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 (53,540 reviews) - 89% of the 53,540 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Jul 22, 2016

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Recent updates View all (46)

July 29

1.0.3 - Changelog

Hello all!

We've fixed a whole buncha bugs, so we're updating stable again today!

Starbound v1.0.3 Changelog

Bug Fixes
  • remove unbalanced wormerang listing from penguin weapon shop
  • resolve issue of banner rendering in front of a bookcase
  • resolve issue where the Grand Pagoda Library boss would sometimes reset
  • resolve issue where some weapons would let you wall jump in distortion sphere
  • make ore nibbler critter capturable without exploding
  • remove inappropriate tag from farm animal eggs
  • no longer open multiples of the same scripted interfaces (Rob Repairo, Tech Console)
  • resolve issue where cultists would die on destroying a ballista in the Baron's Keep
  • remove elemental aura visual effect when changing weapons
  • resolve issue where techs would interfere with each others tool suppression
  • improve performance when player has a lot of quests
  • resolve some issues with grappling hook
  • bosses are now immune to healing from staff secondary abilities
  • some pixels in armors were bad and are now not bad
  • fix issue where crew ship benefits would reset on ship upgrade (this unfortunately resets your current fuel capacity and fuel efficiency benefits as they have been moved to a more reliable storage format)
  • teach NPCs how to use some trickier doors like wooden gates
  • npcs may now get stuck in the ground less often
  • make tech gui not crash when encountering unknown tech
  • fix 3d printer issue when removing objects
  • change power scaling of crew members to more closely match the power scaling of the player
  • make it so saplings don't break when they are unable to grow into a tree
  • players should no longer get stuck in the ground if they beam to a friend in distortion sphere
  • remove deprecated keybindings
  • remove reference to a missing asset for the Avian temple boss
  • gui adjustment to allow bigger numbers in the Terrramart shipment box
  • remove deprecated elevator recipes
  • fix tabbing issues in the codex window


  • statically link Visual C++ 2015 for the win32 version of starbound
  • keep rotten food in the food tab
  • UI usability improvements to server connect screen
  • dismiss confirmation windows when the source of them is not in reach
  • adjustments to ore samples
  • make it impossible to starve to death during cinematics
  • pressing the key for a selected action bar slot now deselects the slot
  • non-elemental Fluffalo drop more plant fibre
  • adjust npc and monster placement for generated quests
  • grappling hook adjustments; increased range, functional dual wielding
  • NPCs will now beam away to join your ship crew as soon as you recruit them
  • natural materials will now magically match the hue shift of the biome when placed
  • using the paint tool with the default color setting will clear any hue shift on unpainted blocks
  • make vertical scroll bars start at the top by default
  • improve one-handed damage of NPCs
  • add some clothes and dialog for novakids in generated quests
  • change some confusingly inaccurate labels for paintings in the grand pagoda library
  • tweak Shockhopper projectile lifetime and damage polys

Visual C++ 2015 Launch Errors

Since release, some people have been unable to play Starbound due to Visual C++ 2015 runtime failing to install on their PCs. This tends to be an issue with PCs on out-of-date versions of Windows, and tends to be solved by updating your Windows service packs and manually installing the Visual C++ 2015 runtime, but some people have been unable to do this or have found that it hasn't worked for them.

We've statically linked Visual C++ 2015 for the win32 version of Starbound, which should hopefully clear up this issue for a lot of people. You'll need to select 'Launch Starbound - win32' when you launch Starbound on Steam. :)

OpenGL 2.0 Launch Errors

If you're getting an error on launch that says 'OpenGL 2.0 not available', please ensure you've updated your graphics drivers!

OS X 10.8 Launch Errors

If you're unable to launch Starbound on a version of OS X lower than 10.9, please try updating to a more recent version of OS X!

In short, it helps to keep your software up to date! If you find that you've tried everything and Starbound still won't run for you, please email us with no less than a description of the issue you're having, a list of your PC's specs, and a copy of your full Starbound error log (starbound.log in your directory). Here's a post with guidelines for reporting bugs. :)

67 comments Read more

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

1192 comments Read more


“A charming space sandbox that will keep you busy and entertained for hours.”
84/100 – PC Gamer

“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 10.9 or later
    • Processor: 64 bit Intel CPU
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 3 GB available space
    • OS: Os X 10.9 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 (53,540 reviews)
Recently Posted
( 42.6 hrs on record )
Posted: July 29
Much Better in 1.0

I've been playing Starbound for a while now, and while previously I had some issues with it, the 1.0 update improves it by a lot. Early game progression feels much nicer now, as does exploring planets with crew and the new story. I highly recommend this game thanks to the update.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 172.8 hrs on record )
Posted: July 29
My hopes for this awesome game

I'm not really into it's story line because it's not lively and deep (not story rich) but I stayed for the sandbox and freedom to create my own base or house in a random generated worlds, well there is no story behind in every world but using imagination everything is fun enough to make me play again and again.

-Since it's is set in futuristic and advance techno settings, it should have rotatable items, insted of player having to adjust to the items why not combine door and latch, just rotate a door item and then BAM!! you have your very own trapdoor.

-More wireable items like pump, I'd like to create my own waterfalls or something like that, just for cometics of the base and also smart wires, yeah it looks awesome to see your wire in a red laser like style but when you create a giant ♥♥♥ base fully automated in the means of doors and lights in the place, the wires are really messy and even block things that you want to connect.

-I'm not against modding, but to see a game created in futuristic setting and not having those tiny adjustments is just sad, I still remember the leak or some theory of how the hoverbike will look like in starbound when people are still hyped about it, people make really awesome looking bike in the video but when the official release of the hoverbike well damn, this thing is really out of style and not futuristic looking vehicle, A pirate guy that can fix a ship's FTL is selling a floating jeep and boring ♥♥♥ boat.

-A use for turrets in the game, well turrets is fun, I stare at them almost all the time imagining some intruder is attacking my base or my people, but sadly no, monster spawn when they're out of range in the screen, means if you stay idle in your base nothing will spawn nothing will happen, unless it's some bird passing by, there should be bandits trying to raid you or a group of them walking in the world then they have no choice but to pass your house fully armed with guards and turrets.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Luna Starfalls
( 165.5 hrs on record )
Posted: July 29
I kinda get what people now mean with having nothing to do post game, I kinda wish there was no story to begin with since it kinda ruined the game for me I feel or forced the team to make certain deciscions so it would fit the story better.

-Biggest issue is probably that only a certain kind of planet can appear at certain tiers which kills the
"forever exploring" thing a lot. I don't really see everyone

-Every dungeon feels the same since every dungeon has to include enough furniture for the main quest which also kills the exploring part or wanting to explore more.

-Story seemed to have killed a lot of the lore it's all bundled in one galaxy federation thing.

-And just a lot of features seem to have gotten removed and not sure why...

I played some hours and technically got my money's worth (the many hourse I have are from beta which I enjoyed more than the 1.0 release, in the 1.0 release I spend 15-20 hours but I don't know I just expected more, it feels like they went around a lot in circles during development and couldn't decide on some aspects of the game. I don't know thats just me felt a bit stale in the end, is all.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Quark Spin
( 37.4 hrs on record )
Posted: July 29
I had't heard of th game before it came out on Steam so I am taking it for what it is rather than what it has or migh have been throughout development. I have played almost 40 hours and it has kept me entertained. I have avoided going on the net and looking up what there is to do so each new find has been a surprise.

One issue that has really annoyed me however is the crashes. My latest occurs when I try to activate a gate in a system I have travelled to. The dips in fps are also strange as I am playing on a top spec Mac that I use to work on heavy duty files in After Effects.

If you like sandbox worlds where you can create your own story then you will probably like this. I feel like I have got my money's worth however it is not a game without flaws. The main one for me being that some actions crash the game.

Oh and there is no pause. Leave your character too long and they will die from hunger. Save and exit a mission and start from the beginning again. I understand that the reason is due to the multiplayer element but for me a lack of pause in single player is quite annoying.

So recommended if the cost seems reasonable despite the bugs.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 80.0 hrs on record )
Posted: July 29
Starbound is a mediocre game, it promotes itself as a deep exploration game with lots of content, however much of it is superficial. First of all I would like to say I’ve been following development since before its early access phase and I am less than impressed by the result.
Let’s start with gameplay. There are three difficulties, casual (which I use) where death causes loss of 10% of pixels (currency), moderate (or whatever it’s called) where I think you lose a little more of your money and drop some items at the place of your death. There is also a hunger system which may or may not be annoying, I’m not going to try it anytime soon. Finally there is hardcore mode, where after you die, you lose your character. One thing I would criticize is tying survival aspects to difficulty. It could be nice to be able to use survival elements on easiest difficulty or permadeath without hunger.

You have basic genre elements like digging, farming and crafting, and right now they are fine. You can upgrade your main mining tool, building new things is easy, for crafting you have a few basic crafting stations which you can upgrade, which also lets you access more advanced crafting stations. You have a spaceship which you can use to travel between planets. There are some differences between them. For example the usual arctic and volcanic planets where you need to use protection pack to survive the climate. Moons where you get most of your starship fuel if you like running from immortal ghosts protecting it (if you don’t, you may just buy it from one of the shops at the hub world where you will get fairly soon). But to use most of your ship you will have to go through two or three story quests to repair your ship. My two biggest gripes with this is that planets aren’t really interesting. Sometimes you can find a village there, some structure filled with things that want to kill you and that’s it. Usually you will not find anything special, besides furniture that you will be later able to replicate. I think the most interesting thing going for planets at the moment are different weather types that you can find there, because protection packs are straight upgrade from one another and protect you from everything at the end. So there is not much differences between exploring a moon without breathable air (besides obviously low gravity, which I believe should vary more between other planets) and frozen wasteland.

One of the more interesting things are races. Or would be if there was any difference between them. Because right now they’re mostly reskins without much to offer besides different ships.

Weapons you get are mostly boring, however one handed ones are much more boring than two handed (because the latter get a special attack). There are three kinds of weapons: melee, ranged and magic (or techno-magic or something). Most of them use your energy, magical staves to do their magic things, ranged weapons to fire and melee weapons to use their special attacks. Also some of the techs (or special skills you acquire through quests) use it. Also there aren’t any clearly better or worse weapons since all of those things scale with your armor. So even a great weapon is weak with one of the first sets. I also wish they went with normal ammo for ranged weapons. Because right now they’re like two-handed melee weapons, only they shoot things (technically some melee weapon specials also shoot things), I believe ammo system could be used to add some depth to it. Also magic weapons are similar, but they shoot slightly stranger things. Crafting weapons and armor isn’t too great either, at the beginning you get a linear progression and then a choice between three upgrade paths. One for melee, one for ranged and one for magic. However since all armors give bonus to health, energy and damage there isn’t much difference (although I secretly hope I missed something here), also as far as I remember when you get those path-upgrade choices for crafting weapons and armor you get basically 2 armor sets and about 2 weapons per path, not much variety, also I believe you don’t get to craft guns unless you’re playing as a novakid race.. Sometimes you can find “unique” weapons, which are basically rare and strange in what they do. However I’m not really sure about what makes some of them unique. For example there is a flamethrower that’s considered a unique weapon.

There is also a possibility of making colonies of planets, which allows collection of rent that consists mostly of pixels (currency), plant seeds, healing items, some weapons (usually not good for anything but selling) and possibly some rare cosmetic items. Using specific furniture when building homes for your colonists may yield you some specific ones, like merchants and guards. They also give some quests (about which I will write about later) that may make them available to add to your crew, which sometimes gives you some bonuses (depending on what their class is). But that’s it. You build home, place colony deed in there and *BAM*… colonist. They don’t do anything special, just walk around interact with other colonists. You can’t really do anything with them, and there isn’t much control about what they will give you. It would be nice to assign them some tasks after summoning them. Like miners, woodcutters, farmers, explorers and so on, which would at least have some impact on what their rent will be.

Preformance after launch isn’t the best, many people found out that the game was prone to stuttering and slowdowns even on better machines. But since I basically use a potato to play I’m not going into this argument. However as someone found some elements of the game code could cause slowdowns (like quest tracking, which is supposedly fixed as of time I’m writing this review).

Visuals are as you can see a pixel art style, however some designs I find ridiculous for example higher tier glitch armors look stupid. But on the other hand it’s not bad.
Finally let’s talk about story. I’m not saying that plans to make a specific story to fit each of the player races was a better idea, but I’m not saying it wasn’t. However considering writing of current story it wouldn’t get any better.You basically get a typical save the universe story. Which makes absolutely no sense. The formula for questline is basically this:
1. You look for a clues to get to a premade location.
2. You go to a premade quest location and do what you need to do.
These quest-instances are a mixed bag. Sometimes they are fun, sometimes you wonder why someone thought it was a good idea. In each of these instances you also meet a boss, some of them are fun to fight against and the other are easy or boring. Some also spawn minions which I personally don’t like and view as artificially increasing difficulty of a fight. However when you have a good weapon and a ton of healing items you can pass through these fights easily.

In the end I guess the best thing about this game is the integration of steam workshop and modding which allows some creative people to fix things in game and add variety. However I’m not going to rate a game because some people are willing to upgrade it for free, I am rating a product I paid for.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 284.2 hrs on record )
Posted: July 29
Boy oh boy...
This game... That dev... This community... Community!
Community is so split that Terraria itself falls between two sides!

About game itself- it's not what i paid for.
Ages ago (few eons back) I was getting tired of Terraria, I noticed Starbound. And it had everything I lacked in Terraria:
Survival with temperature differences (that heavy heartbeat when trying to make yourself torch in night to see mobs to kill when trying not to freeze to death- priceless.)
Challenging gameplay.
Big chunk of RNG thrown into almost every aspect of game (random loot tables, random weapon, random monsters, random planets, even dirt and trees were pretty much random and you could collect them.)
Endless exploration (Think of Terraria's Biggest world size- that's only ONE planet, even if not as filled, but only little part of Starbound adventure is covered in that area where whole Terraria takes place.)
Deep story of playable races... Actually at least a bit of history from random books explaining where the hell your player appeared in the first place.
Different races and their racial weaponry and armors together with buildings and applied themes (even it's pretty generic themes) to everything they own (all that racial furniture- lovely.)
Tech like dash, blink (low range teleport), antigravity...
Completely free dual-wield ability, letting you take any two 1H items into your hands separately.
Crafting your distress beacon thinking it will get you some help and getting ambushed by some psycho penguin in saucer with only few hints telling you it might not be the best idea to do without at least few bandages just in case.
And not to mention all the promises game devs had made for many many things like making your own custom towns with a big variety of NPCs, not capped by NPC variety (like Terraria, again), mech that pretty much acted as power suits to bring havoc in more convenient and faster way,
Friendly villages that you can slaughter if your mood tells you so (and because of pretty much infinite nature of generated planets, you don't have to care too much as you can always find more NPC of same kind in other similar planet.)
Actual hunting to survive- because using hunting weapons had bigger chance to get meat and leather- materials essential for early-mid game to keep you from death.
Actual need of 2D action platforming in battles and dungeons.
Ability to customise everything from ship to even redecorating whole planets and towns.
Many vanity items to make yourself look not flashy (Terraria neon-styled lights surrounding top tiers) but actually neo-realistic giving you more of "bounty hunter" than "whatever shines the most is best" feeling.
List could go on and on.

I've been in game on and off, getting my share of few (bit)coins i spent on game and saw how it develop. Saw some nice and some terrible changes happen.

Now, what we really have post-launch?
Dirt, that looks different color until you start digging and getting simple, bland brown, giving you feeling that all planets are same old dirt with paint on it.
Trees that look almost identical on all planets with only few special encounters.
Few special monsters, that you tend to see on almost every planet you see, making monsters on many planets look all the same, behave the same and be in general the same old thing.
No more survival- bright days, only a bit darker nights, completely having no impact on actual gameplay, no more temperature differences, no real hazards at all. Only hunger system that forces you to carry around campfire to cook some meat when you get hungry, Maybe few OP spears for getting said meat.
No more depth in story. Compared to all history we had explained in books (Human home planet being wiped out by mysterious alien forces, Apex fleeing Korea, Avians being nuts about religion, Florans pretty much killing everything on sight with spears and stones, Hylotl being art and style buffs) and everything tied together, now all we got is that player was graduating when Human home planet was destroyed by ancient alien force and had to flee with 1st ship he saw on his way out. Pretty much whole story, as later all you do is just scan some objects while older and more experienced "protector" (who is pretty much what you graduated for) just sit in chair while you do all the chores and after all that, just get presented with already overused mythical beast to kill, while story tells you that some divine power was only capable of sealing it away and giving piece of key to every race (Novakid not included because who cares about uncivilised cowboy people? Florans are way smarter and better at keeping 1/6 of key protecting whole universe than advanced ranged assault weaponry people made from star matter and condensed gas).
No actual reason to even try exploring. Yup, no need to dig down in planets, no need to look for anything. Ore is everywhere, items scattered on ground on random boxes and chests.
Much faster mining than before, making any kind of hill completely trivial as you can just dig straight through.
Some useless generic tech. No antigravity, crippled and useless blink (can't even do it mid-air, where 75% of battle dodges actually takes place if you dual pistols and don't want to get hit). What we got is just double jump, triple jump, bigger jump and rocket boots. Not to mention useless morph ball (straight out Metroid/Sonic ripoffs) and dash tech with optional "upgrade" to be able to do it mid-air.
Illusion you have any right to decide how to play sandbox game. All you decide is either you mine for ore or travel to few stars and get it from boxes. It's pretty sad.
No reason to stay in planet. No actual reason for low-threat planets at all. There is nothing that can be considered a reason to revisit lower level planets.
Making a colony is just for having custom place to get yourself fetch quests. Nothing more. You can pretty much find any town and set yourself flag for fast teleport with almost same reward.
There is no explanation of game. All you can get is book on how to build colony which is pretty much only hinting that it's possibility. We could get more books in starting mission, but now all we have to do is to lean on a bit outdated mess called Official Wiki.

What I think could make game better is if most issues were fixed and disabled features added back. At least most.
For colonisation- making rewards scale by planet difficulty level would make it a bit more interesting. It would make starters build on threatless planets at first, moving to harder-to-survive planets as they progress. Even more, random attacks of at least some bandits would make it more interesting if you had to go defend your towns from other side of galaxy.
Farming would be more interesting, if not all crops could survive on any planet, but instead would require special planet or specially crafted greenhouses to grow.
Improving racial differences would also make some good for game depth. It would be reasonable if Florans would be better with spears while Novakid not only could craft ranged weapons, but also would get some bonus from it.

It feels like game launch was rushed only to get more attention. game itself feels crippled and features that early access backers were promised are long gone. It's not survival space exploration sandbox we all saw. It became into linear 2D platformer with sandbox and survival elements.

Of course, game is build for modding. But it feels that only reason game feels "complete" is only because of modding community, not game itself. Feels like devs wanted to market game engine for modders instead of actual game.

Game itself isn't bad for newcomers. It have SOME story attached, some bland exploration and combat with same monsters over and over again, but it's enjoyable for casual play or with some friends.

On sale, worth it for experience it can offer.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 5.0 hrs on record )
Posted: July 29
Very good game for exploring and finding stuff
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 37.7 hrs on record )
Posted: July 29
5 years worth of development for 5 days worth of content. Lol

Took me just under 30 hours to pretty much beat the game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 82.1 hrs on record )
Posted: July 29
This game rocks, it's like Terraria but... IN SPACE! WOOOOAH! Crazy addictive and now that it's officially released, it just improved even more. The characters are interesting. So is the new included story. In addition to that weapons got a new combat overhaul and battling feels so rewarding. If you don't like action though you can always go back to a roleplaying server and just cosplay the ♥♥♥♥ out of your favorite characters in a beautiful pixelated 2D galaxy.

7,8/10 too much water tho.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 88.3 hrs on record )
Posted: July 29
I've been playing this game since it got released,
i was absolutely amazed, and every update to the game amazed me even more,
and now it left orbit into 1.0, and all my friends are purchasing it as well.
Starbound's community is great, i had incredible adventures and other fun experiences on servers with other players,
and many suggestions players had were fulfilled by the amazing the developers this wonderful game has,
i love this game and it's community, i always have, and i always will.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past day
58 of 81 people (72%) found this review helpful
132.1 hrs on record
Posted: July 28
*TL;DR at the bottom*

Look at the most popular reviews for Starbound and 90% of them are negative even though the overall review is 89% positive. While many of these negative reviews do address issues with the game, I do not think they are giving Starbound enough credit.

"Starbound is space Terraria"
I do not think it is fair to compare Starbound and Terraria. Yes they are both 16-bit adventure/sandbox games, but each plays very differently. Terraria is more about the gameplay and having fun. Starbound is about the experience. This game throws you into a universe and gives your character a story. Each game is fun in its own way. (On a side note I actually like the combat in Starbound a bit better. Terraria's combat is too "arcadey" for me, but that is the appeal of the game for some people).

"Progression is too fast"
I got this game years ago when trying to progress through the game was like trying to swim through maple syrup while handcuffed. I would spend hours looking for enough fuel to jump to the next solar system. Now many people feel that progression is too easy. There is a fine balance between too fast and too slow and it is hard for developers to get it right the first time.

"Interesting things have been removed"
I agree with this to some extent. A while ago there was an update to starbound that added new food and farming mechanics but removed hunger. I was sad because I really liked hunger, but they added hunger back. The devs can always add back old things if they feel like the game needs it. Sure, a lot of cool content was removed, but does anyone mention all of the cool content that was added? Ship upgrading, the outpost, new combat mechanics, etc. Yeah some cool things have been removed, but far more ccol things have been added. Most importantly there is something called modding. If you want temperature back, someone has made a mod for it. Modding can make this game as great as you want it to be.

In the end I think people are more vocal about what is wrong with the game than what is right, and Starbound doesn't deserve that. Does anyone mention the amazing soundtrack or solid 16-bit graphics? Very few. Yes the game needs critizism, every game does. That is what allows a game to become better. Just remember that this game can be a great experience if you don't just focus on the bad.

This game has issues but it also has many great things to offer.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
55 of 85 people (65%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
223.9 hrs on record
Posted: July 28
I wish I could be kinder to this game, but Starbound (a.k.a. Feature Creep: The Official Game Of The Movie) just isn't that great.

Setting aside the farcically protracted development time, the long chain of broken promises from the developers, and the frustrating apologist community that refuses to entertain ANY criticism, the game never rises above being "pretty neat, but impossible to recommend". Planet-hopping in concept is really cool, and as block building-style games go, you have a lot of latitude to create some nice stuff, but much of the rest of the content is fairly vapid, and often only serves as an obstacle or chore that restricts you from exploration unless you participate in it to the game's satisfaction. Once you burn through all of the possible biomes and settlements the game can generate, and maybe build a thing or two, there's very little motivation to continue playing.

The changes from beta feel very much like one step forward and two steps back in terms of tooling the game for fun and player convenience. For example, instead of making mining more enjoyable, ore has just been made more easily available through other avenues for players who want to bypass it, essentially mooting one of the primary gameplay modes. No such luck, though, if you hate the game's combat, because Space Farmin' ain't gonna kill the story bosses for you. In that sense, Starbound is more like a mediocre platformer with a huge amount of padding between levels and an excessive amount of optional sandbox side content. Most of my 200+ hours of playtime are "unearned", in the sense that the majority of them were spent planet-crawling or grinding for resources. In other words, sifting through randomly generated content just trying to find the one thing I needed. So maybe it's more like a sandbox that arms you with a plastic sieve and tells you someone dropped a quarter in it a week ago.

The story itself might charitably be described as "serviceable", but the story missions are garbage. You can't build or dig anywhere to stop you from "cheating", but Starbound's combat and platforming are too shallow and unrefined to stand on their own, not to mention the fact that the mission maps are SO poorly optimized that I consistently crash out unless I run the game in a tiny window, despite exceeding the minimum requirements. In fact, I have to regularly save & quit every hour or so because there seems to be a memory leak issue where my graphics get corrupted. Did I mention you can sometimes irretrievably lose all of your teleporter bookmarks for no reason, a bug that has persisted for over a year? Seems like something you'd probably want to prioritize for release.

A game like this lives and dies on novelty, which is fine, but the path to that novelty is gated by tedious, uninventive resource grinding and weak action platforming that runs contrary to the developers' insistent sandbox rhetoric. Copy on the official website claims that Starbound allows you to "create your own story" (unless you're playing a Novakid, who are completely excluded from the main storyline and still have no settlements, OOPS) and that there is "no wrong way to play!", both of which are patently untrue with the way the player is constantly shackled to tutorials and story quests that only have one "right answer" and staunchly refuse to let you think outside the box. There is no story or win state outside of playing the game exactly the way the developers intended, and for a game like this that promised so much and delivered on so little of it, that is quite unfortunate. Not only is the decision to make platforming and combat the "core" gameplay experience misguided, it seems totally arbitrary, considering planet generation is clearly what had the most work put into it.

At this point, the game cannot be "fixed" with more content, balance tweaks or fan mods. What it needed was a more focused and unified development cycle, and a team that actually listened to player feedback instead of insisting that being able to play a flute in space was more important than releasing on time, and that ship has sailed.
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22 of 33 people (67%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
159.8 hrs on record
Posted: July 28
I loved this game, and I can't recommend it now. Now, before this gets written off as just another ♥♥♥♥♥♥ off reviewer because "they broke my game," I just wanna point out some things that were better before and for some reason are gone:

-Planets: Oh. My. God. Why did they make planets boring now? There used to be a randomizer for planets so you had a reason to explore and try to find the planet type you wanted with the weather you wanted in order to settle down for fun. Now you just run through the same few planet archetypes and be done with it. There's no fun in discovering a new planet now. Each one is the same as the last with minor variations.

-Monsters: Monster variety is gone. They did away with the randomizer and instead added biome specific mobs and kept in a couple of random monster parts, but not many.

-Crafting: Not a lot changed with crafting, except that they reduced what you could craft. Every crafting tier has only 2 weapons now. To make matters worse, everyone crafts the same weapons with endgame materials.

-The story: It's not so much epic as just a thing you do. It's not even needed to progress through planets of different difficulty. You could play the game and do anything you want without ever needing to touch the quests past the beginning ones (which are necessary to fix your ship). There's just no point to it.

-Random quests: Not. Random. Have fun running back and forth random locations looking for an NPC that the questgiver lost. Or you have to go deliver a thing. There's no actual randomness it's just those 2. At least as far as I saw and I've gone through like 100 planets.

And apparently there was a thing with pets but I have no experience so I can't comment on whether good or bad.

TL; DR: The game has a bunch of things that were gutted and are no longer fun. Because of this I can't recommend it as is. There are fun elements, but you'll soon be bored of planet exploration, which was the point of the game to begin with.

I recommend people on the fence just wait for more updates to add more stuff, and maybe even revamp some (looking at you planets. So disappointed). Otherwise it's just a normal sandbox. Dig, craft, build, fight. There used to be a great game and I believe there's one still.
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51 of 88 people (58%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
44.6 hrs on record
Posted: July 28
This game completely trashes its own potential.

-Story is dogshit, feels super rushed, replaying feels like a ♥♥♥♥ing chore
-No racial traits whatsoever.
-Lack of content after YEARS of development.
-Building houses serves zero purpose, all you need is your ship.
-Bosses are crap overall, no challenge, no good music (same song is used in like 4 bossfights), no good visuals.
-Where's the interaction with NPCs? All you can do is mash E to get random ♥♥♥♥♥♥ responses.
-No ammo for firearms, instead it eats your energy. A very dumb system, in a game like this what you would want is sustained fire.
-Mob variety is poorly done, you can meet slimes that you find on your first forest planet on a radioactive snowy planet later on, i don't think it would be hard to add more enemies after years and years of development considering that most enemies are reskins anyway.
-Death animations are... what the ♥♥♥♥?
-NPC settlements are the same across every planet, a floran village in a jungle biome is no different from a floran village on a scorched planet with extremely hot temperatures, even the NPCs look the same (no protective gear)
-Exploring is a joke, you just walk left/right for 15-20 minutes, might come across a village that you pillage because once again there is no interaction with the NPCs. ♥♥♥♥s sake, they don't even react to theft.
-Vehicles are poorly designed, the terrain was also not made for them. You keep bumping into things and you have to build bridges to drive over gaps with your scooter bike thing, on sea you always need to get out of your boat, cross the island, spawn it once again, rendering boats pretty much useless - you might as well just swim. Also no submarines or anything to be able to travel fast underwater.
-No jetpacks/anything that provides airborne mobility. You'd expect things like this in a SPACE THEMED game, but still there is literally nothing of the kind.
-"Novakid" have zero lore, despite the promised "full integration into game's lore"
-Very few quests, NPC quests "fetch this kill that" are ♥♥♥♥ing disgusting
-Co-op is bad, there is never enough loot for two people, let alone THREE people (and we had the pleasure to play as FOUR)

Chucklefish, sell this game to someone more competent.
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52 of 90 people (58%) found this review helpful
18 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
35.3 hrs on record
Posted: July 27
"Find Clues to Locate the Floran Artifact"

The words reverberated in my skull, haunting me hours after I first saw them. No, it wasn't because this was the 4th fetch quest i've done in a few hours, and no, it was also neither the crushing defeat of having to use the poorly implemented scan function, but instead it was the realization that this was the first quest I would have on my own. Until now, the world of starbound had held my hand to a sickening degree, and finally it's letting me roam the world free. Shouldn't I have been excited? That's what I initially thought, but slowly it sunk in that I had no idea how rough or perilous the generation of these "Floran Artifacts" would be, and I had an entire universe to explore.

Eventually, I got over it. Once upon a time, I had an exploration on a planet called "Terraria", and even though it's graphics were bad and pixels too large, it taught me that sometimes it was more about the experience than the destination. So I applied that to Starbound, and let the universe take me where it wanted to go. So to the ship's console I went, and I ended up exploring the star systems for quite some time. Nothing popped out at me, everything seemed to be a copy pasted description and randomly generated name- I really should see if S.A.I.L can come up with something more original. But eventually I found something quite extraordinary- an "Ancient Gateway" orbiting the Al Thaliman Waste star. Could this be a portal to a challenging land full of epic loot? Or some sort of summoning circle to spawn a giant beast of great importance? My Hylotl feelers quivered in anticipation.

But the more immediate problem was fuel. This star system was a far ways away, as ancient gateways weren't exactly common... And I needed 500 fuel to get there. Sending my ship to the nearest moon pronto, I then realized that I had never been on a moon before. I crafted a backpack that allowed me to breathe in space, so the lack of atmosphere wasn't a problem, and the lack of immediate-kill-fall-damage was really refreshing. I explored around the moon, collecting mcguffin ore, when I had realized that there was nothing TO explore. Maybe it was a bit hopeful of me to assume something deep and exciting would happen on a place so desolate, but the only thing I found was the ghost from bubble bobble, which proved to be nary a threat if I went slightly faster than a slow jog. But to put it short- if there is literally no point to moons other than to tediously mine a resource, why are they even in the ga- I mean universe?

After collecting my fuel needed, I finally blasted off. I was so excited, but kept a reminder in the back of my head that thus far, there was nothing interesting or enjoyable about my experience exploring the stars thus far. But maybe this was the start? As I walked up the steps of the ancient gateway, the air started to hum in an epic chord. This is it. This is what I had been waiting for. I put my 20 core shards in and it prompted me to teleport to an unknown destination, and so I did...

...Right back to the outpost you get at the start of the game. Next to me was the smug granny in a floating wheelchair, expecting me to give her my useless scan information that would likely lead to my next fetch-quest. Was this a glitch in the universe? A mistake? I pulled up my space-watch and checked the Universal Wikipedia, and sure enough, Ancient Gateways had no other use at all "Thus Far". Disgruntled, I kicked a can down at the penguin who wanted me to help beat an impossible UFO and retreated back to my ship.

I visited many other planets nearby to help get my mind off the sour experience. I went to an ocean planet, which was probably my favourite experience in this entire journey. Falling to the sea floor and finding abandoned underwater cities was no doubt a thrilling experience. Of course, like everything else in starbound, it was empty and desolate and full of crates with swords and gear only slightly better than what I already owned. I went to a radiation planet to get durasteel for upgrades to my furnace, and there I found a ton of eyeballs and monsters that dealt extremely high damage to me despite being the exact same monsters I fought 20 minutes previous. Maybe the radiation on the planet inflated their "Artificial Difficulty" values in their DNA to extremely high levels? I shuddered at the thought of the same happening to me if I didn't have this protective suit. I also visited a ton of forest planets, what the woman in the wheelchair recommended to me, and didn't find any floran artifacts. I did however, find an avian airship, and stole all of their stuff while none of them cared.

Bored, depressed, and without direction, I sat in my overly cramped spaceship and wished of home. Since you bounce around from star to star so often, there is literally no point to making a home base- leaving everything you need cramped up in your ship with no obviously apparent way to make your ship bigger. I found a bunch of crafting recipies for making stuff like doors and chairs, and that only made me long a proper bed and breakfast more than sleeping on the cold floor of my spaceship since I can't even fit a proper bed. I pondered on things. Was the fish that greeted me whenever I woke up laughing at me because I spent 17 dollars space-canadian on this miserable trainwreck of a ship? Was the granny sending me out to desolate wastelands with nothing interesting on them to do tedious quests just to show me the inevitability of life being meaningless? No. I had to prove them wrong.

I set my space ship to go to a firey star. Orbiting these stars were the most dangerous planets out there, scorched wastelands and burning cinders full of dangerous life (apparently). Also with this came great riches, namely Solarium, Violium, and Aegisalt. I didn't bother crafting upgrades to my anvil to do anything with these, but at least they'd look pretty in my ship once I smelt them into bars! "WARNING: TEMPERATURE EXTREMELY H-" I ignored S.A.I.L's warnings. It was a useless annoying machine anyways. But lord, it was hot down there. I could feel my feet burning as soon as I beamed down, slowly dying even though my spamming of medpacks. Looking around was an abandoned destroyed city, with raiders everywhere shooting at me. This was it, excitement at last! My health slowly sapping, I considered retreat- but reminded myself of the tedious ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥t I would have to go through just to craft the equipment to come back safely. I pressed on, dodging bullets and opening crates... Realizing that this was the exact same thing I had been doing this entire time. Distracted by this thought, a stray shot hit me in the back. I was on the edge of life and death, burning alive as the hot metal scorched into my back, vision slowly blurring as I screamed out my final words in pain and agony...

♥♥♥♥ you, Chucklefish!

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61 of 108 people (56%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
394.9 hrs on record
Posted: July 28
I can recommand this game to people I know. But i cannot publicly endorse this game anymore.

It took 5 years to CF to ruin the game bits by bits.

Hold your spite greasy fanboy, because i'm not writing this lightly. Sure right now the game may be good for someone who just drop-in and never played the alpha when they first released it. But if you did play the alpha and try to get back in the game now like i did, i bet there is a high chance you'll go full "where's my fun gone ?" like i did.

Oh sure, it's no good to generalise things. Many people will be satisfied with it. Good for them.
And here's my reasons why CF destroyed what was a great game ;

---The story is bad. And you should feel bad. ---

It's pointless. There is no build up, no meanings, you litteraly can't risk or loose anything, boss AI is "♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ Ape" lvl and it can all be done in less than 3h. I couldn't care less about the npcs even tho i tried a lot.
I know this is not the most important feature in a sandbox game but why do something silly and pointless that have no meanings or impacts when you could use that time to implement more things or boost others part of the game ?

You know what i liked in the alpha ? If you wanted to know what the hell was happening you had to scavenge codexs or talk to npcs to get informations. Why not keep it that way ? Why try to push us to be "the hero" when there is so little in play ? Why not having "The ruin" ♥♥♥♥ up other planets across the universe so you really have a reason to go through the underwelming 30 lines of quests called "Story" ?

That whole story thing is a total waste because it lack depths. It is minimalistic to the point it's irritating.

---The sectors system was good. ---

Yep it was. It added a sense of progress through the game. You had to "upgrade" if you wanted to go deeper into space.
Now you just need to upgrade that cheap EPP and ... Tada.
I've got the best armor and weapons to go with it, i upgraded everything, so what now ? Well, nuffin'.

It felt good to "go to sector X" knowing that ♥♥♥♥ will get serious there. Now the map feel dull. Boring. Flat. Worst; unimaginative. I don't even want to scroll through it because i don't feel like it. The feeling of "I want to explore that forbidden path now that the *ù^*ù% boss is dead" is gone.

Maybe it's just me but having sectors was a really good thing and a logical one. It added so much "depth" to the whole thing even tho it was just a hollow depth it was here. Now when i scroll the map i'm just "meh".

---The "cheap" ship upgrade thingy.---

Hah! How pathetic. How weak to make upgrading your ship a pixel grindfest. You know who use such ways ? MMO's do. Just to keep you playing it till you got the shiny peeble you want. Grind. GRIND YOU MONKEY ! YOU WANT TEH BIG SHEEP ? GRIND THAT ♥♥♥♥.

It's so desastrous that in a sandbox game where there is SO MANY items that could be used for upgrade instead of being fckng useless what you need to get for a better "home" (since the ship is your first home so to speak) is the main currency. Oh yeah, and those purple box you find everywhere.

I guess this is how lazy you can get after 5 years of developping while people lick your butt everyday telling you you're doing good rekting something beautifull.

I'm not even mad. I'm amazed at how opportunities are wasted here.

---The quests system---

I did like 10 quests before it almost drove me mad to ALWAYS DO THE SAME STUPID "FETCHING" THING.
Fetching. Another thing you guys took from MMO's.
This is horrible. The worst part is that the rewards are terribly game breaking. Thanks to this system i almost never had to actually mine my ressources. I actually like doing quests in the game i play. But AGAIN there is no meanings. No impacts. You just go your bag full of ressources and that's all.

I can see people arguing "This is for people that doesn't want to mine but do quests and progress". Well, you're dumb. It's like buying Terraria for it's storyline.

Whoever thought it was a good system/good idea have little to no knowledge at all about how to do a good game.
The way it is it just feel like "hey look you can do quests for the npcs now lolz :))))))"
Welcome to the future of ten years ago.

---Hunger / Weather---

Huehue. Food everywhere.
Huehue. cheap EPP upgrade.

There is no way to die of starvation unless you really try.
There is no more problems with hot/cold when you upgrade your EPP.
Those two features are dead.
End of story.

Did someone say "Laziness" ?


I could go on and on about maaaany things that are broken/stupids/out of place but what i pointed out already are the main reasons i don't think i'm gonna play Starbound much anymore.

So, what happened ? Where's the fun at ? Well i guess it's up to you to find your own fun when playing such game.
Don't get me wrong, the game is "good" by the actual standarts of the gaming world ... But that's all. It will never go above average unless you start modding it.

The reason i won't support this game anymore is because i was here when it started and i know from what base Starbound evolved from. Sure it had plenty of bugs and broken things here and here. But most of it was really great, the ideas were golden and they turned them to copper.
I was a diehard fan of the game to the point i pushed my friends to keep playing it even when it became obvious that CF was gonna put the game into deep sleep.

But time's a joy killer. And here we are, 5 years after with what i consider the ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ little brother of what could've been a monument to gaming.

Actual vanilla game's good. But will never be "great". Not until you mod it.
And after more than 5 years of developpment it's ... Not good at all.

The lack of depth, meanings ... It kill the concept of "sandboxing". Why bother doing anything when nothing have any value ? Why should i bother grinding hours and hours to build a colony that will be completely lifeless ?
Some people will have fun doing it. Again, good for them. But the potential here is wasted. It will never flourish to the maximum of the capability it was so close to achieve back then. And it's a damn shame.

Here's my two cents about a game i really enjoyed and put much hopes into and that died prematurely at the hands of people i will certainly never put any trust in ever again. *insert gif of CF wiping tears with chunk of money*
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18 of 28 people (64%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
49.2 hrs on record
Posted: July 28
I can't recommend this game. I have been playing it and trying to have fun, but I'm just not. It's too grindy. Mining takes forever and it isn't fun. The monsters look great, they all look different, but they all act exactly the same, and combat isnt fun either. There are a ton of weapons, but just holding a spear out and poking things to death is the best thing to combat the real monster: lag. The world loading is slow as well, once you get the sprint ability you will outrun the world gen and you might as well not have been sprinting. The movement in the game is painful, double jump feels heavy.

The game is beautiful, it is fun seeing the towns and cities that you encounter, even though they are just set pieces. They have no depth. I also want a reason to build something. There are so many blocks and so much potential, but I'd rather just shove everything in a chest in my ship and just place the crafting stations down. I want to have fun with this game. I want to love it. I had more fun when it first came to steam a few years ago. I hope the devs will continue working on it and make the game fun, because it definitely has the potential and the bones of a fun game, but the implementation right now is dull. The game just isn't very fun right now.
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30 of 51 people (59%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
48.1 hrs on record
Posted: July 28
I'm sorry to say, I'm one of those people for whom it runs like absolute garbage. My system exceeds the recommended reqs and can handle much more visually appealing games (e.g. Skyrim), yet here I can't even get a steady 30fps. Something is seriously wrong, and it's not just me, it happens across a variety of systems for other people too, while others with modest specs get great performance. As far as I'm concerned though, the game runs worse now than when I bought it 3 years ago. That's how long I waited for the prophesied optimization patch, and it has been an absolute flop in my case.
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34 of 60 people (57%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
346.9 hrs on record
Posted: July 28
They completely ruined the game by removing all the fun mobility mechanics and racial weapons.
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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
10.8 hrs on record
Posted: July 27
On top of the fact that it's so bug ridden I can't even get off the menu nowadays, this game had quite a confusing starting game, and as many have said; features have been cut without reason.

The developers should be working on fixing game breaking bugs instead of.. whatever they're doing.
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