Starbound – 10 Tips from the Beta
While Starbound was not yet officially released I feel obliged to share some of the knowledge gained to help others in furthering their own stations/camps/exploration with the use of these few tips. Starbound is not an easy game, but there are ways of making your life much easier.
A more in-depth guide might be written in the future, but this shorter guide will aim at providing as much useful information as possible, especially if you did not play similar games to Starbound, like Terraria.
Starbound – 10 Survival Tips
1. Stick to your ship – As much fun as it may be to build bases and camps on different planets in the long-term you should always consider your ship as the main base. The reason for this is simple, as you travel from planet to planet, in search of treasure and resources it would be a better idea to keep all of your production tools and main storage on you. If you established a “Main Base” on a planet this would call for a lot of travel between planets, systems and even sectors. All of this is both time consuming, and expensive in terms of fuel usage.
Eventually building a base might be a good option, especially if you lack the space for more storage or production (such as when you could have numerous refineries), or when you want to start something with your friends, but during the initial stages of the game, when you have little to no loot, you can keep all, or at least most of it, on your ship
Multiplayer games are an important example of when building a “base” on your ship is useful. When you join a server for the first time none of your already discovered planets will be present, the world will be randomized and everything will be brand new… except for your ship. Anything stored or built on your ship, including higher tier crafting stations, will remain on it when you jump between servers. This means that when you want to help out a friend, by crafting them some armor, or when you want to speed up your friend’s progression by making tier-advancing items for them, you will have such options. Without your ship acting as a base you would have to start each game from the beginning (not counting the items you might have already on you).
2. Take everything and anything that might be useful – Now, this is bordering on some form of hoarding syndrome, but if there is an opportunity to take something you should take it. If you found a treasure chest you should take it with you, to use it for storage at your base or ship. If there is an area filled with torches or oil lamps pick them up, because you might need more light during your next expedition. Even something as simple as a tent should be picked up, in order to have a portable healing spot for you and your friends.
Of course, you won’t need everything you pick. Eventually you will have enough chests, beds and lights, as well as decorations. It is still better to have a little bit too much than not enough. Holding that in mind, do not pick things you will clearly never need. The primary example here are weapons. Until there will be a way to sell them, or you found a superior weapon to your current one, just leave them in their chests and move on. At the end of the day you will have more than enough worthless weapons lying about, and you will never have to use all of them. The same may go for books (they are everywhere) and certain types of civilian clothing (such as Scientist clothes).
Ores, of different sorts, plants, strange crystals and other components that might seem unimportant just now could be important later. Pick up anything that looks remotely useful, and usually you can tell which resources are very common, or could be easily obtained (such as ice, bones or wood).
3. Save those pixels! – Earning Pixels might seem easy during the later stages of the game, but initially it will be slow and painful. You might die a lot, thus losing a lot of pixels, and pixels are needed for all manner of jobs and tasks. On the most basic level, you need pixels to make yourself better armor and weapons. No pixels means no progress. Currently there is no easy way to store pixels. UPDATE: There is now a machine that can be built to compress/store pixels at Tier 3.
A way to approach production that needs pixels is to focus on specific tasks, at a given time. For example, if you want to make steel armor focus in first order on getting all the materials to make it. After that is done focus on collecting pixels. If you carry your workshop on your ship that means you could jump between planets to quickly gather pixels from dungeons, to then teleport to your ship and finish your project quickly. The order is crucial here, since you could have an accident while mining, thus losing pixels you previously gathered. The easiest way to earn pixels is to fight tougher enemies, but there is no rule as to what enemies give the most pixels. A tougher creature might offer only 10 pixels, while a much weaker one (theoretically) will give you 50. Some creatures, especially in dungeons, can give you a lot of pixels, so the most efficient way to become rich is to hunt in dungeons.
4. On Weapons and Armor – When you start the game most weapons found in chests or on mini-boss monsters will be weak. That will not be the case on later tiers, but let us quickly sum the situation up for you.Typically weapons found on planets of a specific Tier (starting from 2) will be only a bit weaker than what you can craft on your own. However, your crafted weapons will have no special powers or abilities but they will cause more damage on hit (this could change in the future). Shields work usually on the principle that a shield found on a Tier X planet will stop most Tier X system creature attacks. As soon as you arrive at a new sector your number one priority should be to either craft a “basic” weapon and shield, as quickly as possible, or find them in chests or on spawns. Armor will pose a major issue, since obtaining armor up to Tier is both expensive and time consuming, since you will usually need a lot of resources to make it, and usually some type of new resource. If you want to advance to the next tier you will need the best possible armor, so eventually you will have to craft all the bits and pieces you need.
All armor has three values. Defense, Energy, Warmth and Health. Defense determines how much protection you have, depending on what other armor you have. UPDATE: Defense values and calculations have changed in recent beta updates, and they might change in the coming weeks (again). Energy increases your energy reserve (energy is used with Techs and guns, for example). Warmth is just that. If you have sufficiently warm clothing you will never feel cold, but the less warm your clothing the quicker you will freeze. Higher level worlds will have much harsher environments (this also means certain biomes are colder than others). Hold that in mind before you advance into a new and unknown world. Health increases your overall health.
5. Freezing – Staying warm is VERY important. There will usually be two ways of staying warm. Having sufficiently warm clothing and having a heat source. Heat sources include torches and fires. Electrical lights do not produce any heat (so standing next to a neon light will not warm you up). During the night and on some biomes it will be much easier to freeze. Make sure to carry a fire around with you, in case things do get very cold. Placing more than one fire will increase local heat, which means you could warm yourself up quicker, or freeze slower.