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Starbound Beginner’s Guide: New Player Introduction & First Day Walkthrough

Posted on by justin
(Estimated Read Time: 7 minutes)
Starbound is a massive, vast game with all kinds of different planets to explore and make your own. Because the game's scope is galactic, however, it can be a bit overwhelming to new players. With that, we've created a Starbound beginners guide to help get you started with the game and make the most of your first days.

Starbound Beginner’s Guide: Getting Started & First Steps

Starbound Beginner's Guide New to Starbound? No worries, your first steps into space don't have to be blind! We're here to help ensure you hit the surface running.

Creating a Character

Starbound Character Creation Before you can journey into the stars, you must create your character. Select from different features and traits, including race, gender, and appearance. Note that racial selection in Starbound does more than change your character’s appearance. You can unlock unique abilities when wearing armor for your chosen race. At the time of writing, Starbound has seven races, which are the following:
  • Human
  • Apex (monkey people)
  • Avian (bird people)
  • Floran (plant people)
  • Glitch (robots)
  • Hylotl (fish people)
  • Novakid (energy beings)
Then, choose among the different difficulty options, which are (from easiest to most difficult) Casual, Survival, and Hardcore. Don’t forget to name your character before proceeding.

Ship Tour

Starbound Ship Note that your chosen race will also alter your ship’s appearance. For example, a Floran ship will have some plant décor surrounding the craft’s exterior. On the other hand, a Hylotl spaceship looks like a mechanized floating shark. Moving forward, assuming that you completed the intro mission, you’ll then wind up in your ship. Before beaming down on the planet below, you can take a small tour of your spacecraft. There are different stations to interact with in your starter ship, which include the following:
  • S.A.I.L.: Short for Ship-based Artificial Intelligence, interact with S.A.I.L. to receive missions, manage crew members, and revisit the narrative from story missions.
  • Shiplocker: A container acting as an extra storage space. By default, the Shiplocker can hold up to 64 items.
  • Fuel Hatch: Displays the ship’s fuel stores.
  • Teleporter: Use this station to transport your character to placed flags, party members, and other teleporters.

Foraging Crops

Starbound Crops After taking a tour of your ship, your character will get hungry fast. Hunger is represented by a gauge on the player’s UI, which will reduce over time. Movement speed reduces by 15% when your character is hungry, and you take damage over time if you’re starving. You can remedy this situation by teleporting to the planet below to forage for crops. Be on the lookout for basic crops, such as Tomatoes, Rice, and Pearlpeas. Thankfully, foraging crops in Starbound is straightforward since you only need to interact with the plant to collect the items, and while all planets offer different flora, fauna, and geography - there's always something to eat if you look hard enough.


Starbound Cooking You can eat the foraged crops to regain some hunger and health. However, cooking the food is advisable rather than eating raw ingredients. Find a campfire on the planet or make one. To craft a campfire, use a torch and some wooden logs. Once placed, interact with the campfire to place the ingredients. For instance, place 1x Tomato to make 1x Tomato Juice, increasing your maximum health by 20% for 90 seconds. You’ll learn advanced cooking recipes as you progress. Additionally, each food item will degrade over time. Failure to pay attention to this timer will cause the food to become spoiled, rendering it useless.

Building a Home

Starbound Camp Although you can return to the ship, setting up camp on the planet you’re currently exploring can be ideal. Now, you have two options: find a campsite or build one. If the former isn’t an option, use the Matter Manipulator to gather Wooden Logs from trees. Then, press “C” (by default) to open the crafting menu. Here, create a few pieces of Timber. Once you have enough Timber, place them on the map to build a tiny home. This way, you can stay protected from hostile NPCs that always seem out for your blood. While in your campsite/home, you can place crafting stations to make it a functional space. Start by crafting an Inventor’s Table using 12x Timber and 4x Wooden Log. Once placed, interact with it to make other crafting stations. The craftable stations from the Inventor’s Table are the following:
  • Wooden Workbench: 4x Wooden Log, 4x Cobblestone, 10x Timber
  • Foraging Table: 4x Wooden Log and 10x Timber
  • Spinning Wheel: 5x Cobblestone, 1x Rope, and 40x Timber
  • Anvil: 120x Timber, 1x Wooden Log, and 8x Iron Bar
  • Primitive Furnace: 4x Mud, 1x Campfire, and 20x Cobblestone
Among these crafting stations, consider building the Anvil first. Not only does it require the most Timber, but using it allows you to craft weapons and racial armor. After all, you need the proper gear when exploring the planet, especially its underground layers. Remember, you don’t need to build an elaborate mansion or a floating laboratory during the game’s early stages. Focusing on building a small campsite that’ll help protect you from hostile NPCs should suffice.

Exploring the Underground

Starbound Underground Assuming you’ve been gathering plant fibres and turning them into Ropes, use these lines to go down into the planet’s underground layers safely. Then, use your Matter Manipulator to gather materials, such as Mud and Cobblestone. But you can also find precious items like Copper and Iron Ores.

You Against the Universe

Starbound Quest Eventually, you’ll receive a message from S.A.I.L., saying that it’s concerned about an “archaic energy source.” Follow that source until you arrive at an ancient gateway. Then, the game gates you (pun intended) with a broken gateway, and it needs 20x Core Fragment to restore its functions. Find these items in old mines across the planet. Once repaired, interact with the gateway’s console, and it’ll warp you to The Ark, the hub of the universe. Here, find an old man and talk with him. A cutscene should play, leading you to your first mission in Starbound and the end of this Starbound Beginner's Guide.
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