Starbound’s massive winter update finally released

An 800mb patch for Starbound has been released, adding a massive amount of content to the side-on sci-fi action-builder.

Titled Upbeat Giraffe, this is the first major stable update to the game in a long, loooong time. I’ll put as many of the patch notes as I can below, but you can find what appears to be a more full list over on the official site.

Be warned that this patch is so big it’ll break all of your past save games. The devs are planning on releasing some tools to convert your old saves into equivalent ones for the new system, but they still recommend creating an entirely new character to experience everything that’s new – which includes a ship AI, a civilisation hub that offers quests, new biomes, a removal of the “sector” system, and a whole lot more.

Happily, Starbound is also 25% off on Steam at the moment, so if you want to hop in and try the game it’s got a bit of a discount.

  • ***Universe and Worlds***
  • Sectors have been removed, so all stars are part of the same map
  • Star and planet types correspond to difficulty levels, giving players access to progressively more extreme environments as they advance through the game
  • Added oceanic world types including tropical and arctic oceans, toxic and magma planets
  • Added rare Barren and Asteroid worlds with no monsters for large scale building
  • New biomes
  • New surface and underground mini biomes
  • Many changes to surface and underground terrain generation
  • Improvements to background parallaxes and sky coloration
  • ***Ships and Navigation***
  • Player ships now include an AI avatar specific to each race that gives access to the player’s techs, missions, 3D printer, and a variety of ship-related commands
  • Each race’s ship has its own unique set of upgrades, giving players much more room to expand as they progress
  • Fuel costs for travel have been reworked. Moving between planets within a system is now free, while jumps to other systems require fuel in proportion to the distance traveled.
  • Coal no longer powers spaceships! Instead, they can use either radioactive ores or the new Liquid Erchius Fuel that now appears in Moon biomes
  • Many improvements to the Cockpit interface, which now indicates more detailed planet information including weather and environmental hazards
  • ***Outpost***
  • The universe now has a civilized hub containing shops, quests, and other services. This is where players will find quests, missions, and ship upgrades which allow them to advance through the game
  • Includes a Sign Store based on the popular custom signs mod, where players can design and print their own signage for use in game
  • ***Missions***
  • At key points in the progression, players will unlock special Missions
  • Missions take place in unique instanced dungeons containing special monsters, bosses, and rewards not available anywhere else
  • Some missions can be quite difficult, so you’ll want to prepare carefully – or bring friends!
  • ***Novakids***
  • New playable race!
  • Unique progression of craftable guns
  • Unique progression of armor sets
  • Unique progression of ship upgrades
  • ***Tech***
  • Techs are now split into head, body, legs and suit slots, so you can equip up to four at once!
  • Head techs provide various activated effects triggered using the tech hotkeys
  • Body techs provide lateral movement abilities triggered by double tapping direction keys
  • Leg techs provide vertical movement abilities triggered with the jump key
  • Suit techs provide passive protection from specific environmental hazards
  • New tech unlocking system makes a variety of techs visible each time the player upgrades their ship. The player can then use Blank Tech Cards to unlock and equip these techs
  • Many new techs
  • ***Mining***
  • Matter Manipulator can now be upgraded over the course of the game to increase its mining power, area of effect, and allow it to collect liquids as well as blocks
  • Pickaxes and drills are more powerful, but have lowered durability and cannot be repaired, making them a consumable alternative to the Matter Manipulator
  • Smashable rocks found rarely underground contain richer deposits of certain ores
  • ***Combat***
  • Energy regeneration has been changed. Rather than continuously regenerating energy at a slow rate, energy rapidly regenerates when not being used
  • Using energy that exceeds your maximum pool will disable energy usage for a few seconds until your energy has fully recharged
  • New weapon type staves!
  • Use a staff by holding the fire button to charge it, aiming, then releasing the button to unleash a powerful effect
  • Unlike guns, staves manifest their projectiles directly at your targeting cursor for precision combat
  • A variety of staves can be crafted at the new Manipulator Table
  • Beginning at Tier 5, armors are divided into three different progression paths with different stat balances
  • Separator armors have high armor and low energy for melee weapon users
  • Accelerator armors have a balance of armor and energy for ranged weapon users
  • Manipulator armors have low armor and high energy for staff users
  • Many new unique biome weapons
  • More bows (and crossbows) for higher level hunting
  • Many new thrown weapons of various tiers
  • Defense Turrets have been massively improved and can be equipped with a variety of weapons for different effects
  • ***Monsters***
  • New monster type: large flying monsters
  • New monster type: large aquatic monsters
  • Many improvements to monster AI
  • Birds less of a menace
  • ***Survival Mechanics***
  • Temperature has been replaced by a system of specific planetary hazards, which the player will need to unlock new technology to resist
  • Hunger has been removed for now, replaced by an expansion of the cooking system with a variety of buffs (see below)
  • New difficulty option to drop ores and other valuable materials on death
  • ***Farming and Cooking***
  • New crops
  • Hundreds of new cooking recipes
  • Cooked foods now provide a wide variety of buffs, with more elaborate recipes giving stronger effects
  • ***Bug Catching***
  • Bugs unique to each planet type now spawn across the universe
  • Use the bug net to collect and display them!
  • ***Wiring***
  • Most lights in game can now be wired
  • More interactable switches
  • More sensors, switches, and logic gates
  • Fixed lots of usability bugs with wiring
  • ***Other Content***
  • Many new status effects
  • Many new costumes
  • Many new biome furniture/object sets
  • Many new block types
  • Many (over 150) new underground microdungeons
  • Many new toys and novelty items
  • ***Performance Enhancements***
  • Tile rendering
  • Liquid processing
  • Many other optimizations
  • ***Miscellaneous Improvements***
  • Specialty hotbar slots and keys for Matter Manipulator, Wire Tool and Paint Tool
  • New font
  • Keybinding GUI
  • Character deletion option
  • ***Modding Features***
  • Items are now scriptable
  • Status effects are now scriptable
  • New Script Console functionality gives a client-side scripted canvas to build your own GUIs, games, or whatever you can imagine
  • Many new Lua API bindings
  • ***Server Features***
  • Access to tile protection system, preventing modification of specific dungeon IDs
  • Ability to set spawn point for a world
  • Several other new admin commands
  • rcon support
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