Starbound is massive. Here are some mods to help you make it massive-er.

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Despite the fact that it “launched” only a couple weeks ago, Starbound has been in various states of Early Access for years. The quadrillion-planet-strong side-scrolling space sandbox has a mod community nearly as vast as its universe. Here are a few (but hardly all) of the best.

Vehicles

Explorerpod

Starbound is, first and foremost, a game about exploration. Often, that means hoofing it from place-to-place as mites of sleep begin to cloud your vision. The Explorerpod is a vehicle that makes the whole process quicker and more convenient.

Submarine

Another exploration-focused vehicle. This one’s a sweet submarine. Why swim and slowly suffocate when you can travel in style?

XS Mechs (and ZZ Mech Modifications)

This mod gives you a bunch of big ol’ mechs to clomp around in. Some are light, humble things that only have guns the size of several adult humans. Others have shoulder-mounted cannons the size of buses. Fun!

Mecharachnid

A giant robot spider. The devil given glistening metal flesh.

Races

Avali

Space raptor things! People have put tons of work into turning Avali into a fully fledged race on par with anything else in Starbound, and it shows.

Felin

Who doesn’t want to be a cat person? This is not a rhetorical question.

Familiars

They’re fuzzy meerkat type things, I think. I want to hug them, which is good enough to get a recommendation from me.

Munari

Undersea folk. They outgrew their ocean, and now they’re coming for yours.

Vespoids

Wasp people. I bet they love country clubs.

Overhauls

Frackin’ Universe

The mother of all Starbound mods. Here’s its description: “FrackinUniverse combines new biomes, a hugely increased crafting system, science, monsters, tiles and hundreds of other assets to the game. It’s 3 years in now, and quite encompassing.” If you want to change everything, this is the mod for you. Be wary, though: if you install the mod, it will permanently change your universe, and uninstalling the mod will probably wreck it.

Frackin’ Races

A mod that adds species-specific powers and characteristics. Pairs well with Frackin’ Universe.

Frackin’ Music

Another part of the Frackin’ series. Adds more than 200 new songs to the game.

Spooky Tweaks

A bunch of tweaks in the name of making Starbound more streamlined and fun. Also slightly more spooky (allegedly).

Improvements and Fixes

Efficient Watering

A mod that makes watering crops more convenient. You can water while walking! Thank goodness. Now I just have to figure out how to do that in real life.

The Tabula Rasa

A unified crafting bench for mod content. Instead of scrambling to organize things you’ve downloaded, this mod offers a one-stop station for all of it.

Enemies Aren’t Stupid

Starbound’s enemies can be kinda stupid. This makes them faster, more reactive, and more capable when faced with the most intimidating foe of all: doors.

Weapon Stats

A detailed weapon stats readout for swords and guns.

Earth’s Finest—Crew Improvements

This mod expands the game’s crew system, turning it into a series of meaningful choices rather than a half-baked sideshow. Each class gets unique stats and abilities with an eye toward balance. This is an especially good mod to snap up if you’re playing solo.

Purchasable Pets

Buy pets for your ship! Have as many as you want! This is the only Starbound mod that really matters.

Crossovers

Dead Squirrel’s Firefly for Humans - “You paid money for this, sir? On purpose?”

Replaces the human ship with the gorram ship from Firefly.

Metal Gear Solid Alert Sound

Plays the Metal Gear Solid alert sound when enemies notice you. Game’s unplayable without it imo.

Dark Souls Armor And Weapons

Armor and weapons... from Dark Souls!

Castlevania

Tons of objects from Castlevania games. Be the Dracula you want to see in the world.

Metroid’s Varia Suit Armor Mod

A bunch of Metroid armor mods.

Deathclaw

You can flee from city to city, planet to planet, and even play a wholly unrelated video game, but you’ll never truly be safe from Fallout’s Deathclaws.

Overwatch Mod

I’ll level with you: doing anything other than playing Overwatch is a pretty tall order for me these days. This mod lets you craft items, outfits, and weapons from Overwatch. You can basically be Genji, Soldier 76, Tracer, et al. If you’re an Overwatch addict, this one’s basically mandatory.

Starbound Except It Makes That Weird Tim Allen Noise When Monsters Die

“You see things; and you say ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were; and I say ‘Why not?’” - George Bernard Shaw

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