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 (734 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."
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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
21 of 27 people (78%) 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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23 of 32 people (72%) 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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18 of 28 people (64%) 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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5 of 7 people (71%) found this review helpful
309.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 16
I really liked this game. There are a few bugs in it but it has a large tech tree and the AI is decent. Designing ships in this game is one of my favorite things as there are plenty of different ways to build a decent ship. It took a bit to get used to but it's not as terrible to learn as a lot of these indi 4x games.
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5 of 7 people (71%) found this review helpful
206.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 15
So Stardrive has a lot going for it. The ability to design each ship piece by piece and then set their AI. Want a large slow ship with all weapons pointing forward to hammer other large ships? What about making it lighter and pointing all the weapons to the sides and have it strafe through destroying smaller ships? Swap out those weapons for fighter bays and launch swarms of fighter ships. Don't like cannons? Switch out to missiles or lasers. Load it with emp weapons to disable other ships or tractor beams to bring fast ships to a halt and rip them apart with cannon fire.

Each race oozes with their own personality. From samuri space bears to mechanical hive mind of the Opertis.

Build a grand empire of planets. Forge treaties and even a federation with long time allies. The diplomacy system is not ground breaking but quite adequate.

The only down side, and it's a big one, is the slow down you experience late game. No matter how beastly your PC is the game is going to crawl latter on when each race has hundreds of ships and are duking it out with each other.
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13 of 23 people (57%) found this review helpful
24.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 26
hit with problems as soon as i install it. game wont even start. worst money ever spent right here. garbage game. DONT BUY.
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6 of 10 people (60%) found this review helpful
28.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 12
This game is a complete and infinite sandbox amalgamation of two of history's most prominant pioneers of deep space pioneer exploration game franchises; Master of Orion 1&2 and Star Control 1&2. If you aren't aware of these games or their significancant contributions to the genre than I simply could not even begin to lend any insight with mere words. On the other hand the game does feel... Unfinished. It has blockbuster potential for a niche crowd, and without keymapping within the game's options it does have a particularly cumbersome control scheme, which very well could turn away even the most enthusiastic of novice players. I also found myself strongly desiring far more depth of interaction dynamics between the various species. If you haven't any experience with this type of game, you almost assuredly will dislike this game. For me though, two thumbs up.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
37.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 23
Very good single player game.

Had a lot of fun with some mods.
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3 of 5 people (60%) found this review helpful
12.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 16
It's not finished - has great potential but if the dev has in fact moved in then that's a shame.
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4 of 7 people (57%) found this review helpful
72.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 17
Excellent Strategy game although abit heavy on the processor in big fleet battles but hopefully fixed in Stardrive 2 when it comes out. Cant Wait!
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1 of 2 people (50%) 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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6 of 12 people (50%) 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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0 of 1 people (0%) found this review helpful
2.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 22
This game tried so hard to be MoO2. It feels like the developers tried just a little too hard to differentiate it. "What if we did MoO2 but real time? TOTALLY AWESOME, AMIRITE?"

The most glaring problem is that the sense of time scale is normalized. Ships fight in the same time that planets are colonized. I can understand possibly having ship TRAVEL and colonization on the same scale, but combat is vastly, vastly faster. However, it's still on the same time scale.

The user interface is abysmal. Tooltips aren't really tips. The user icons aren't extremely desciptive, but can be memorized. It's not explained what some of the icons are. It took a few google searches to figure out that the swirlies next to system or planet names means there's an exploration anomaly. Nothing in the game indicated this. It was my third play attempt that I figured this out. The tooltip time to show is very long, so I'm waiting 15~30s to figure out what that button does.

Ship design is nice, but not my cup of tea. I have no idea what gun is better than another. There are too many variables to balance.

This game is definitely not for me. Looking for something that's difficult to learn and master? Perhaps this is for you. To me, this is a nice beta product. Needs s-loads of polish.
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0 of 1 people (0%) found this review helpful
152.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 23
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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4 of 10 people (40%) found this review helpful
1.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 12
This game is ok... but just isn't as good as endless space or a few of the others out there. No real tutorial leaves you to just click around and try to figure things out, which isn't all bad if the game is intuitive which a lot of what I am finding isn't the case with this game. Overall get a different game and don't waste your time.
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8 of 20 people (40%) found this review helpful
13.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 1
It's been very difficult for me to get into 4x games. I tried Galactic civ 2 a little while ago and got confused as anything, tried to play a bit of Sins of a solar empire but was completely overwhelmed with how much was involved in playing. Then I picked up Endless space, which I'm really wanting to get into but the learning curve again is huge for me.
The only 4x I've enjoyed and have found easy to play but not spent a great deal of time on is Civ 5, which I plan on going back to sometime but for some reason I'm set on learning how to play a SPACE 4x.

With Stardrive, I think I've found my 4x space training wheels. I've not found it as complex as the others, not turn based and for me, it's easing me into how 4x games essentially work.

I can't say much about the negativity surrounding the game because I'm only new to the genre but as a game, I'm finding that it functions great so far.

Graphically I can not complain, the music and sounds are nice. I'm sure as I play more, I'm going to find things I don't like and once I get used to the genre I'll start playing other 4x space games then look back on this and make comparisons but for now, this seems like a great entry level game to the genre.
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8 of 21 people (38%) found this review helpful
50.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 7
I see a lot of negative reviews for this game and I really don't agree with them. This is a solid game with a very distinct art style. It looks really good and yet very simple, which is not a bad thing. The game is very easy to learn and is quite deep in it's ship customization and you will spend many hours designing and perfecting your ship designs. There is nothing more satisfying than having your custom badass capitalship send out a swarm of your custom fighters and totaly anhialate an enemy fleet.

Compared to a lot of other 4X games, Stardrive does not have as big of a techtree, there is still plenty of things to research but compared to games like Endless Space it's far from enough. One thing I really miss is more ways to improve your planets and concidering all the buildingspace you have left, there is room for a lot more.

Pros:
- Short learning curve
- Deep shipdesign
- Real-time gameplay
- Addicting

Cons:
- Not enough to research
- Ground battles
- Game crash after a few hours of play
- Save files are way to big
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6 of 20 people (30%) found this review helpful
71.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 25
A good opening into the 4X genre; with simplistic mechanics to make for an easily learnt experience, with real time strategy working to this effect, entertainig to new players of the genre
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25.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 23
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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215 of 245 people (88%) found this review helpful
27.2 hrs on record
Posted: June 5
This game started out good but was never finished despite what the dev and moronic 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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