Yeah, the Starbound beta just came out yesterday, but I’m gonna go ahead and give all of you tentative players a fair look at what one day of experience can get you. It’s unsurprisingly impressive, as I have been following the project since its very early stages, and I have had a chance to observe all the effort and unique features put into this space explorer. This IS a space explorer, by the way. The universe is infinite, which also describes your ability to travel. The only thing that limits you is fuel and difficulty.
Any good space explorer game would give you a ship. And so far, Starbound seems pretty good. Having a ship as a central hub equipped with a 64-slot item storehouse is extremely convenient. Depending on your preference, you may want to place your crafting stations on your ship so you can access them from anywhere on the planet’s surface. Or you could build a house on-world and stuff them in there, your call. For the time being, drop zones are unchangeable, so try not to build your house willy-nilly unless you like running long distances.
The quest system is an excellent source of direction early-game. It gives you slight nudges in the right direction while leaving most of the discover-and-learn up to the player, thus preserving the sense of exploratory survival Starbound presents.
Speaking of survival, there are four vital gauges you’ll need to be aware of. The first is HP, which is a video game fundamental. You have no natural regeneration (to my knowledge), so the only way to heal is to use bandages, which I’m not telling you how to get. The hunger bar is easy enough to deal with. Find/grow food and eat it. Most planets are rife with food. If not, you’ll have to use a hunting bow to murder local aliens. Only bow kills will cause them to drop raw meat or leather, so don’t try to use melee weapons if you’re hungry. The heat bar is the reason why you shouldn’t go to moons or arctic planets without extensive fire-based preparation. Once you start freezing, your health drops fast. The air bar goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway: breathe, dummy.
Creatures and planets are procedurally generated, meaning you’ll be hard-pressed to find places and creatures that look exactly the same. There are many different biomes, though so far I’ve only encountered forest, moon, arctic, and arid, but that’s because I like meandering about aimlessly and taking things that I think look neat without regard for my sense of progression. Like NPC structures! You’ll find villages and dungeons and plenty of other unnatural buildings that will yield mountains of loot to you. Some will be friendly enough to not kill you on sight and sell you things, so make sure to check ‘em before you wreck ‘em.
Though only a comparatively minor and simple aspect, I think I need to cover Pixels, the universal currency. You cannot share pixels (yet), and you lose 25% of your current wealth on death. Pixels are required in many crafting recipes, so you’ll have to spend a considerable amount of time gathering them if your mortal coil tends to unwind on a dime.
On a final note, tech is hard to come by, but infinitely useful. For those of you who don’t know, tech in Starbound is the “abilities” that go into your four tech slots. I’ve only got the dash at the moment, which has allowed me to essentially negate fall damage and, well… fly. More or less. The energy bar regenerates pretty fast, so even when I burn it all in a burst, I’ll still have enough for one more dash before I hit the ground.
That’s about all I’ve got for the time being. More to come as I find it, so stay tuned!