Guide:Getting Started

From Starbounder - Starbound Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Mining Hazard Sign.png
Work In Progress!
Mining Hazard Sign.png

This article or section is currently in the process of an expansion or major restructuring.
You are welcome to assist in its construction by editing it as well.

Last edited by Katzeus on 2016-06-24 12:38:20.
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.

The game itself and the multiplayer server can be launched from here.

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, the appearance of the racial weapons and armor your character will be able to craft, 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. The exception are the Novakid, who start out with a pistol and a rifle, unlike the other races, who start the game with a shortsword and a broadsword.
  • '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!
Race Ships

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. At the beginning of the game, it is malfunctioning and will not open. Travel a little further along in your ship to rech the SAIL console. Press E to open up the console and enable SAIL. After doing this, another option will appear allowing you to enable your Matter Manipulator.

After doing this, you will be able to open your ship locker and retrieve your starting items, which include:

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 to other star systems. Traveling between planets in the same system does not use fuel.
  • Before being able to use this, players will have to follow the main quest line in order to unlock the Erchius Mining Facility mission.
  • Completing this mission will give the player 20 Erchius Crystals, allowing them to repair their ship's thrusters at SAIL.
  • Before you can travel to other planets, though, you must gather Liquid Erchius from a Moon and put it in your fuel tank.
  • Traveling to other star systems will deplete the fuel present in your fuel tank.
  • The fuel cost of traveling to another system increases the farther away the system is.
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.

From your teleportation pad, you can:

  • Teleport directly to party members (Even if they are underground).
  • Teleport to any Teleporters you have placed.

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. Simply use the R button to activate, assuming you are playing on the newest version of Starbound, Upbeat Giraffe.

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

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 Wooden Log. 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! Before going on building your thing, take a look around you never know, sometimes you get lucky and find a camp site.

Press C to bring up the crafting menu. The newly harvested Wooden Log 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 Wooden Log 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.

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. For this, you will need to find some Plant Fibre in addition to your Wood Planks. They are available from some trees and plants, especially Vine. If you are short of fibers, your next hunting weapon of choice is the Hunting Spear, requiring Wood planks and Cobblestone. 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.
  • Note that just as your Hunting Bow becomes charge, it will glow a quick instant. Releasing the arrow at this particular time will deal more damage to the target.

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 taken some damage

To gain back some of that precious red bar, you'll need to learn how to obtain and cook food

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 Campfire, 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 about three health bars after a little red cross under your energy is filled. More importantly, it demonstrates your Campfire is your first, and most basic, Cooking station. Right now, cooking serves to stay alive, but as you get newer and better cooking supplies, you will unlock more advanced recipes which will provide ongoing bonuses, such as longer passive health regeneration.

Keep yourself healthy

Your next quest is to create bandages.

For this you will need Plant Fibre only, which we should already have!

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

Upgrading your tools

Next step is getting better tools. For this, we need a furnace.

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. It requires Torches and a Campfire, you should already have torches and some Wooden Log.

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

We can now craft the 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