Starbound – 10 Tips from the Beta


I entered an empty cavern, but I still made sure that it was sealed off, so that only myself could use it. This makes exploration, and further digging, much safer. Also, in case you did not know, you can place blocks, like the ones I am standing on, in the “air” as long as there is a “solid” background behind them.

6. THIS IS IMPOSSIBLE – I think everybody has gone through this, on Starbound. Certain enemies and mobs are extremely tough, especially if you lack proper armor and weapons. What do you do when you end up on a planet with potential loot, but seemingly no safe way to reach it? Tunneling. Now, tunneling calls for decent mining equipment, made out of gold or better. A gold pickaxe digs through dirt very quickly, you could still use weaker pickaxes but the dig time will be much longer. Torches will be necessary, to light your way. Digging a tunnel system beneath the planet’s surface gives you a few advantages. Firstly, security, at least to a degree. Secondly, fighting advantage. If the tunnels are more or less flat enemies will have to charge you head on, and if you have a sufficiently powerful weapon you will be able to knock them back constantly.

This is a very cowardly thing to do, yes, but there is very little choice. Boss monsters are even more dangerous than ordinary spawns and here too you will often hide behind protective walls, since you lack any sufficiently powerful armor or weapon to take on the enemy in a fair fight. Since you can strike at enemies from behind walls, with melee weapons, or fire at them through small 1 cube holes that is most often what you will do to achieve victory over superior enemies.

You will have to hold in mind that you need some knowledge of the enemy you will be facing. Can the boss destroy your walls? What manner of attacks does it have? Some weapons will be better suited for certain boss fights or encounters than others. For example, a bow or gun is better for the Tier 1 boss fight, while a melee weapon is my weapon of choice for the Tier 2 boss fight.

7. Mining, for Fun and Profit – Mining is crucial for progressing in the game. You need different Ores and Metals for weapons, armor, and other items. Certain decorations will also call for a degree of mining, even though most can be found in randomly generated areas and dungeons. Point being, you never know when you might need an ore or metal.

Even when only exploring a planet make it a rule to mine out any smaller ores of metals close to the surface. While a single such small “batch” might not be much (let’s say even five pieces of ore) after collecting each such small batch from the planet’s surface  you should obtain a decent number of bars, after refining.

Depending on the level of the planet and the sector you might find different ores close to the surface, in abundance. While on lower level planets you might, at first, find only coal and copper in the 3rd Sector (3rd Tier) you could find Titanium every few steps away.

When you start upgrading your armor, weapon, or when building your base, there is no such thing as enough metal. Having a huge oversupply of every metal is better than having a shortage you could not foresee. Keep it all, because even if you fail to use it eventually your friends might have need for it!

8. On Combat – While in point six I spoke of using different methods to evade combat, or to make it simpler, let us talk of actual combat.

Firstly, guns are not always the best answer. A melee weapon could do more damage, and it will not use up energy. Melee weapons seem to have a better knockback, and they still have a small range of their own. This means that you can effectively keep an enemy at bay with a good high tier weapon. Furthermore, you can combine one handed melee weapons with a shield. You could end up with a very powerful sword, combined with an impenetrable shield, which in the long-run makes enemy guns completely useless. I have personally found that a one-handed weapon and shield, or a two-handed weapon with a special ability can be better than a rapid-firing assault rifle, simply because the melee weapon has the potential to insta-kill, while a rifle needs a few hits.


Poor giant land tadpole.

However, melee weapons are not always the best answer either. A gun, or any other ranged weapon, is best against targets you cannot reach, or monsters that cannot reach you. Jumping down to try and take out a horde of monsters is usually a bad idea, but a bow or gun lets you kill them from a safe distance. Finding guns is hard, and bows substitute pixels for either leather or meat. Furthermore, if you find a good pistol, or purchase one, you can still use a shield, because it counts as a one-handed weapon. Just moments ago, while correcting this guide, I stumbled on a pistol with some type of special penetrating ability, that would allow bullets to pass through multiple enemies at the same time, and then still deflect from any surface behind them to move up or down (depending on the direction of the shot). Since the gun was found on a Tier 3 planet it was incredibly deadly to pretty much anything I faced at the time, even if it was a horde of enemies trying to charge me down (the knockback and penetration made short work out of everything)

There are also thrown weapons and explosives, but they are highly situational one-use items. In other words, not too practical, because eventually you will run out of them. You could keep a few bombs or grenades for special encounters, but do not rely on them.

When fighting a monster you need to first realize what manner of attacks the monster uses. If you have a shield of the same tier as the monster you should be capable of blocking all damage, as long as the shield is facing the monster at the moment it strikes (so, when a monster jumps down at you make sure to face it’s direction). Weapons have a certain range and delay when attacking, and found weapons can have special abilities. This means that you can harm enemies from a certain distance. However, when a weapon has a special ability the ability (especially if it’s ranged) will do less damage than if you hit the monster with your weapon directly. Learn as much as you can about the weapons you enjoy using. The more you know about your chosen weapon the better your advantage over enemies.

9. Space Travel – Coal is what you will at first use to power your ship (I imagine in higher tiers there will be more useful substitutes). However, you do not need a lot of coal to travel. You can jump between a planet and its moons for just one point of fuel. Traveling between planets in a solar system will cost you more, but not a significant amount. If you followed rule 7 then you should have plenty of coal to freely travel between planets and even solar systems.

In other words, until Coal is needed for crafting its primary use will be fueling your ship, and it does that very well, even if you do need a lot of it. Travel is important for exploration, and exploration is important for treasure hunting. While it might be beneficial to stick to one world and extract anything useful out of it you might end up finding far more items that you need on another nearby planet.


You will tend to find a slightly different dungeon or town on each planet. Friendly Towns will have plenty of chests and crates with loot. You could even find plenty of traders, in case you need food, weapons or some cool looking clothing. Just do not hit anybody and do NOT destroy any housing, furniture or statues… you know, just in case.

10. Levels are Not Everything - MASSIVE UPDATE: The situation regarding levels and threat changed a bit, and I presume it will change again. Below you can read my “old tip” but I will wait with modifying it until the Level system is stable.

While you might had just started your Starbound career it is important to remember that while exploring a Level 10 planet is dangerous at first it could also be more beneficial than exploring only level 1 planets. The same applies to later tiers, where sticking to only entry level planets (Level 1, 11, 21, etc.) will open up some new possibilities (new ores, for example) but they will not be present in sufficient amounts. If you find yourself a high level planet you will find more higher tier goodies, which means a better early start.

The clear threat of going to such planets are all the monsters that can, most likely, insta-kill you. That is why you follow rule 6, you evade any and all combat. For example, as soon as you spawn on a level 10 planet you construct a wall around the area you teleport into, and then simply start digging down.You evade all caverns and caves, unless you can safely wall off the entrance, and there are no monsters, so that you can explore them. If you are looking for resources, such as ores, then you can dig down and eventually you will find veins of ores waiting to be mined out. While it might be easier to find ores on the surface, by digging down you could create a whole system of tunnels that will let you travel and mine throughout the planet without any risk.

For surface resources, such as wood or plant fiber, or perhaps eyes, ice or bones, you can travel to appropriate level 1 planets where the risk of meeting dangerous creatures is much smaller. High level planets tend to have slightly better loot in chests but more importantly they will have more useful ores. For example, go to a Level 1 planet for (let us say) wood, but a level 10 planet for larger quantities of iron, coal and copper.

After you obtain all the equipment you need you then can attempt to explore these higher level planets, with a much smaller risk of getting mauled within the first few seconds of arrival.


While there are still different areas left unmentioned, such as using Techs, fighting specific bosses or construction these above ten points should make your life much easier, especially if you just started playing. Starbound is a demanding game, and while it is still being balanced do not expect it to be easy, and in any case you can always challenge yourself by exploring far more dangerous areas, having the above tips close to your heart.

Want to find out more about Starbound? Check out their main site!

Alex “WriterX” Bielski


About The Author

Aleksander "WriterX" Bielski
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Student of Psychology, he was identified as a Nut-Job even before he started the course. Having done some small work as a Modder for a number of titles, and worked as a Game Designer part-time, Alex now writes in third person. As Co-Owner and Editor of he aims high, while being armed only with a sling. In the future, he hopes to become a fully qualified Newspaper Editor, and purchase Google.

One Response to Starbound – 10 Tips from the Beta

  1. Nice tips dude! Very useful.

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