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Hunger is a gameplay mechanic of Starbound requiring the player to acquire food for sustenance to prevent starvation. It is restricted to the Survival and Hardcore settings of difficulty. Functionally it is similar to its Koala iteration, though not completely identical.

Hunger functions independently of health unless the player is starving. Hunger is tracked by a hunger meter in the player UI. The game stores this stat as a decimal between 0 and 100, though this value is not shown to the player. It decreases at a rate of 2.5 per 30 seconds when standing still in survival difficulty.

When the player's hunger meter is low, a beeping noise will play and alert the player to eat something. The first time this happens, S.A.I.L will also notify and instruct the player on this.

If the player consumes something that causes the hunger value to go over 100, the player will gain the "Full Belly" buff. When this happens, the player will also begin to slowly regenerate health. However, they will be barred from eating anything further for a while.

The hunger meter will not deplete during missions (including the introduction and certain places, such as the Ark Outpost), allowing the player to focus on them without having to worry about starving.

The hunger meter also does not deplete while sleeping in a bed that provides the Resting buff.


Hunger related debuffs are negative status effects from not eating such as slowing player speed and dealing damage. They're applied when players hunger bar gets low.

In the case of full belly; while active players will not be able to consume further food.

Debuff Description
Status Hungry.png Hungry On survival difficulty players will get hungry if their hunger bar gets too low. While hungry movement speed is reduced by 15%.
Status Starving.png Starving On survival difficulty players will begin starving if their hunger bar becomes empty. While starving movement speed is reduced by 15% and players will take periodic damage.
Status Well Fed.png Full Belly Applied after players consume food. It prevents continual consumption of food to overcome damage and forces the player to plan out the need for healing and status effects.

Beta Mechanics

The Hunger Meter showing all stages of starvation and consumption with associated values displayed to the right.

Hunger was a gameplay mechanic of Starbound requiring the player to produce food for sustenance to prevent starvation. It was removed from the game in update Rampaging Koala. Later, a slightly different system for hunger was introduced which is only active in Survival and Hardcore difficulties.

Hunger functioned independently of health unless the player was starving. Hunger was tracked by the Hunger Meter in the player UI. The game stored this stat as a decimal between 0 and 100, though this value was not shown to the player. This number would decrease by 1 every 23.5 seconds, or roughly 4 minutes per bar on the hunger meter. Once it reached zero, the player would begin to take 7 HP damage per second until food was consumed or the player died. Consuming food increased the hunger value by varying amounts depending on the food consumed. If the player died, of starvation or otherwise, the hunger value was reset to maximum. The only way to stop the hunger value from decreasing was to rest, either by sleeping in a bed, or by sitting on a chair, stool, bench, or any other sit-able object. There was no way to exceed the value cap of 100, and were no hunger-associated perks.

As hunger increased and decreased, the Hunger Meter would display a new status in the bottom center of the interface. The meter could be checked at any time by using the 'Alt' key. The thresholds for statuses were vary dependent on if the hunger value was increasing or decreasing, though they centered at quarter, 15, 10, 5, and 1 values. If the player's hunger was below 5 an alarm would sound. The red bar shown to the player was in increments of 10, though these graduations differed when the change was positive or negative. The animation to the top right demonstrates this.

Beta Hunger Status Messages and Thresholds
Starving Consuming
Status Hunger Value Status Hunger Value
Mmm, I'm full! 99 Is this a joke? 2
Getting peckish 75 I'll die if I don't get some more 6
Getting pretty hungry 50 More, more! I need more! 11
Sooooo Hungry... 25 Must find more food! 16
I can't take it much longer! 15 I need more! 26
I can barely stand. 10 I'm still hungry 51
I see a light... 5 A little better 76
Goodbye cruel world 1 Mmm, I'm full! 100