As a space bear, human or any other race, venture forth into the galaxy, create custom ships, conquer new worlds, build new colonies and defend your very existence against those who would take what is yours.
User reviews: Mixed (992 reviews)
Release Date: Apr 26, 2013
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Packages that include this game

Buy Iceberg Interactive - Cool as Ice Bundle

Includes 5 items: Gas Guzzlers Extreme, Horizon, Nuclear Dawn, StarDrive, Starpoint Gemini 2


Recommended By Curators

"Fun Single-player Sci-fi 4x\Realtime game heavily inspired by Masters of Orion, made by a single developer featuring a deep ship customization system."
Read the full review here.


“When you finally uncover the secrets to ancient alien technology or build a frigate that wins a deep space battle, StarDrive provides a sense of accomplishment few games can.”
73 – GameInformer

“Some omissions and flaws, but balanced by excellent alien races and ship design. A welcome addition to the crew.”
78 – PC Gamer

“I love that StarDrive’s master lists of ships and planets can be sorted by any column, making it easy to find the largest nearby planet or ships in your fleet that are costing you the most in maintenance.”
70 – Machinima

About This Game

StarDrive sets a new benchmark for the ‘4X Space Strategy’ genre. Starting with a single planet and a small number of space-worthy vessels, you must venture forth into the galaxy, conquer new worlds, build new colonies and defend your very existence against those who would take what is yours. How you play is your decision. Use diplomacy or brute force. Trade, spy and research your way to galactic domination. Make friends, or create mortal enemies…

The heart of StarDrive is its ship design and combat engine.

StarDrive takes a modular approach to ship design, allowing the player to create custom ships where the composition and placement of ship modules really matters to the performance of a ship.. In combat, if your portside armour is taking a beating, then rotate around and show them the starboard side! Hide behind a friendly capital ship’s shields; warp into and out of the fray, launch fighters, lay mines, and so much more.

Key Features

  • Real time gameplay with a seamless zoom from a grand strategic view to a close-up action view
  • Choose from 8 beautifully rendered alien races or design your own to lead into the stars; interact, negotiate and forge allegiances on your way to victory
  • Expand your empire and colonize all kinds of planets, terraform and populate them and build them into specialized centers of trade or industry
  • Research and unlock an array of technologies to improve your military and industrial capabilities
  • Control your ships with classic real time strategy commands or jump into the fray by taking direct ‘arcade’ control of any ship in your empire
  • Create your unique ship designs with the modular ship design system and determine your own fate in battle
  • Create custom fleet formations and set rules of engagement in the easy-to-use fleet editor
  • Steal technologies, incite rebellions, or rob your enemies blind with a rich agent-based espionage system
  • Deploy ground troops from orbit to defeat the enemies’ last planetary defenses in ground combat
  • Explore the rich universe that comes alive with random events, remnant elements, hidden treasures, deep space terrors and late-game threats

System Requirements

    • OS:Windows XP
    • Processor:Intel® Pentium® IV 2.4 GHz or AMD 3500+
    • Memory:3 GB RAM
    • Graphics:NVIDIA® GeForce 8800 or ATI Radeon® X1900
    • Hard Drive:2 GB HD space
    • Additional:Please Note: integrated Intel graphic card/chips not supported
    • OS:Windows 7
    • Processor:2.4 GHz Dual Core Processor or Better
    • Memory:4 GB RAM
    • Graphics:NVIDIA® GeForce 8800 or ATI Radeon® X1900 or better
    • DirectX®:9.0c
    • Hard Drive:2 GB HD space
    • Additional:Please Note: integrated Intel graphic card/chips not supported
Helpful customer reviews
202 of 214 people (94%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
17.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 18, 2014
Sometimes you find a game for $1.00 on HumbleBundle and think why not, I'll give it a shot. What's the worst that could happen? It sucks and you're out a dollar? Don't be a fool. Listen to me, I used to be like you...naive. I paid the dollar, positively gitty at my thrifty yet philanthropic purchase, but I discovered there are far worse fates than not liking the game. Oh yes, much to my dismay, I learned you could absolutely LOVE the game. Specifically, I learned that someone, some magical gameweaver of a developer, had somehow discovered a way to craft all of my 4x RTS dreams into one perfect game.

Imagine having all this only to find out after hours of gameplay that the mystical Dev had just M. Night Shyamalan'ed your ♥♥♥ by abandoning the game deep in development, leaving gamebreaking glitches unpatched, and giggling all the way to the bank with your hopes and dreams. Now there will forever be a void in my heart where the finished version of this game should be. I would've rather spent my dollar on paying someone to kick me in the balls. At least that paid would go away eventually.

To be fair, I'm only whining because I love what this game could've been. Wasting that much potential should be a crime. The finished, patched version would have been one of the best 4x games of all time. Unfortunately this game was abandoned to begin development on a sequel that will be turn-based, not real time, and therefore more of a completely different game than a sequel. While I love turn-based strategy, the RTS version of this game is the one I wanted and now I will never be able to play a polished version of it. As such, I simply can not recommend it.
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76 of 80 people (95%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
60.0 hrs on record
Posted: February 7
The game has a good concept, the ship designer is fantastic. However, the game is NOT FINISHED. The author abandoned it to work on a sequel instead of finishing what he started.

The game is missing:

Any meaningful construction on planets.

Detailed Tech Trees.

Balanced 4x elements (it's very easy to break balance on spies in particular, and impossible to do well on high difficulties without large spy bonuses really).

Proper debugging.


Although if this game had been finished it could have been very good, it has not been, and I would NEVER buy another product from the same author. If you're interested in this game, I would consider pirating it, getting a copy from a friend, or some other method that avoids paying the author. The ship designer is still fun to play with as long as you install one of the large mods that adds in a lot of the content that the game is missing.
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68 of 76 people (89%) found this review helpful
26.1 hrs on record
Posted: January 2
This game would definately be better if the developer would not have given up. The game itself had great potential, good design and was set to be one of the best games of the year. However when the developers refuse to listen to the player base, and backers, the game just goes to crap. Would only recommend this game if they finish it.
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65 of 76 people (86%) found this review helpful
25.8 hrs on record
Posted: December 30, 2014
I tried to like this game. I really did. It has so many good components and felt like such good potential.
Alas after several attempts it felt very samey. The AI is rubbish and the game itself still feels uncompleted.
If I didn't know any better I'd swear it was still in Beta development. From what I can tell there won't be any more patches
to this game so this is as much as you can hope for.

If it comes up for 90% off and you spend no more than 3 EUR then maybe consider it. Otherwise avoid.
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59 of 67 people (88%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
15.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 27, 2014
This game is the reason i never buy early access content anymore.
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44 of 48 people (92%) found this review helpful
48.6 hrs on record
Posted: December 28, 2014
If you didn't know that the game was abandoned by the devs midway through actually finishing it, then you'd think it was a great game.
I know I did.
This could have been a great game, and it makes me sad to know that what was promised will never be.
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40 of 45 people (89%) found this review helpful
66.9 hrs on record
Posted: April 9
So after a long while this Dev releases, of what should have been StarDrive in the first place, StarDrive 2.
If you purchased StarDrive before the 'release/abandoning' you will certainly feel screwed over, below is written as to why.

He has abandoned and called the first StarDrive 'finished' himself (despite all the criticism, which he immediately removes stating 'I got a little carried away trying to clean the forums up.') only so he can release the game a second(!) time in a more finished state. (
The game that StarDrive should have been in the first place.

The developer has gone as far as to excluding all criticism only to be put in 'one single topic' giving us the reason of 'I think it is a better approach to provide a single thread for people to vent in rather than to just delete repetitive threads.'
(here's the topic, )
That's right, one topic to ignore. The rest will simply be removed. Just one topic he has to avoid, makes things simple for him doesn't it.

Any form of (constructive) criticism is replied with 'If you feel cheated by StarDrive, kindly scroll up to the upper right portion of your browser screen and click the "Logout" button. I don't want to hear it.' and/or removed.

This is why steam early access is a dangerous thing, you can't get your money back when the developer(s) fail to forfill their promises that they advertised the product with in the first place.

Stay away from this Dev and publisher, atleast that is my opinion and what I recommend.
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35 of 40 people (88%) found this review helpful
42.2 hrs on record
Posted: January 21
This game showed promise. It really could have been a fantastic game, yet the problems with the final product force me to not recommend it.

A game match cannot be completed reasonably. Towards the end game there are huge framerate issues/lag that literally bring all ship movement to a near halt . Lots of good gameplay aspects, unfortunately the game is unfinished. Quests are incomplete, ship models are not implemented for some races(The wolf race), and the developer has no intention of finishing/fixing it. What boggles my mind is the developers decision to make a sequel. How could anyone reasonably expect the sequel to be any more of a complete product than this ?

I cannot reccomend this game as it was personally dissapointing for me, the developer is incompetent/Shady ,and this is not a finished product.

Don't waste your money.
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26 of 30 people (87%) found this review helpful
13.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 29, 2014
This is a good game to play, when it works. Its stability issues make it a killjoy... And it appears to have been abandoned by the developer for the next version, which I won't be buying based on my experience with this game.
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22 of 24 people (92%) found this review helpful
44.1 hrs on record
Posted: February 2
I am marking this as a no recommendation, and it hurts me to do so.

The game is awesome, and it is a lot of fun to play. I have played it numerous times, attacked the game in different angles each time, being different races, building my ships differently each time. But the thing is there have been no updates, no work shop allowance to make it more customizable, not even DLC, not even a shred of a furthering of the game to make it a step above the other games that are of the same ilk.

I hate that I am marking it as a negative review, but my love for this game wore out with the fact that it has been the same game wit nothing added to it since I bought it. With this game type there need to be some kind of additions or updates to make it worthwhile to play. Throw me a curve ball, give me something to make me want to play it more, but it hasn't happened.

Buy it if you want, but in the long run, it doesnt hold my attention anymore.
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17 of 20 people (85%) found this review helpful
19.9 hrs on record
Posted: January 11
Was a promising game, got it cheap so I didn't care, but I advertised it with some friends and I feel bad right now. I virtually shelved it in my library and waited patiently for good updates to come but they never did, and the game was released unfinished, development was stopped and the dev got away with all the money.

Now he's making a 'sequel' which I know I won't be buying unless the recommendation ratings are 90% and above, which is unlikely.

A lot of promised features are not present, even some existing features are not fully completed. The game runs bad on my rig after a long session. Visuals are good, but that's about it. Browsing the forums and checking it out again recently, it seems that modders are still trying to make the game work, which is nice, but I still wouldn't recommend it to newcomers.

Thank god I still have GalCiv 2 and GalCiv 3 soon

I don't blame the Early Access model, it's there for games like Kerbal Space Program, in which I would lose approx. 1000 hours of fun if it the model hadn't existed. For games like Minecraft, Starbound, Arma 3, GalCiv 3, etc

In the future I would be more careful about buying early access games unless the ratings are 90% Positive and above, and the game is already feature complete, Thanks Enhanced Steam for that extra data! ratings right now are 48% positive 52% negative, bad.
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17 of 21 people (81%) found this review helpful
4.2 hrs on record
Posted: December 5, 2014
StarDriver offers okay Visual with simi-impressive animation. StarDrive offers very basic and limited gameplay. Developer (Zero) made several promises for the game, raked all the $$$, abandoned this game and started to work on second version of this game. Very poor updates from developer as they abandoned the game before fixing minor and major issues. Fans of 4x might consider Endless Space or Sins of Solar Empire. Steam does offer very good collection of other 4x games from far better developers. StarDrive is not worth my time or money. StarDrive worst 4x Game in Steam Inventory.

Hopefully their Second Game does not suffer from same issues and broken promises.

Not Recommended!
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16 of 20 people (80%) found this review helpful
1.7 hrs on record
Posted: January 3
Very not player friendly- the tutorial video is not polished, and recommends you to READ the rest of the game mechanic- yeah, also no actual ingame while in progress tutorial either, it makes me don't want to play

This game looks so complex that tutorial is needed and they're just not up to par

Also I found out this game has been abandoned when it's not actually finished?! Yay! \o/

Good this I got this as part of a bundle instead of paying full price
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12 of 13 people (92%) found this review helpful
96.6 hrs on record
Posted: January 17
It pains me to admit but I don't recommend this game.

I'm coming up 100 played on this game and I will probably play more as personally I enjoy playing StarDrive but I can not in good conscience recommend buy this title to even my vile enemies. Unless its on Sale, then it may be worth it if you enjoy this type of game. If I we're you however, right now considering buy StarDrive, I would spend my money of Galactic Civilation 3. It's the same game has this, in fact I would say this game is a bad copy of Gal Civ 2 which is a 'banging' game, although not as graphically nice as StarDrive gameplay is so much better. So if you can afford it Gal Civ 3. if you want to save money gal civ 2. Anything but StarDrive.

Right, so I've had a rant but objectively what wrong with the game. Weirdly not alot. It crashes for time to time normally because I'm tabbing out but autosaves stops that from been a big issue, and few minute roll back max is not really anything to get worked up over. The AI is bad, there are times that it seems slow and dumb, not even able to get off the starting planet. Other time as soon as they make contact they declare war and within 5 mins I have two invasion fleets heading to two different systems, this with the first 20mins of the game. I suppose you could agrue a degree of dynamic realism with the AI but it doesn't feel like that it just seems break. Hypo active somethings and hyper active other times never a good balance. The Gameplay is very long but that not really a fault of the game, more the genre. The tech tree is a bit bland as it's a standard tech tree discuss what race you play has.

In final conclusion; I enjoy playing the game, it has some nice features to it and a good about of variety when it come to ship design and weapons. However the game feels unfinished whenever I play Stardrive I have fun but i'm not satified and its for that reason I can't recommend it.

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11 of 12 people (92%) found this review helpful
6.1 hrs on record
Posted: February 12
An almost excellent recreation of the legendary Master of Orion 2, sadly marred by the poor user interface, AI, and performance. The developer has completely abandoned stardrive to make a sequel, rather than fixing the current problems. I want to recommend this game; because it has a lot of potential, but sadly this game will never truly shine. The modding scene significantly helps the game, but it is not enough to keep it playable and enjoyable.
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7 of 8 people (88%) found this review helpful
22.6 hrs on record
Posted: February 14
I'm thinking the developers company was was aptly named seeing how this is unfinished product.
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8 of 10 people (80%) found this review helpful
32.4 hrs on record
Posted: February 6
Bought it in preorder because it said "multiplayer"
after some months multiplayer was removed.

It's a good and very Fun game to play singleplayer.. but come on its 2015... multiplayer shouldn't even be an "option" to any game today it should be a core feature of every game..

and now the dev is doing the exact same thing again..
SD2 was anounced to be build in a different engine to support MP
and no i read MP has been cancled AGAIN..

srsly this is worse than EA games.

ah and after this review and a post about multiplayer
this happend ->
Sorry, some kind of error has occurred: The settings on this account do not allow you to add comments.
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10 of 14 people (71%) found this review helpful
1.8 hrs on record
Posted: December 23, 2014
Very good ideas for a 4x strategy, but the interface is horrible, and overall quality is that of late beta.
And worst part is that currently developers are not fixing or improving the game anymore, they spend income on working on sequel (they were last time I checked)

So don't buy, don't support such swinish attitude towards gamers,
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10 of 14 people (71%) found this review helpful
1.8 hrs on record
Posted: December 18, 2014
I had to search and download unofficial fixes for the game because the developer deserted the game.
Fun concept tho.
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10 of 14 people (71%) found this review helpful
11.0 hrs on record
Posted: December 23, 2014
Game is incomplete and already abandoned for a sequel.
Smallest tech tree ever.
Poor interface and empire management.
Poor fleet management.
Pointless manual ship control for lack of decent ship ai.
terrible game tutorial.

Basically feels like an alpha release.
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