Credit: Chucklefish

Welcome to Starbound

Stranded outside a strange, foreign planet after running out of fuel, it is up to the player to start a new beginning, on a strange new world.

Starbound is an ambitious sandbox game cut from the same cloth as Terraria and Minecraft for PC. It is a 2D side-scroller in which players will find themselves stranded on an unknown planet. It is up to the player to explore the alien planet and find a way off the planet and to eventually explore the universe.

An alien world
Credit: Starbound

Guide for Beginners

New players may find themselves overwhelmed on how to begin, so following this guide will point players in the right direction to start the game correctly.

  1. Aboard your ship, walk to the first computer and press E. Select the Matter Manipulator. (It looks like a yellow magnet). Grab the Matter Manipulator and everything else in your ship’s storage.
  2. Players can click on the arrow pointing down on the right side of your screen and beam down to the foreign planet or use the teleporter they started on by pressing E. 
  3. As soon as you arrive at your new found planet, begin to cut down trees and gather cobblestone with your matter manipulator. 

Crafting Priorities

To travel the stars and refuel your ship, you will first have to craft your own equipment to safely explore while gathering resources. Below is a list of what you will need:

  1. Create a Wooden Crafting Table, and then craft a Stone Pickaxe. Now you can collect a stone and ore considerably faster. Collect stone and ore until you have enough to create an axe and hoe.
  2. It essential that players build a bed as soon as possible. Early in the game it is difficult to create bandages because you have not crafted the gathering tools yet, however resting in a bed is a quick way to regain your health after taking damage.
  3. Use the hoe you have crafted to till the ground, then plant the seeds that you collected off of your stranded spaceship. Then continue to collect wood and vines while you wait for your crops to grow. 
  4. Players should then craft a cooking table to turn the wheat they have grown into bread. By crafting bread, you will not be hungry for a while.
  5. Craft a yarn spinner and begin to craft fabric from plant fibers that you collected from the vines. Go to your crafting table and craft bandages from the fabric. These will create bandages that will you heal you if you take damage from hostile aliens.
  6. Players should then build a stone furnace. Now you are ready to collect ore if you did not earlier. Collect iron and copper ore and smelt them into bars. Next you will want to create an anvil so you can create armor and weapons. Bonus: If you can craft silver items, you are in great shape.

Pixel Hunting

  1. Now that you are armed with the best equipment you can make on your starting planet, it is now time to hunt monsters to gain pixels. Pixels are used to learn how to craft new items, however players need to keep in mind that if they lose all their health, they will lose a large portion of their collected pixels. However with copper and silver crafted weapons, this should make farming hostile aliens for pixels easily. 
  2. Explore the planet and show it who is in charge. When you are finished with the starting planet, craft a Distress Beacon and enjoy your galactic adventure.


  • At one point players will be asked to collect and cook alien meat. Alien meat will only drop through use of a bow. Using a sword to weaken a hostile alien, and then finishing it off with an arrow is the optimal way to gather alien meat.
  • Players familiar with similar sandbox games will know that the best ore can be found deep beneath the surface. The same is true in Starbound, although there is copper and iron ore along the surface of the planet, deep beneath the surface is where players will be able to find large lodes of ore.


  • Map the items you use the most to the left click and right click, such as a pick axe or sword.
  • Be geared before you leave your first planet. The difficulty ramps up pretty fast.
  • If you use a bow, releasing the arrow after a flash of light will deal out more damage.
  • You can dig out the background for free light until you are fairly deep underground.

Final Thoughts

If you enjoy sandbox games, exploring caves and dungeons, and crafting bigger and better items, Starbound is worth your time. Unlike other games with similar mechanics, Starbound has infinite replay value as the planets in the universe are randomly generated and each hold their own special secrets.