User Interface

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Item HUD.png

The hotbar is the player toolbar for weapons, tools, items, materials, and consumables. The hotbar is the primary HUD that will allow you quick access to these items in Starbound.

  • Each hotbar quickslot can be selected as active by clicking it or pressing a number 1-6. The quickslots are ordered from left to right. You can open a full second panel set of quickslots by pressing X, or pressing the small white and grey squares in the upper left of the hotbar.
  • Each quickslot represents the left and right hand of your character, assigned to the left and right mouse button by default. Items with a one-handed designation can be bound to either the left and right mouse hotkey. If items only require one hand, they will take up a single side of the quickslot and you can assign another single-handed item to the other side of the quickslot. Two-handed items will require both sides of a quickslot, but may have different abilities when using the right and left mouse button.
  • In the center of the hotbar there are four slots reserved for fixed tools. The first is your Matter Manipulator, which you find during the intro mission and can bring up at any time by pressing R. The second is Wire Mode, which begins locked but can be unlocked by upgrading the Matter Manipulator. The third slot, also locked at start, is the Paint Tool. The last fixed quickslot is the Scan Mode tool, which you can select by pressing N.
  • Items and objects can be dragged to and from the players inventory and dropped in the corresponding slot where you'd like that item to be mapped, but hotbar slots can only be remapped while the inventory window is open.
  • You can lock the hotbar by clicking the green lock icon. This will prevent items from being moved to and from the hotbar until you unlock by clicking the icon again.


Hotkeys are actions and UI elements bound to keys on the players keyboard. Controls can be viewed in game by clicking [F1] on the keyboard.

Game Window hotkeys

Hotkey Game Window Description Menu Icon
[C] Crafting Window Crafting Schematics are listed and allows access to crafting. Crafting windows are colored blue.
Sidemenu Crafting.png
[I] Inventory/Armor Inventory storage, tech and armor equip screen, pet storage. Inventory windows are colored green.
Sidemenu Inventory.png
[J] Quest Journal List of active, completed, and failed quests and details. The quest window is colored red.
Sidemenu Quests.png
[L] Codex List of available books, journals and documents. Codex windows are colored yellow.
Sidemenu Codex.png
Starbound Songbook Lists imported songs that can be played with instruments. The songbook window is colored yellow.
[Esc] Options Menu/Quit Settings to adjust volume, resolution, camera zoom and toggle speech bubbles

Movement and Interaction Hotkeys

[W A S D] Movement Directional movement keys
[Space] Jump Allows the player to jump in the air. Jump height depends on planet gravity levels.
mouse click
Interact For interacting with objects including opening doors, turning on lights, sitting on furniture, sleeping in beds, opening crafting interfaces and more.
mouse click
Select foreground objects For interaction with objects/blocks in the foreground layer using the Matter Manipulator, Paint Mode, or block placement
mouse click
Select background objects For interaction with objects/blocks in the background layer using the Matter Manipulator, Paint Mode, or block placement
mouse click
Attack Attack with selected weapon, some weapons have unique attacks for both left and right click
[Shift] Select a single block For interaction with a single block area using the Matter Manipulator, Paint Mode, or block placement
[R] Matter Manipulator Toggles the Matter Manipulator
Matter Manipulator Icon.png
[Y] Paint Mode Toggles Paint Mode
Paint Mode Icon.png
[T] Wire Mode Toggles Wire Mode
Wire Mode Icon.png
[N] Scanning Mode Toggles Scanning Mode
Scanning Mode Icon.png
[Alt] Status Button Highlights objects the player can interact with and displays Nametags.
[X] Swap Between Hotbars Changes the active hotbar
[Z] Deselect Items Deselects currently held item so nothing is selected
[Q] Throw Item Throws the currently selected item or object onto the ground, useful for quick trading with other players
[1-6] or [Mousewheel] Hold Hotbar Item Selects items in the corresponding slot on the hotbar
[Shift + Click] Quick Move Item Deposits or withdraws clicked item to or from inventory
[Right] mouse click Take One Item from Stack selects one of the quantity in the clicked stack of items
[Shift + Right] mouse click Split Item Stack selects 1/2 of the quantity in the clicked stack of items
[F11] Toggle Fullscreen Useful when alt-tab-ing.
[F12] Screenshot

(with steam overlay)

Takes a picture of your screen.

(saved in: C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\userdata\"user-id"\760\remote\211820\screenshots)

UI Elements

Enemy Health Bar Displays an enemy's health.
Chat Bubbles Displays what characters type above them in a comic style word balloon.
Nametags Displays the player's name above their head.
Breath Bar Displays how much air the player has left.
Party Window The party window keeps track of other players in your party.