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.
Release Date: Apr 26, 2013
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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.

Reviews

“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

    Minimum:
    • 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
    Recommended:
    • 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
493 of 551 people (89%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
1.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 18, 2014
This game was never actually finished before it was abandoned by the developer so that he could start work on a second game. The store page continued to promote features that were never implemented for months after it was clear that they were never going to be added to the game. Making matters worse, the developer has demonstrated extremely bad judgment when interacting with customers that shows a lack of professionalism. This combined with a loyal but rabid fan base make this game a toxic property that is best avoided.
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236 of 265 people (89%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
39.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 20, 2014
StarDrive has a wonderful design and is a 4x game with great playability and potential.

The game has one fundamental flaw ... it tends to lock up and crash deep into a game ... I have yet to get to "Finish" a game.

Until this game gets debugged I cannot recommend it at all.

0/10
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200 of 226 people (88%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
8.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 6, 2014
Purchased in early access shortly before official release. Watched patiently, hoping the game would be finished as promised. It was not finished.
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149 of 167 people (89%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
91.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 11, 2014
I waited long to write this review as this game had huge potential.
It is amazing work considering that it was all made by just one person. Unfortunately that person moved on and never finished this game.
You can custom built and constantly upgrade your space ships and watch them perform in battle. Which is quite addictive. It could have been so good. Unfortunately, many game mechanics are broken and will never get fixed. Trade ships don't work properly which will render your population starving despite having a food surplus. Mikromanaging it all is possible to some extent, but those settings are lost once you load a game. Pathfinding, AI and diplomacy are rubbish together with a minimalistic story line. Overall I sadly can only advise to stay away from this unfinished broken product...
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138 of 166 people (83%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
2.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 4, 2014
It could have been good but it was never finished and will never be finished.

Avoid and only buy if it stinks below $5.
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100 of 119 people (84%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
41.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 20, 2014
The game is great, and performs tolerably for the size of the developer and time spent on it. Why do I not recommend it? Your money will encourage the developer, after abandoning this project before completion of promised features or Kickstarter goals, to continue bailing on commitments because of their own poor decision making.

I eagerly await StarDrive 3, but only when it is pitched to a major publisher, who in turn puts someone of their own, with experience on bigger titles, as project lead.
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80 of 93 people (86%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
3.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 20, 2014
Remove content from the game and call it 1.0, leave lategame an unplayable resource-hogging grindfest, take the money and start development on a new game - these are the practices of our time.
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71 of 87 people (82%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
268.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 16, 2014
Forgoing all my past issues with the game, I'm going to focus on one specific feature that is missing.

Ingame, deletable, saves.

The code for such is already in the game, with one being able to delete custom ship designs, but you can't delete your saves.

And depending on how much you play, the space taken up by the saves can get rather large. And given that you have to do through a, by default, hidden folder to reach the saves directory then not everyone is going to know how to manually delete them.

I've wiped my saves folder a few times. The first was after Pre-Warp mode was released. I wiped three gigs of save files. The next was after I decided to start using Tech Level Mod, and I wiped 2 gigs worth of save files. Eventually, I wiped those saves out as well clearing out roughly 3 gigs of space.

I wiped my save folder again recently, hadn't done it for a long time, and got rid of 6.3 gigs worth of saves. Counting all these saves, I had roughly 14.5 gigs worth.

That's practically the size of a completely new game. And if I didn't know how to reach the saves folder, I'd have never thought about cleaning the folder out because well... how large can something as simple as save files get?

Given how much space you can eventually rack up in saves, it's rather sad that Stardrive doesn't include a easier way to get rid of them.
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65 of 86 people (76%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
0.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 28, 2014
developer abaondoned this to anounce stardrive 2 without ever finishing many of the in game functions and content. my system could start the game, but many of my friends could not even get it to start. their posts in the dev forums went as problem solved. there is a huge memory problem that causes a crash even on my system after a couple hours of play. many crybaby ideas in forums turned most of the game content into nurfs instead of real balancing. the playable races only a few had full ship trees while the rest were place holders. developer money grab attitude has given me the policy to not support indie projects. rather have a company take control of the project and hold people accountable for my dollars.

all that out of the way the game even in its unfished form was extremely fun. if you can actually get it to run and play up to the 4 hour limit on single game then stardrive is gonna be a good time. ship customization is unparalleled. and if you can get over the fact that the other races are not and will not ever be finished then who cares. if you can look pass numerous dead ends in the games ui or story function because this project was abandoned for stardrive 2... then you gonna have a good time. for 30 bucks i wouldnt do it theres other fun out there for that kind of money. if it goes on sale id say pick it up. steams good like that.

i ultimately would not recommend supporting a game that gets abandoned for a sequel. if track records go this way then i would lookout for anything in the future with names attached to it from members of this project. early access never again.
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65 of 92 people (71%) found this review helpful
0.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 14, 2014
Worst, unpolished variant of a 4x space game since the launch of Masters of Orion III.
Couldn't get over the first 10 minutes cause the game would confront me with impossible controls, an UI from everybody's nightmare and a very unpolished look allover. Waste of good money, sad to say.
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28 of 35 people (80%) found this review helpful
13.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 3, 2014
Bought the game on sale. Should have listened to those who complain that the game has been abandoned by the original developer. Can't properly play the game to the end, it constantly breaks down.

That said, there are a few good ideas behind it, but it falls short in every aspect to other comparable titles.
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39 of 55 people (71%) found this review helpful
2.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 19, 2014
Could have been a great game
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31 of 42 people (74%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
152.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 23, 2014
Game is over priced at $30 should be about $5, Dev is a thief, lies, throws fits in forums and does not follow through on promises. Steam should remove this game and not even consider anything else from this developer.
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25 of 33 people (76%) found this review helpful
88.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 23, 2014
I really want to like this game. But its so very fustrating playing through and having the game crash 3/4 of the way through. Lots of techinal issues esspecially on the smaller maps when the AI goes small ship crazy and lags the game to a stand still. I'd rather see them fix the first game then roll out plans for a Stardrive 2.
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22 of 28 people (79%) 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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18 of 22 people (82%) 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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8 of 8 people (100%) found this review helpful
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.

Multiplayer.

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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9 of 10 people (90%) found this review helpful
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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9 of 10 people (90%) found this review helpful
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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9 of 10 people (90%) 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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