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 (31 reviews) - 67% of the 31 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Mostly Positive (1,616 reviews) - 74% of the 1,616 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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Recent updates View all (73)

March 15

Dev Blog: Bug cleanup & release cycle changes

Greetings Citizens,

It's been just over two weeks since we last posted news, so it's well due for a dev blog! By now most of you will have discovered that the last release we did caused some serious issues with stations and saving block changes.

As a player, these severe issues can spoil your mood to play the game and in some cases also result in you losing in-game progress.

As a game development team, we’re aware issues like these lose our players trust and support. Additionally, having to do several hotfixes also eats away time in every new release cycle.

The release cycle, as it stands, is scheduled for a release every two weeks. Sometimes we extend major releases (such as NPC factions) to go through multiple release cycles. However, we try to stick to the two-week schedule as best we can. During this cycle, we have to plan, develop and test every release. We've found that it's hard to put a meaningful amount of content into a release in only two weeks, especially since we can't add anything new during the testing phase (currently 2-3 days) before release. What tends to happen is that after a release is sent out at the two-week mark, hotfixes are needed, we then lose even more time for the next release cycle.

Adding more testers to our testing phase wouldn’t help in the sense that a tester’s job is to mainly maintain Phabricator and to report any dev issues along the way. It’s a never ending task and finding volunteers that will do this for a long period has so far been difficult.

We've come to the conclusion that the current two-week release schedule is unfeasible for a team of our size. It's inefficient, unmanageable and it's not beneficial for our players or us. For these reasons, we've decided to work on a new release cycle, to eliminate/reduce severe issues in new releases and allow us to get more work done.


New release cycle
The changes we want to do here is to extend our release cycle to “as long as we need” with Dev Blogs to keep everyone up to date with what we’re working on throughout the release cycle.This gives us more time to do some long-term tests without feeling the need to rush a release out and then having to hotfix afterwards. This approach also lets us monitor any performance issues that pop-up and resolve them before a live release.

Although this should already be more manageable for testing, we would like to minimise the risk of any issue going unnoticed during pre-release testing. Therefore, when we think it’s ready to go, we will inform you about all the dev build changes in a news post but not do a live release. That would be our release candidate which will be used for public testing. You can check those changes out on our test server and help us out by reporting any issue you find. We even have a few servers that want to run this release candidate on a backup of their entire server database to give us even more coverage. Having the community involved in the process before the release goes live will ensure we catch as many issues as we can, avoiding the need for as many hotfixes after it goes live.

If you encounter any new issues, please report them here, and we’ll make sure to prioritise them correctly to fix any annoying or severe issues before live release. We’re planning to do these release candidates on a Friday if possible, and we estimate it will take roughly a full week before it can be uploaded to the release branch.

This will allow us to get a lot more work done, as the two-week release cycle was holding us back quite considerably, often reducing features to minor gameplay and decorative updates while we didn’t make as much progress with bigger features as we would have liked. The most popular updates like the rail update did have long release cycles, so we already know that it pays off.

We’ve written our different phases out here although they’re still subject to change. A lot depends on how well our next release will go when following these rules.


Bug spring cleaning
The two-week cycle also left bug-fixing in a poor state as we were always forced to fix bugs affecting the new features, and then hotfixing, neglecting other bugs that continued to get pushed back more and more. In light of this, our first usage of the longer release cycle will be the quest to fix all bugs that have a priority above “normal”. This is long overdue. We have also decided that when we release, the release should have fewer bugs than the last release. Not only will this make the game a lot better over time, but it will also free up resources for our testers, as fewer bugs will have to be processed.

We understand that it was a bit frustrating for new testers to see their bug report(s) in queue waiting to be fixed for so long. This is also something we want to resolve through this process.


Power update
With regards to the power update proposal we shared with the community. We have worked on ironing out the flaws in our concept and were hoping to have been able to present our revision a week ago. However, we’re still not quite ready to share our revised proposal just yet. Some of you mentioned it was hard to judge a system with a lack of details which is why we’ve been working on it for a while now. As we expected, it’s not easy to find a complex system where every block has a purpose and affects different portions of your reactor. We’ve toyed around with several ideas such as heat management and reactor shapes, but the hardest part is finding a good base and sticking with it. For now, watch this space.


Current changes
Our primary focus these past few weeks has been on bug fixing, addressing all of the higher priority bug tasks that were still in queue. Fifty of them have been addressed so far, although testing is still required to make sure they’re resolved. With bug fixing also comes some small features, such as the ability to toggle cloak/radar jammers on fleets. We’ve also been looking out for those annoying issues that aren’t necessarily a high priority but can still sour gameplay experience after encountering it too many times. For example, rolling a ship has always resulted in odd behaviour, and we’re very close to fixing it right now.

Our next release will require some extensive play testing; we’re sure our community will be willing to help us out

As always, thanks for playing StarMade

~ The Schine Team

10 comments Read more

February 25

StarMade v0.199.459 - Major Performance Upgrade

Changelog from 359-468:

  • Greatly improved performance on ships with rail-docks that are actively causing collisions
  • Fixed deadlock on removing shop module (in rarer cases)
  • Eliminated error where chunks would get time from the future and therefore not save
  • Fixed error where exit to desktop would interrupt saving process, causing several hard to replicate bugs
  • Fixed several crashes
  • Fixed false positive on stations checking themselves for being empty, removing it

Greetings, citizens ~

In this release we’re making good on our earlier promises of performance improvements and updating some of the existing systems, focusing on combat.

Huge swarms of missiles no longer cripple servers, nor cause disconnects or “rubber banding.” This should also help with balancing, as users can no longer disconnect their opponents with ridiculous numbers of missiles.

Cannon projectile hits now require considerably less processing than before. As an example of just how large of an improvement this is: a shot penetrating through hundreds of blocks previously caused a half-second freeze, give or take. The processing from this same shot now takes 5 milliseconds -- barely even noticeable.

We hope these two major optimizations make combat much more enjoyable.


Missile Performance Update
We developed an algorithm that is capable of handling any amount of missiles without adding extra network load. It is based on a lock step algorithm plus adaptive updating. This enables missile paths to become deterministic, even when chasing a moving target, and when that target is not in the same position for server and client, e.g. due to network delay.

With the previous system, 500-1000 missiles would generate a half-megabyte per second load (or more). With the new system, not only is the initial burst of data when firing much smaller, even a cluster of a thousand or more missiles only require a few bytes per second while flying.

Even the smaller servers should be able to easily handle 2000+ missiles flying at once without causing slowdown.

We will look into faster rendering and explosion calculations in the future.


Projectile Performance Update
We’ve also made some major optimizations for projectiles (cannon fire). Projectiles’ penetration always caused major lag on both client and server, which restricted our ability to balance the weapon system.

The new system uses a much leaner and more straightforward method to handle projectile penetration. We’ve offloaded some of the effort into threads, such as bounding box recalculations (which, since the box only gets smaller in this case, isn’t needed right away). Not only does cannon fire process literally hundreds of times faster now, it is also more accurate in terms of damage done. In addition, not having restrictions due to performance will help us balance weapons a lot better in the future.

The simultaneous destruction of large numbers of blocks still creates network load, but we have plans to reduce this.


Power Overhaul Thread
We would like to thank everyone that has provided constructive criticism. Thanks to you, we’ve already made some major (positive!) changes to our proposed design, and eliminated some of its shortcomings.

We will still need a few days to present our plans in as clear a manner as possible so there’s no misunderstanding. We’ll write a more informative post about this soon.

As for implementation:
Granted we can remedy the flaws the community points out, we will make the new power system available via an opt-in config option during its development. When (and if) it is ready for release, we’ll aim for a transition phase similar to the release of rails, wherein both versions are available simultaneously (though this may not be possible).

(If there are irreparable issues with the power system, we obviously will not implement it.)


Fixes
A few minor bug fixes:
  • T235: Overridden blueprints show wrong mass
  • T2234: Galaxy map stops reading scroll wheel inputs
  • T2180: Placing wrong block when swapped on the hotbar with another

We’ve added a keyboard shortcut to open the shapes men. (It’s bound to ‘T’, moving sitting to ‘O’.) It only works when the currently selected block has multiple shapes.

----------------------------------------------------

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 (31 reviews)
Overall:
Mostly Positive (1,616 reviews)
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