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Personality is a trait possessed by all NPCs. Personality partly determines how an NPC will react to objects and to other (non-hostile) NPCs, and it also affects the status messages which appear above the heads of NPCs friendly to the player (such as Crew members).

Click here to skip to the list of personality types.

NPC Defaults

All NPCs have some default characteristics which are often overridden by personality and NPC type to produce the final set of characteristics. Two subsets of these default characteristics, reactions and status messages, are explained in detail in the following sections.

NPC Reactions

As the environment around an NPC changes, the NPC can express a reaction to some of these changes. Many reactions cause the NPC to express a particular emotion, and some reactions cause the NPC to perform a physical action as well.

Some reactions can only be performed at certain times of day. On terrestrial worlds, the Starbound core engine represents time of day as a real number between [0.0,1.0). How much actual time this represents varies from world to world, but the number represents the fraction of the current day that has elapsed. A time value of 0.0 corresponds with dawn, 0.25 corresponds roughly to noon, 0.5 corresponds to dusk, and 0.75 corresponds roughly to midnight. Note that, on non-terrestrial worlds, such as space encounters, space stations, asteroid fields, and the player ship when not orbiting a planet, the Starbound core engine does not provide time of day, and the time is fixed at 0.0, which renders some NPC behaviors, such as sleeping, impossible in these environments.

There are a wide variety of triggers which can provoke NPC reactions: the personalities of nearby NPCs; other NPCs' reactions; proximity to objects, players or other NPCs; and triggers related to crew functions and generated quests. NPCs also have a set of reactions they can use for any general trigger as well as a set of spontaneous reactions (reactions which can happen at any valid time).

Often, a single trigger has multiple possible reactions listed for it. In cases where probabilities are not listed, assume that all options are equally likely to occur.


When NPCs possessing certain personality types get close to other NPCs, those other NPCs may spontaneously react based on the particular personality type:

  • Jerk: Cry
  • Cheerful: Smile or Annoyed
  • Intrusive: Neutral or Annoyed

Other NPCs' Reactions

If an NPC is near another NPC when that other NPC performs a reaction, the first NPC may also perform a reaction based on the type of reaction performed by the other NPC:

  • Cry: Cry (75%) or Go Home (25%)
  • Wink: Love, Nosebleed, or Neutral
  • Love: Love (~67%) or Wink (~33%)
  • Nosebleed: Wink, Love or Vomit
  • Vomit: Vomit, Cry, Go Home or Flee
  • Go Home: Quit (75%) or Follow (25%)
  • Flee: Quit (50%), Cry (~17%), Smile (~17%), or Chase (~17%)
  • Follow: Go Home
  • Creepy Follow: Flee, Cry or Annoyed
  • Chase: Flee
  • Quit: Quit
  • Bored: Cry, Laugh, Annoyed, or Go Home
  • Comfort: Annoyed (~43%), Smile (~43%), or Go Home (~13%)
  • Schadenfreude: Cry (60%), Flee (20%), or Go Home (20%)
  • Sell: Pay (80%), Flee (20%)
  • Pay: Quit


Being close to certain objects and entities can trigger special reactions directed toward those objects or entities. By default, NPCs do not possess special reactions for when players or other NPCs get close; however, they do possess special reactions for when they get close to some objects:

  • Floor Button: Hop
  • Wall Button: Press Button
  • Wall Switch: Flip Switch
  • Proximity Sensor: Smile
  • Console: Typing
  • Music: Pose Dance, Wiggle Dance, or Arm Swing Dance

Crew Triggers

NPCs which are also crew members (or crew member wannabes) have a special set of reactions for triggers relating to crew-exclusive interactions:

  • Recruited: Smile or Jump for Joy
  • Recruit Declined: Annoyed or Cry
  • Follow Owner: Smile
  • Unfollow Owner: Wink

Quest Triggers

NPCs have special reactions to certain aspects of generated quests. First of all, quest-givers have some default quest-related reactions:

  • Quest Accepted: Smile
  • Quest Declined: Annoyed

Completed quests sometimes establish special one-way relationships between NPCs. An NPC which is in such a relationship may react if they get close enough to the other NPC involved in the relationship:

  • Likes NPC: Love, Smile or Comfort
  • Fears NPC: Panic, Cry or Flee

Spontaneous Reactions

These reactions do not require a particular trigger to occur; however, several spontaneous reactions are restricted to certain times of day:

  • Spontaneous:
    • Sleep (except for nocturnal, begins only in time range 0.7-0.9 and ends at 0.0)
    • Sit (cannot begin in time range 0.2-0.6)
    • Wander (no time restrictions)

Default Reactions

These reactions are only used if no reactions have already been assigned to a particular trigger:

  • Default:
    • Smile (~5.7%)
    • Cry (~5.7%)
    • Bored (~5.7%)
    • Hop (~5.7%)
    • Jump for Joy (~5.7%)
    • Neutral (~5.7%)
    • Laugh (~5.7%)
    • Annoyed (~5.7%)
    • Oh (~5.7%)
    • Oooh (~5.7%)
    • Wink (~5.7%)
    • Love (~5.7%)
    • Nosebleed (~1.1%)
    • Vomit (~1.1%)
    • Quit (~5.7%)
    • Flee (~5.7%)
    • Go Home (~5.7%)
    • Follow (~5.7%)
    • Chase (~5.7%)

Final Reactions

Regardless of what triggers the reactions, an NPC, after performing one of the following reactions, will ignore reactions from their reaction's target for a short time: Quit, Flee, Go Home, Follow, Creepy Follow, and Chase.

Status Messages

Most NPCs which are friendly to The Player can be seen with a message floating over their head - this message is called a status message. (Status messages for Crew members can also be checked by inspecting these NPCs using the SAIL console on the ship.) The status message will periodically change regardless of what happens to a given NPC - however, the status message will no longer be visible if the NPC becomes hostile to the player.

NPCs have access to two pools of status messages which they can display. The first pool, the generic status message pool, is shared by all NPCs, while the second pool is chosen based on the NPC's personality type.

Generic Status Messages

  • Has a song stuck in their head
  • Tripped over a rock earlier
  • Feels like they're stuck in a video game
  • Wishes things were different
  • Considering taking up a new hobby
  • Needs a break
  • Feels like breaking into song
  • Trying to remember how old they are
  • More than a number
  • Can't believe it's true
  • Tired after a long day of doing nothing
  • Doesn't want anyone to discover their secret
  • Hiding something
  • Wants to try new things
  • Has a feeling that their life is a lie
  • Can't believe this is happening
  • Unwilling to give up
  • Contemplating the vastness of the universe
  • Out of their depth
  • Wondering what's for lunch
  • Wants to write a song
  • Feels like snacking
  • Feeling nostalgic
  • Doesn't want to be part of the system
  • Wants to break free
  • Secretly knows they should exercise more
  • Craving some spicy food
  • Staring into the abyss
  • Considering living underground
  • Has no idea what they're doing and hopes no-one notices
  • Has an itchy toe
  • Wishes they had superpowers
  • Wondering how they would handle a zombie apocalypse
  • Wishes they had a colouring book
  • Can't see the forest for the trees
  • Has a great idea for a video game
  • Systematically counting every pixel
  • Wonders if someone is secretly controlling their life
  • Feeling sophisticated
  • Considering becoming a vegetarian
  • Feeling fancy
  • Considering a hunting trip
  • On the ball
  • Trying not to vomit
  • Is hot and bothered
  • Wondering what snails are even trying to do
  • Wondering if brushing your teeth is cleaning your skeleton
  • Thinking about their lost pet
  • Finding inspiration for their blog
  • Beating a dead horse
  • Feels like a new kid on the block
  • In pain
  • Dead inside
  • Feeling deeply disturbed
  • Reacting badly
  • Feeling confident
  • Wondering if bugs mind being caught
  • Feels like dancing the night away
  • Can't stop blinking
  • Feeling fine
  • Has great expectations
  • Holding a grudge
  • Feeling content
  • Feeling good
  • Taking their time
  • Rocking the Boat
  • Trying their luck
  • Enjoying the moment
  • Finding answers
  • Seeking distraction

List of Personality Types

There are 14 personality types which NPCs can have: