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Penguin Icon.png
non-playable race
Penguin Race.gif

Cultural Style Seedy
Appearance Waterfowl

Penguins are a friendly not-overtly-hostile non-playable race of squat flightless birds. They are generally regarded as troublemakers of dubious moral standing, selling their services as mercenaries, mechanics, and merchants on the black (and white ha ha) market.

When hired as Crew, Penguins serve as Soldiers planetside, fighting only with Pistols. Their short stature and waddling locomotion make it hard for them to keep up with the player.



Players will first meet the Penguins at the Outpost. They typically hang out at the seedier lower levels and at the eastern "back" end, running shops of a perhaps less-than-up-and-up nature.


The player fights famed Penguin pirate Dreadwing and his crew of heavily-armed soldiers in the "Dreadwing the Penguin"Quest, offered by the bartender at the Beakeasy. Dreadwing assaults the player with his oversized UFO while his ground troops provide backup.

Penguin spaceships

Friendly spaceships encountered in space have the chance to be Penguin Ships. Aside from the usual assortment of low-tier materials to make new mech parts, the chest in the cockpit contains the Shockhopper Mech Body blueprint.


Penguins feature in several Lore books.

Dreadwing the Penguin (Codex) Icon.png Dreadwing The Penguin

Shockhopper Mech Mk I (Codex) Icon.png Shockhopper Mech Mk I


Penguin Fossil Display.png

The player can find fossilized remains of Penguins undergound 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 one.

The Penguin fossil is a singular piece, and once obtained can be placed in a Small Fossil Display, which can be placed a decor item. This also completes entry #7 in the Fossil Collections Library. Once the skeleton and display have been combined, they cannot be disassembled.

Another option for displaying Penguin bones, albeit far less classy, is the Penguin Bones Pike, found in Floran Hunting Grounds and Floran Hut Villages.

Notable Penguins

Beta development & differences

Dear Baron.png
Beta-Release Canon

The following material was introduced in the Beta and has since been removed or altered. As such, it is no longer considered to be a part of Starbound canon.

Penguins were in the earliest builds of Starbound, and have slowly increased their role over the course of the game's development.

In the "Koala" Beta builds, Penguins only appeared in the original iteration of the Dreadwing boss fight, initiated by constructing and activating a Distress Beacon. The fight itself is largely the same as its current iteration, only with Dreadwing coming to the planet the player activated the Beacon on, plus Dreadwing's now-lost ability to destroy terrain blocks.

During this time, Penguins were said to be distant relatives of the Avians, in the Lore book "The Children of Kluex". Whether this remains true as of the 1.0 build is unknown, as this book was eventually removed from the game.

With the "Rampaging Koala" update (the last of the Koala builds), the Dreadwing fight was moved to the newly-created Outpost as the "Dreadwing (Part I)" Quest, part of a long (and then unpopular) chain of Quests necessary to progress in the game. The fight itself was moved to the pre-made, un-alterable arena it currently takes place in. The Shockhopper Mk I "Mechanical Testing" Quest was also added to the Outpost as the last of the progression quests.

The "Cheerful Giraffe" update changed both Penguin fights to their 1.0-release versions, as wholly-optional quests to unlock new shops at the Outpost.


  • Players can purchase the Penguin Costume package at Treasured Trophies, which contains the complete Penguin Suit set. When worn, it causes the player to resemble a very large penguin.
  • The penguins in tanks fought during the Dreadwing fight are technically classified as monsters and not NPCs in the game files.
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