TSR's third entry into Sci-Fi {{RPG}}s (after ''Metamorphosis Alpha'' and ''TabletopGame/GammaWorld''), first published in 1982.

''Star Frontiers'' takes place near the center of a spiral galaxy. A previously undiscovered quirk of the laws of physics allows starships to jump to "The Void", a [[{{Hyperspace}} hyperspatial]] realm that greatly shortens the travel times between inhabited worlds, once they reach 1% of the speed of light (3,000 km/s).

The basic game setting was an area known as "The Frontier Sector", where four sentient races, the Dralasites, Humans, Vrusk and Yazirians, had met and formed the [[TheFederation United Planetary Federation [UPF]]]. A large number of the star systems shown on the map of the Frontier sector in the basic rulebook were unexplored and undetailed, allowing the {{Gamemaster}} (called the "Referee" in the game) to put whatever he wished there.

Players could take on any number of possible roles in the setting but the default was to act as hired agents of the Pan Galactic Corporation in exploring the Frontier and fighting the aggressive incursions of the alien and mysterious worm-like race known as the Sathar. Most published modules for the game followed these themes.

The basic rules set was called ''Alpha Dawn''. It was released as a boxed set that included a fold-out poster map of a futuristic city on one side and various sections of alien terrain on the other, a bunch of die-cut counters, the introductory modules ''[=SF0:=]Crash on Volturnis'', and a pair of 10-sided dice.

Another boxed set called ''Knight Hawks'' presented a starship combat system and starship-related skills and rules for the regular rpg. It also included a fold-out poster map with empty space on one side and a space station and ship deckplan on the other, along with another set of spacecraft counters, ''[=SFKH0:=]Warriors of White Light'', and another pair of 10-sided dice.

A late addition to the game was ''Zebulon's Guide to Frontier Space'', which introduced several new races and an entirely different basic rule system. It was, however, the last book produced for the line by TSR.
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!!Provides examples of:

* AdventureFriendlyWorld: Most of the Frontier sector is unexplored, including lots of systems between the inhabited ones.
* AllPlanetsAreEarthLike: Nearly all of the published adventures featured visits to planets that have breathable atmospheres.
** One exception is the module [=SF5=]: "Bugs in the System" which featured the Belnafaer system where most of the action occurred in the atmosphere of the gas giant Venturi on the Jetsom extraction platform.
** Another minor exception is [=SFKH2=] "Mutiny on the Eleanor Moreas", which took place on the planet Mahg Maar, a planet with a slightly toxic atmosphere that required the use of filter masks. It was still fairly earthlike, though.
* AlwaysChaoticEvil:
** The Sathar, apparently. The other races in the setting could be on either side, but the Sathar were definitely the villans.
** The S'sessu introduced into Dragon 96 were a "friendlier" version of the Sathar, even though they were predatory capitalistic sharks...er...worms.
* AmmunitionBackpack: Popular for laser rifles.
* AncientArtifact: A few of these pop up in the printed modules.
* ArtificialGravity: Averted. Ships have to accelerate constantly in order to provide gravity and have a verticle deck plan (with the back of the ship being "down").
* AsteroidMiners: One of the possible spaceship careers covered in the 'Knight Hawks' set.
* BarbarianTribe: The natives in all of the published adventures had less developed technology than the player races - often much less.
* BFG: Laser Rifles can dial their damage up to 20d10 - equal to the heavy laser and sonic deveastator heavy weapons. At that level you only get 1 shot out of a standard clip, but it will kill most anything you hit with it.
* BigCreepyCrawlies: The Vrusk are giant bugs but are friendly. The Sathar on the other hand are giant worms, and not friendly at all.
* BinarySuns: Many of the worlds in the Frontier sector have two suns.
* BrainInAJar: Module [=SF1=] ''Volturnus, Planet of Mystery''. The slavebots in the Sathar Artifact are controlled by a Sathar's brain which is in a large fluid-filled flask.
* CasualInterstellarTravel: Via a previously undiscovered quirk of physics.
* CoolStarship: The Assault Scout, which has deck plans in the ''Knight Hawks'' game and is featured on the cover.
* CoversAlwaysLie: The Cover of [=SF3=] shows an alien called a Heliope shooting at a group of adventurers with a pistol held in humanoid hands, but the descriptions of the Heliopes in the module say they have pincers, not hands.
* DeflectorShields: Three different kinds for both starships and personal scale.
* DoppelgangerSpin: Dragon magazine #88 article "The Battle at Ebony Eyes". A pair of black holes create illusionary duplicates of any starships in the area.
* DyingRace: The Eorna of Volturnis are dying out. At least until the end of [=SF2=].
* ElaborateUndergroundBase: The Sathar like these.
* EscapePod: Module [=SF0=] ''Crash on Volturnus''. After their ship is captured by the Star Devil's pirates, the PlayerCharacters abandon ship in a lifeboat and use it to land on the planet Volturnus.
* EverythingsBetterWithMonkeys: The Yazirians are intelligent ''flying'' (well, gliding) monkeys!
* EverythingTryingToKillYou: The basic set and each of the printed modules featured lists of hostile native life for the planet featured in the module. Effectively a "Monster Manual" for each world.
* TheFederation: The United Planetary Federation, in fact.
* FirstContact: Happens all the time. Much of the Frontier is unexplored, and sentient races seem to be all over. The planet Volturnis from the intro module has ''five'' sentient races living on it [[spoiler:though that is due to one race having genetically modified the others]].
* FixedForwardFacingWeapon: Laser and Disruptor cannons on the larger ships, and Assault Rockets on the smaller ones.
* GhostShip: Present in ''Warriors of White Light''.
* IntrepidMerchant: One of the careers described in ''Knight Hawks''. Also what the players become in ''Drammune Run''.
* JackOfAllStats: Humans are this, with no stat modifiers and no special abilities other than a +5 to a single attribute. All the other PC races had balanced stat modifiers (adding up to zero) but also had racial abilities.
* ALongTimeAgoInAGalaxyFarFarAway: The Frontier and its people are completely unconnected with Earth, despite having recognizable humans.
* MadeOfIron: Nearly everyone can take a lot of damage before dropping. Fortunately some weapons (lasers) are capable of dealing out a lot, although you then have to reload...
* MegaCorp: The Pan Galactic Corporation and several others all relatively benevolent, though there have been corporate wars and the module SF 4: "Mission to Alcazzar" puts the characters between the secretive Cassidine Development Corporation and the aggressive Streel Corporation.
* TheMetricSystemIsHereToStay: ''Star Frontiers'' is one of the few TSR games that used metric units.
* OurDwarvesAreDifferent: The short, strong race are ameoba-like blobs with a penchant for puns.
* OurElvesAreDifferent: The intelligent, graceful, culturally advanced race are giant bugs.
* {{Precursors}}: Several vanished older races with advanced technology used to live in the Frontier sector. ''Sundown on Starmist'' centers on a Precursor hovertank.
* ProudWarriorRace: The Yazirians, though they are actually less strong than the other races (being from a light gravity world).
* ProudScholarRace: The Vrusk.
* PsychicPowers: None of the player races have any, but some of the aliens in the modules do. "Zebulon's Guide to the Frontier" introduced some for player races.
* PungeonMaster: The Dralasites love bad puns.
* [[RecycledInSpace Recycled In Space Of A Different Sort]]:
** The alien races of ''Star Frontiers'' were later recycled for the ''{{Spelljammer}}'' ''DungeonsAndDragons'' setting under different names: The Dralasites became Plasmoids, the Sathar became Syllix, the Vrusk became Rastipedes, and the Yazirians became Hadozee.
** The were also later recycled for Alternity in Dragon Annual 3 and for Modern d20 in the Future d20 sourcebook.
** None of the ''Zebulon's Guide'' races appeared elsewhere, however.
* SpaceBattle: Half of the ''Knight Hawks'' set was all about this.
* SpaceFighter: Yep. Armed with three "assault rockets" each.
* SpaceMines: These are present too.
* SpaceNavy: Both the UPF and the Sathar.
* SpaceOpera: Verging on ''Dungeons & Dragons'' - InSpace!!
* SpacePirates: Present in the introductory module, no less, and with their own unique ship design in the ''Knight Hawks'' set - the corvette. The corvette counters only come in pirate colors.
* SpaceStation: ''Knight Hawks'' features rules for these. Some act as orbital defense fortresses. They are the classic "hula hoop" style.
* StatDeath: All damage is scored against your Stamina, one of your attributes. Run out of Stamina points and you were dead.
* TwoDSpace: The map of the Frontier is 2-D and space combat in ''Knight Hawks'' is on a 2-D map.
* WeWillWearArmorInTheFuture: Skin-tight flexible armored suits, in fact. Bulky power armor also appeared in Dragon Magazine 129.
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