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(Dungeons may be referred to by other terms, such as settlements, villages, or structures.)

Dungeons are open world structures that the player comes across while exploring. Randomly generated quests use above-ground dungeons, microdungeons, small structures, and land features as landmarks. The number of major dungeons on a planet depend on that planet's size:

  • Small Planet: 1 dungeon
  • Medium Planet: 1 to 2 dungeons
  • Large Planet: 2 to 3 dungeons

Some dungeons, such as a Hylotl Underwater City, have a shield generator inside them that protects all blocks and furniture within dungeon boundaries from being mined, as well as hiding any wiring located within the area. Disabling this shield will allow players to pick up locked objects and blocks, as well as observe and change wiring.

Village dungeons are usually a collection of many buildings on the surface of a planet. They have many NPCs of all kinds in them, from simple villagers and merchants to guards and kings. NPCs in villages are friendly to the player, but can become hostile if they catch the player stealing.

Types of Dungeons

Major Dungeons



Most dungeons have a higher chance to appear on planets of a particular primary biome. For instance, all four Floran dungeons are more likely to be found on forest planets than any other planet type. Note that this does not mean that this is the only planet type that a dungeon can generate on.

There are some planet types which have restrictions on dungeon spawning:

  • Moons, Asteroid Fields, and Barren planets will not generate any dungeons. The ocean-like Toxic, Arctic, and Magma planets also do not generate dungeons.
  • Ocean planets can spawn only the Hylotl Underwater City and Hylotl Underwater Ruins dungeons. Because a large-sized world is guaranteed to have at least two dungeons, this means that every large-sized Ocean planet is guaranteed to contain both Hylotl underwater dungeons. Ocean planets are the only type of planets on which the Hylotl underwater dungeons spawn.
  • Garden planets can only contain the Mines dungeon, and are the only type of planet on which this dungeon spawns.

Space Dungeons

With the 1.3.0 Update, three types of space dungeons were added to the game: Space Encounters, NPC Ships, and NPC Space Stations. These can be encountered while inspecting star systems in the Navigation Console. All space dungeons require a mech for exploration. With the 1.4.0 Update, some bounty quests repurpose space encounters and hostile NPC ships as parts of the quest.


There can be many microdungeons on the surface and underground. Microdungeons are small buildings or landforms, usually only comprising of one or two rooms.

Bounty Microdungeons

With the 1.4.0 Update, new types of microdungeons were added to the game: bounty microdungeons. These consist of small buildings inhabited by hostile NPC gangs. These microdungeons are dynamically spawned into specific worlds when a player has a bounty quest. Note that these microdungeons spawn only in chunks of a world not yet explored by any player, so players may want to avoid unnecessary planetary exploration in star systems near an active Peacekeeper base until after completing that base's Peacekeeper missions, to avoid the annoyance of having bounty microdungeons spawn into inconvenient places like near the core of a planet or in its asteroids layer.

Disabled and Removed Structures

Many dungeons were removed from the game during the transition from beta to release. The reasons given for removal were varied, with some removed due to lore rewrites and others referred to as "placeholder content". Other dungeons were disabled from appearing in the game, but the assets still exist and they can be spawned using admin commands, with the usual warning that spawning a dungeon into a world manually is irreversible and typically produces jarring visual discontinuities.

Disabled Dungeons Removed Dungeons


Dungeons are a great place to get rare and valuable treasures. Dungeons often have a unique pool of items along with a common pool, depending on the type of container. Basic Treasure often appears in non-chest containers such as boxes and crates, while Valuable Treasure usually appears in dungeon-themed chests.

Most dungeons (including villages) also have a single special chest which contains one Large Dungeon Reward.

Large Dungeon Reward

Large Dungeon Reward Quantity Weight Chance
Basic Treasure 2 Always Appears
Good Weapon 1 0.5 50%
Unique Weapon 1 0.5 50%
Total Weight 1.0

Dungeon IDs

Dungeon IDs play an important role in defining the functional aspects of dungeons, including tile protection, breathability, and gravity. Each major dungeon on a planet is assigned its own dungeonid, from 0 to 2, depending on the order in which it was generated on the planet. All microdungeons on a planet, both above and below ground, are assigned the dungeonid 65533.


Dungeons are procedurally generated by assembling pre-built rooms and attaching them to produce a unique design.

In early development, Starbound used PNG maps, like the one shown below, to determine where the elements were placed in dungeons. The game engine cross-referenced that map against a color key contained in the dungeon metadata file and placed all of the foreground and background tiles, objects, monster and NPC spawns, and other game elements.[1] The game engine still supports PNG maps, and the oldest dungeons that remain in the game are implemented using them.

Dungeon Generation 2.png
A Glitch dungeon key.

In early 2015 Chucklefish transitioned to using the map editor program Tiled for dungeon generation instead of PNG maps.[2] While setting up Tiled to correctly find the necessary tileset files can be difficult, once it has been set up, designing dungeons becomes much easier. An example of the Tiled editor editing a dungeon part is shown below.



  1. http://playstarbound.com/dungeon-generation/
  2. http://playstarbound.com/15th-of-april-tiled