The ultimate space sandbox. Participate in epic fleet battles, form alliances, strive to dominate entire galaxies and harness the universe’s resources for your industrious empire or the destruction of others. Customise your experience, the universe is yours!
User reviews:
Recent:
Mixed (30 reviews) - 53% of the 30 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Mostly Positive (1,707 reviews) - 72% of the 1,707 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Nov 27, 2014

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Early Access Game

Get instant access and start playing; get involved with this game as it develops.

Note: This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

Why Early Access?

We are offering the current full version of the game to play for free in alpha, scroll down!
We are using Early Access to give the players the possibility to play the game, as well as giving them the opportunity to be a contributing factor in the game's development. We are a small independent company, and this will help us to develop the game further, through player feedback and funding. The demo will still be free to try out from our own website, as well as a free version available here.

All existing customers that have an upgraded account can receive the game on Steam through linking their StarMade Citizen’s Registry account with their Steam account

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

“StarMade will stay in Early Access until we’ve developed all core features and feel confident in the game’s overall systems. We will also need to go through a rigorous bug testing phase. Our plans are ambitious, as such no definitive date can be made.”

How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?

“We have many features planned for development. You can check out what we're working on, or what we will be working on at our Trello Roadmap (https://trello.com/b/9Kg5Jn6g/starmade-roadmap), development direction post (https://starmadedock.net/threads/starmade-development-direction.21615/) and our bug tracking site (http://phab.starma.de/). In essence, the full version will have a more lively universe. Here are a few ways we plan to achieve this, dynamic and procedural quests, NPC factions and empires, soundtracks and sound fx, scripting, modding API, creatures, diplomacy and fleet control. Game performance and scalability is our underlining priority.”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“We have had stable versions of the game and server since 2014. StarMade in its current state is a complex and extensive sandbox, we have created a set of tools for us and the community to create the ultimate space experience. It’s now time for us to bring StarMade’s universes to life.”

Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?

“The game's price will slowly rise during the Early Access period as features are progressively added. This system will favour those who have purchased and showed their support in the early stages of the game.”

How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?

“We already extensively involve the community in the development of the game. Pre-steam release we were roughly at 300,000 people registered on our account system, requests/bug reports/suggestions are constantly read by our team. Many player contributed suggestions have already been implemented into the game. We host community build contests to create ships, stations and other in-game creations for placement in the game. Additionally, we have a community elected council who seek opinions, suggestions and feedback and relay it back to the development team. We as a team, are heavily involved with our community.”
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July 15

Devblog 11th July 2017 - End Goal Document Part 1

Greetings, citizens ~

A few months ago, we planned to release our End-Goals document but never really got around to make a public version. As announced in the previous post, this dev blog contains


End Goals Introduction
Our “End Goals” document...is not a list of features. Although a simple feature list is useful to get an overview of what’s next, it is not a great way to show the public what our game is about and where we’re going with it. New feature ideas get added, changed or removed all the time which only makes it more important to not depend on them when we’re talking about the final product.

Not to mention that as a player, you can only see what’s in the game right now and how that all ties together. You do not see what we want to achieve at the very end, making it impossible to give accurate feedback when the big picture is simply not there for you to see.

When we talked about how to write this document, we simply put ourselves into a specific play role/play style, defining what we would like to be able to do in the finished game. Coming up with ideas was easy, but getting rid of just as many to form a solid, cohesive game was not. StarMade is after all, a sandbox game. A type of genre where you’re allowed to discover a complete world and do whatever you want.

It’s unlikely that we’re going to change our end goals significantly, but the features leading up to it are subject to change. A destination often has multiple roads leading to it, which one we pick depends on our personal opinion and the community’s feedback on it.

As for the document itself, we’ve divided it up into several player roles which coincidentally gives us some time to make a nicer public version of it as we can release it in parts. Of course at the end, we’ll bundle it up in a single thread so that you don’t have to piece it all together yourself.

All of this is based on a base goal, which is purposely kept very simple:

StarMade is a space sandbox game where you start with very little and work your way up to the top.

You are put in a galaxy for you to explore. How you want to go about it and what your final role is going to be, is left to the player. The driving force behind it all is progression, without restricting creativity and freedom.


The roles we will talk about are the following:

~ Builder

~ Explorer

~ Industrialist

~ Trader

~ Fighter

~ Imperialist

Some of the roles of course overlap and/or have sub-roles, which will be reflected in the other parts of this document.


Builder
Our first player role to be addressed is also the one with the most work put into it: the Builder. From all roles, this one is probably also the most realized in the game already.

Starting from close to nothing, you’ll have to do some form of building first to at least travel where you want to go. While you’re doing that, you get to know what StarMade’s backbone has to offer. Mining, simple early game trading, basic ship building and travelling around the universe would all come to light in the first few hours. As soon as you have a functional ship, you can focus on anything that you’ve liked so far.

If you, up till now, prefer building above anything else, you will most likely continue in that direction. Your ultimate goal is a never ending one, to make better and more creations. This on its own, is already a form of progression which is limited by your own player experience. However, this might not be enough for most players and we need a more controlled form of progression on the game’s side to help with that.

We want to slowly open up this building aspect to the player, not only to make sure there’s still things left to explore later on...but also to make sure the player isn’t overwhelmed at the very start. Later, when you’re base of operations is well established, you slightly shift your focus from building to selling and marketing. Your goal isn’t necessarily to get rich, but to get known as a reliable ship builder that is capable of doing anything. Not only are you better at building now, but your ship/station producing speed is much faster after upgrading and maintaining your own shipyard(s) along the way.

Several features, as well as redesigning or tweaking existing systems will make this vision a reality.


Block Availability
At the moment, all blocks can be easily bought or made in large quantities with only a few small steps. Every resource you need can be gathered in almost any star system which is concern when you try to get more progression into the game. Base blocks such as power, basic hull and thrusters still need to be easily crafted no matter where you are, yet more advanced systems that you don’t need from the start, such as effects and the future reactor chamber blocks, could definitely use some changes.

By fine tuning the crafting recipes and universe resource allocation system, we can create an unique world where, as a builder, you’ll have to play differently every time you generate a new universe. If certain block resources are tied to specific locations, you won’t be able to immediately build any block in large quantities. Those resources could still be found anywhere, but just in small quantities to allow small scale experimentation and open your mind to new possible ways.

The idea here is that the player will have to adapt to the resources they have at their base and fully explore the functional blocks they can create there before moving on.


Block Progression
Most decorative blocks should always be available and cheap to build, as they only function to make things look better and barely affect ship/station performance in any significant way.

Rails, logic and other similar systems, are just like decoration when it comes to performance. These already provide a large amount of end-game content which can only be fully utilized by players that are experienced with it. There is no need to add additional progression here.

Some functional blocks do need some extra depth to lengthen the amount of time needed to achieve this endgame build quality. The key could be in the balance between efficiency versus longevity. Longevity is where your ship can survive a decent amount of incoming damage and is still able to fight back afterwards. Efficiency is where you get the most statistical value out of your ship compared to its build cost and mass. Balancing these 2 out is a never ending task and depends on the ship’s purpose and its potential opponents. Right now we already have this in multiple ways, but it could be way more prominent by changing how some systems work.

Rebalancing systems will also provide more defined roles for differently sized ships. Small ships, while they never should be as powerful as a considerably larger ship in a 1 vs 1 fight, would still be extremely useful when used in larger numbers. In addition to that, some weapon systems could benefit greatly depending on the ship type and role.


Shipyards
More immersion should be provided by private and public shipyards. It also gives access to creative mode and several build tools without breaking immersion of plopping down thousands of real blocks out of nowhere. The player should be made familiar with this feature as soon as possible, it’s why public shipyards and a proper UI are important. For this goal to be realized, several smaller features have to be implemented first in order to get a fully usable and reliable build method without relying on the “spawn whole ship anywhere” blueprint system.

Shipyards also make it possible to build and maintain more than one ship. That combines nicely with the fleet mechanic to open up a lot more gameplay possibilities for the builder Suddenly all of your previously build ships get a different purpose if you put them together in a fleet. This would change your perspective and your way of building ships, adding even more progression for the player to explore.

Shipyards would also be the gateway to open up trading for more than just a bunch of blocks, as instead, you will trade real ships or their designs for other people to make more. Before we can get to that stage though, the blueprint system would need to support this form of trading and security.

Of course, there is still a lot of work to be done on shipyards to have them fully fulfil their role.


Expandability
As building is StarMade’s backbone, it’s important to keep that part interesting by expanding on it from time to time. Its user interface would need to allow for that, to avoid adding complexity to a system that is meant to be simple and easy to use.

We could add more build tools, decorative blocks and smaller UI elements. All of that needs to be based on something the player already knows. If something entirely new is introduced, it should be applied on existing systems too where applicable to keep everything consistent with each other, streamlining the player experience even more.

Preparing the UI for further expansion is a necessity even in an alpha stage, but non essential additions would be more useful for the beta stage or post release.

That was it for the builder part, we hope this gives you some more insight to our gameplay decisions and the road we’re taking. Stay tuned for the next part, where we will go more into roles that aren't as prominent yet in the current game version.


What’s next?
Currently we’re refining our pre-release candidate and fixing its remaining bugs. If all goes well, we will be able to release this week and move on to the power update.

If you’re interested of helping us out with testing, make sure to check out our pre-release post here. Remember to always use a separate installation for preview builds as they may potentially include game-breaking issues.

If you come across anything new that doesn’t work or you believe you’ve located a new bug, report that here to help us out: Report a Bug (Release Candidate)


As always, thank you for playing StarMade!

~ The Schine Team

12 comments Read more

June 18

Devblog 18th June 2017

Greetings, citizens ~

We’ve added some exciting features this week, including a fill and line tool, and new rails. There’s also a new Advanced Build Mode GUI! Everything should be cleaner and much easier to access now. However, keep in mind that the layout and content is still a work in progress, and so may change significantly between builds. Over the next few days, we’ll tweak what each group contains and adjust how the tools work in order to streamline the experience.


New dev build!
This first dev build contains the core functionality of two new tools: the Fill Tool and the Line Tool. Both are available under the Shape Tools group.


Fill Tool
The fill tool allows you to incrementally fill (or replace) areas with your desired block. It’s quite simple to use: you can freely select your starting point with the camera (similar to ‘create docking’), and press the [Do Fill]* button with a block selected on your hotbar.

* We are absolutely going to rename this later.

The fill tool allows both space-filling and block-replacing, depending on what the starting point is. If it’s empty space, the tool will flood-fill; if it’s a block, only that block type will be replaced. Also: this is a step-based system, meaning undo and redo work, allowing you to easily fix any mistakes.

For now, the filling process is done in a single step, and uses a fixed amount of blocks. We will change this over the next few builds to allow you to specify how many blocks to place at once, as well as allowing servers to impose their own limits to reduce server strain.

We’ll be adding some optimizations to this in later builds.

Screenshots below

Hollow torus made of crystal armor



Filling the torus starting from the bottom



Filling the shell of the torus with blue hull, replacing crystal armor along the way.




Line Tool
This is an addition to the build helpers. You set two points (using your camera position, as with the fill tool) and it will create a line between them.

We’ll add more features in the future, such as splines and line thickness.

As with the new GUI, this is also a work-in-progress, so we’ll be improving it and fixing any issues that arise.


Load/Unload Rails
We’ve added two new blocks to the game: the “Rail Load” block and the “Rail Unload” block. (We’re still working on their textures)

You can place them anywhere, and they work identically to normal rails, but they have an added feature: item transfer. These blocks allow transferring items between connected storages on a station and a docked ship via the Load/Unload Rail. Example:

You connect a storage to your rail docker on a ship, and dock it to a Load Rail on a station. The ship is then able to pull items from any storage on the station connected to that Load Rail.

If you instead dock the ship to a Rail Unload block, the station may then pull items from the ship’s connected storage to any storages connected to that Rail Unload block.

Again, both docker and rail need active connected storages. Also, the station will only pull items if it has permission to do so!

The ship radial menu allows you to select between 5 different permissions for the load/unload rails:

~ Always allow

~ Always allow faction, ask for rest

~ Always ask

~ Allow current (the entity you’re docked to; this allows manually activating or deactivating)

~ Never


Advanced Build Mode GUI
The new GUI is much cleaner, and all of the controls are much more accessible. You may show/hide individual groups, and in later dev builds, these will be customizable in location, order and size. The game will remember these settings between instances.

We’ve added new sliders, too, which allow dual input: you may enter values manually, or use your mousewheel while hovering over the controls. This also allows scrolling through the GUI without changing sliders’ values unintentionally.



This is not the final version, of course, as we will continue to work on the design.


Outline System and New LoD mesh
This completely new system is able to produce highly-optimized meshes of any number of blocks. It will be used for several effects in the future, especially for outlining the systems of a ship (e.g. for building and/or scanning). The outline itself will also be used for selecting entities in subsequent builds for this release.

This system is not able to replace the existing mesh and chunk system. Not only should any object realistically only be loaded into memory in chunks to begin with because of the sizes involved, but also in terms of graphics it’s not possible for the block meshes to retain all of the information needed. The new system simply doesn’t work with multiple textures in the same mesh. We’d have to use one mesh per block type, which would pretty much remove any advantage the system confers. Also, no lighting or material information can be stored in the limited amount of vertices of such meshes, and furthermore: making a mesh of a large object might be too much for the graphics card buffers to handle... so a chunk system would be needed anyway.

However, it is absolutely perfect for far-away LoD views of a model since block types can be mapped to a low number of colors, thereby producing one mesh per color. This, when combined with a higher-granularity chunk system, should give a large FPS increase when viewing bigger objects in the distance.


New Chunk Request System
We’ve completely rewritten the chunk request system! The new approach streamlines the order of chunk requests over multiple entities. They’re now ordered in the background on a global level, meaning nearby chunks will have much shorter load times. This also benefits the lighting calculations, which should improve overall performance.


Moving Forward
Dev builds should come out a lot more frequently from this point on. Though as always, be careful and use a separate installation so you don’t risk anything bad happening to your data, as dev builds can occasionally contain game-breaking bugs.


As always, thank you for playing StarMade!

~ The Schine Team

18 comments Read more
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Try out the full game for free in Alpha!

We are currently offering the full version of the game for free on our demo. This will be throughout Alpha as we believe a user wanting to purchase an open alpha game, should get to try out and test the current full state of the game first. We also need as many testers as possible, your reports, feedback and input is invaluable!

So... why should you purchase the game if it's currently free?

  • Support the developers!
  • Purchased users will still have access to the latest updates when the demo stops being supported/updated in beta.
  • Get it cheaper! As more features are added, the price will progressively increase. This will benefit those who supported the game earlier.
  • We're adding upgraded only features to our Registry system, this will not directly affect any game features, however, it will give more access online. For example, blueprint hosting and multiple skin uploads for selection.

    What are you waiting for? Click that demo button, and try out the full game for free!

About This Game

A voxel-based 3D sandbox set in the never-ending darkness of space. Create your own ships, explore new galaxies, stars and planets. Discover and salvage space stations, fight against pirates or opposing factions in multiplayer. Equip your ships with completely customisable weapons and conquer the galaxy. Trade and make a fortune, mass produce materials in gigantic factories. Design your very own space station. Create warp gates and network the universe at your front door.

The universe is a vast, mystical, beautiful, awe-inspiring place.... the universe is yours.

Built for scalability to facilitate massive fully interactable objects, almost anything is possible. Gameplay elements have been skillfully constructed to bring the ultimate space sandbox experience.

Dive into your own unique universe, and choose your path.

Key Features:


  • Procedurally generated infinite universe, with quadrillions of galaxies - The universe is massive. It'd take approximately 10,000 years to cross from one end to the other! Singleplayer and Multiplayer worlds can be heavily customised with our extensive config options.
  • Developed for scalability- We have a broad range of graphical and performance options that cater to our low-end users as well as those with heavy rigs and servers.
  • Advanced Build Tools - Powerful and easy to use building tools, quickly design awesome ships, stations and bases. Including functions: Copy & paste, undo, redo, replace, symmetry modes, shape assistance systems (spheres, cycles, torus and more) and rotation of templates.
  • Modular Weapon Systems - Combine weapon systems for countless configurations of weapons. From sniper beams to swarm missiles.
  • Comprehensive Rail & Logic Systems - Use the rail system to build moving parts. You can do anything from simple elevators, sliding or rotating doors, to complex cranes.

    Tinker with our logic systems to control any system in the game, be it weapons, lights, rails, or explosives. Logic covers all basic gate types for convenient use (AND, OR, NOT, DELAY, Flip-Flop), allows in flight control and wireless connections between entities. You can use it for simple things like timers, switches, buttons. Or, build complex systems like working clocks and even a real CPU.
  • Community multiplayer (dedicated servers) - Play with others in our community hosted servers. Our configs allow administrators to customise core game mechanics for a tailored experience. Most settings can be tweaked to squeeze the best performance out of hardware.
  • Platform independent (Windows, Linux, Mac) - StarMade is completely platform independent. We support the three most widely used operating systems.
  • Free to play in alpha - We offer the full game free to play while in alpha development. Play our game through this period for free while in return we receive invaluable feedback and bug reports.

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows 7 - 64 bit
    • Processor: Intel Core i3 (2nd Generation and above) | AMD FX 6xxx or equivalent
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 260, 275, 280, 460 SE, 550 Ti | AMD Radeon HD 4870, 5770, 4890, 5830, 6770, 6790 or equivalent with OpenGL 2.1
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 3 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: 2GB of memory must be available for StarMade. Lower specs may work by modifying graphics and other performance options. Try out our demo to get an indication for your system. System components such as Integrated Graphics cards may not be supported. Requirements may change in further updates.
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows 7/8/10 - 64 bit
    • Processor: Intel Core i7-2600 @ 3.4 GHz | AMD FX-8320 Eight-Core @ 3.5 GHz or equivalent
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 560, 650 Ti, 750 | AMD Radeon HD 5850, 6870, 7790 (or equivalent)
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 3 GB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: OS X Mountain Lion - 64 bit
    • Processor: Intel Core i5-750 @ 2.66GHz or equivalent
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Radeon HD 4850 or equivalent.
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 3 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: Requirements are approximately the same as Windows/Linux. 2GB of memory must be available for StarMade. Lower specs may work by modifying graphics and other performance options. Try out our demo to get an indication for your system. System components such as Integrated Graphics cards may not be supported. Requirements may change in further updates.
    Recommended:
    • OS: OS X Mavericks 10.9.5+ - 64 bit
    • Processor: Intel Core i5-6600 @ 4.0GHz or equivalent (Intel Quad Core @ 2.5 GHz +)
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Radeon R9 M390/M395 or equivalent.
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 3 GB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: Ubuntu 14.04 - 64 bit
    • Processor: Intel Core i3 (2nd Generation and above) | AMD FX 6xxx or equivalent
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 260, 275, 280, 460 SE, 550 Ti | AMD Radeon HD 4870, 5770, 4890, 5830, 6770, 6790 or equivalent with OpenGL 2.1
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 3 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: 2GB of memory must be available for StarMade. Lower specs may work by modifying graphics and other performance options. Try out our demo to get an indication for your system. System components such as Integrated Graphics cards may not be supported. Requirements may change in further updates.
    Recommended:
    • OS: Ubuntu 15.04 - 64 bit
    • Processor: Intel Core i7-2600 @ 3.4 GHz | AMD FX-8320 Eight-Core @ 3.5 GHz or equivalent
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 560, 650 Ti, 750 | AMD Radeon HD 5850, 6870, 7790 (or equivalent)
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 3 GB available space
Customer reviews Learn More
Recent:
Mixed (30 reviews)
Overall:
Mostly Positive (1,707 reviews)
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