Guide:Getting Started

From Starbounder - Starbound Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Starter Guide Banner.png

Welcome to Starbound! While some things may be familiar, not everything may be clear to new players. Here's a guide leading players through the first Tier, introducing the game systems and interface.



After opening the game the launcher window will appear. The launcher provides details about recent changes and updates to the game as well as providing some helpful links.

Click the 'Launch Starbound' button to begin the game.

Game menu

Game mode

After opening, game menu provides options for beginning the game either in Single Player or Multiplayer. There's also a button to configure options, which can also be later accessed in-game.

Character creation


At the select character screen, click create character to create a new character or an existing character to advance directly to the game.

The character creation window provides choice between race, gender and appearance.

  • Your race choice here will determine the appearance of the ship you'll start off with, the starting recipes for food and other equipment, and lore.However, any object can be acquired with enough gameplay.
  • Racial options are almost purely cosmetic. There's no impact on gameplay or limitation on acquiring other race items or objects.
  • 'Personality' gives you some options for the pose your character will keep while standing still.

Beginning gameplay

Welcome to your ship

After selecting a character, players will appear on a ship floating over a planet. A quest window begins the game's story.

  • Your race choice will determine the appearance of your ship.
  • Each race has a different starting quest; their reasons for journeying into space are different!
Apex Starting Ship

Follow the quest's instructions to equip for the journey

Ship stations

Ship Locker.gif
The shiplocker is a storage container where players can store items on their ship. By default the shiplocker has 64 inventory slots. Open this and take out the Matter Manipulator to complete your first quest.
Fuel Hatch
Fuel Hatch.gif
The fuel hatch is how players can refuel their ships. It will break down raw fuel type ores to fuel which refills the ships fuel gauge and allows it to travel.
  • Before using this, players need to obtain resources from the planet for fuel.
The teleportation pad is the way travel to and from a ship. You will beam down to the planet or object the ship is in orbit of, and when beaming back, or to another players ship, you will materialize on the teleportation pad.
  • Make sure you've gotten your items out of your storage locker before beaming to the planet and that you have configured your hotbar to play.

Interface and controls

The user interface displays important information and useful buttons.

Move using the WSAD keys.


Item HUD.png

The hotbar is the player toolbar for weapons, tools, items, and consumables, items with a one-handed designation can be bound to either the left and right mouse hotkeys. Pressing 0-9 will swap out the corresponding item to the players left hand, while Shift 0-9 will switch items out to their right hand, and the right mouse button. The hotbar can also be scrolled through using a mousewheel.

The center slots, labeled L and R, are the 'quickslots', this is what the equipped item will be when another is not selected. Pressing X will also default your equipped items back to the center slots. This is useful to allow the player to designate a default weapon or weapon/shield combo that can be quickly toggled to if combat is encountered. Clicking X a second time will swap back from the quickslots to the previously equipped item in the hotbar.

Items and objects can be dragged from the players inventory and dropped in the corresponding 'slot' where they'd like that item to be mapped, but hotbar slots can only be remapped while the inventory window is open.


Hotkeys are actions and UI elements bound to keys on the players keyboard.

Hotkey Game Window Description Menu Icon
A D Movement Keys The A and D keys on the keyboard move the character left and right
Space Jump The space bar allows the character to jump
E Interact Key While cursoring over an object click E to interact with it. This can be used to open chests, open doors, crafting table menus, cooking menus and other actions associated with objects.
C Crafting Screen Crafting Schematics are listed and allows access to crafting
Sidemenu Crafting.png
I Inventory Screen Inventory storage, tech and armor equip screen, pet storage
Sidemenu Inventory.png
J Quest Journal List of active, completed, and failed quests and details
Sidemenu Quests.png
L Starbound Codex List of available books, journals and documents
Sidemenu Codex.png
Alt Status Button Highlights objects the player can interact with
S Crouch Pressing S crouches the character
X Default hotbar slots Clears the currently equipped hotbar binding and equips whatever is bound to the L and R slots
Q Throws current item Pressing Q will throw the currently toggled item on the hotbar onto the ground.
Z Swap quickslots Pressing Z will swap items in your L and R slots so that you can use two two-handed objects in these slots and swap easily from one to another.
F1 Toggle HUD Toggles the visibility of the heads-up display.
F6 Streaming Options Brings up the options menu for configuration as well as starting/stopping Twitch streaming.
F11 Toggle Fullscreen Enables and disables fullscreen.
Arrow keys Facial emotes. Changes users facial emotion for a short period of time.

Quest complete

Matter Manipulator Icon.png
Open up the Shiplocker by hovering your cursor over it and pressing E and take out the Matter Manipulator. Also inside will be a weapon, some seeds and a flashlight. Initially the Matter Manipulator will act as a multi-tool, allowing you to dig and cut down trees and dislodge objects.

As soon as the Matter Manipulator is take a window will appear saying the first quest is complete!

  • Try equipping your weapon in the L middle slot. Pressing X will swap to this slot, and pressing it again will switch back to whatever else was toggled before.

Beam me down!

Take time to get familiar with the controls, especially toggling the sword just acquired. Once you beam down you're going to need it!

  • When ready click the side-menu button with the downward arrow. This button is important!! It's also the button used to return to your ship

The planet surface

Welcome to the surface!! Each planet in Starbound is unique, and the starting planet is randomly chosen for new characters. Let's assume that the your planet has basic resources like wood!

After beaming to the planet surface it's best to start by collecting some wood or stone right away. Cut down trees using the Matter Manipulator to gather Unrefined Wood. If an enemy monster appears it can be dispatched by toggling to the sword and left clicking to swing at it.

After gathering some materials it's time to make a basic structure.

A place to call your own

The quest requires building a Wooden Crafting Table, but it's hard to craft with monsters chasing you. Having a small structure will make things much easier!

Press C to bring up the crafting menu. The newly harvested Unrefined Wood from the trees just cut down can be refined into Wood Planks. Wood Planks are a building block type, it's recommended to start with these to build a small building. You'll beam back to the same starting point each time you die or come back to the planet, so it's probably easiest to build it near there.

  • The surface can be leveled using the Matter Manipulator if need be
  • When the desired building material is selected;
    • Left-click: Places the building block in the foreground (walls, ceilings)
    • Right-click: Places the building block in the background (background walls, windows)
  • Finish building your structure by nightfall, as monsters become more dangerous after dark!

The crafting station

The objective of the current quest, Shop Class is to craft a Wooden Crafting Table. This requires Wood Planks, which are crafted from the Unrefined Wood dropped by trees.

Materials Quantity Instructions Result
35 Click C to open the crafting menu. Then select Wooden Crafting Table.
Wooden Crafting Table.png

After crafting the table it will appear in the hotbar if there are empty spaces, and the player inventory if not. The inventory can be accessed by clicking I.


Immediately after crafting you should see a quest complete window for Shop Class, and get the window for Food Fight.

After placing the table, hover the cursor over it and click E. This will bring up a listing of recipes the station allows the player to craft. There are doors, furniture, blocks and tools that can only be crafted using the station.

Build a fire

The Temperature Bar

By now in the game a temperature bar may have appeared onscreen, this measures how cold the player is. As the temperature bar becomes lower the screen becomes hazy and white, the player starts to have icy breath, and finally will begin to lose health.

To counter this make a Camp Fire. It will not only provide a source of heat, keeping your temperature bar high, but also light up the darkness.

Materials Quantity Instructions Result
Click C to open the crafting menu. Then select Camp Fire.
Camp Fire.gif

To create the Camp Fire click C to open the crafting menu, then select Camp Fire from the listing.

  • It's a good idea to have a Camp Fire available at your 'base', but also smart to keep an extra in inventory in case things get chilly while exploring!!
  • Tip: You can use multiple Torches to heat yourself if you find yourself with no campfire and you are getting cold quickly.

The Camp Fire also acts as a cooking station, refining some foods. For the current quest it will be necessary to cook some Raw Steak using the Camp Fire.

After placing the Camp Fire it's time to gather some meat!

Combat Basics

The current quest requires gathering Raw Steak which drops from monsters killed with a hunting style weapon. Since the only weapon available right now is a sword we'll go over some of the basics of melee combat.

As outlined above, the middle L & R buttons on the hotbar are 'quickslots' bound to X. Having a weapon there is useful, requiring only a single button click to ready your sword. Clicking X again will return to the hotbar slot previously toggled.

  • While your sword is selected, left-click your mouse to swing.
  • Your character will face the direction of the mouse cursor, allowing you to swing at enemies behind you while running
  • If you have one-handed weapons in both the L and R quickslots, you can attack using left mouse and right mouse buttons, this is especially useful for pistols.

Also, timing is critically important in combat. Timing swings and avoiding monsters attacks are the key components to surviving.

  • If you're finding combat difficult try taking on one monster at a time.

Give melee combat a little practice and then craft yourself a Hunting Bow. Killing monsters with a non-hunting style weapon like a sword will not drop meat upon death, but instead will drop pixels.

  • You can use the bow by moving your mouse around the screen to aim.
  • If you are shooting at enemies far away, aim higher as the arrows drop as they do in real life.
  • You can also use CTRL + your mouse to change the camera view so that you can see further away.

Practice wielding the bow and then go kill a few monsters until one drops some meat.

Monster drops

Monster drops are the items that monsters leave on the ground after they're killed. Very commonly it's pixels, the game's currency (which you'll need later for crafting). You will not receive pixels if the monster is killed with a hunting-style weapon, but instead will receive leather or meat usually. A non hunting-style weapon is able to get meat but at a lower drop rate.

Keeping yourself fed

After all that hard work building and fighting, you'll have probably started to notice this meter popping up:

Food bar.gif

That's your Hunger meter, and it represents how 'well-fed' you are. If your Hunger meter is mostly full, actions like digging and chopping are quick and easy. But as you begin to starve, your tools and weapons will become less effective, owing to your lack of energy. If it ever reaches zero, you'll start to take damage until you either eat, or you die.

Thankfully, killing monsters with Hunting weapons (like your Hunting Bow) provides an easy remedy for the problem. In all likelihood, monsters you've killed have dropped an object that looks a bit like a pork chop. This is Raw Steak, and its an easily-acquired staple food source. You could eat it as-is, but let's try something just a tiny bit more sophisticated:

Materials Quantity Instructions Result
Press 'E' to interact with your Camp Fire, place the Meat in the left-hand slot, and press the 'Cook' button.
Cooked Steak.png

Now you have a grilled steak carved from the body of some unspeakable extraterrestrial horror, which will refill 30 points of Hunger, or 3 blocks on the meter. More importantly, it demonstrates your Camp Fire is your first, and most basic, Cooking station. Right now, cooking serves to stave off hunger, but as you get newer and better cooking supplies, you will unlock more advanced recipes which will provide ongoing bonuses, such as passive health regeneration.

Stone tools

The Matter Manipulator, is a very inefficient mining tool. Mined stone and ore are key ingredients for crafting. Select the Matter Manipulator and left click to mine out some stone from the environment in order to get Cobblestone. After colecting 10 Cobblestone and 20 Wood Planks interact using E with the Wooden Crafting Table you recently built. Craft a Stone Pickaxe.

Materials Quantity Instructions Result
Press 'E' to interact with your Wooden Crafting Table. Then select Stone Pickaxe.
Stone Pickaxe.png

Pickaxes will break blocks much faster than the Matter Manipulator. As the game progresses the pickaxe will be upgradeable using ores allowing it to make it mine even faster. The next step is going to require more Cobblestone, so it's time to put that pickaxe to use!

Build a furnace

Stone tools are rather primitive and you don't have armor to protect from monsters. To craft better mining tools and equipment, the first step is to build a Stone Furnace.

Materials Quantity Instructions Result
Press 'E' to interact with your Wooden Crafting Table. Then select Stone Furnace.
Stone Furnace.gif

Crafting a Stone Furnace will complete the Out Of The Frying Pan... quest.


In Progress: More to come

Personal tools