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Apex Icon.png
playable race
Male Icon.png
Female Icon.png

Cultural Style Ultramodern
Appearance Apelike

See Also: Category:Apex
The Apex are one of the seven playable races in Starbound, and one of the six races entrusted with an Ancient artifact.

They were originally a much more human-like race until a mysterious water-borne pathogen of a supposedly unknown origin threatened their survival. The ruling government, known as the Miniknog, had developed a cure that countered the harmful effects of the pathogen, with the side effect of starting the VEP (Vestigi-Evo Process). This greatly increased their mental capabilities, with the tradeoff of 'devolving' their bodies to a more ape-like state. In truth, the Miniknog created this virus as an excuse to put all Apex through this process.

It took less than 10 years for every member of the race to undergo the VEP. During this time, all records of Apex society's prior existence were destroyed, and the Miniknog's leader Big Ape took complete and total control over it. Apex leadership dictates jobs, the economy, fashion trends, food rations, and who is selected for experiments to advancement of Apex biological science (most notably experiments to reverse the physical devolution of their species). Due to the aforementioned destruction of Apex history, there is no certainty as to how long the Miniknog has actually been in charge.

Apex society has also spawned a number of rebel groups, who have made efforts to combat the Miniknog's oppressive rule. These efforts have yielded limited success — while they have succeeded keeping small groups of Apex safely outside of Miniknog rule, the majority of settlements are still Miniknog-controlled.

Apex as the player character

As with the other player races, Apex characters are given a set of uniquely-styled Armors, their own Ship type (with included Pet), and two unique Mech bodies. The Apex equipment leans towards a "citizen's militia" aesthetic. Their stats are the same for all other race's equipment at the same Tier.

Crafted weapons are the same for all races, save for the pistol-packing Novakid.

While race-specific crafted items can be traded between characters of different races and used freely, there is currently no mechanism to allow a character to craft other races' unique items, or obtain a different Ship (and Ship Pet) in any capacity, without modding the game.

Starter Clothing

An Apex player has four sets of race-specific Starter Clothing to choose from in the Character Creator, plus the standard-issue Protectorate T-Shirt and Protectorate Vest. These items have no defensive capabilities whatsoever. These four sets are also used to clothe randomly-generated Apex NPC villagers.

All four sets can also be crafted at the Spinning Wheel and Sewing Machine.

Apex Racial Armor

Scouter's Set.png
Scavenger's Set.png
Pioneer Set.png
Outrider Set.png
Vanguard Armor.png
Seeker Set.png
Wanderer Set.png
Adventurer Set.png
Trailbrazer Armor.png
Universalist Set.png
Scouter Scavenger Pioneer Outrider Vanguard Seeker Wanderer Adventurer Trailblazer Universalist
Defector Set.png
Rebel Set.png
Insurgent Set.png
Revolutionary Set.png
Rogue Set.png
Spy Set.png
Assassin Set.png
Frontliner Set.png
Infiltrator Set.png
Usurper Set.png
Defector Rebel Insurgent Revolutionary Rogue Spy Assassin Frontliner Infiltrator Usurper
Hatchling's Set.png
Sparrow Set.png
Quail Set.png
Owl Set.png
Toucan Set.png
Macaw Set.png
Peacock Set.png
Flamingo Set.png
Phoenix Set.png
Raven's Set.png
Hatchling Sparrow Quail Owl Toucan Macaw Peacock Flamingo Phoenix Raven
Sprout's Set.png
Bonesmith's Set.png
Nomad's Set.png
Hunter's Set.png
Cannibals Set.png
Wiseman's Set.png
Gatherer's Set.png
Sentinel's Set.png
Shaman's Set.png
Synthesizer's Set.png
Sprout Bonesmith Nomad Hunter Cannibal Wiseman Gatherer Sentinel Shaman Synthesizer
Knave's Set.png
Soldier's Set.png
Knight's Armor.png
Dark Knight's Set.png
Lancer's Set.png
Crusader's Set.png
Paladin's Set.png
Glitch Templar Armor.png
Legionnaire's Set.png
Doom Lord's Set.png
Knave Soldier Knight Dark Knight Lancer Crusader Paladin Templar Legionnaire Doom Lord
Puddle Set.png
Pond Set.png
River set.png
Lake Set.png
Reef Set.png
Sea set.png
Ocean Set.png
Euphotic set.png
Disphotic set.png
Aphotic set.png
Puddle Pond River Lake Reef Sea Ocean Euphotic Disphotic Aphotic
Deputy's Set.png
Bandit Set.png
Outlaw Set.png
Sheriff's Set.png
Bonesaw's Set.png
Clockwork Set.png
Bandito's Set.png
Gambler's Set.png
Varmint's Set.png
Wrangler's Set.png
Deputy Bandit Outlaw Sheriff Bonesaw Clockwork Bandito Gambler Varmint Wrangler
Set NamePower Icon.pngArmor Icon.pngEnergy Icon.pngHealth Icon.pngHelmChestLegsTier
Defector's Set50251010Defector's MaskDefector's ChestguardDefector's TrousersTier01
Rebel's Set100452020Rebel's HoodRebel's ChestguardRebel's TrousersTier02
Insurgent's Set150603030Insurgent's MaskInsurgent's JacketInsurgent's TrousersTier03
Revolutionary's Set200704040Revolutionary's BandanaRevolutionary's JacketRevolutionary's TrousersTier04
Spy's Set300755050Spy's HoodSpy's JacketSpy's TrousersTier05
Assassin's Set2507550100Assassin's MaskAssassin's ChestguardAssassin's TrousersTier05
Rogue's Set2507512550Rogue's HoodRogue's ChestguardRogue's TrousersTier05
Infiltrator's Set3008015060Infiltrator's HelmInfiltrator's BreastplateInfiltrator's GreavesTier06
Usurper's Set360806060Usurper's HoodUsurper's CoatUsurper's TrousersTier06
Frontliner's Set3008060120Frontliner's HelmFrontliner's BreastplateFrontliner's GreavesTier06

These Armor sets have the same stats as their equivalent Armors for all other races.

Cosmetic Armors

There are a number of Apex-related Cosmetic Armors to be found scattered across the universe, usually in Apex-themed Dungeons, but sometimes in random/Biome chests. Like the Starter Clothing, these have no defensive capabilities, but let the player customize their character's appearance.

Player Ship

The (fixed) starter-level Apex Ship

The Apex Ship is a sleek, ultra-modern craft covered in (nonfunctional) guns. Its size can be expanded by obtaining more Crew members, which allows the player to buy a higher-class Ship Licence from Penguin Pete for every two more Crew members. Alternately, the player can buy counterfeit licenses from Penguin Bay: these licenses are expensive, but do not have crew requirements attached to them.

Once upgraded to the Condor Class (the largest Ship class), the Apex ship is a gigantic diamond-shaped arrangements of rooms that is largely symmetrical both vertically and horizontally, bristling with turrets outside.

Apex ship pets are Weasels, coming in one of ten different colors chosen at random.


The "Dominion-00" Mech Body

Apex player-characters have the ability to craft two unique Mech body types.

The Dominion-00 Mech Body is the first Mech body the player will obtain, by completing Dr. Akaggy's "Test Drive" quest at the Outpost and unlocking the ability to use Mechs. Its advanced version, the Dominion Mech Body, is obtained by completing Akaggy's later "Advanced Test Drive" quest.

These two bodies have the same stats as other races' "default" Mech Bodies earned from the same quests.

Apex as NPCs

Apex NPCs are very common. Lone Apex Merchants can pop up on nearly any world (both through normal planetary generation and temporarily as part of a Quest), and spaceships and space stations may have Apex crew. Apex will often appear as NPCs in mixed-race planetary Microdungeons such as Savannah settlements or Tundra science stations.

Villages & Dungeons

Apex City Apartments

Apex villages and dungeons can be found on all planet types that can have surface-level full-sized dungeons except for Lush (aka "starter") planets. They are most likely to appear on Tundra planets over any other type.

Apex structures lean towards "modern" to high-tech styling. Miniknog-controlled areas are covered in Big Ape propaganda and security camera (both obvious and hidden), whether the structure be a beige cookie-cutter "Standard Issue" apartment living space or bright-grey sanitized science lab of dubious intent.

By contrast, Apex rebel camps are grubby affairs of scavenged supplies and hastily-constructed bunkers.


Space Encounters

The player can discover Miniknog bases as Space Encounters. Like the planetary Miniknog Bases, these areas are full of guards and scientists who will attack the player on-sight. The bases also have a slight puzzle element to them, requiring certain doors to be unlocked from different areas of the base in order to proceed. These bases are "shielded", which prevents the player from mining its blocks and bypassing the puzzles.


At the Outpost, Apex scientist Elliott offers a large number of Quests that allow the player to unlock three different types of Tech. This Quest chain is available as soon as the player first visits the Outpost.

The Quest to find the Apex Artifact is the fourth of the five Artifact Quests the player must undertake. This two-part hunt first involves finding Apex decor items and scanning them, giving Esther data to locate the Artifact's whereabouts. Once she has enough data, the player can travel directly to the Miniknog Stronghold to retrieve it, where the player gets accidentlaly involved in an Apex rebel strike.


Colony Deed.gif A variety of Apex Tenants can be summoned by placing a Colony Deed in a suitably-furnished room.
Basic Tenants

These types of Tenant can be any race, dependent on the furniture in the room. If there is not enough race-tagged furniture in the room, the Tenant's race will be chosen at random.

Name Type Race Required Object Types (Boxes) Rent Chances Rent Timeframe
Merchant Apex Tenant.png
Merchant Merchant Apex Apex (8), Storage (8), Commerce (8) Merchant 15 to 30 minutes
Random Storage (8), Commerce (8) 20 to 30 minutes
Chef Apex Tenant.png
Chef Merchant Apex Apex (6), Cooking (8) Merchant 15 to 30 minutes
Random Cooking (8) 20 to 30 minutes
Villager Apex Tenant.png
Villager Villager Apex Apex (6) Villager 15 to 30 minutes
Random 15 to 30 minutes
Tiered Guard Tenants

Like the Basic Tenants, these Guards can be any race, dependent on what furniture is placed in their room. Their Armor and combat stats are based on the type of crafted tiered furniture placed in the room.

Lvl Armor Race Required Object Types (Boxes) Rent Chances Rent Timeframe
Tier 4 Apex Tenant.png
4 Tier 4 Apex Durasteel (12), Combat (8), Apex (8) Villager 15 to 30 minutes
Random Durasteel (12), Combat (8) 20 to 30 minutes
Tier 3 Apex Tenant.png
3 Tier 3 Apex Titanium (12), Combat (8), Apex (8) Villager 15 to 30 minutes
Random Titanium (12), Combat (8) 20 to 30 minutes
Tier 2 Apex Tenant.png
2 Tier 2 Apex Tungsten (12), Combat (8), Apex (8) Villager 15 to 30 minutes
Random Tungsten (12), Combat (8) 20 to 30 minutes
Tier 1 Apex Tenant.png
1 Tier 1 Apex Combat (8), Apex (8) Villager 15 to 30 minutes
Random Combat (8) 20 to 30 minutes
Apex Themed Tenants

These Tenants' race is not dictated by furniture tags, but random-chance among a limited selection of races. Only the Miniknog Researcher will always be Apex; the rest also have a random chance to be Human, plus the Scientist may end up as a Hylotl.

Name Type Required Object Types (Boxes) Rent Chances Rent Timeframe
Hazmat Tenant.png
Hazmat Scientist Villager Odd (14), Science (14) Villager 15 to 30 minutes
Tar Tenant.png
Hunter-Gatherer Villager Tar (18) Tar Villager* 10 to 30 minutes
Lab Researcher Tenant.png
Miniknog Researcher Villager Apexresearchlab (24) Villager 15 to 30 minutes
Neon Tenant.png
Neon Villager Electronic (32) Villager 15 to 30 minutes
Scientist Tenant.png
Scientist Villager Science (24) Villager 15 to 30 minutes

*Tar Villagers have a custom rent pool: 14.8% Hunting Spear x3, 14.8% Iron Hunting Spear x3, 7.4% Basic Treasure, 7.4% Fish Stew, 7.4% Javelin x3, 7.4% Meat Dumplings, 7.4% Meat Pie, 7.4% Meat Stew, 7.4% Tarball x3, 7.4% Throwing Dagger x3, 7.4% Throwing Dart x3, 3.7% Coconut x3

Random-race Themed Tenants

These Tenants can be any of the seven playable races, but that race will always be chosen at random, regardless of the racial tags of the room's furniture.

Name Type Required Object Types (Boxes) Rent Chances Rent Timeframe
Astro Tenant.png
Astro Villager Astro (24) Villager 15 to 30 minutes
Electrician Tenant.png
Electrician Villager Wired (24) Villager 15 to 30 minutes
Industrial Tenant.png
Industrial Villager Industrial (24) Villager 15 to 30 minutes
Philanthropist Tenant.png
Philanthropist Villager Valuable (76) Villager 15 to 30 minutes
Socialite Tenant.png
Socialite Villager Pretty (28), Valuable (42) Villager 15 to 30 minutes
Space Guard Tenant.png
Space Guard Guard Station (12), Combat (24) Villager 15 to 30 minutes
Station Tenant.png
Station Villager Station (24) Villager 15 to 30 minutes

Notable Apex

Beta versions also included mentions of following individuals:

  • Unnamed Lab Assistant


Apex feature in a good number of Codex books, both written by Apex and by other races.

Apex An Identity Lost Icon.png Apex: An Identity Lost

Miniknog R and D Report Icon.png Miniknog R&D Report
'Project De-Ape' Lab Report Icon.png 'Project: De-Ape' Lab Report

RE Selection bias Icon.png RE: Selection bias!


Apex Skeleton.png

The player can find fossilized remains of Apex underground on most planets by successfully completing a fossil mini-game. The prizes for completion are randomized, so it may take a lot of tries to obtain even a single piece.

Once a complete set of skull, torso and legs has been collected, they can be placed in a Medium Fossil Display, forming a complete Apex skeleton to be put on display as a decor item. This also completes entry #13 in the Fossil Collections Library. Once the skeleton and display have been combined, they cannot be disassembled.

The player may also find the Apex Skull Mask Cosmetic Armor piece in Bone Chests scattered throughout Bone Biomes.


  • Much of the Apex society is based on the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, a dystopian future novel where the all-seeing "Big Brother" keeps a cowed population in check.

Apex Icon.png ApexAvian Icon.png AvianFloran Icon.png FloranGlitch Icon.png GlitchHuman Icon.png HumanHylotl Icon.png HylotlNovakid Icon.png Novakid
Agaran Icon.png AgaranAlpaca Icon.png AlpacaAncient Icon.png AncientDeadbeat Icon.png DeadbeatFeneroxIcon.png FeneroxFrog Icon.png Frogg
Penguin Icon.png PenguinShadows Icon.png Shadow