Starbound is a hugely popular space exploration and survival game that was released in 2016. Every month on average, 2,500 people are playing Starbound, and many are in multiplayer mode.
It is something of a spiritual successor to Terraria as it contains several similar elements, such as the 2D side-scrolling view as well as the visual aesthetic.
However, Starbound goes further than Terraria with the ability to leave a planet on your spaceship and explore the galaxy. Starbound is a great single-player game with an engaging storyline, but it is best played with friends in multiplayer mode.
If you are a fan of Starbound and you have found similarly like-minded people to play with, then you may be wondering how to play Starbound multiplayer. That’s why we wrote this guide to help you through the process. So, read on and discover how easy it can be to get online in Starbound with your friends.
Steam Network Connection
By far, the easiest method for playing online with your friends is to join them through the Steam game network. For this to work, you both need to have the game installed and for one of you to be playing the game locally on a PC.
All you need to do is look for your Starbound friend in your Steam Friends list. If they are displaying their status online, you should see that they are playing Starbound. Right-clicking on their name will allow you to click on Join Game.
Be aware that you will be joining their game and their version of the universe. Your ship will have all of the items and equipment you have installed on it, but down on the planet, you will only have access to your friend’s belongings. The planets will be their planets, not yours, so the maps will be different.
Also, you will connect to their game progress within the story, so certain elements may remain unlocked if your friend has not completed specific story points. You can help them complete the story, though, which makes for a fun game.
Alternatively, if you are online on Steam, your friend can invite you to play. You will need to be already logged into Starbound with a character selected for this option to be available. Starbound will transport you to their game with your currently selected character.
When you leave the game, you will leave behind any game story progress you have made. Returning to your own universe will place your character back in the game at the point where you left. Any progress you made with your friend does not carry over to your version of the game.
Playing Starbound multiplayer on Steam is a great way to quickly jump into the game and help out a friend. However, if you want to make progress on the story and world together, you will need to log into the same server. For that, you will need to create a dedicated server of your own.
There are two ways you could create a Starbound dedicated server. One requires you to have a PC in your home and to be connected to the internet with the capability to run the server software. Not many people have this kind of hardware available to them, so they go with the more popular choice of renting external server space.
Dedicated server providers make it super easy to set up and run your own multiplayer world with Starbound server hosting. You will need to pay a small monthly fee per slot, that is, per individual player who wants to have a place on the server.
Providing this option makes the service very scalable, so you can start with a small group of players and scale up as your party grows. Most game servers have a minimum number of slots, usually around six players, that you will need to pay for to rent the service.
You buy the server dedicated to the game, so you will only be able to play Starbound multiplayer on your server space even though the server may be hosting other types of games as well.
There will be other configurable options that you can purchase if required, such as increased RAM for your server, CPU priority, and a dedicated IP address. None of these addons are required to play the game. However, you may find that as you play, you’ll want to increase your server’s processing power, especially if more players join your group.
Once you have chosen your options, you simply need to name your server so you and your friends can find it easily in the server list for the game. Then complete your transaction, and the server will be set up automatically for you.
You will then be able to access a control panel to manage your server and log into the game as a client via your PC. Once you have booted Starbound, click Multiplayer and choose your character.
You will then be asked for the IP address that your server host will have provided you with. Enter this and the server password, and you will be able to join the game. Share the server information with the others that you want to play with, and you will be able to play in the world together.
Finding Your Friends
Once you are in a game, it may not be immediately evident in Starbound multiplayer how to find each other. You will be on different spaceships and may even be on different planets. You need to create a party by clicking the + symbol under your portrait.
You will then be able to add your friend’s nicknames and join them in a group. This will also open up the group chat and allow you to warp directly to your friends’ spaceship, wherever they may be in the galaxy.
How to Play Starbound Multiplayer: It’s Easy With a Server
So, now you should have a good understanding of how to play Starbound multiplayer. Exploring the galaxy with friends has never been easier, and with a dedicated server, you can enjoy the experience as it is meant to be—played together.
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