Starbound Beta Starting ‘Soon,’ Unfolding In Three Phases

I'm pretty sure that trees species' closest genetic relative is the squid.

Humanity seems more prone than ever to heart-pulverizing squabbles and disgusting, knock-down-drag-out wars these days, but at least we can all agree on one thing: we really, really want Starbound to come out already. The wait for the Terraria-alike to end all Terraria-alikes has become unbearable, so you should be happy to hear that you won’t have to bear it for much longer. Starbound’s first beta is officially on the horizon, with developer Chucklefish gleefully chucking around words like “soon” and “really not very far off now.” More importantly, they’ve outlined how exactly the beta’s various phases are going to play out. If you’re hoping to join, this is probably required reading.

You can read Chucklefish’s full post for nitty gritty details, but here’s the quick breakdown: there will be three beta stages, each at successive levels of completion. Stage one, which should kick off very soon, will be overtly buggy and unfinished. Your feedback, however, will absolutely affect the game’s development process, so this part is pretty key.

Stage two will also be pretty traditionally “test”-oriented (read: not a glorified demo), but you’ll essentially be playing the full game. The main quest line won’t be hoisting the whole world on its shoulders yet, but you’ll be able to dig around in the game’s sandbox to your heart’s content.

Stage three, then, will be the culmination of stages one and two, a nearly finished game. If you want a mostly seamless, bug-free experience from your incomplete games (which is a really weird expectation, but whatever), then this is probably where you should jump in. Or you could just wait a little longer for launch. The differences will apparently be negligible at this point.

So that’s more or less that. Now all that’s left is to wait for Chucklefish to push the big red button that births a billion tiny worlds into existence. The aim is for that to happen “as soon as possible,” so keep your eyes peeled. It will, um, probably be pretty hard to miss.


  1. Casimir's Blake says:

    Good god the forum comments thread for this is already fricken’ huge. Understandable though, anticipation is high. I’ll be diving into the first beta! The videos posted by the Yogscast were quite entertaining.

    • dontnormally says:

      Ugh, their acting out of purposeful ignorance gets really annoying. They all obviously know how to play, and all but one acts incompetent to make it supposedly more entertaining.

      • Hahaha says:

        Yeah them and jesse cox can never make vids again and all would be good.

  2. SighmanSays says:

    Is there any info on when MP will be implemented?

    • wolfinexile says:

      The beta *should* come with a server runtime like Terraria, so there probably will be multiplayer already in the beta release.
      link to

    • plaYer2k says:

      Starbound will offer multiplayer support from the beginning.

      2013-10-30 13:47:54 Im happy if multiplayer is on stage 1.
      2013-10-30 13:48:03 multiplayer is going to be there from the start
      2013-10-30 13:48:21 Tiy: will the dedicated servers be there at the start ?
      2013-10-30 13:48:28 yes

  3. Reapy says:


  4. Razumen says:

    I’m hoping this will live up to the hype, though I’m a bit skeptical as most of it seems based on one of the guys coming from the Terraria team, and I think that was only a graphics guy.

    • Stompopolos says:

      The artist for Terraria is the lead programmer for Starbound. Although, based on Terraria’s graphics and how Starbound is looking, I feel like he’s more of a programmer than an artist.

      • cpt_freakout says:

        He’s OK. I mean, Terraria is definitely not ‘pixel-art’ material, but I found it adorable nonetheless. Imagine if it had the Cave Story art dude, or someone like that… it would be great!

    • Stompopolos says:

      Oh my god this is the first time I’ve commented on RPS and the ‘Opinion, away!’ button is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. I come from PC Gamer, where the comments section could use a little reminder that they are posting and reading opinions.

    • MattM says:

      Reading the blog updates makes me think it will be pretty great, but I can imagine how it might fail. They might fill the game with tons of different activities and interactions only to have most of them feel shallow. You’ll be able to do tons of thing but not really have any compelling reason to do most of them. Other systems might be too complex for most users. Imagine if they implemented musical instruments that you played by entering in sheet music. Most people probably don’t want to compose their own unique music from within a clunky game interface.

      • Harlander says:

        You don’t need to imagine that, they did it in one of their weekend “just implement whatever cool idea you have” sessions. Though it’s the old letter-code you used to use to do mobile ringtones, remember that?

  5. Bobka says:

    While I’m really looking forward to the game (as a 45$-backer), I don’t think I’ll join the beta, since I want my first playthrough to be polished and filled with as much content as possible. Still, can’t wait to start hearing about the game!

    • tasteful says:

      man i dont get this. when you follow a beta each little bit of content feels like a gift from the heavens. like, who cares that there’s wool in dwarf fortress? i do. i care.

      • Harlander says:

        For me, the fear is I’ll get burnt out on the beta and not get the full enjoyment out of the fully-cooked version.

        • Robslap says:

          Absolutely this ^

          Prison architect is a prime example, so unfinished and I just can’t be arsed with it anymore. I’ll be waiting for full release of Starbound even though I’ve backed it.

  6. Alphadrop says:

    Ooh finally, quite amazing how big the community for this game is considering it isn’t even in beta yet.

  7. RedViv says:

    Oh my, I shall join in on the fun at the first opportunity. Beware the Red Monkey Bounty Hunter!

  8. crinkles esq. says:

    The march of progress is exciting! Are these open betas, or limited to the KS backers?

  9. Niko says:

    While playing Terraria after the 1.2 update, I’ve realized that one of the things that makes it so good that it doesn’t constrain itself to a very rigid setting – you start with a wooden pickaxe, but eventually you can get a rocket launcher, nanite bullets, and there’s a cyborg NPC, too – because why not, really. Not a great number of games that do that.

    Hopefully Starbound will be about the same in not limiting itself.

  10. JasonD says:

    Starbound has been one of the most anticipated indie titles that we’ve all been waiting for. I don’t think it’ll be the ‘End of all Terraria-likes’ as the article suggests, just another stage in what the genre can do and offer to the gamer. I’ve fallen in love with what they’ve done over at and I’m hoping to get some of the same enjoyment in Starbound when it comes out.