something changed.

Everyone was hype for the next big update (as updates were incredibly rare) and it'd hit, sure there was all this cool new stuff they'd shown off in screenshots, but they would always come with a number of game-breaking bugs that would severely impact gameplay, and would sometimes take months to be fixed. But the most bizarre part to me was that CF would often just cut assets entirely from the game. Items, furniture, gone. no explanation given. Just gone, and for a game about exploration, collection and building, this seemed like a very odd move.

The last few updates leading up to 1.0 were the worst offenders at this. The previous diversity and characterisation of the game's six races were severely stripped away, racial weapons, and ship AI were removed for seemingly no reason, which is very strange considering the racial AI often featured in the game's devblog. This, along with the removal/altercation of several other features (the game's UI being one of them) pushed things over the line for me. I had hope, I had patience, but I look upon the finished product that is the 1.0 build currently on sale here and can't help but feel utterly disappointed.

In summary, what first appeared to be a surprisingly complex twist on the survival sandbox genre was dumbed down to rush it for release. Also, the game costs $5 less now. It's nice I paid extra to experience this disappointment.

There are actually a number of other issues I could go into as to why I'm giving this a thumbs down, from kickstarter spending to the developer's reaction to criticism, but this review is already long enough.


EDIT: Since everyone seems to comment on this. Yes, I have 1600+ hours played. This is because the early access builds had a launcher that was very easy to leave open for long periods of time, also I did actually enjoy playing the game, however, now that 1.0 has been released, many of the things I enjoyed about it have been removed, and I am doubtful they will ever be restored, hence my negative review.
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54 of 72 people (75%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
90.1 hrs on record
Posted: July 25
At this point they have removed more stuff than they have added...

RIP diamond ore
RIP crafting tools
RIP old toolbar
RIP grasslands biome
RIP temperature
RIP stackable food
RIP robot and jelly bosses
RIP sectors
RIP ability to repair tools
RIP unique SAIL avatars
RIP mechs

To be honest the game is still enjoyable but the endless amount of glitches, the boring quests, the terrible inventory sorting and cliche storyline kinda ruin it. The space exploration is still there but that's just it.
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42 of 59 people (71%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
161.0 hrs on record
Posted: July 25
I'm currently replaying it and that's what I have to say for now: FOUR YEARS and this game feels emptier than before, somehow. Content lacking and poorly optimized release, nothing like Tiy promised. This game may look complex at first, but it is shallow and empty.

I mean, this game is great if you wanna roleplay or something, because there's no real objective besides the main story as far as I know, everything you do after that is personal gratification.
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173 of 292 people (59%) found this review helpful
10 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
88.1 hrs on record
Posted: July 24
Game is finally out... but it seems to be rushed and incomplete.

version 1.0 is extremely poorly optimized. Game drops to 15 fps and fluctuates wildly depending on your environment. An RX480 is just as good as a laptop GPU.

Crafting wise, it seems to have a lot of ornamental things, but actual useful items... not that many. In some 12-15 hours you can upgrade everything you need, leaving you only to follow the main quest.

NPC sidequests are rather stupid, take note/resources to some other NPC nearby (if you're lucky) or go to some area in the world and get some NPC back to town. Not sure why they thought ♥♥♥♥♥♥ MMO type quests will be fun.

Given how long it took for the developers to actually release the game, justifying it as "we don't want to rush it, we want the game to be great, we don't want to offer a half baked experience", I can't help but think that chuckle when the game starts is a sort of " you idiots paid us 3 years ago for this game, bet you feel smart now".

Very disappointed by what the game delivered vs what it promised (to be honest, I might have gone past the content if the game wasn't performing so awful).
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
51 of 80 people (64%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
23.3 hrs on record
Posted: July 24
As a preface, I had been following Starbound since it's first announcement, purchased it the day it came onto Steam (a copy for me and a friend) and have been following development on and off for a few years. Recorded playtime wise, I don't seem reliable, but I have been watching this game flourish- or moderately expand in this case.
If you don't know what Starbound is, it is a 2 dimensional procedurally generated sandbox RPG, bearing many similarities to Terraria if you've ever seen/played that. I'm sure other reviews go into depth on exactly what Starbound is, so I won't waste your time and will instead explain why I do not recommend this game.

  • Relaxing soundtrack.
  • Able to make your own colony (not really as cool as you would expect, unfortunately).
  • Co-Op and multiplayer can be fun if you have people to play with.
  • Planet coordinates system is really cool if you want to explore a planet that someone else has discovered.

  • The progression system seems unbalanced.
  • The procedurally generated content doesn't ever surprise you or seem unique. Once you've seen one thing you've seen it all.
  • Many features in the game are simply fluff that contribute no real value overall.
  • Interesting features removed during development.
  • Missing critical features that really should be here.
  • Side-questing seems completely boring at worst and pointless at best.

The Issue with Starbound
I can't seem to find the right words to make this super lengthy and in detail (third time trying to write this section), so I'm going to simply touch on the issues that stuck out to me in the cons section above.

The progression system seems unbalanced. - So Starbound has crafting, looting, and buying and selling. These ideas tend to clash with each other more often than not which makes the progression system speedy for some parts and slow for others. For instance, crafting weaponry for the first few hours is seemingly useless as almost all the loot you find will be better. Then as you take on harder monsters, loot you find will become useless in favor of crafting. It's the opposite for armor in the beginning. You'll find almost no armor requiring you to craft it. If you do find any in loot, it'll almost be guarenteed to be worse than your current stuff due to how all armor is defined in tiers. It's inconsistent.

The procedurally generated content doesn't ever surprise you or seem unique. Once you've seen one thing you've seen it all. - This is heartbreaking because it's the soul of Starbound. The pool for parts that the planet generator picks from feels really small, as almost all your planets will look and feel exactly the same. For a game that has you jumping across the universe, it's really jarring when you warp lightyears away to a distant planet only to see that the major difference is the leaves are white and slightly bushy. The same goes for the creatures you find. Creatures are either unique, procedurally generated, or bosses. Unique are specifically created by the developers as are bosses. You'll end up running into the exact same unique creatures more often than not and it really makes the planets feel even more uniform. Once in a while you'll find a generated one, but they seem so uninspired and not-fleshed-out that you'll probably wonder what the point is anyway.

Many features in the game are simply fluff that contribute no real value overall. - The game has a story. This is a good thing as it will provide a decent amount of base content for you. Unfortunately once you're done with that, there really doesn't feel like there's a point to continue playing. Yes, you can create a colony which is an interesting feature. Yes, you can go around collecting various creatures from different planets to make a zoo of sorts (which would be much more interesting if the creatures were more diverse). But the problem is this: there is no point other than personal satisfaction. This is a good thing for some and if it is, more power to you. However, some people like myself need a good incentive to use these features. Why make a colony when you can have a crew and can visit the Outpost for buying and selling? It's a decently fleshed out feature but ultimately pointless. I'm sorry to make the comparison, but in Terraria having a colony was essential because there were no other alternatives. Why make a zoo or catch a companion if you already fare well by yourself in combat, and the creatures aren't interesting in their own right?

Interesting features removed during development. - So when Starbound was first released here, it had a hunger system, a dynamic temperature system, an enemy leveling system, a destruction system, and a few others I can't recall. Hunger recently came back which was received happily, but most of the other systems have been watered down and spread out across the game to the point where they're barely recognizable. Temperature is just now extremely cold planets or extremely hot planets all the time which are circumvented by wearing a magical backpack. Enemy leveling is now simple overall planet threat level (which is far less interesting and dynamic). The destruction system was almost completely removed (you could shoot out walls and break things with projectiles, which some people disliked but I found it to be an interesting mechanic).

Missing critical features that really should be here. - The game has no pause function. Some people will argue to the death saying that the game does not need one. Here's the thing- this isn't Dark Souls. You're not often in super-intense situations where pausing the game would cheapen the effect. This isn't so much a problem on casual difficulty, but if you have the hunger system enabled, hit esc to go tend to something, you may be surprised to find yourself back on the ship with 30% lost money and most of your items gone since you starved to death in your absence. This is something that really irks me. Being able to pause in any game is absolutely essential. If somebody knocks at my door, I shouldn't need to be in a situation where I either need to save and quit (losing any progress if on a planet since you're warped back to the ship on load) or risk losing all my stuff and some money because my character starves while I'm away. The excuses that have been given to this issue are even more outlandish, being along the likes of, "This would break multiplayer" and "Single player is basically local client side multiplayer" in which case I would point to Minecraft which also has a perfectly functional pause menu while having everything done on a local server. . The game also doesn't have any sort of auto-saving of any capacity- or even conventional saving. In order to save, you must save and quit to the menu. No mid-game saving and if you're game crashes or power goes out, then you've lost all progress from your previous save which could reasonably be hour beforehand. I never judged the game too harshly about this and figured it would surely be added when the game was released. Unfortunately, this is not the case and is mind boggling that this game managed to go through almost 3 years of QA in the form of Early Access and still not have these.

Side-questing seems completely boring at worst and pointless at best. - This game also has questing- which is also a good thing as it adds variety. Unfortunately it's similar to most of the other features in that it is ultimately pointless. Rewards that are given to you are laughable compared to the effort that you need to put in for some of them. Travelling half-way across the entire planet to find somebody, travelling all the way back while protecting them for a bag that will most likely randomly give me a few torches or some throwing daggers? No thank you.

Sorry, I hit the character limit. Long review.
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50 of 79 people (63%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
209.4 hrs on record
Posted: July 24
Played early Starbound, and was hooked instantly. Then came the bugs...

I actually stoped playing about the time unstable became a thing. Sure, stable didn't have any more bugs, but it also lost a good bit of interest as not a single update was comming for a long time to come. Thought I'd wait for 1.0, and waited, and waited.....

1.0 finally releases, and I jump at it! I can't wait to play, this is everything I've been waiting for!
.....guess again..... Did the minimum requirements change when I wasn't looking? No..., then why can't I run a map properly? Game acts like someone forgot to check memory management, but in truth, I don't know what's wrong. My PC makes and beats recomended stats, so this should be fluid gameplay right?! God I wan't to change this review so badly. 1.0 really kicked the bucket. Wait untill they've had time and reason to fix it.
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153 of 266 people (58%) found this review helpful
6 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
162.0 hrs on record
Posted: July 24
Starbound started off promising and somehow got worse instead of better over the course of its dev cycle. The game has fully released now but still feels virtually identical to the earliest builds. The interface is clunky and terrible, the progression system and balancing are all over the place, the combat feels imprecise and every planet is basically a palette swap of the last. At the end of the day, it hasn't lived up to any of the promises Chucklefish made during development and the final version is just boring.

Save your money and get Terraria instead.
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27 of 39 people (69%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
106.3 hrs on record
Posted: July 25
I really wanted to like this game, really did. Back when Starbound was on Kickstarter, I couldn't keep my hype, everything looked so interesting, so many good ideas and concepts, some of those created by fans (like the Poptops).
When the beta came out, I was so happy and went to play immediately. My first impressions were that the game just felt so boring, and exploring the universe felt really empty and barren.

At the time, I thought it was ok, the game was only at beta, I thought they would think a lot more to what could be some good changes to the game, specifically to the races. One of the Kickstarter stretch goals ($500,000), were the race of Novakids, which are “interstellar gas-bag people”, but now, this race is nothing but a reskin of the player model. This is only an example of the concepts that were dumbed down to something so simple and tasteless.

The beta continued being this boring, wasted potential of a game. At a certain point of the beta (which took really long) they added quests to the game. These too felt really obnoxious to do; quests like "fetch quests" or "escort quests", things that you don't expect to do in a space-exploring game. But these were only the "sub-quests" of the game, so you could pass the time doing meaningless things, they added "missions" as well. Missions were nothing more than going through a lot of bad guys, waving your weapon, and defeating an underwhelming boss.

The pacing of the updates goes without saying; the beta was so slow, any annoying bug or glitch took ages to be fixed or to be removed. There were many delays for the release date and many unkept promises.

When they added "upgrades" to your ship, I got kind of excited wondering if this could be something cool, such as cannons for your ship, more gadgets for your ship, but instead you could only expand your ship to add more furniture, when you fully "upgrade" your ship it just feels like a huge empty metal box.

Finally, when the game came out, I was shocked at what the game has become. I am embarrased to say that I enjoyed more the beta than the final product. The "main storyline" is nothing more than the "missions" that I mentioned before, the pacing of the game feels sluggish and not very compelling to continue digging through the planets and exploring, for me it felt like there was no real objective because; the intention of the game that is exploring, felt repetitive. Combat feels slow and clunky, movement feels floaty, the new "hotbar" looks and functions really badly compared to the beta one. There are still some bugs, which I can forgive, but the game still feels unfinished and rushed.

As a sandbox, space-exploring game, Starbound is, in my opinion, a 4/10 game. It's really disappointing to see something that looked so complex and interesting die in this shallow abomination.
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49 of 84 people (58%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
68.9 hrs on record
Posted: July 24
We did it! We left Early Access!

Starbound is an open-world sandbox survival game developed by Chucklefish Studios, and has been in development for a very, very long time. Five years, in fact. It has humble origins from the Humble Bundle website, which launched a Kickstarter-style campaign to fund the development of the game. The game launched on Steam in 2013, and soon joined the “early-access” program where it reached commercial success and was already being hailed as a brilliant game, despite the fact that it was early on in development.

Personally? I bought the game around that time and initially couldn’t stand it. I’d recently been playing Terraria and couldn’t shake the feeling that Starbound was just cashing in on Terraria’s success. I was, however, proven wrong. Very wrong.


Starbound, as I said, is an open-world sandbox survival game a la Terraria or Minecraft, but with a Sci-Fi/Fantasy twist. The game features dungeoneering, survival elements, questing, and much much more.

After the player starts a new game, you’re prompted to make a character. You’re given a choice of different races to choose from, which are all cosmetic (aside from the “Novakid” race; they’re allowed to craft guns as their weapon rather than the swords other races are allowed to craft). The character creation is nice, but rather limited due to the pixel-style graphics. A nice touch is that you can choose a default pose for your character – something not often seen in character creation which gives a little more of a personal touch and identity to your avatar.

After character creation, Starbound’s story (added with the 1.0 update) with the player’s graduation from the academy for the Terran Protectorate, an alliance of all of the universe’s races to provide safety across the stars. The introduction mission acts as a tutorial, and after an entertaining Lovecraftian-inspired disaster, the player is flung into the stars with their very own ship and encouraged to explore and craft their way across the universe.

Due to the nature of the game, there is no “goal”, you simply do what you want. Crafting, exploring, building colonies to fill with rent-paying tenants (I may or may not have received an achievement berating me for the poor living conditions in my colony), or doing the all-new and all-awesome randomly-generated quests that NPCs give to you. There is, however, a story.

With 1.0, Chucklefish added a story to the world of Starbound, giving a new lease on the lore and feel of the universe. The story is told through a series of instanced missions, and details the player’s investigation into the Eldritch horrors that interrupted your graduation ceremony. Between instances, the player must gather “clues” by using a told to scan various objects belonging to the different races. Each instance ends in a boss battle, and the few that I’ve played so far have been satisfying, blending both platforming and the game’s intuitive combat system.

As for building, the game is as good as it gets in the genre. The building is very similar to Terraria’s system, but additional tools such as paint mode, interactable furniture and a wiring mode adds a new depth, and the variety of building blocks allows for some awesome builds. I’m currently working on a shrine dedicated to the saviour of the universe, Big Ape.

Sound and Graphics

Starbound has a great aesthetic to it, the futuristic ambience surrounding the planets and colonies really pack a punch, and the pixel art is a cracking way to emulate the sci-fi feel. Despite the somewhat simplistic approach to the graphics, the game still looks and feels great. The character design is also brilliant, and the multitude of different monsters sprawled across the universe never fail to surprise or impress. The penguins, too. Oh lord, the penguins.

The music for the game is also beautiful, with an airy and out-of-this world feel to the soundtrack. The music has been designed excellently and really adds to the atmosphere (or lack thereof!) of the planets, coming together with the graphics to form an awesome experience.


The game runs excellently, which one would expect after five years of optimization! I’ve only run into a few bugs, but since the 1.0 launch I’ve not managed to emulate any of them. Multiplayer can be a little touch-and-go at times and I’ve heard reports of memory leaks when using a server, but simply joining a friend’s game through the Steam servers is an easy fix. My game runs at a smooth 60fps, and friends with lower-specced rigs are reporting similar frame rates.

To wrap things up, I’d say Starbound should be the model that all Early Access games base themselves on. The journey has been long, but the condition the game is in right now is a masterpiece, and I can’t wait for what Chucklefish have in store for the future. The game plays like a more-polished Terraria, with as many gameplay options as any triple-A title. Simply exploring the galaxy can keep you occupied for hours. At £12, this game is an absolute steal and I couldn’t recommend it more. It’s worth it simply to wear a gnome as a hat.

There is, however, one criticism…. Needs more Big Ape.

This review was written on behalf of TeamTom's Reviews. You can check out the steam group here, or visit us on our website
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