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 (803 reviews)
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
201 of 220 people (91%) found this review helpful
1.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 18
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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107 of 115 people (93%) found this review helpful
43.2 hrs on record
Posted: July 6
Before I get started I would like to say that I really love this game, its a lot of fun. However. the developer is a lying jerk. As everyone should know by now he promised many many things and then decided he didnt wanna do it anymore. so he declared the game done! end of story and then rushes to make a sequel. (even though hes majorly changing the game example making it from real time to turn based...) This game has so much potential and would be SO much more fun. except it was left in the hands of someone who disgraces his own game with what hes done.
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101 of 114 people (89%) found this review helpful
39.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 20
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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83 of 95 people (87%) found this review helpful
8.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 6
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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67 of 83 people (81%) found this review helpful
2.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 4
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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51 of 60 people (85%) found this review helpful
91.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 11
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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48 of 58 people (83%) found this review helpful
41.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 20
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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31 of 34 people (91%) found this review helpful
3.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 20
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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30 of 35 people (86%) found this review helpful
268.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 16
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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24 of 26 people (92%) found this review helpful
7.1 hrs on record
Posted: July 2
This game started out good but was never finished despite what the dev and ♥♥♥♥♥ic fanboys want you to think.

It takes balls to try and release a sequal before you even finish the initial game.
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42 of 59 people (71%) found this review helpful
0.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 14
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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24 of 28 people (86%) found this review helpful
2.9 hrs on record
Posted: July 1
Don't buy. Dev didn't finish it.
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21 of 23 people (91%) found this review helpful
6.8 hrs on record
Posted: July 16
Had a Fun time with this game in early access, but the game was never finished. the developer never got around to putting all the features he promised in, now you cant really play it without mods.
I will say the ship design and combat is amazing. but designing a ship takes forever, and sometimes you dont even get to make the biggest baddest ships available, becuase the AI got them first and decides your weak enough to just be rolled over. So the diplomacy doesnt work, AI's that want to be friends are weak like you, and others that cvan help with fight for awhile, then sue for peace when things get rough.
All in all, not worth my 50 bucks to get into early access with. Definitely not worth a 33% dicount on the next game, oh yeah the reason this game isnt finished is cause he went onto the next game. I had faith in you Zero, but your let me down. I wish you luck tho, you had a great idea here. too bad it wont get finished.
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36 of 49 people (73%) found this review helpful
0.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 28
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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13 of 14 people (93%) found this review helpful
47.4 hrs on record
Posted: July 11
I bought this game awhile ago and I did enjoy it immensely. I thought that it was going to keep being developed and completed (like Minecraft was). What happened was progressed slowed, and now the developer has moved on to the sequel while the original is still a very broken game. There are "quests" that don't work, the game is unbalanced, and good luck finishing a game that has a larger map than medium. I am so disappointed because this game was everything I ever wanted in a space 4x. I loved how you could build your ships and make them as fast or as tough as you wanted them to be, but the game was never finished. I would not recommend giving this developer anymore money, because he will take it and run with it.
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12 of 13 people (92%) found this review helpful
11.4 hrs on record
Posted: July 14
I found this to be pretty dull. The whole experience lacks depth and just feels empty. I thought for sure that I was playing an alpha version of the game. Would not recommend.
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13 of 15 people (87%) found this review helpful
9.3 hrs on record
Posted: September 29
(6/10) (Turn based 4x fans)
(8/10) (Real time strategy fans)

Could have been an amazing turn based game, instead the dive into real time gameplay had some innovation potential but overall served to just bring the overall game down for me, removing the thoughtful nature of play that I am after with 4x games. Instead of carefully planning each turn and building each world, you are constantly under the gun to move as fast as possible and blaze through reflexively. Its a shame because otherwise the style and production of the game is quite high and would have more than carried it for me for a long while.

(Admittedly, I really do not like RTS play to begin with, and my main score reflects coming into the game expecting it to have been a turn based 4x title along genre norms. The second score applies for people who do prefer the more highly energetic RTS style gameplay over turn based strategy)
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12 of 14 people (86%) found this review helpful
111.3 hrs on record
Posted: September 29
This title has so much potential, but it's still unfinished, in a beta-state, and the developer has abandoned the game and is trying to release stardrive 2, which is incredibly cheeky given the incomplete nature of this title.

This game would be wonderful if it was actually polished into a finished product, but that day is never going to come.
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9 of 10 people (90%) found this review helpful
0.7 hrs on record
Posted: July 1
Sold an incomplete package marked as Gold to support the next cash grab called Stardrive 2 by Iceberg and ZeroSumGames.
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9 of 10 people (90%) found this review helpful
5.7 hrs on record
Posted: August 21
Could have been great... but the dev team just told the people who bought it to go screw themselves and refuse to make it at all playable on larger maps
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