Starbound is an early access game that has recently been released to members of the general public in its alpha/beta testing phase on Steam. A game made by Chucklefish, Starbound is a sci-fi 2D sandbox orientated game with features such as player based crafting and random world generation. As it is in a relatively early stage of development there isn’t really a dedicated server software client for those who want to run a 24/7 server. Therefore, it can be quite tricky to get a permanent server solution up and running.

Fortunately the solution to this problem is relatively simple, but unfortunately can require quite a bit of your time and effort to get going. Essentially you will need to upload a copy of the full directory of the Starbound assets to the server that you wish to host the game. Considering that the uncompressed size of the Starbound directory is just over 2GB you are going to be waiting a long time to transfer the game from your computer to your server. To slightly lessen the blow I opted to compress a copy of  the directory to a mere size of 900MB, which still isn’t ideal but certainly makes a difference.

To start you will need to locate the install directory of Starbound, which often has a path looking something like “D:GamesSteamsteamappscommonStarbound”. When you have found this directory I suggest that you take a copy of it elsewhere and use a program such as 7zip to compress it to as much of a small size as possible.

The next step is to upload this compressed file to you server and extract it to a suitable location such as “C:Starbound”. Enter this new directory and open “starbound.conf” with a text editing program such as Notepad.

By navigating through the afore mentioned file you should stumble across a line looking similiar to this “serverPasswords” : [ “”, “duckies”, “swordfish” ],”. If you wish to have no password enforced to join the server simply remove the text within the speechmarks, ensuring that they are left blank. Else you can change the passwords to your liking.

The penultimate step is to find this line “gamePort” : 21025,”, which specifies the port that the server will run on. In essence all this step requires is for you to ensure that this port is forwarded so that members of the public can join your server.

Finally enter the win32 directory found within the Starbound folder and run the starbound_server.exe program, if all goes well you should find that you have a fully functioning Starbound server. To wrap up I cannot guarantee that this is a permanent solution as of course with each client update the server will of course need to be updated accordingly, in the mean time we can only hope that dedicated server software is yet to be produced.

  • Do you have an updated version of this guide or a video guide as I cannot seem to get it working :( Cheers for any help in advance.

    • Unfortunately we published this article quite awhile ago and haven’t since written an updated guide. Sorry about that.