I’ve had some trouble when I first started out Starbound, but I took notes of what I did and didn’t have trouble with to compile it into a list of 50 tips for new Starbound players. I’ve broken the tips out into easy to digest sections, but they should help everyone who’s got some problems in getting into Starbound.


Starting Out

  1. When starting out, follow the quests and take your time. Your first goal in this game is to get a new weapon.
  2. New weapons drop off of enemies, can be crafted, or purchased at NPC stores.
  3. Enemy difficulty is determined by your DMS ability vs. their health. The number of swings it takes to kill an NPC will determine how difficult it is for you to kill.
  4. On your starting world, you should build a base at spawn using cheap easy to find materials to help defend you from flying birds, store your crafting table, and provide an area of respite.
  5. Craft a pickaxe ASAP. The starting item mines VERY slowly while a pickaxe mines very quickly in comparison. Build a pickaxe, it’ll make gathering wood, coal, and copper much easier.
  6. Part of the fun is discovering new worlds, but your starting world should be explored throughly before you take off.
  7. You can take off at any point if you have enough coal to travel. If your starting world isn’t fun, feel free to save up and leave ASAP.
  8. 10 wood can be refined into 1 coal in the furnace.
  9. You can build on your ship - place crafting tables and maybe a bed there for when you beam up.
  10. Don’t worry about finishing the quests, it just takes you to a point where you can summon the first boss and (if you defeat it) head to the beta sector.


  1. Surface mining is the most efficient mining because a lot of metal has a lot of chance to spawn near the surface and it doesn’t take any extra effort to dig down to get to.
  2. If you are mining below ground, use wooden supports to built paths you can jump up to in order to get back to the surface quickly.
  3. Pickaxes are superior to your matter manipulator, but your matter manipulator can shine light through the ground.
  4. Keep a ton of torches handy and place them as you advance. Using a flashlight only if great while in a dungeon, but while mining you’ll want to make it easy for you get in and out again.
  5. Coal ore is found on the surface of a lot of planets, always mine it when you see it.
  6. Cobblestone is actually very not rare, it’s found a lot in your adventures.
  7. Remember to build as you go, a way back up, light sources, and you can even use building to take on monsters. You can box them in with dirt (which you’ll get a ton of) if you find them to be too hard.
  8. Likewise, while mining or anywhere, you can block yourself in with dirt to avoid enemies, then mine down.
  9. Be sure to look out for shrines and chests.
  10. You can store items in chests in your ship, although other players can access these chests.



  1. Armor and weapons come in different flavors. Be sure to check out their stats.
  2. Bows get meat faster than melee, but are more awkward to use.
  3. If your screen turns foggy, you’re about to die from the cold!
  4. Use a camp fire to get warm.
  5. Guns can be purchased on airships. You’ll know them from the anchor on the ground.
  6. NPC guards will fight for you. However you can attack them as well.
  7. You can build around yourself to defend yourself from enemies.
  8. Bandages, red stim packs, and other items restore your health. Along with beds.
  9. Food is necessary. Farming is a way to get food at all times while meat is easier to obtain, but requires using a bow on monsters or less often through melee combat.
  10. Techs are important to help with later difficulties. Be sure to open chests to find some.

Building & Crafting

  1. There is a frontwall and a backwall. The backwall can be mined using right click and the frontwall can be mined using left click.
  2. To stop monsters from spawning, be sure to build out your backwall.
  3. Torches are the cheapest light sources, however exploring a Glitch or any other structure and mining the light sources gives you a nice and pretty source of light.
  4. The 3D printer helps you recreate items for pixels so that you don’t have to keep hunting them down to get enough.
  5. For floors that you can fall through, always look for the stair icon. They create both stores and paths that you can jump up through and fall down from.
  6. Dirt is the cheapest thing to build with and doesn’t look bad if you use shift to lay down one piece at a time.
  7. NPCs can open doors. If you’re planning on keeping them inside of your structure enclose your structure in solid panels, they will be unable to leave (and open doors to let baddies in).
  8. You can build on your ship, use this to place all of your crafting buildings so you don’t have to rebuild them each trip.
  9. Watch out for other players, they can open your own storage lockers.
  10. NPC guards will fight for you and help protect your building. However, they are kind of expensive.

Misc Tips

  1. The distress beacon will summon a boss who will give you everything you need to move to the next quadrant.
  2. Learn what the various NPC attacks are to be more prepared for dealing with them.
  3. Coal is useful, but often times people find it to be rare. Always mine it.
  4. You can mod most anything in the game to make the game more satisfying.
  5. Multiplayer is a lot of fun, but be sure to work out how you’ll share chests and the such.
  6. While it is considered Terraria 2, a lot of mechanics don’t follow through.
  7. Shift makes things affect one square instead of a 2x2, 4x4, or 6x6.
  8. You can repair pickaxes with ore by dragging it onto the pickaxe.
  9. Press E to harvest crops.
  10. Be on the lookout for character wipes during the beta!

To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Starbound Game Page.

Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016

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Xerin 1
Get in the bush with David "Xerin" Piner as he leverages his spectacular insanity to ask the serious questions such as is Master Yi and Illidan the same person? What's for dinner? What are ways to elevate your gaming experience? David's column, Respawn, is updated near daily with some of the coolest things you'll read online, while David tackles ways to improve the game experience across the board with various hype guides to cool games.


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