Starbound Articles RSS Feed | Starbound RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Starbound vs. Terraria: Which is The Better Sandbox Experience? Tue, 11 Jul 2017 09:00:01 -0400 stratataisen

Terraria and Starbound are both popular 2D survival sandbox games. While they may look alike, they are very different. One takes place in a fantasy realm, while the other is set in space.

So, if you're looking to pick up one of these games, which should you choose: Terraria or Starbound? That's a great question.

To find the answer, I'll break down each game from the soundtrack to combat.

The Visuals


As the newer game, Starbound's graphic quality is superior. For a pixelated game, it's far less pixelated than Terraria. In addition, the shading adds more depth and shadows, which contributes to a sleeker gameplay experience.

Both games use 2D pixel graphics for nearly everything you'll see: sprites, objects, the foreground, background, etc. There are some similarities in the games' art styles. This could be attributed to one of Starbound's leading artists, who has also worked on Terraria.


In my opinion, you can't compare the genres of these two games. Fantasy and sci-fi are both too different. 

In Starbound, you travel through space. You'll also meet an assortment of alien races along the way. In Terraria, you fight against evil using magic spells, although how you fight depends on your fighting style.

The "better" genre depends on one’s own preference. Personally, I like both fantasy and sci-fi.


Terraria appears to lack an official story, which is great for players who want to dive into content.

On the other hand, Starbound's story must be completed to some extent before you can have the "real" sandbox experience. This approach is similar to Skyrim's. 


2D games usually have simple animation. Terraria and Starbound are no different. Despite their simplicity, the animation in both games is still good. The animation is as best as it can be for a 2D game.

That being said, Starbound's animation seems to be a step-up from Terraria’s in complexity. Again, this is most likely because Starbound is a newer release. It also runs on its own custom game engine.

Gameplay & Mechanics

In this section, I'll explore the mining, crafting, and combat systems of both games.


Mining is essential for gathering crafting materials in both games. In Terraria, mining is easy: left-click and hold on the block you wish to break to begin mining it with a pickaxe. By upgrading your pickaxe in Terraria, you can increase your mining speed, power, damage, and mined materials. 

In Starbound, mining is a much slower process at first. When you're starting out, you can only extract one block at a time at a slow rate. Mining becomes faster once you upgrade your Matter Manipulator (which sounds far cooler that a pickaxe). Eventually, you can extract more than one block at a time. 


Your mining skills will come in handy when it's time to craft. You will need those mined materials to create equipment.

In Starbound, you craft most of your armor and weapons. While monsters drop gear, it’s usually replaced by something you can craft. Bosses don’t drop gear. Instead, they drop items to improve your star maps and unlock new locations.

In Terraria, you'll craft gear no matter what stage you're at in the game. However, there are other ways to get gear. Bosses drop armor and weapons that you can't get from crafting. These armor drops are usually an upgrade. 


Both Terraria and Starbound’s combat systems fall under the action game genre.

In Starbound, combat was designed with strategy in mind. For instance, you should know when to block against powerful attacks or damage the enemy.

On the other hand, Terraria seems to be more attack-oriented. There is some strategy involved by dodging, but I don't see anything like the blocking mechanic in Starbound.

I’ll admit: with the exception of turn-based combat, I’ve never really liked the combat in any 2D game. There’s something so satisfying as almost feeling the impact of a sword, or firing a gun in a 3D game, in a way that 2D games can never come close. It’s safe to say that I’m not overly impressed with either game’s combat. 

The Soundtrack

The soundtracks for both games fit them well. In Terraria, the music sounds electronic with a midi-like quality. I find it cartoony at times, but the music still sounds like something from any other fantasy game I've played. 

On the other hand, Starbound’s soundtrack sounds like it belongs in an epic space odyssey. It sounds like there was a live orchestra used in its production.

Starbound's soundtrack wins easily. I love this music. In fact, I wrote most of this article listening to it.

Listen to the Starbound soundtrack below:

The Difficulty

In Terraria, you can set two different levels of difficulty: character and the world. First off, character difficulty has three tiers: Softcore, Mediumcore, and Hardcore. These difficulty settings affect what happens upon a character’s death. When you die in Softcore, you drop about half your coins. In Mediumcore, you lose all your items. In Hardcore, you’re permanently dead.

On top of this difficulty setting, you can also set the world difficulty -- Normal or Expert mode. In Expert mode, everything is ramped up: from monsters' stats to what happens to you when you die. For example, in Expert Softcore mode, you’ll drop about 75% of your coin upon death. Enemies can even steal your coins and despawn.

Starbound has a similar character difficulty setting, except it affects the challenges you face. The three modes are Causal, Survival, and Hardcore. In Casual mode, you'll never get hungry. The only death penalty is a 10% loss of Pixels, which is the game's main currency.

In Survival mode, you'll need to eat to survive. You'll drop your items upon death, and suffer a 30% loss of Pixels. Hardcore mode is the same as Terraria’s: once you die, that’s it for your character. You'll have to restart the game. 

All in all, Terraria has a greater variety of difficulty modes compared to Starbound. However, given that Expert mode wasn't released right away, there's still a chance for Starbound to come out with something similar.

The Features

In the final section, I'll go over character creation and multiplayer mode. 

Character Creation

When it comes to the character creation, Starbound has greater race variety. Other than that, both games offer a similar range of character customization options to choose from, such as their gender and appearance.

Of the two, I find that Starbound’s character creation UI looks a lot better than Terraria’s.

Multiplayer Mode

Both games support multiplayer game modes, allowing you to play with your friends, or against other players in PvP battles.

The Wrap Up

Which title has the better sandbox experience?

Is it Terraria? This game seems perfect for those who aren’t looking to get entrenched in a story. These players may rather build, mine, and fight tough bosses instead.

Or is it Starbound? This game presents good challenges, decent combat, story, and exploration opportunities.

Both games are good, approaching the design type in similar but different ways. However, I’ll have to give this title to TerrariaStarbound's story can be too linear at times. 

Let me know which game you think offers the better experience! Leave a comment below!

How to Build a Space Station in Starbound Version 1.3 Wed, 05 Jul 2017 12:37:52 -0400 Angelica Dimson

So we've already talked about building mechs in Starbound's 1.3 update.  But now it's time for you to learn the basics of building your own space station in this sci-fi survival sandbox game.

Instead of having a base on a planet, you can have your own base in space. You don't have to be a land-dweller, you can be a cool kid living in the stars -- miles above everyone else.

Here are a few tips to get you started!

A Mandatory Quest to Get Started 

The very first room of your space station. So empty, but with so much potential. Maybe we should shop at Space Ikea?

So it's that time again, where you need to complete a quest in order to start building your own space station in Starbound. The quest is called "Your Very Own Space Station." And your reward is obviously right in the title.

The quest is given by human NPCs on space stations, and in order to complete this quest, you'll need:

  • 50 Titanium Bars
  • 50 Gold Bars
  • 50 Silver Bars
  • 1,000 Pixels

Upon completion, you'll be able to place a space station in orbit in the current system when you are rewarded your very own Station Transponder.

It's hard to imagine that something so small creates such large space stations.

How to Build Your Starbound Space Station

Now that you have the Station Transponder, you can start building your own space station. To start, deploy a probe into orbit in a system. It'll then start you off with a Teleporter, a Space Station Console, and an Industrial Storage Locker.

Teleporters are already common in ships when teleporting from planet to spaceship, and the Industrial Storage Locker is just another storage object. The Space Station Console is where you can have some fun. The Space Station Console allows you to adjust the gravity level inside the space station

So not only do you have the option to float or walk around, you can also expansion slots.


Expansion slots look like this aboard your space station.

Types of Rooms

Currently, it looks like there are only two special rooms for the Space Station, which are the Mech Bay and Mech Assembly Room. Aside from those special rooms, most of the other rooms available right now are only structural: T-Junction, Horizontal Corridors, etc.

However, there seem to be future plans for other rooms, like a Hangar Bay or a Research Lab. For now, let's just go over expanding your station with the rooms available and what you need.

Home Improvement

When it comes to expanding your space station, you can interact with Expansion Slotswhich are located between sections of your space station. In order to discern whether or not rooms can be connected, rooms listed and highlighted green means that it is possible. Otherwise, if the room is highlighted red, then that room cannot be attached.

As a side note, you cannot rotate rooms, so you must assemble the proper room that can connect from where you started.

Some of these rooms can be assembled so that entrances face a particular way, and they all possess the same ingredients for that specific room.

Starbound Room-Building Requirements

I know creator Ighox calls himself a Space Hobo. But his station
looks fit for a Space Mercenary. 

There are numerous rooms that can be built and attached to your station, and each has its own set of material requirements. Here's what you'll need for all of them:

  • 50 Titanium Bars
  • 70 Gold Bars
  • 120 Silver Bars
  • 200 Copper Wires
Large Core

  • 450 Titanium Bars
  • 600 Gold Bars
  • 160 Silver Bars
  • 600 Copper Wires
Mech Bays

  • 50 Titanium Bars
  • 80 Gold Bars
  • 40 Silver Bars
  • 20 Salvaged Interface Chips
Mech Assembly Room

  • 50 Titanium Bars
  • 70 Gold Bars
  • 60 Silver Bars
  • 100 Copper Wires
  • 40 Salvaged Proton Limiters
T Junctions 

  • 50 Titanium Bars
  • 60 Gold Bars
  • 90 Silver Bars
  • 40 Glass
  • 150 Copper Wires

  • 40 Titanium Bars
  • 50 Gold Bars
  • 60 Silver Bars
  • 40 Glass
  • 100 Copper Wires
Vertical Shaft

  • 40 Titanium Bars
  • 50 Gold Bars
  • 60 Silver Bars
  • 100 Copper Wires
Long Vertical Shaft

  • 120 Titanium Bars
  • 150 Gold Bars
  • 60 Silver Bars
  • 120 Glass
  • 100 Copper Wires
Horizontal Corridor

  • 40 Titanium Bars
  • 50 Gold Bars
  • 60 Silver Bars
  • 100 Copper Wires
Long Horizontal Corridor

  • 120 Titanium Bars
  • 150 Gold Bars
  • 60 Silver Bars
  • 120 Glass
  • 100 Copper Wires
Cross Corners 

  • 50 Titanium Bars
  • 70 Gold Bars
  • 120 Silver Bars
  • 200 Copper Wires
Cross Junction

  • 50 Titanium Bars
  • 70 Gold Bars
  • 120 Silver Bars
  • 40 Glass
  • 200 Copper Wires

Get Building!

Hopefully, you'll make yourself right at home in your very own space station in no time. Remember to complete the mandatory quest to get started building your own space station and collect tons of titanium bars, gold bars, silver bars, glass, and other components before the big move.

Once you're done, you can truly live like a Space Lord, orbiting over all the residents below. On top of that, you can check the Chucklefish Community Forums for some design inspiration.

How was your first time building your space station? What did it look like? Let us know in the comments below.

And be sure to check out our other Starbound Guides. Here are some to get you started: 

Top 5 Starbound Weapon Mods Fri, 07 Jul 2017 09:52:35 -0400 Angelica Dimson


We blasted through a lot of different genres for weapons in Starbound -- from traditional sci-fi to action and to dark fantasy.


But whatever your fancy is, be sure to create a separate file before you mod a game in case things get a bit wonky. Either way, the destruction of your enemies is up to you, and you can make it look even cooler with some of these mods. 

What is your favorite weapon in Starbound -- either in the vanilla game or a weapons mod? Have you tried any of these mods before? Let us know in the comments below. And be sure to check out the rest of our Starbound mod roundups as well:


XS Corporation Mechs

For Giant Robot Lovers

I know this technically counts as a vehicle in-game, but still these mechs have weapons. So this is a loophole.


Starbound has already introduced mechs in its 1.3 update. But this mod which has been around since 2014 and has now been updated to work on 1.3. In comparison to the 1.3 mechs, some of these mechs are massive and include powerful weapons like rail guns or rocket launchers. 


For more on mechs, check out our complete guide to building and using mechs in Starbound.


Get XS Corporation Mechs Mod on Nexusmods


Michael Bay Mod

For The Action Star

Ever think to yourself throughout your space journey that the world needs more explosions? The Michael Bay Mod by surn-thing is a great way to get your explosion and senseless destruction fix.


After you run this mod, everything you attack will explode in over-the-top Michael Bay fashion.


Get the Michael Bay Mod on the Steam Workshop


Star Wars Weapons Mods

For Those in a Galaxy Far Away

For the aspiring Jedi or Sith Lord, blade2xs Star Wars Weapons mod is for you. This mod brings some of the Star Wars galaxy to your own star ship or base. It includes 1 crafting table where you will build all your Star Wars goodies: like blasters and padawan lightsabers.


You can even customize the color of your lightsaber to show off your light or dark side.


Get Star Wars Weapons on Nexusmods


Dark Souls Armor & Weapons

For the Dark Knights

In case you want to add some dark fantasy to your sci-fi galaxy quest, you can install a mod that includes Dark Souls’ armor, weapons, and items – such as the Mask of the Child special armor or the Dragonslayer Greatbow. 


I know what you’re thinking, "Why merge fantasy and sci-fi?" To which I answer, “Why not?”


Get Dark Souls Armor & Weapons on Steam Workshop


Weapon Stats

For The Numbers Guy

I don't know about you, but I like numbers. Numbers that help me calculate all the damages -- damage dealt, the DPS, and item level. Tripod's mod, called Weapon Stats, makes this information available to you.


The stats are only based on raw damage, which means abilities and combos aren't factored into the numbers you see. However, this mod helps immensely when you're planning offensive tactics. 


Get Weapon Stats on Steam Workshop


Travelling Starbound's galaxy can be extremely dangerous. If you aren't properly equipped, it could mean certain death. Just ask Commander Shepard -- oh wait.


But that doesn't mean you have to stick to the standard weapon formula of shoot, slash, or blast. There are more creative weapons out there to help spice things up -- if you're willing to mod your game, of course. 


In the next few slides, we're rounding up some of the most fun (and most interesting) weapon mods that you can use to spruce up your combat game in Starbound. 

What is Starbound's Rage Status Effect? Tue, 04 Jul 2017 14:50:13 -0400 heatherew24

Starbound has been enjoyed by many players since its release in July of 2016. But even though the game is about to celebrate its one year anniversary, players still have some questions about how a few things work. 

One question that keeps cropping up is related to the Rage status effect. Some players aren't entirely sure what it is or what it does. And if you're one of those players, then you're in luck -- this handy guide will tell you everything you need to know!

What is the Rage Status Effect in Starbound

A status effect is a special buff (or debuff) that can either help or hurt your character. Some buffs include restoring health, electrification -- and of course, rage. 

Rage is one of the many status buffs that the game offers. According to the wiki, it doesn't seem to really harm the character, but is helpful instead. The main function of rage is that while using this buff, your character deals 4x the normal damage to an enemy. Depending on how you acquire rage, the buff will only last a certain amount of time. 

How can I become enraged? 

There are multiple ways you can become enraged. The main methods for doing so are by using the items listed below:

There are more individualized ingredients and methods of acquiring rage than what we've listed here, but these are the main ways to get the Rage status effect. If you want to check out some of the more minor methods, visit the Starbound wiki

What have been your experiences with this buff? Is it helpful to you at all? Let us know in the comments! And be sure to check out the rest of our Starbound guides for even more help with the game.

Assembly 101: Building and Using Mechs in Starbound 1.3 Wed, 28 Jun 2017 17:02:31 -0400 Angelica Dimson

Space keeps expanding and so does Starbound. The game's developer, Chucklefish Games, recently released Starbound 1.3 which has re-implemented mechs – which were present in the beta as techs – as both space and ground vehicles.

How does one build or assemble a mech? Well, sit down and grab a pen and paper to make notes on your blueprints. Here’s a guide to help you get started.

Getting Started: Your First Steps to Building Mechs in Starbound

Maybe he'll like building space mechs too?

Before you get overzealous building mechs like Benny from Lego Movie, you can’t build a mech right off the bat. First, you need to meet with penguin scientist, Dr. Akaggy, who will give you a quest. He is located at the outpost in the mech station. If you don’t complete his quest, you will be denied access to Starbound 1.3's Mech Assembly Station.

I know most gamers don’t enjoy mandatory quests, but don’t be discouraged. His quest puts you behind the wheel of a mech, where you must complete a fun test course. Dr. Akaggy teaches players how to move around, raise a shield, and more – all the skills you need to be a mech pro. Upon completion, you get your own mech as a reward for your patience and flight training.

Time to Fly High -- Controlling Your Starbound Mech

Just believe you can!

During your flight training with Dr. Akaggy, you’ll learn how to use a mech. Let’s go through it in a step-like fashion:

  1. Deploy your mech while on your ship using the Deploy Mech button, which is located on the right side of the screen. It only appears if your ship is parked during a space encounter, in an asteroid field, or while orbiting a potential planet to visit.

  2. Upon deployment, you’ll be sent to a planet or area in a capsule-like pod, which breaks open upon arrival.

  3. With gravity: Your mech’s movement is similar to player controls. Hitting left means you go left, right goes right, etc.

  4. Without gravity: Your mech’s movement is completely different. When moving, the mech accelerates in the direction you choose while using jump will make it stop.

  5. Arms are activated using your mouse. Left click activates your left arm, and right click activates your right arm.

  6. Other actions: F toots your mech’s horn and the Interact command makes you exit and enter the mech.

Some Assembly Required -- Building Your First Mech

Once you make your way back to Dr. Akaggy following the mech training mission, he’ll allow you access to the Assembly Station where you’ll unlock several starter mech components that can be crafted with salvaged materials. Just make sure you have the right materials before crafting some of the basic components.

Mainly, these early mech components require a lot of titanium. Future mech parts and mech blueprints will require different resources. 

That mech looks really stylish.

There are several components you can customize for your mech: body, left arm, right arm, booster, legs, and horn. Each component has varying defense stats and shows how much energy it has and its usage (except for the horn). There are also special crafting recipes you can unlock later on through various means, like finding a blueprint or speaking to a particular NPC. But if you talk to Dr. Akaggy again, he’ll give you more quests that will unlock more blueprints.

Starting Mech Components

Here's a list of the most basic starting assembly components in Starbound 1.3 and what you'll need to craft them:

  • Basic Mech Legs 
    • Requires 10 Titanium Bars
    • Basic legs for basic mobility
    • Automatically learned after first acquiring a mech

  • Drill Mech Arm 
    • Requires 20 Titanium Bars
    • Automatically placed into the Right Arm slot after completing the Test Drive quest
    • Serves as a basic mining drill

  • Mech Bodies 
    • There are different basic bodies that vary depending on a player’s race. The body to the right is available to Apex players
    • All mech bodies require 40 Titanium Bars
    • Automatically learned after first acquiring a mech

  • Basic Mech Boosters 
    • Requires 15 Titanium Bars
    • Automatically learned after the Dr. Akaggy Test Drive quest

Things to Keep in Mind After Assembling a Mech

Mechs have their own energy reserves, which are shown as a blue bar above the vehicle. Using the mech depletes that energy reserve, but so does receiving damage and attempting to pilot a mech on a planet without a body resistant to that particular planet’s hazards; these will deplete energy at a more alarming rate. While weapon usage does not deplete energy due to it being accounted for by a mech’s arms, you need to be careful that your energy bar doesn’t reach 0.

Otherwise, you’ll be ejected from your mech where one of two things can happen. If the mech was brought to 0 energy through damage, the mech explodes. If not, the mech vanishes without an explosion. But either way, being trapped in space is not a good time for someone who needs oxygen.

Unless you’re a robot space core, don’t get stranded
in the vacuum that is spaaacceee!

Mixing and Matching Mech Types in Starbound

Fortunately for space explorers, mechs provide a safe escape and an armored shell to help you in airless environments. Plus, different mech bodies give different resistances like:

  • Violium-tier Mech Bodies
    • Resist Deadly Radiation
  • Dursteel-tier Mech Bodies
    • Resist Deadly Chill
  • Solarium-tier Mech Bodies
    • Resist Deadly Heat

If you don’t have these bodies while navigating those types of planets, your mech’s energy will drain at a higher rate.

Get Building!

Congratulations! You have completed the Mechs 101 Curriculum. I hope you were taking notes for your final exam!

Just kidding. Instead, let us know how your first flight and building experience went with your first mech in the comments below! And be sure to check out our other Starbound guides for even more tips.

These 2D Games Are Better Than Most 3D Video Games Sat, 01 Jul 2017 07:00:02 -0400 leslieh88

3D games have long been the norm in the gaming industry. Ever since Mario 64 hit the scene, something about playing on the 2D plane has just seemed outdated. With that said, though, there are quite a few 2D games that are just more entertaining than their 3D counterparts.

If you're looking for a game that's got an old-school look but plays like it's brand new, you might want to take a look at one of the three games listed below. They might not have the highest level of graphical fidelity, but their gameplay can't be beat. Sometimes, simplicity masks an incredibly deep game.


As any good Starbound review will tell you, this is a game that takes the open world survival concept and pushes it forward -- all while keeping players on a 2D plane. It's a bit like a futuristic version of Terraria, but the game is by far one of the best survival-crafting games out there. In many ways, it's even better than Minecraft, the game that helped to define the genre in the first place. 

Starbound allows players to explore new worlds, craft items, and hop from planet to planet. The crafting system is fairly intuitive and the combat is fun. The game's rough for the first hour or so, but once it opens up it becomes one of the best survival games out there. It's a good mid-point between the creativity of Minecraft and the heavy survival aspects that are found in more complicated games. In a way, it's probably the game that No Man's Sky really wanted to be.

This game is also fun because there are a ton of great mods that can enhance gameplay. Players are still trying to find new ways to expand on the content, even as the game itself continues to grow. 


[Image source]

If you're looking at the games that really helped to push forward the boundaries of 2D gaming, you need to check out Braid. A game that is generally considered to be one of the best indie games ever produced, it has a simple aesthetic that belies a fairly deep game.

For some, Braid is all about the storyline. Consistently debated and still spawning theories, it is told with no character dialogue and only sparse text narration. There's nothing very fancy about the game's presentation, but that's what makes it so charming.

One of the great things about this game is how it plays. The relatively simple design allows for some truly unique time-twisting mechanics. While you might not be jumping around a 3D environment, you will be pushing your character through a series of puzzles that are hard to beat in any format.

Braid is a fantastic game that ought to be played by anyone who considers himself or herself a serious gamer. While not the most graphically impressive game in the world, it blows most 3D platformers out of the water. Once you play it, you'll remember why you loved 2D platformers so much.

Stardew Valley 

 [Image source]

A true throwback, Stardew Valley is an obvious update of the classic Harvest Moon, using many of the same mechanics while adding a few new innovative features. It may not be the most graphically impressive game out there, but it's certainly one of the most addictive to be released in recent memory.

Stardew Valley thrives on systems. You go through the same basic tasks from the beginning of the game to the end, with nothing really changing but timing and difficulty. You'll farm crops, chop wood, break rocks, and fight monsters. When you're not working, you'll interact with townspeople and try to build relationships. The loop is oddly addictive, and you'll always find yourself pushing to play through one more day.

This game is the best example of how simplicity can often trump the bells and whistles found in newer games. On the surface, you'd think this game would be boring. After you've spent a few minutes playing, though, you'll see exactly why it's become such a popular title for players on the PC and consoles alike. 


2D gaming has come back in a big way over the last few years. More gamers are learning that it's not how a game looks that really matters, but rather how the game plays. Don't judge a book by its cover -- take some time to look at the 2D games that are out there and see if they fit your play style. You might be surprised to find that some of the best games in recent memory look more like the games you played when you were a child.

Which 2D games are you a huge fan of? Let us know in the comments section!

Starbound: How to Use the Relocator Mon, 29 May 2017 22:34:58 -0400 Paige McGovern

Before Starbound's version 1.1 update, many players hoped for a way to move farm animals and other peaceful creatures. Developer Chucklefish made their wishes come true with the Relocator gun. 

The Relocator does exactly what it sounds like -- it moves creatures from one place to another. While you cannot pick up hostile monsters, bosses, chickens, or NPCs, the Relocator is a very useful device. With it, players can create their own personalized zoo or aquarium.

How to Get the Relocator in Starbound

You can craft a relocator at Agricultural Station. You will need:

  • 10 Durasteel Bars
  • 4 AA Batteries
  • 2 Silicon Boards
  • 6 Copper Wire

What the Relocator Can Pick Up

As we mentioned above, the Relocator is only capable of picking up non-hostile animals and farm creatures. This includes:

  • Critters
  • Fish
    • Certain fish must first be reeled in with a fishing rod. 
  • Bugs
  • Punchy
    • You can only find this creature in a Hylotl underwater city. 
  • Farm animals
  • Fluffaloes

How to Use the Relocator

  1. Use your mouse cursor to point the Relocator at the creature.
  2. Right click to capture.
  3. Left click to release it. 

Note: You can only capture up to three creatures at a time. The number of creatures in your Relocator is indicated by the number of circles on the side of the device. Each circle symbolizes one creature held. More than one Relocator can be used to hold more creatures. 

When caught, creatures are not owned by the player. Once they are released, they'll interact in the environment normally. Use a capture pod if you want to tame a wild creature to own.

Creatures caught and placed using a relocator should not despawn. If a player decides to use the /spawnmonster command instead, they will still need to use a relocator to prevent its eventual despawn. 


That wraps up our Relocator guide! For more help with the game, check out these other Starbound guides on GameSkinny:

Starbound Mods You NEED if You're Still Playing Mon, 24 Apr 2017 11:00:01 -0400 tofuslayer

Dark Souls Armor & Weapons

Download here


For any Starbound fans who are also a fan of the JRPG Dark Souls, this mod is for you. This mod allows users to use some of the armor and weapons from Dark Souls for their Starbound characters! A team of modders took over the now outdated mod first created by TShinzon and is continually adding new content to it. You can take a look at the full list of content in this mod in the download link below.




Whether you're just starting out or a veteran of the game, you should definitely have found something that piques your interest in this list of nine Starbound mods. There's a lot you can do with this sandbox game, and with all these mods, you're bound to expand your potential and level of enjoyment.


Do you know of a mod that other Starbound players need to know about? Let us know in the comments below!

Kawa's xbawks-mode Character Creator

Download here


This mod makes character creation much simpler and should work with almost all up-to-date species. Aside from the greater number of species slots in the character creator, empty slots are also clickable without item loss. I think we all know how awful it feels when you download a mod and inadvertently click things you weren't supposed to. It's also nice to have a mod that works with so many other mods!

Universal Uncrafter

Download here


This is a really cool mod that supports all your crafting needs. It converts items at different ratios depending on the rarity and materials -- with no recipe will convert to Grey Goo, which can be converted into anything! This is a simple mod, but it's very useful for any Starbound player.

The Food Processor

Download here


Finally, a solution to your Starbound food problems! This mod was designed with Protectors who don't want to use the kitchen counter. Not only is this mod absolutely adorable, but it saves cooking time and lengthens the life of your food items so that you have more time to dedicate to anything else you want to do!

Azure's Star Wars Weapons & Armour

Download here


This mod includes blasters and lightsabers from the Star Wars universe, as well as 14 different sets of Tier 1 Clone Trooper armor! While this mod is on the simpler side and there's no promise of more content in the future, I think it's a really cool idea that any Star Wars fan would enjoy.

Perennial Crops

Download here


This mod makes it so that all base crops (wild or planted) behaves like tomato, grape, banana, and coffee plants. After harvesting, they revert to their primary growth stage, saving you the trouble of having to replant. It also allows wild plants to grow without irrigation. If you're looking for a convenient way to start your farm on Starbound, this is a mod worth looking into!

Enhanced Storage

Download here


This is one of those essential mods that improves your overall gaming experience with Starbound. From increased capacity to the ability to turn vanilla objects into containers, this mod has basically anything you could think of in regards to storage in the game. It also gives you the ability to sort and search for items with greater ease. 

Tales of Fallout

Download here


This mod is made for any Starbound players who are also fans of the action RPG Fallout. It includes unique items, weapons, and armor to make your Starbound experience a little more post-apocalyptic. I especially like the decorative Milk Vending Machine and the Deathclaw (which is way cuter in Starbound). Check out the download link above to see the full item list plus spawn commands!

Frackin' Universe

Download here


It's hard to sum up Frackin' Universe in one short blurb because this mod does so much. From farmables to monsters to weapons, this mod has more new content than most modpacks.


"The primary focus [of this mod] is gene-engineering your own plants, each with their own qualities and uses to make play more interesting... It adds a huge variety of new content in the form of items, craftables, biomes, weather, liquids, terrain, monsters, quests, and just about every other facet of the game!"

This mod is extremely popular in the Starbound community. The modder is always updating it and adding new content, so you'll never run out of new things to explore. If you don't have it already, I recommend that you check out what all the hype is about.



Starbound 1.3 has been out since January, and a lot of the popular mods for the previous versions of the game have been outdated for a while. Still, there are a lot of awesome mods coming out for Starbound that work with the latest versions of the game!

Sandbox games are some of the most fun to mod because it gives gamers the ability to totally take control of their universe. For those of us still playing Starbound, here are nine fun and useful mods that will serve any player, from the serious farmers to the adventurous Protectors. 

What the Recent Success of Starbound Means for Indie Sandbox Games Sat, 04 Feb 2017 20:20:11 -0500 Michael Llewellyn

When you consider the massive success of Minecraft, it is very surprising that there haven't been more games that have adapted and cloned it's gameplay mechanics.

Indie developers however have found a great deal of success with games like Terraria, gaining a great deal of popularity since its release, and Starbound, which has also found a massive following since its first reveal.

Created by Chucklefish Games, Starbound is a game that started out as an early access listing on Steam for PC, Linux and Mac gamers. It is considered something of a spiritual sequel to the hugely popular Terraria and just like that game, it's a 2D block based and procedurally generated sandbox game that gives you an infinite galaxy of icy wastelands, volcanic landscapes and a great deal of strange subterranean landscapes.

What separates Starbound from Terraria and indeed many other similar games in the sandbox genre is the rich quest-driven story that has a great deal of lore and an almost infinite number of narrative possibilities. But it wasn't just the game's differences and improvements alone that drove Starbound's success.

Starbound's Road To Success

Starbound was originally announced in early 2012 by an artist that worked on Terraria, which is why it shares so much of the same visual style as the game.

Originally the team at Chucklefish Games funded development through second jobs until they reluctantly looked to crowdfunding in order to develop the game full time. The approach to crowdfunding wasn't through the usual means of Kickstarter, however. Instead, the team opted to promote and market the game themselves.

This campaign would eventually pay off in huge dividends, as they received over $250,000 from 10,000 backers within 24 hours of the games preorders going live:

They would eventually go on to receive over $2,000,000 in preorders and funding, which was unheard of for such a small development team. Finally, the team would eventually come to sell $2.5 million copies by December 2016 after the games release.

These sales weren't a result of a fluke though: Chucklefish were absolute masters of promotion through social media and more specifically Twitter and their community forums. They were consistent in their updates for the game, interacting directly with gamers, as well as keeping on top of fan feedback through the use of community polls.

They genuinely made the community feel like they were a part of the development process. And they were, because the team had shown they were happy to explain choices in the game's design and respond directly to any concerns about the game -- they engaged the customers directly in discussions about Starbound, which is something you don't often see from bigger developers. 

The team worked tirelessly to bring the community daily updates throughout the game's development process, and kept the fans well informed. This built confidence within the community and kept the excitement growing for the final product -- a final product that they continue to support to this day with continued updates, patches and expansions like the one below:

It's this kind of smart business approach that really set Chucklefish apart from other indie developers, and not least in the expansion of their business as publishers of other indie titles like Risk of Rain and Stardew Valley that has, in its own right, has found both financial and critical acclaim.

This keen business sense, along with the popularity and success of Starbound gained through sheer determination and hard work, allowed Chucklefish to become self-sufficient and in turn will be able to continue onwards with their future success.

What can potentially make an indie sandbox game so special is that just like the nature of the game's design, there are no limitations on what the developer can do with it, it can be expanded on as much their imagination and creativity allows. There's no restrictions from big publishers to be the next Grand Theft Auto or Assassin's Creed, and with this smaller scale, the benefits of early access abound. There's no media heavy hype pushing the game to be something it's not like No Mans Sky.

Unfortunately, not every quality indie sandbox title will find the same success as Starbound. There was a combination of a lot of pieces that just fit together perfectly all at the right time. Chucklefish games were very business savvy. They worked very hard with the fans to gain an even bigger fan following during Early Access on Steam and with all this in mind Starbound built itself upon the success of Terraria using the same art director Finn Brice, as well as many of the same gameplay designs, and it was already considered a spiritual successor, so the game already had an installed fan base just from that connection alone.

What Starbound's Success Means for the Future of Indie Sandbox Games

A major aspect of Starbound that separated it from games like Minecraft and even Terraria is the implementation of a real narrative structure and so much choice and a backstory. Where sandbox titles like Minecraft can put players off is they can at times feel a bit aimless and directionless. Which, to a degree, is the point of a sandbox game -- to play your way.

What Starbound did was give the player a reason as to why they're on that spaceship miles from home. The NPCs feel more like real characters within the game rather than just a means to an end. And narratively, the game has context in a genre that is usually associated with randomization -- a kind of guided sandbox, if you will, that builds on action/adventure and role playing mechanics usually found elsewhere.

I feel some of this structured and guided sandbox game design has even managed to its way on to AAA titles like Dragon Quest: Builders, and now that Chucklefish Games have shown that story and a deep lore can work in a sandbox game like this without making some players feel like they've been dropped in a world with no real goal.

I can definitely see future Indie developers taking bolder steps with the genre and adapting more gameplay mechanics in future titles to help their games stand out from the crowd and become its own sub-genre.

Chucklefish Games have shown us that a developer can start small and become so much more with hard work and dedication to bringing the fans a game that people will want to play. Indie developers following in their footsteps also have a chance at becoming another success story too -- not just in the sandbox genre but all indie developed games. There's a world of possibilities in one of the fasting growing industries in the world. I would even go on record and say that a lot of the bigger named developers and publishers could learn a lot from Chucklefish Games' fan-friendly approach too.

5 Video Game Soundtracks That Will Help You Study Mon, 30 Jan 2017 03:00:01 -0500 Caio Sampaio


Who says video games cannot help you study? Through music they can relax you and allow you to enter the right state of mind to focus on reading the pile of books you need to prepare for your big exam.


Whether you like the games in this list or not, it's difficult to ignore the quality of the music in them.  So, even if you are not a fan, take a listen. You won't regret it.


Happy reading!

Shadow of the Colossus 

Best track: Shadow of the Colossus Main Theme


We close the list with another masterpiece of the video game industry. If you played this game, you certainly remember the fights with the 16 colossi. They were action packed, but the universe of the game was the exact opposite of this.


When players were not occupied with killing gigantic creatures, they were free to explore the map, and with its vast empty spaces, it perfectly represented the calm before the storm.


To create this contrast, adding the right songs was paramount and the team dedicated all of the resources it could to getting it right. The result was one of the most memorable soundtracks in the history of gaming. 

Final Fantasy Series (Vocal Collection)

Best track: "Answers", by Susan Calloway


Even if this franchise does not meet your taste in gaming, you cannot ignore the significance it has had on the industry. 


The series has many memorable moments that will forever dwell in the minds of those who played them, and the emotional impact of these moments were possible due to the soundtrack that accompanied them.


The video above plays all of the most memorable vocal songs from the franchise, so you may have a dose of nostalgia as you read through your books. 

The Mass Effect Trilogy

Best track: Mass Effect Main Theme


We jump from one space adventure to another, as we bring you the soundtrack of the series of games that told the story of Commander Shepard and his crew, fighting to save the galaxy.


This trilogy will go down in history as one of the masterpieces of video games, portraying the best this medium has to offer. We can see the quality of these games in many fields, including design, narrative, and soundtrack.


Listen to the sounds of intergalactic achievement as you prepare for your next exam, and mentally visualize the next victory in your life -- passing the hardest class in your curriculum. 


Best track: Horsehead Nebula (first in the video)


This game features simple 2D graphics, but combined with masterful art direction and a cinematographic soundtrack, it delivers a compelling audiovisual experience. 


The aspect that makes this soundtrack perfect for you to listen while you study is that it is mostly slow paced and continuous, so there are no sudden changes to distract you from your reading. 

Life is Strange

Best track: "Obstacles" by Syd Matters


This game became known for making YouTubers cry on camera, and making the viewers drop many tears as well. Despite the saddening end to the story, the songs you listen to as you control Max Caulfiled, a photography student in an academy of arts who recently acquired the power to manipulate time, are relaxing and sometimes even uplifting.


The game features a choice-driven narrative in Telltale style, and if you want to relax and enjoy some quality reading time, listening to its soundtrack is a must. 


Whether you are a student preparing for a test or simply a person who enjoys to dive into a good book, odds are you have the habit of listening to music as you read, and if you are reading GameSkinny, you probably love video games.


There is a simple way to combine studying with games. 


Video games have evolved through the years, and so have the soundtracks that set the tone for them. Composers have produced memorable tracks for video games, just as in movies.


Some are uplifting, others bone-chilling, and some are relaxing, perfect to help you forget about life and focus on the task at hand. These are the ones that are most likely to help you focus on your reading.


With this in mind, we have listed five video game soundtracks that will put you in the relaxed state of mind that will ensure an optimal experience when going through a book.



The Current State of Starbound Mon, 23 Jan 2017 07:00:02 -0500 Caio Sampaio

Released on July 22, 2016 by Chucklefish Games, the full version of Starbound received immediate praise from critics, scoring 8.1/10 on Metacritic, and quickly gathered a following of passionate players, with over 62,000 reviews on Steam, of which 90% were ranked as "positive" by the platform.

Now, almost six months after the release, the game is in the 1.2.2 version and the developers plan on continuing the support for the title and adding more resources to it.

As players look forward to the future of Starbound, it is important to understand what the game is doing right as of now, before we look into the future. With this said, let's see what players are happy with in this game.

The success of this production occurred for many reasons, but it mostly boils down to three elements:

Never stop exploring:

We could say that one of the selling points of Starbound is the number of locations a player can explore. While this statement is not incorrect, it also does not give the whole picture.

Many games attempt to create a universe which is as large as possible, but in this process they end up with a world that is as large as an ocean, but as deep as a puddle -- No Man's Sky, I'm looking at you. What I mean by this is that many games try to have as many locations as possible, believing that this will convince players to invest their time and explore. It will not.

Players look for diversity and interesting locales when exploring, but they also hate repetition, so finding the right balance between quality and quantity is paramount in a game that focuses on exploration. Luckily, Starbound gets it right. With a universe full of locations with interesting visuals and terrains to explore, players become invested in the experience, as they have the desire to continue playing to uncover the secrets of the world.

Games based on exploration are a tricky thing to do, but when done right, they can become powerful experiences and Starbound is a prime example.


Video games are audiovisual experiences, so even if a title offers to players mesmerizing sights and interesting locations to explore, the art would not be complete without taking care of the audio. This is where the soundtrack comes in.

Composed by Curtis Schweitzer and Solatrus, the songs featured in Starbound complement with perfection the experience, but most importantly, while it certainly has an impact on players, the songs are not aggressive, meaning that it will not try to take player's attention by force with sudden changes in rhythm or pace.

The audio and the visuals complement each other, as opposed to working against themselves, fighting for the player's attention.

Diversity of items (and how to find them):

The universe of Starbound consists of a plethora of items for players to discover and this works together with the diversity of maps, by motivating players to explore even further, in order to find a new weapon or a new armor. Not only that, but players can also find the resources required to craft these items, thus ensuring that players feel motivated to explore the universe of the game.

With a crafting system that works in tandem with the many worlds players can explore, the items and the crafting system itself add depth to the experience, as they are complementary to each other.

As previously stated, there are many reasons for players to enjoy Starbound, but the three mentioned above are the most meaningful ones.

What does the future hold?

These are the reasons why fans are excited NOW, but what does the future hold for this game? Its Wikia contains a page with upcoming features the developers aim to implement and we will list some:

Disclaimer: these are potential features for the future, that are not guaranteed to be implemented through upcoming updates.

  • Armor: The developer aims to add a new type of armor in this game, that will either be extremely rare or has massive requirements, perhaps both.
  • User-made mission sharing: In the future, players may be able to create their own missions and share them with other users.
  • Controller support: The developer wants to add controller support to the game, possible for the Steam controller.
  • PS Vita: The developer wants to port the game to this handheld device.
  • Dramatic Planet Modification: The developer wishes to increase the extent of how much players can alter their surroundings.
  • Space combat: Another possible feature for the next updates is allowing players to engage in space combat, as well as the ability to board other ships.
  • Server commands: More admin commands are likely to be added.
  • Ship upgrades: The developers want to add more variables to how players improve their ships. Upgrades may also make the vessel travel faster between planets and be more efficient, using less fuel, for instance.

These are only some of the features likely to become a part of Starbound in the future. If you want to read the full list, you can check the Wikia article here.


The developers of Starbound have succeed in designing an experience that the gaming community fell in love with, but in order to maintain the success of the game, it is important to continue adding new features and tweaking the existing ones.

Through the list we have mentioned in this article, we can see that the plans for the future of this game remain ambitious and fans have more than enough reasons to keep looking forwards to the future of this title.

Upgrade Your Starbound Ship Faster with These Tips Fri, 30 Dec 2016 01:26:31 -0500 Caio Sampaio

Starbound is all about exploring the universe, but players cannot avoid their competitive nature and always seek ways to get better equipment and ships. 

If you are an enthusiast of the Starbound universe and wish to upgrade your ship faster, so you may have access to the best equipment when travelling through the universe, we have some tips that can help you.

Explore Containers:

In Starbound, upgrades come in the form of upgrade modules; items that allow you to improve your ship.

Despite this game's focus on exploration, some players forget to look into the smaller details of the planets and that includes containers, such as chests, barrels and boxes.

The items spawn randomly, but if you look carefully around the map, it is possible to find upgrade modules inside these containers.

Do Quests in Villages:

As you explore the universe of Starbound, you must consider doing as many quests in villages as possible, in order to gain rewards, which may include the upgrade modules you look for.

Admin Commands:

In case you want to shortcut your way through acquiring upgrades for your ship, the user "Kimpolicious" on Steam tells you to type the admin command in the chat (/admin) and enter the following texts:

/spawnitem shipT1
/spawnitem shipT2
/spawnitem shipT3
/spawnitem shipT4
/spawnitem shipT5
/spawnitem shipT6
/spawnitem shipT7
/spawnitem shipT8

These are commands to spawn the upgrade modules. If you use these items, your ship should be upgraded once you head back to it.

Creative mode:

The most effective method to upgrade your ship as fast as possible is using this Mod, which is one of many that you can download if you want to change the experience of the game.

Inspired by Minecraft, this Mod allows players to gain access to unlimited resources, without needing to explore any planets to obtain assets. 

Sounds interesting? Make sure to check the MOD's official page.

How To Use Upgrade Modules:

You have acquired the items you need to upgrade your ship. Now what?

In order to upgrade your intergalactic vessel, you first must obtain a license that suits the upgrade.

The Starbound Wikia explains how:

"Ship licenses are obtained by recruiting crew members. Once you've recruited enough crew members (2, 4, 6...) an overlay will appear showing your new license and automatically starting a quest to visit Penguin Pete at The Outpost. Gather the appropriate number of upgrade modules, turn in the quest, and the ship upgrade will be applied."


Starbound is a game about exploration and it rewards those who look carefully for every detail of its world.

When playing, do not be afraid to look at every container in the map and make sure to go the extra mile to fully explore an area. You can never know what kind of reward is waiting to be looted.

If you simply want to get as powerful as possible, disregarding the possibility of altering the way the game was meant to be played, you can download the Creative Mode Mod or use admin commands in the chat, in order to spawn upgrade modules.

Regardless of the modus operandi you aim to follow, we hope these tips made your life a bit it and we wish you success in your intergalactic endeavors. Check out the rest of our Starbound guides for more tips and tricks:

The 8 Best Starbound Mods You Can't Live Without Sun, 25 Dec 2016 20:18:03 -0500 Caio Sampaio


A game with procedural programming can produce an infinite amount of content to fill its universe, but despite all of the weapons, landscapes and planets that constitute the galaxy of Starbound, in the end, it is all about the player.


Sometimes the user may want to tweak the experience and if you fall in this category, we hope this list has provided you with interesting content to continue to cultivate your love for Starbound. 


Download it on: The Starbound official MOD repository


Do you miss the old days of the Castlevania franchise? This mod will give you the nostalgia you seek, replacing maps and items from Starbound with the elements of Castlevania. 


As the developer lists, there also are minor changes that come with the mod:

  • Invisible light sources
  • \n
  • Invisible scanner
  • \n
  • Invisible X or switch
  • \n
  • Vanilla items for sale:
  • \n
    • pickaxes, fossil brushes, light augments, upgrade and manipulator modules, tech cards, etc.
    • \n
  • Invisible back and head gear
  • \n
Creative Mode

Download it on: Mod Nexus


Back to the land of mods that change the game in its entirety. 


Inspired by Minecraft, this mod grants to the player unlimited resources. Creativity is now the only boundary to determine how far the community can go with its in-game projects. 


If that was not enough, the mod also adds overpowered weapons and indestructible armors, so you do not need to worry about combat and can focus only on building the largest projects possible. 

Marauder Equipment Mod

Download it on: Nexus Mod


Not every mod needs to be a drastic change to the experience of the base game. Some may alter the game, but just by making small changes to it. 


This is the case for this mod. Enjoy four new sets of weapons and armors that will add some novelty to your intergalactic endeavors. Craftable with any crafting table, these sets are made with some of the very best materials you can find in Starbound.  With this mod, you'll be the talk of your solar system. 

Sergal Race

Download it on: Nexus Mod


This mod adds a new race to Starbound, but that is not all. It also adds many elements to the experience, including new weapons, armors, objects, ships and much more.


If you are interested in this mod, however, its creator has advice for you:


This mod absolutely requires a character creation extension mod so that you can actually select the race. Make sure you don't have a previous version in your mods folder before installing!

Barrett's Armory Season 2 : Cold War 0.55

Download it on: The Starbound official MOD repository


Are you a Starbound player but also love Call of Duty


This mod offers you the chance of combining both games in one, as it adds several weapons from World War II to the arsenal of Starbound. 


Above is a list of the arms added to the game via this mod. 


According to the developer, updates are on the way and of course, that means more guns. 

Fracking Universe

Download it on: The official Starbound MOD repository


This mod will change most of the major aspects of the Starbound experience.


While the major features are listed in the image above, the developer of the mod also offers insight on the most important mechanic of this modification:


The primary focus [of this mod] is gene-engineering your own plants, each with their own qualities and uses to make play more interesting. Want a plant to allow you to hover when eaten? Done. Need protection from radiation? There's one for that, too. The sky is the limit!


 Pretty nifty, right? 

Enhanced Storage

Download it on: The official Starbound MOD repository


If you are looking for ways of becoming a bit more powerful, without undermining the game's core experience, then this mod may help you find a balance that suits your taste. 


It mainly focuses on your ship's storage, but provides many other changes as well:


1.) Stored items in a container will be kept inside after smashing.

  • Items from world-generated containers can simply be picked up by smashing the container when the container was not opened before.
  • \n

2.) Increased container space for all storage containers.

  • The number of slots depends on the used area of each container to maintain balance between small and large containers.
  • \n
  • It is possible to increase the container space even more with an add-on mod.
  • \n

3.) Items in a container can be sorted.

  • Sorting priority: Rarity -> Category -> Name -> Count -> Rot time.
  • \n
  • Pressing the sort button again toggles the priority of Rarity (uncommon essential).
  • \n

So if you're an intergalactic hoarder -- or just need some more space for that epic space journey you're about to embark upon -- make sure you check this mod out. 

Spawnable Item Pack

Download it on: GitHub


Exploring different worlds, in order to look for supplies, is one of the core elements of this game, but some players see it as a limitation.


If you simply want to get as powerful as possible, without enduring the labor of extracting items from different worlds, then this mod is for you.


It allows you to spawn any item in the game for free, so material goods will not impede your progress toward becoming the most powerful force in the galaxy. 


Experience the power of procedurally generated content in Starbound, as you embark on a journey to explore the confines of the universe.


As the game's developer says on Starbound's official page on Steam:


In Starbound, you create your own story - there’s no wrong way to play! You may choose to save the universe from the forces that destroyed your home, uncovering greater galactic mysteries in the process, or you may wish to forego a heroic journey entirely in favor of colonizing uncharted planets.


However, as players explore the myriad of possibilities this game has to offer, there is a dedicated community working on improving the Starbound experience and making sure it suits the needs of its larger audience.


We are talking about modders.


There are hundreds, if not thousands, of modifications available for you to download and customize your intergalactic journey.


In order to make it easier for your to choose the mod that works best with your play style, we have compiled a list of eight mods you must check if you are an avid Starbound player.  

Starbound's 1.2 Update Makes You Feel Like a God Tue, 20 Dec 2016 15:46:31 -0500 Damien Smith

Indie developer Chucklefish released today their 1.2 Vault Update for their title Starbound. The update features an array of new content including ancient vaults, terraforming, weapon upgrades, elemental damage and Space Santa for the holidays. As if that wasn't enough there are a ton of minor changes, bug fixes, performance improvements and modding API changes.

Enter the Ancient Gateways

Players who have completed the main story line will be able to visit a mysterious trader on the Outpost who will send them on a mission to activate and enter the Ancient Gateways found floating in some systems. The gateways lead to ancient vaults that are challenging, procedurally generated dungeons left by the ancients.

The vaults contain all new dangers in the form of guardians, including procedural bosses and new lost technologies. At the end of each ancient vault lays an ancient anvil where you can spend Essence to upgrade your outdated legendary weapons. This upgrade system allows for many new options for endgame combat styles. 

As if that wasn't enough, the ancient vaults hold more surprises for those brave or foolish enough to enter. You can find a new device called a Terraformer within the vaults along with a new essence currency. Together you can use these items to terraform planets, allowing you to transform regions or whole planets into different biomes.

Terraformers can be used to expand a region across a planet’s surface, replacing natural blocks, objects and plant life, and eventually changing the type of the planet itself. You can also find microformers are consumable single-use terraformers which provide even more region types to further customize your worlds.

Don't think that gaining all of this new technology will be easy, however. With the ability to gain great power comes the disadvantage of a greater challenge. Now enemies have elemental resistance and weakness, resulting in your choice of weapon being more important than ever before.

Of course, Chucklefish hasn't forgotten about bringing the spirit of Christmas to the universe of StarboundTo celebrate the holidays, they have brought Space Santa to the Outpost where you will be able to buy a variety of festive items.

The new update is the perfect Christmas gift from the developer to the fans of Starbound. With so much new content the game is bound to keep players busy for the holiday season and beyond.

Minor Changes and Performance Improvements

As if the new content wasn't enough, there is a list of minor changes and performance improvements for the game. The changes and performance improvements are as follows: 

Minor Changes

  • Holding the activation key while in a distortion sphere tech will force deactivation, to avoid being permanently stuck in small spaces
  • Contain tooltips within the game window when they’re near the edge
  • Fix a bug with monster kill sounds not playing correctly
  • Several bug fixes to monster/NPC behaviours and pathfinding
  • Various typo and asset fixes
  • Add appropriate “bushes” to the Rust biome
  • Update SDL2 to 2.0.5, should fix some fullscreen issues
  • Fix some security vulnerabilities in server packet handling
  • Fixed an issue where crew would duplicate
  • Fix a player inventory networking issue

Performance Improvements

  • Improve generation time of older, image-based dungeons
  • Other minor improvements to dungeon and world generation
  • Use larger texture atlases on graphics cards that support them
  • Various optimisations to monster/NPC scripts
  • Improve loading speed for dungeon worlds

Not only have Chucklefish given players a ton of new content but also made changes to improve their overall experience with the game. What more could a Starbound fan ask for?

Changes for Modders

With the ability to freely create mods for Starbound the developer made sure to not leave the modders out with this massive update. A huge amount of changes were made to the Modding API and they are as follows:

  • Behavior Tree system moved to the engine for performance reasons, now accessible with the root.behavior lua binding. (Check lua documentation)
    • Cleanup node removed
    • Decorator node lua implementation changed
    • Action node arguments moved around, now (args, output, nodeId, dt).
  • Generic currency support.
    • Additional currencies can be added and consumed without requiring configuration
    • To associate a currency with a currency item, to be used in crafting, it needs to be configured in /currencies.config
    • .coinitem files changed to .currency

  • Object changes for terraforming support
    • Objects can have a new boolean key, “biomePlaced” which if true will cause them to be placed and removed by terraforming.
    • Objects can have a new boolean key, “rooting” which if true will mark all of their anchor spaces as roots and prevent those tiles from being broken until the object is broken (identical to how trees and vines work).
  • Player inventory can now be configured in the player.config, allowing changes to:
    • Number of bags
    • Inventory size of each bag
    • Number of action bars
    • Action bar size
    • NOTE: modifications to player inventory size need to be applied both server side and client side, and will invalidate existing characters
  • Damage sources, requests, and notifications
    • Introduced new hit types; WeakHit, StrongHit and Killed.
    • Removed killed boolean from damage notifications, replaced with Killed hit type.
    • Damage effects (sounds, particles) can be configured for each hit type (Hit, WeakHit, StrongHit, ShieldHit, Killed) in damage type configurations (.damage files).
    • Added support for elemental types to damage types. Elemental types can be configured in /damage/elementaltypes.config and can be set for each damage type using the “elementalType” key, which defaults to the “default” elemental type. Each elemental type has a unique set of damage number particles for each hit type.

  • Monsters
    • Added support for client-side rendering scripts
    • Allow overriding randomly selected monster parts by setting “selectedParts” in parameters
    • Add support for direct palette swaps with the “colorSwap” parameter
    • Allow overriding “shortdescription“ in parameters
    • Allow overriding “dropPools” in parameters
    • Allow setting animation parameters directly in monster parameters with the “animationCustom” parameter. This is merged into the animator configuration.
  • Lua API changes:
    • ActiveItemAnimation
      • Removed activeItemAnimation.animationParameter (replaced with animationConfig.animationParameter)
    • Animator
      • Added animator.partProperty
    • Item
      • Replaced with item.matches
    • Monster
      • Added monster.setDamageParts
      • Added monster.setAnimationParameter
    • Npc
      • Added npc.loungingIn
    • ObjectAnimator
      • Removed objectAnimator.animationParameter (replaced with animationConfig.animationParameter)

    • Player
      • Added player.currency
      • Added player.addCurrency
      • Added player.consumeCurrency
      • Modified player.hasItem to allow exact parameter matching
      • Modified player.hasCountOfItem to allow exact parameter matching
      • Modified player.consumeItem to allow exact parameter matching
      • Added
      • Added player.uniqueId
    • Root
      • Added root.behavior
    • Added animationConfig table for use in client side rendering scripts
    • ScriptPane
      • Added pane.playSound
    • Widget
      • Added widget.setSliderValue
      • Added widget.getSliderRange
      • Added widget.setSliderEnabled
      • Added widget.setItemSlotItem
    • World
      • Modify world.spawnItem to allow optionally setting a velocity and an intangibleTime
      • Added world.size
      • Added world.inSurfaceLayer
      • Added world.terrestrial
      • Changed world.entityMoney to world.entityCurrency
      • Added world.universeFlagSet
      • Modified world.entityHasCountOfItem to allow exact parameter matching
      • Added world.lineTileCollisionPoint
      • Added world.addBiomeRegion
      • Added world.expandBiomeRegion
      • Added world.pregenerateAddBiome
      • Added world.pregenerateExpandBiome
      • Added world.setLayerEnvironmentBiome
      • Added world.setPlanetType

Phew! So, yes there are a massive amount of changes made for the many community modders out there which is very much a Christmas present to them.

What are you waiting for? It's available right now!

There is no need to wait. The 1.2 Vault Update is out right now and available to download for free. So what are you waiting for? If you have completed the main story line, get vault hunting and if not, get that story line complete and then get yourself into a vault.

With so many changes, new content and ever more possibilities for modders, this update is bound to keep the community very busy for a very long time. Now if you will excuse me, I have some vault hunting to attend to.

What are your thoughts on the update? What have you experienced within the depths of the vaults? Let me know in the comments below!



The 11 Best Indie Games of 2016 Sat, 03 Dec 2016 13:00:01 -0500 SarahKel


So, there we have it, 11 of the best games of 2016. These games will be around for a long time to come and we look forward to a whole bunch of new games all ready for 2017.


What are your favorite indie games of 2016? Let us know in the comments below.

1. Darkest Dungeon

So, here is the number one indie game of 2016.  And why is it number one? Well, this simply shows how hyped we were about the game! 


Like most fiendish things, the game appears much simpler and benign than it is. The grim, but expressive hand-drawn art style adds to the innocent style. Characters trudge from left to right as the backgrounds scroll. This makes it seem like there isn’t much to the game. But, once players have visited therandomizedd dungeons, seen other characters die -- or go insane -- the game is revealed as an intimidatingly deep, tense and opaque turn-based tactical game. And it’s got so much character too!


The game robs players of certainty and predictability, as they will never know if the healer will heal, for example. Success and failure is intensified by outstanding narration, with grim warning and exclamations in response to critical events, and the back stories given at boss levels are fantastically told.


Enemies are rich and diverse, from fish men to eldritch horrors -- but if players want to bail out, they can do. Knowing when to give up is key to the game’s success. if you utilize the character’s skills and make the very best out of them, the team is formidable. Even with all these intricacies, the game is robust and plays very well. 


Darkest Dungeon is a grim and merciless tactical strategy game, with many layers of complexity, unpredictable randomisation and willingness to put venturing fragile characters in peril.  There is brilliant narration and expressive animation which makes it easy to be immersed into a tantalising world, with the end feeling slightly out of reach. But that is a good thing! The game is available for PS4, PS Vita and Steam and was released in April.

2. Enter the Gungeon

Genre fusion can be clumsy, but this game works perfectly and is so skillful to utilise all elements of the mash-up. Even judged purely by arcade shooter games, Enter The Gungeon makes the grade; and the roguelike elements add variety, structure and replayability to the base. All this goodness is wrapped up in a delightfully silly, breezy package, set on a distant planet that keeps everyone playing.


Simply, the game is about bullets and shooting some stuff -- ultimately, a giant bullet falls from the sky. Many of the enemies are actual bullets that fire smaller bullets at the character. There is a clear love of arcade shooters and therefore the game is reliant upon dexterity. Fighting bosses is quite unique, in that the boss will either spawn minions or bullets and the player has to juggle between defeating both. But this is really a game about the crazy weapons that can be used, such as a fire-spewing pitchfork or a laser rifle. 


Enter the Gungeon is really sophisticated for a game about shooting bullets at anthropomorphized bullets with guns. It uses elements of one genre in the context of another, enhancing the most enjoyable elements of both and still throwing surprises at players, whilst still being a whole bucket of fun. The game is available for PS4, Xbox One and Steam and was released in April 2016.

3. Superhot

An excellent first-person shooter, where players think first and shoot second. Each level is exciting, self-contained and time-bending fun that turns the FPS mechanic on its head. If the character moves, so do the enemies, but if the character stands still, so does time.


Super Hot is a truly unique idea and ever so reliant upon the smallest of movements to ensure bullets can be dodged. Every level is trial and error and definitely designed as such, to strategise the game in the best way possible. The true gameplay exists in those frozen moments; giving players time to carefully calculate their next movement based upon the heightened situation unfolding. The levels gradually introduce more difficult levels, such as providing less cover.  


Every scenario offers a unique challenge and every level is wholly worth playing. The clever time manipulation idea delivers consistently fulfilling challenges by turning quick actions into carefully considered and cautious tactical decisions.


The unique puzzles are simplistic but look great too. It is a great game with quick respawns to avoid the frustration of a death. The game was released in February and is available on Steam, Xbox One and PS4.

4. Owlboy

Oh, how much love is there for this game? A lot! We've already mentioned our love for this game right here! Owlboy is a game that defies expectations and tugs at the emotional heartstrings.


Bullied mute owl Otus wants to become a warrior, a fighter and a hero -- and it’s the player’s role to ensure he can reach that goal. But remember the importance of teamwork; Otus can’t do everything alone, but with friends, everything is possible. The game is utterly beautiful with its 2D graphics, has a compelling story, and a lot of wit. Control Otus whilst he bravely fights the invading robo-pirates.  


The developers clearly know what gamers want and have provided short cuts, such as easier ways to swap weapons. The artwork is sublime, the restrictive palette drives creativity and the amount of stunning locations or backdrops that last mere seconds shows how much love has been put into this game and should be cherished. It is a surprisingly emotionally deep treat, with some really compelling moments.


The game is a pleasure to control, it has impeccable difficulty balancing to keep players moving forward, whilst always feeling like players are being skillful. And of course, the gorgeous pixel graphics are awesome. The game was released in November and is available on Steam.

5. Stardew Valley

This game perfectly intertwines a farm simulator with RPG elements to create an intriguing and absorbing rural world. 


Each day in Stardew Valley is approximately 10-20 real minutes and yes, players do build the farm from scratch. The beauty of this game is its game play of no overnight success, as players are required to plant the correct seeds, water and harvest crops.  

The game is relaxed and initially seems simplistic, letting players play at their own pace. The blend of farming simulator and RPG feels effortless and the game is exciting and compelling as a result. The RPG elements are very welcome and break up the farming simulation pieces.

Stardew Valley is in touch with its message and very grounded in reality, subverting clichés from similar games. Get to know the town’s inhabitants and their individual quirks, and players are absorbed into the environment. Be kind to one another and people are rewarded too -- building relationships are just as important as the farming.


The game emphasizes make do with what you have and build on it. The game expertly explores the connection that someone can have with their environment and the people around them. And remember -- what needs to be done today? The game was released in February and is available on Steam, PS4 and Xbox One.

6. Starbound

This is a great 2D procedurally generated platformer, and it is truly a gaming experience that shoots for the stars and lands amongst them. We rated this game a huge 9/10! 


Exploration of a diverse range of planets, biomes and subterranean nightmares is the highlight of the voyage, but the combat, scripted bosses and rich backstory ensure the game shines brightly. Players can craft, mine and refine -- and also team up with friends.


What elevates this open-ended crafting sandbox game above others like it is the sheer diversity. Each planet is unique and randomized -- its geography, landscape and weather conditions are all intriguing. When players drill downwards, there are some great and unexpected items, such as mini dungeons and bone temples. Enemies are diverse and the combat style focuses upon experimentation to prevent battles from becoming repetitive and to continually engage players.


The freedom to uncover the secrets of the galaxy and make worlds makes this game truly special. The game has been available since July and is playable on PS4, Xbox One and Steam.

7. Death Road to Canada

There are a lot of zombie survival games out there, but none more quirky than a two week road trip from Florida to Ontario. The first thing that stands out is the zingy music; it’s chirpy, contagious and memorable and is an amusing antithesis to the desolate and desperate world on display.


The journey is full of broken cars, greedy bandits and constantly needing to replenish basic supplies. But, if you don’t make it to Canada, don’t worry -- just have another go. We love how the characters can be named after real life people and that there are other characters along the way who are inspired by pop culture.

When the zombie hordes arrive, players can literally use anything at all as weapons to defeat zombies, including regular weaponry. The ‘siege’ event is fun, as the area the player is in becomes flooded with zombies! Yes, players may fail, but with a couple of playthroughs, players will learn the intuition to succeed.


Overall, the game is a charming road trip game that, although occasionally harsh, is always fun. Death Road to Canada was released in July 2016 and is available on Steam and GOG.

8. Oxenfree

This game is perfectly paced, allowing players to progress through the game without burning it out quickly -- and this is part of the allure. The supernatural adventure game appears superficially to be a teen slasher, but underneath, it is about people, relationships and growing up; we explored these character relationships in another article on Oxenfree.


In the game you play as protagonist Alex, who hears an urban myth that a special radio frequency can allow him to hear ghostly voices. Naturally, Alex and friends investigate on a deserted island, but while learning about the island’s history, they become separated.

The game allows players to decide who to search for first and this totally changes how the story plays out. This means there is a great amount of replayability, as players can go back and opt for the other choices and see how it affects the outcome.


The narrative is very reactive; even a silence is responded to and the dialogue is seamless, truly recreating human conversation. Characters are well rounded and believable. It makes a refreshing change for a horror game to not have jump scares, but be more heartfelt instead. The game was released January 2016 and is available on Steam, PS4 and XBox One.

9. Reigns

This is a brilliant ‘choose your own adventure’ game, with players considering how to solve a number of crises. You can make binary choices to resolve the ongoing crises, but these choices do act like scales that tip the kingdom’s ethos one way or another. The risks in the game must be calculated and outcomes are never certain. Ultimately, the game is about balance -- the king can’t please all of the people all of the time!


Reigns is written economically, but with a malevolent streak that genuinely makes players believe that they will succeed; when without practice, they won’t. Reigns is a game about choice and heavy with consequence. It totally delights in its cloistered malevolence. Long may it reign. The game is available on SteamiOS and Android and was released in August 2016.



10. Hyper Light Drifter

This game is truly demanding, throwing continual road blocks at players where progress is only rewarded via practice, practice, practice -- not cheap strategies and exploits.


In this game, the drifter protagonist has access to technology long forgotten by the game’s world. The developers do seem to wanted to create a SNES style gaming experience as the battles are almost poetic in their nature and punctuate the exploration phase, both characteristics of classic Nintendo action-adventure games from years past.

Emphasis in Hyper Light Drifter is very much placed upon learning how to interpret everything that happens in the game, what it demands and how to wield weapons. It is a game with no dialogue but instead employs a protagonist who has survived an apocalyptic attack and is being chased by a shadowy monster -- using the environment to tell the story.


A beautiful pixelated game, Hyper Light Drifter places importance on player interpretation as there are few hints to help players along their way -- but that’s the fun! The game is available on PC, Xbox One, PS4 and Steam and was released in March 2016.

11. Obduction

This game is about a person being transported to an alien world and that person having to explore and solve puzzles to return home. It’s a great first-person adventure game set in a beautiful and lush world, which is so amazing you sometimes find yourself just standing around admiring it. We loved it so much we gave it a solid 8/10! 


Obduction resurrects that feeling of classic adventure games like Myst, whose creator, Rand Miller, also created this amazing experience. An immersive world, the environment of Obduction requires considerable exploration and discovery of its enigmatic character. Through this exploration, the world’s secrets are unveiled. Solving puzzles requires searching and keen observation is vital to ensure clues are not missed -- they can often be the most unassuming things!


Half the fun of this game is the feeling of a race against time to find that final clue; but once it’s found, the reward is very much worth it. The in-game choices do have substantial consequences for the rest of the game, too, giving it another layer of intriguing difficulty.

Obduction is available for PC and Steam and was released in August 2016.


Each year we see another shed-load of outstanding indie games hit the market, and 2016 has once again been a bumper year. Whether it's something you’ve found on Steam or heard about from a Twitch streamer, these indie games are always a refreshing change from Triple-A franchised games, offering something new and different for players.


So, which games have really excelled this year? There has been a lot of choices, but we’ve narrowed it down to 11 of the best indie games of the year!

3 Games That Would Make Awesome Mobile Games Mon, 31 Oct 2016 10:00:02 -0400 Janette Ceballos

Smartphones allow for on-the-go gaming away from a T.V. and home console, perfect for long road trips or quick gaming sessions throughout the day. Mobile games like Clash of Clans and Candy Crush offer the appeal of easy gameplay and simple objectives while still providing fun and rewarding experiences.

So many games are already being developed for, or ported to, the platform because developers notice and are taking advantage of the tremendous number of people who can access the mobile platform. Almost everyone has a smartphone, so almost everyone can download these types of games. This being said, the mobile platform provides the base for a huge multiplayer community, perfect for the builder genre.

Here’s a list of 3 games that I think would work just as nicely on your smartphone because they can make the most of the audience and limitations of the platform.

Super Mario Maker

Having the game on a phone rather than a WiiU or 3DS allows more people to have access to the game, increasing the already large number of Super Mario Maker players. Putting the game in a position to increase its user base leads to more levels and creative challenges players can provide each other.

As far as construction games go, they do pretty well on a mobile platform since they give people a huge amount of control over how they go through the game. This would just add the benefit of letting the audience control each other’s experience too, crafting stages that can be merciful or merciless.

The mobile platform could possibly make the game more interactive by providing a screen players would physically interact with, tapping and sliding across their phones to create and play through levels. With the upcoming Super Mario Run, this may be a possibility.


This pixel-style RPG sandbox adventure is the perfect game to transition onto a mobile medium. The platform would provide a larger audience to build up the multiplayer mode the game already offers, making it possible to get help and make friends while traveling through alien planets.

The pixel style would transition quite well to a phone. You wouldn’t necessarily need ultra-HD resolution to enjoy the game since that comes from the gameplay and sense of adventure. Not to mention, the open-world format ensures players always come back.

Stardew Valley

Another pixelated RPG, this game is basically a farming simulator, but it’s still managed to be a popular buy. Mixing together a lovely soundtrack, memorable characters, and endless content lets players actually care about the game more than other agriculture-based games.

Again, the pixel style would transition nicely to a mobile game and the calm atmosphere would grab the attention of a lot of people who are used to easygoing mobile games. Couple that with a never-ending list of things you can do in the game and you’ve got the next FarmVille, just with less Facebook requests.

What games do you think would make for good mobile ports? Let me know in the comments below!

10 Sandbox Games on Steam That Stand Out Above the Rest Wed, 26 Oct 2016 14:00:01 -0400 Damien Smith


Those are my top ten sandbox games on Steam. From 2D worlds giving players the freedom to adventure and build, to surviving strange and harsh worlds to building constructs of demolition. There is a title to suit everyone's appeals. Now if you will excuse me, I have to go help Wilson not starve.


What do you think of the list? Are there any other games you think should be on the list? Let me know in the comments below!



Price: $14.99

I couldn't end this list without including Kenshi. The world of Kenshi is one of the biggest non-infinite worlds since the Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall. It has a staggering 870 square kilometers for you to explore. You can be a trader, thief, warlord, farmer, adventurer and more.


To survive the harsh world, you will need to construct and base and gather together a squad. There are no heroes; each character is equal and has their own story to tell. As a character gets stronger, so too does their physical appearance.


You can join or oppose the various factions throughout the game. You will have to use realistic methods of healing injuries and carrying the injured to safety. Much like RimWorld, this is only the tip of the iceberg for what the game has to offer.


It truly is an outstanding and in-depth game that comes from a small indie developer. If you like playing games with massive and harsh realistic worlds full of danger but want something a bit different, then Kenshi is worth checking out.


Get Kenshi on Steam.

Empyrion - Galactic Survival
Price: $19.99

Are you still feeling the pinch of No Man's Sky? Perhaps Empyrion may help you out with that. You must travel through a hostile galaxy full of danger, building, exploring, fighting, and (of course) surviving.


Throughout the game you will be building space ships and bases, mining and resource gathering, crafting, hunting, farming, and forming the terrain as you see fit. You will have to fight against the wildlife of the many planets you will visit, along with robot drones, alien soldiers and their guardians. All of this can be done both in single player and multiplayer alike.


There are two game modes to suit everyone's play style: Survival mode and Creative mode. Despite being in Early Access, Empyrion already has plenty of features to keep you busy for hours on end.


Get Empyrion - Galactic Survival on Steam.



Price: $29.99

RimWorld is the creation of Tynan Sylvester, who was previously a designer for BioShock Infinite. It released in Early Access back in July this year and is already one of the most promising titles in Early Access since Darkest Dungeon.


You take control of a colony of survival attempting to start anew on a strange planet. The game is driven by an A.I storyteller that decides how events happen such as bandit raids and disasters. To survive, you will have to fight, craft, trade, build and gather resources -- all the while tending to your colonists' needs.


That is only scraping the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the depth and content of RimWorld. It is also moddable and is integrated with Steam Workshop, allowing for easy installation of mods to change up the gameplay any time. It may feel pricey for an Early Access title, but its depth and gameplay make it all worth it.


Get RimWorld on Steam.



Price: $7.99

There is nothing else out there quite like BesiegeAs far as creativity and uniqueness go, this entry in the list sits at the top. Essentially Besiege is a game where you construct machines of doom from the ground up. Your goal is to conquer each land one by one using them.


As to what kind of machines you build to accomplish this, is entirely up to you and your imagination. From battering rams with circular saws on them to giant spiked catapults of demolition or a flamethrowing cannon firing machines of destruction, the possibilities are endless.


All that stands in your way is your imagination and the enemies defenses as you lay each land into ruination. Despite being in Early Access and having limited levels, it is worth playing for the fun and the experience.


Get Besiege on Steam.




Stardew Valley

Price: $13.99

Do you like games like Harvest Moon yet want to play them on your PC? Well then, look no further than Stardew Valley. In this game, you inherit your grandfather's farm, or should I say, what is left of it. You must build the farm back up to its former glory and learn to live off the land.


You will need to grow crops, start an orchard, raise animals and craft useful machines. As you progress through the game you begin to become friends with a community consisting of over 30 different characters, each with their own dialogue.


There is more than just farming to be done in Stardew Valley, however. You can go fishing, donate artifacts and minerals to the museum, cook, craft items, explore a mysterious cave with monsters in it and decorate your house to how you like it.


If this is the sort of game you like, you can kiss your social life goodbye. Once you start playing, you won't be able to stop.


Get Stardew Valley on Steam.


Kerbal Space Program

Price: $39.99

This is easily the zaniest of the games on offer here. In Kerbal Space Program, you must build a spacecraft that is capable of sending its crew into space without getting them killed. There is a huge collection of ship parts at your disposal, each with their own functionalities.


There is a total of three modes to play. Sandbox allows you to create anything freely. In Science mode, you must perform research to advance the knowledge of Kerbalkind and further available technology. Finally, there's Career mode, where you must oversee every aspect of the program.


With three different play modes, plus various activities like mining resources, constructing bases and space stations along with building all kinds of ships, the fun is never-ending. Not to mention that the outcome of building crazy spaceships at times is hilarious. 


Get Kerbal Space Program on Steam.



Price: $13.99

At first glance, it is easy to assume that Starbound is nothing more than a Terraria clone. Don't make its appearance fool you. Starbound takes things to a whole new level with its gameplay. You start off in the game with a damaged ship in need of repairs.


You beam down to the planet below to begin gathering resources to repair it. Once repaired, you are able to explore the vast infinite cosmos. You can land on various planets, creating anything you wish... or simply just explore. On your travels, you can capture monsters and train them to fight alongside you.


There are thousands of craftable items, three difficulty modes to suit everyone's play style, customizable space ships and seven different races to choose from. There is also a storyline to follow if you wish to do so. The biggest thing that separates it from Terraria is that it is fully moddable with Steam's Workshop, resulting in endless fun and possibilities.


Get Starbound on Steam.


Cities: Skylines

Price: $27.99

Is the latest installment in the SimCity series not quite giving you everything you hoped for? Cities: Skylines may just scratch that city-building itch. As the mayor of a new city, you must construct it from the ground up. How you design and run the city is entirely up to you.


As you build up your city, you will need to balance out the essential needs of your citizens, such as education, water, electricity, police, firefighting and health care. You will need to designate various parts of your city as districts too.


As if all that isn't awesome enough, it looks absolutely breathtaking with modern graphics that allow day and night cycles. It's wonderful watching as the night sets in with the buildings lighting up and citizens' schedules changing. As far as city builders go, you don't get much better than this.


Get Cities: Skylines on Steam.


Don't Starve

Price: $14.99

As far as sandbox games go, there are few that could ever be considered more brutal than Don't StarveThat brutality, however, is a case of having to learn how the game works over it being purposely punishing. Once you figure out how everything works, Don't Starve becomes one of the most addictive games out there.


You play as Wilson, a genius inventor who finds himself on a strange and unexplored world, full of weird creatures, dangers, and surprises. You will need to gather food and resources and construct inventions to help you craft new items, all the while staying sane. 


Most importantly, you must make sure you have light at night time. Within the darkness, an evil awaits to consume you. There is a roster of different and crazy characters to unlock, each with their own advantages and disadvantages that change up the gameplay.


With addictive gameplay, a unique art style and a world like nothing you have seen before, Don't Starve is an absolute must play.


Get Don't Starve on Steam.



Price: $9.99

I might as well start off with the obvious one on this list. Terraria, to date, has sold a monumental 18 million copies across all platforms. At its heart, Terraria is a 2D Minecraft, but it goes a few extra miles to create an identity of its own.


While it gives the player the ability to build anything they want in 2D, its gameplay also features RPG mechanics. You will need to defeat monsters, explore dungeons and face bosses to gain better equipment and progress in the game. 


You need to explore various biomes and build a town with various NPCs that you will have to protect from monster raids. With over 1,000 items including crafting materials, weapons, armor, clothing and spells the possibilities with Terraria are near endless. 


Get Terraria on Steam.


Since the indie boom began, Steam has seen a huge amount of new and varied sandbox games. From 2D builders to galactic adventures and surviving in mysterious and dangerous worlds, there's just about every kind of sandbox game imaginable.


With so many now available both on Steam and in Early Access, it can be difficult to choose what ones to buy. So which sandbox games go that extra mile and deliver an experience worth the pricetag? Quite a few, it turns out.


Here is my list of ten sandbox games on Steam that stand out above the rest.

Starbound Review - Landing Amongst the Stars Fri, 16 Sep 2016 11:22:01 -0400 Kimberly Cooper

Let me start off by saying that I don't like Terraria and I've heard mixed things about No Man's Sky. Some might find Starbound to be a mix of gameplay from both games. Chucklefish Games has been working on Starbound for a couple of years, and it's been available for purchase and download for almost as long. However, we are now able to finally partake in the polished 1.0 version that has gained the interest of its fanbase.

I personally had an awkward start with this game. I bought and returned it on Steam two times before finally going back for the third and final time (because apparently 3 is a magic number) and sticking to it. There's a few things that kept making me come back for more, and I'll tell you why.

Wonderful World of Customization

Starbound has a lot of things going for it -- especially things that should be necessary for those who love to explore. There's a hefty character customization system that includes 7 unique races, from your everyday human to a rather gassy group of humanoids called Novakids. You're free to equip your character with the clothing of an average Joe or make yourself battle-ready with gear that'll prepare you for monster hunting and scavenging into the unknown depths of the universe.

While you're out hunting for junk cool things, you'll soon find that you can build your own special colony and even have tenants come to wander about your place when the right settings are met, not to mention you can customize your own spaceship. (Yes, you can own your own spaceship.) If for some reason you find that none of the customizations available suit your fancy, you'll be happy to know that Starbound has a large modding community.

Explorations of Planetary Proportions

Much like real life, we really don't know everything that lies beyond our Earth. We could have cotton candy filled planets and we'd never know. Starbound doesn't limit you to a handful of planets with a welcome brochure to each and every one of them. You'll find procedurally generated planets and creatures, which means that at times you're not going to know what you're going to get.

Planets can increase in threat level from harmless to hazardous biomes, and enemies can quickly go from cute and cuddly to ugly and terrifying. A weather system is placed on most planets and you get anything from relaxing rain droplets to hail to falling space debris and meteor showers. Take my advice, wear a helmet. 

If you like exploring and discovering new places, you'd probably like this aspect the most out of everything else that Starbound has to offer. If you don't like traveling alone, you'll quickly find that you can travel with a friend through multiplayer or tame a wild monster to bring along as a fighting companion.

Not Your Average Hacking-and-Slashing

When it comes to combat, I'm a button masher kind of player.Unfortunately for people like me, Starbound doesn't play by those rules. Starbound has a heavy arsenal of weaponry ranging from hammers and swords to guns and bows with the addition of shields to protect you from incoming attacks.

You'll find yourself having to dodge enemy attacks because certain enemies have their own means of attacking. Some will be heavily armored and charge at you to attack, meaning that you better put your butt into gear and move out of the way. There's a casual mode where you'll only lose a bit of money upon death, then there's the survival mode where you lose items upon death and you have to eat to survive. Oh, there's also a hard mode where when you die Space Jesus doesn't bring you back. 

The Verdict

So, what kept me coming back over and over again? For starters, the pixel graphics are beautiful in their own unique way and complete with extra detail. There's a great deal of crafting, combat, and exploring that'll keep you occupied for hours on end. Multiplayer allows you to play with friends or pummel other players into oblivion. The modding community has hundreds of mods that'll keep you entertained if nothing else will. 

In the end it was the sheer amount of exploration that kept me coming back because I knew that I'd always find something different, even at the start of the game. I started one game on a pretty normal planet, but when I started another game I found myself on a planet full of freaking holes. Like with any game, it isn't without its flaws -- such as the seemingly flat story or the fact that I have to use my mouse to attack.

All in all, Starbound may have missed the moon, but at least it landed amongst the stars with a glorious galactic adventure.

You can purchase Starbound on Steam ($14.99) and The Humble Store ($14.99).

Quick n' dirty Starbound 1.0 weapon overview guide Sun, 31 Jul 2016 08:11:26 -0400 Ashley Shankle

Starbound's 1.0 full release update brought a slew of new content to the game, and with its announcement came waves of players both new and returning to see what the depths of the game's universe holds.

Combat is as big of a part of Starbound as it's ever been, if not more so with the game's new bosses and sub-bosses. Players who gave the game a rest during its extended beta period and newcomers alike can and do come into the game and find themselves a little confused over all the new weapons and how they work.

This guide is going to cover the specifics of the game's weapons and how the system works, as it can be kind

Starbound is packed with weapons both procedurally generated and specifically designed. Some, such as fist weapons, have no procedurally generated options and will always have the same stats; while weapons such as hammers, daggers, and so on always have random stats.

On top of some types of weapons packing exclusively random stats, some are ranged and some are melee -- and some still are magical. There's pretty much something for everybody in the game's nearly infinite weapon stockpile.

Elemental effects

Some weapons have elemental affinities, of which there are four total. Not only will these weapons do damage of that element (and extra to enemies weak to it), but they will apply specific status effects on enemies when hit.

You can see which affinity a weapon is right in its item information. The element will be marked with a symbol. The status effects last 5 seconds when applied by weapons.

Fire element weapons can burn enemies on hit. This deals a small amount of damage per second and makes the afflicted target light up in the dark, but the burning status effect can be doused out by hopping in water.

Frost element weapons can freeze enemies on hit. This reduces their move speed and jump height for a short time.

Electric element weapons electrify enemies on hit. This deals damage to nearby enemies based on the electrified monster's health.

Poison element weapons can poison enemies on hit. This deals a small amount of damage per second.

Both ranged and melee weapons can have elemental affinities.

Melee weapons

Most players are more comfortable with melee weapons than ranged as they provide a certain close-range safety net that ranged weapons generally do not. Not to mention they're pretty fun to swing around.

There are one-hand and two-hand melee weapons, and both of them have distinct advantages and disadvantages over one another.

For instance one-hand weapons tend to be faster and allow you to dual wield or equip a shield, but they do not have the special attacks.

On the other hand two-handed weapons are slower and take up both slots on the hotbar, but have special attacks that more often than not make them worth it.

One-handed melee weapons
  • Axes - Slower than the other one-handed melees but tend to do more damage. You must hold the attack button briefly to lift an axe and let go of the attack button to swing it
  • Daggers - The fastest one-handed melees, elemental daggers are amazing for applying status effects. You can aim your attacks
  • Fists - Fist weapons are among the rarest melee and are not randomly generated. Dual-wielding fists changes the attack combo, adding a special move at the end of a combo based on the weapons equipped
  • Shortswords - The middle-ground of melee weapons, shortswords are relatively fast and have a different trajectory from daggers
Two-handed melee weapons

Uncommon and above two-handed melee weapons can come with special attacks that can be used by clicking/holding the right mouse button. Most special attacks apply a weapon's elemental status effects.

Special attacks use your energy bar but are generally powerful enough to be worth it. A weapon type's eligible special attacks are listed just under the weapon types themselves.

  • Broadswords - Slower and more powerful than shortswords, with a large frontal attack trajectory. Broadswords with the Parry skill have the potential to be defensive over offensive.
    • Blade Charge
    • Blink Explosion
    • Blink Slash
    • Flying Slash
    • Giant Sword
    • Parry
    • Pogo Sword
    • Rising Slash
    • Spin Slash
    • Super Spin Slash
    • Trail Dash
  • Hammers - Hammers are different from other weapon types in that you must hold down the mouse button to lift them up and release the button to attack. These have the highest raw damage potential but can be hard to get used to.
    • Blink Explosion
    • Energy Aura
    • Energy Pillar
    • Energy Wave
    • Ground Slam
    • Shockwave
    • Uppercut
  • Spears - Unique from broadswords and hammers in that the stab outwards instead of slashing, you can also hold the attack button with spears to deal damage to enemies in front of you.
    • Barrier
    • Blade Whirl
    • Blink Explosion
    • Energy Whirl
    • Flurry
    • Rocket Spear

Ranged weapons

Ranged weapons are where things start to get a little tricky. There are many more types of ranged weapons in Starbound, ranging from bows and boomerangs to wands and guns.

Most of the game's interesting or unique weapons lie squarely within the "ranged" category.


Bows are unique from other ranged weapons in that when you kill monsters with one they will drop meat. In some cases they will also drop leather and other crafting materials, especially with boss and special monsters.

These weapons have set stats and effects. If you hold the attack button until a bow flashes and let it go right at that moment your attack will deal extra damage.


A mixture of bows and plan throwing weapons, boomerangs will come back to you once thrown. Boomerangs are unique and can have their own special trajectories.


There are a lot of guns in Starbound, from one-handed pistols to two-handed rocket launchers. Each type has its own "attack style" and chances are you'll settle on your own favorite types.

Guns can have special attacks, though at the time of writing I haven't gotten lucky enough to get enough guns with them to speak much about them. These are the ones I personally have dealt with and know are in the game:

  • Flashlight - Simply turns on a flashlight at the end of your gun
  • Explosive Burst - Shoots out several bullets that explode on impact
  • Guided Rocket - Allows you to control a rocket launcher's rocket directly

As for the guns themselves, here are the one-handed types:

  • Grenade Launchers - These shoot out single grenades that will explode after sitting for a few seconds or when enemies come in contact with them
  • Machine pistols - Automatic guns that fire faster than pistols at the cost of individual bullet damage
  • Pistols - The bread and butter gun type, these are simple but versatile

And here are the two-handed gun types:

  • Assault Rifles - Automatic guns that have high rates of fire and damage
  • Flamethrowers - These spray out fire over an area, dealing fire damage to enemies
  • Rocket launchers - Very high-damage guns with rockets that do damage over an area
  • Shotguns - As they should, shotguns do damage over an area with the spread being wider the further the bullets travel from the gun, making these best at short range
  • Sniper Rifles - Another very high damage gun type, sniper rifles fire slowly and deal massive damage to their targets
Staves and wands

These two magical weapons are bundled together here because the primary special abilities they can have are exactly the same.

So if both weapons have the same special abilities, what's the difference here? While wands are one-handed and only have one ability, staves are two-handed weapons with special secondary skills.

There are four primary abilities between both weapons, and each of those four abilities have four elemental variations for each of the typical weapon elements.

The abilities themselves are:

  • Bouncer - Spawns an elemental orb that follows your mouse. If it bounces off surfaces it leaves elemental residue that deals damage to enemies.
  • Orb - Spawns an elemental orb that follows your mouse and deals damage to enemies it touches.
  • Portal - Spawns a portal that sends out elemental energy to your mouse location, dealing damage to touched enemies.
  • Rain - Spawns a rain cloud that follows your mouse deals damage to enemies under it.
  • Swarm - Spawns multiple elemental orbs that follow your mouse.

Any of these abilities can have any of the four elemental properties. While these are the only part of wands' capabilities, staves can also have the following special abilities usable via the right mouse button.

Each of these skills places a large magical circle down that has its own special effects. The magical circle will disappear after a short time.

  • Attraction Zone - Pulls both players and enemies within the circle toward its center
  • Energy Zone - Increases players' energy regeneration within the circle
  • Healing Zone - Increases players' health regeneration within the circle
  • Low Gravity Zone - Decreases gravity within the circle
  • Repulsion Zone - Pushes both players and enemies outside of the circle

And lastly, there are a few instances of super-rare staves and wands having unique primary abilities but these are far and few between.


The last weapon featured here, the whip is one of the least common weapon types in the game and aren't quite the same type of ranged weapon as the rest.

Whips have a limited range compared to other ranged weapons, but they are a definite favorite weapon for some. They are not procedurally generated.

And that concludes this riveting trip down Starbound's weapon rabbit hole! The list of weapon types alone is fairly impressive, but the actual number of weapons you can stockpile in the game is even better. These descriptions are one thing but getting your hands on new weapons and seeing what they can do is a big part of the fun in Chucklefish's space sandbox.

Hopefully this helps you get appropriately armed! Check out the rest of our Starbound guides for more tips and tricks:

Starbound 1.0+ - How to craft your first set of armor Sat, 23 Jul 2016 12:13:39 -0400 Ashley Shankle

Starbound's crafting system is more robust than it's ever been pre-full release, and it's pretty overwhelming for players both brand new to the game and coming back after a nearly three year hiatus. So many crafting stations and so little explanation makes for a confusing, but fun, time.

If you're finding that you're taking too much damage from monsters and are in dire need of some armor, it's time to get accustomed to the game's crafting system and make yourself some equipment.

The basic iron armor set you can craft early on in the game is pretty decent for keeping you alive against weaker monsters and can make your early game life much easier. And hey, while you're crafting it you get used to messing around with the game's crafting system. There's not much here to lose.

Beginning with the Inventor's Table

The first crafting station you need to make is the Inventor's Table, which can be done via the basic crafting menu you have available by default. 

Click this icon or press the 'C' key to enter Basic Crafting.

To craft the Inventor's Table you need:

  • 4 Wooden Logs
  • 12 Timber
    • Made via basic crafting, requires 3 Timber total

Once you've made and placed your Inventor's Table, press the 'E' key to interact with the table and have access to its blueprints. The next station you need to make is the Primitive Furnace via the Inventor's Table.

Making and using the Primitive Furnace

To craft the Primitive Furnace you need:

  • 20 Cobblestone
  • 4 Mud
  • 1 Campfire
    • Made via basic crafting, requires 4 Wooden Logs and 1 Torch

The Torch is also made via basic crafting and requires 1 Wooden Log and 1 Coal.

The next step requires the Anvil, which is also made via the Inventor's Table. But in order to craft the Anvil you need Iron Bars, which you must make with the Primitive Furnace you just crafted and hopefully placed.

If you have any Iron Ore, now is the time to use the furnace and start to smelt it into Iron Bars. You're going to need 8 Iron Bars to make the Anvil in the step after next and 10 additional Iron Bars to make the three-piece set of iron armor.

Making and using the Spinning Wheel

The Spinning Wheel is your ticket to softer materials like Woven Fabric and String, both of which needed to get decked out in your first set of iron armor.

To craft the Spinning Wheel you need:

  • 40 Timber
    • Made via basic crafting, requires 8 Wooden Logs
  • 5 Cobblestone
  • 1 Rope
    • Made via basic crafting, requires 2 Plant Fibre

You'll make use of this station soon enough. You're going to need to make 10 Woven Fabric and 1 String for the three-piece armor set.

Making and using the Anvil

The Anvil is the station you use to further refine your bars into actual usable items. It may be your first hurdle in getting all your crafting stations up and running if you haven't found much Iron Ore yet, which you desperately need early in the game.

To craft an Anvil you need:

  • 8 Iron Bars
    • Made via the Primitive Furnace, requires 16 Iron Ore total
  • 20 Timber
    • Made via basic crafting, requires 4 Wooden Logs
  • 1 Wooden Log

You'll be using the Anvil to make the starter equipment. Since my character is an Avian, the first set is the Hatchling's set.

Crafting your first iron armor set

Now it's time to get to it. Finally, after making all these crafting stations!

There are three pieces to your first iron armor set: one for the chest, one for your head, and one for your legs. And luckily they're all very easy to make.

In unrefined basic materials you need 20 Iron Ore and 50 Plant Fibre total to make all three basic iron armor pieces.

Your breastplate (+25% attack, +12.5 defense, +5 energy, +5 health) will require:

  • 5 Iron Bars
  • 5 Woven Fabric
  • 1 String

Your headpiece (+15% attack, +7.5 defense, +3 energy, +3 health) will require:

  • 3 Iron Bars
  • 5 Woven Fabric

And lastly your leg armor (+10% attack, +5 defense, +2 energy, +2 health) will require:

  • 2 Iron Bars
  • 2 Woven Fabric

You craft the Iron Bars necessary using the Primitive Furnace, and the Woven Fabric and String at the Spinning Wheel.

And with that you've not only familiarized yourself with Starbound's crafting system, but got yourself a reliable set of beginner's armor as well. Was it worth the effort? Absolutely.

Hopefully this helps you get yourself outfitted properly! Check out the rest of our Starbound guides for more tips and tricks: