Video Game: Starbound

Starbound is a Wide Open Sandbox Scifi Adventure game. Not to be confused with a Classic Mac game that lets you conquer planets to get more ships and destroy opposing races, nor said game's sequel, StarBound II, nor with a Lucky Star fic aiming to parody Earthbound.

Take Terraria and give it a more Science Fiction based focus with space travel and you have Starbound. Or as some like to say Terraria IN SPACE!. It is being developed by Chucklefish, an indie game company started by Finn "Tiy" Brice of Terraria fame along with several new faces.

Player characters flee or leave their homeworld, becoming hopelessly lost in a sea of stars, and from there, visit procedurally generated planets to research technology, meet new people, and explore the universe.

Players may choose one of the playable races for their characters: the Apex, the Avians, the Humans, the Hylotl, the Floran, the Glitch, or the Novakid. Each race has a bit of lore attached to it and will tie in to the future primary storyline planned for the finished game release.

The game is singleplayer or multi-player capable and will have the possiblity of other modes of play added in at a later date.

Additional features may be added via the communities suggestion system either at release or as free post release content.

Watch this Space. Also, keep tabs on Tiyuri's twitter feed for sneak peeks and other minor updates! A sneak peek of the character creator is embedded in the official forums. The game can be pre-ordered here.

Beta was released on December 4th, 2013 for all who preordered the game. An FAQ can be found here. As the game is still on an early beta, be wary when adding examples as any individual entry can change or become invalid depending on the updates.

Has a separate Shout Out page.

This game is still in development and frequent changes are made on a very regular basis. Expect frequent changes of page content to reflect game changes.


Starbound has been confirmed to contain examples of these tropes:

  • Abandoned Mine: A possible randomly generated area on planets. They're filled with aliens not native to the planet's surface.
  • Abnormal Ammo: Uncommon and rarer guns can shoot bullets with special effects, such as ricocheting shots, piercing shots, bullets that split into two shortly after leaving the barrel, and (for legendary guns only) Sticky Bomb bullets that attach to solid blocks and explode when an enemy touches them. Meanwhile, grenade launchers can shoot rounds that resemble Mario's fireball, cluster bouncing grenades, and even mice and pigs.
  • Abusive Precursors: The Glitch are a remnant of an experiment that made artificial societies. All the other simulated civilizations developed advanced technology which inevitably lead to them wiping themselves out. The Glitch survived because they developed a Glitch that trapped them in Medieval Stasis.
  • After the End: For the humans, in which a meteor fell to earth that contained an egg to a tentacle monster that ravaged the planet.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: The Inactive Robot immediately attacks the player upon activation. Then again, giving it the brain of a (probably) hostile monster wasn't a very good idea, as what happened in the codex.
  • Airborne Mook: Several of them. Most of them will attempt to shoot at the player.
  • Alien Lunch: A given since you're now living among the stars and likely hunting and gathering when you start off. Some foods are more alien than others, like Oculemons (fruits that look like eyeballs and are poisonous to non-Florans) and Automatoes (metallic tomatoes).
  • Alien Non-Interference Clause: Someone averted this for the Avians, giving them advanced technology directly to prevent them dying out.
  • Alien Sky: Particularly during night on a planet, the player can usually see the other planets in the subsystem.
  • Ambidextrous Sprite: Asymmetrical clothing is mirrored, depending on which direction the player is facing.
    • Averted with weapons and tools which are consistently held in the correct hands.
  • Annoying Arrows: Arrows are nothing more then a projectile with various damage stats. Any additional effects will come from the bow having special attributes. While some enemies are quite very alien the arrows have the same effect across the range of species.
  • April Fools: One video showing off new sound effects.
  • Armor Is Useless: Averted. You can die VERY easily without proper armor.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: While inspecting the "Force cell" as a human:
    • "A cell designed for the most dangerous of prisoners. Killers, thieves, jaywalkers..."
  • Artificial Gill: Use the Survival System backpack and you'll no longer need an Oxygen Meter for areas without air, such as water, moons and asteroid fields.
  • Artificial Stupidity:
    • As to be expected in a game that's still in beta, but the game's AI concerning critters and NPCs (especially the latter) is... pretty lacking to say the least. Most NPCs don't know how to retreat and will rush headlong into a situation that's getting them killed by the dozen. Worse, NPCs will often get lost in or outside of their own homes.
    • If you count the AI that places landmarks like houses and such, that one's also a little stupid every now and then. A good part of the time, NPCs can't get home because it's flat out impossible without digging, techs or a grappling hook, as the generator placed it on some chunk of rock suspended on background terrain on top of a mountain, or buried it into a hole so far inside the ground it looks more like a bomb shelter than a house. The idiocy part comes when you consider it's the NPCs that are supposed to be placing these houses, so you just can't help but wonder what kind of moron would build it that way.
  • Artistic License Chemistry: Plutonium ore can be found in fairly large deposits. Plutonium is currently found only in Pitch Blend in amounts too tiny to be used.
  • Asteroid Miners: You can do this by either visiting an Asteroid biome (bring a Survival System and heat) or go beyond your planet's atmosphere (not recommended as it's much colder). One advantage is that it's really easy to see all the ores embedded in the asteroids.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: The Novakids as a race. They have no interest in preserving history or passing it along, which also stymies them technologically - new breakthroughs are completely forgotten within a few generations.
  • Ax-Crazy:
    • The Floran race as a whole.
    Floran Village Watchman: (to a player with a drawn weapon) "Floran no like sstabbing when others do it."
    • To drive the point home:
    Floran Prisoner: (seeing the player) "Flesssh."
    • Several pieces of the findable Floran in game lore mentions stabbing things a lot.
    • Floran PCs, despite having fled to the stars to escape the savagery of their brethren, are not exempt from this. The only thing that really distinguish them is the fact that they're aware that stabbing is not good for all interactions.
    Floran PC: This music make Floran want to ssstab! But so do most thingsss
    • In the backstory of Fatal Circuit (aka the Inactive Robot), Big Ape and Greenfinger decided to recreate the robot, but with a Floran brain. Unsurprisingly, it went berserk like the one created with a monster brain.
  • Awesome but Impractical: Like Borderlands, the random gun generation can give weapons that are of common rarity that are less than useful. An example is pistols, one the easiest guns to acquire, can deal one damage per shot, take 8 energy per shot, and have a firing rate of 3.30 (which is pretty fast). The end result is a pistol that can only really be used to pepper enemies from afar.
    • Many cool weapons found on planets tend to be weaker than player-crafted weapons of the same level.
    • Pickaxes and drills. They increase your mining speed exponentially with each material, but don't last very long before breaking.
  • Barbarian Tribe: The Florans' savage behavior comes of as this. In addition, their bases are often littered with barbaric decorations, such as bones and skulls on spikes.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: Averted. Attempt to go into a Moon or Asteroids biome without the Survival System and you'll see that Oxygen Meter appear very quickly.
  • Blackout Cavern: The underground is obviously devoid of natural light, with some exceptions. It is advised to carry a large stack of torches and a flashlight as it is very possible to be killed by an unseen monster.
  • Bloody Bowels of Hell: The Flesh and Heck biomes.
  • Bloody Murder: There are aliens that can attack you with their blood vomit.
  • Body Horror: In the Erchius Mining Facility mission, you encounter infected miners whose heads have been transformed into that of the pink fleshy aliens you've been facing throughout the facility. It's then revealed that said aliens are miners who have gone through a horrible mutation of sort.
  • Boring but Practical:
    • Got 15 iron? Upgrade to the iron bow. It may not be as interesting as, say, a new hammer, but as the bow can get leather and meat, it can allow a player to hunt in the early game to get meat and leather much, much easier.
    • New materials are used to upgrade the picks. While not very exciting in and of themselves they are necessary for mining advanced materials and mining lesser materials more quickly.
    • The Matter Manipulator. It can't mine very fast, even at its increased speed upgrade, and its mining area is only 2x2, (compared to the 3x3 of pickaxes) but it will never break, can be upgraded to collect water and other liquids, and cannot be dropped by mistake. Since update Upbeat Giraffe, it has it's own spot in your inventory (freeing a block on the grid),can be upgraded to mine faster, get a bigger mining area and can mine liquids.
  • Bottomless Magazines: All guns will have infinite ammo, and be able to fire endlessly, allowing even freshly created guns to be fired. The trade off is that each shot drains the energy bar for a certain amount, with higher end weapons giving a larger drain.
  • Bow and Sword, in Accord: At the start of the game players will find themselves wielding a melee weapon and a bow. The bow is used to hunt monsters for meat as well as more effectively combat the various flying enemies.
  • Box-and-Stick Trap: The Peanut Butter Trap, which is used to summon the fourth boss.
  • Brain Bleach: If they examine a filthy toilet, a Glitch PC will hastily override their analysis mode.
  • Brain in a Jar:
    • Some of the glitch have what look like brains in jars as part of their heads.
    • A literal example is a decoration that can be found in Apex-related labs.
  • Breakable Weapons:
    • Pre-Upbeat Giraffe, this trope was completely averted for the weapons themselves and subverted for mining tools. When their durability runs out, they simply dull out and become less efficient and can be repaired using ores. In later Unstable releases of Starbound, beaming up to the player character's ship also instantly repairs it.
    • Played completely straight in later updates. Mining tools will now break after a short time of use, and are only good for temporary convenience. This was changed to make the Matter Manipulator more useful.
  • Big Brother Is Watching:
    • The Apex suffer from a very advanced case of this. The player character, should he or she be an Apex, is a member of the rebellion who escaped after the Miniknog, the Apex's oppressive government, crushed it. As you can imagine given the game's general tone, it is lampshaded ruthlessly; there are even posters featuring a character dubbed Big Ape, who is said to be all-seeing and whom commands those who gaze upon his visage to OBEY. None of the player characters are impressed, least of all Florans, who comment that they have no plans to obey their dinner.
    • Apex dungeons have posters that read, "Big Ape is All Seeing".
    • Apex in Apex settlements will talk about hidden cameras, spies, and other activity alluding to the big brother nature of the Mini Knog government.
  • Burn the Witch!: The Glitch PC's origin has them being declared a heretic after becoming self aware, and being forced to flee the planet to escape execution.
    • Also the random cultists that attack you regardless of what race you play as.
  • Call to Adventure: Each race the player chooses has their own reason for traveling among the stars.
    • Human PCs must look for a new planet to settle because the Earth was destroyed by a tentacle monster.
    • Avian PCs narrowly avoided the wrath of the Stargazers and fled their homeworld as an exile and an atheist.
    • Floran PCs have grown tired of their fellows way of life and cannibalism, and look for a more refined, exciting hunt (and want to make friends).
    • Glitch PCs have become self-aware, and thus were viewed as freaks by their own people and were forced to flee as outcasts.
    • Apex PCs are rebels against the Miniknog, and are fleeing the repercussions of said rebellion after it was crushed.
    • Hylotl PCs are missionaries, looking to spread peace and enlightenment throughout the universe.
    • Novakid PCs awake to find themselves in a broken spaceship amidst the cosmos, and explore the universe seeking for answers.
  • Cannibal Tribe: Among the Florans, cannibalism during funeral rituals and wars with rival factions are commonplace.
  • Celestial Body: The Novakids, described by a human astronomer as "interstellar gas-bag people".
  • Chairman of the Brawl: Prisoners in USCM Prisons may wield a metal chair as a weapon, and the player character has a chance of getting one as a drop from them.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: The Novakids tend to have short attention spans (hence their stunted technological development) and a lack of tact when dealing with other races (hence their tense relationships with other races). One was even said to cheerfully and blatantly ask an avian priest if Kluex is real.
    • Florans as well, in their psychopathic madness, manage to find some lesser kinds of oddity. Like misreading absolutely every sign they find to mean the opposite of what it actually reads, or in the PC's case picking a fight with a robotic crafting table's arms.
  • The Cloudcuckoolander Was Right: When analyzing the Geometric Screen, the Floran PC claims "Floran read words good. Sssay 'ssstab a meatman'. Huh.", which many players will probably dismiss as them just seeing what they want to, considering how... eccentric they can be regarding stabbing. However, doing the same with a Glitch PC will have them say "Analysis. This display appears to read 'stab a meatman' in binary. How unusual."
  • Collision Damage: Averted. Enemies must actually do an attack animation to cause damage, making shields useful and making non-hostile creatures possible to walk right through/past.
    • Many monsters do have a "bite" attack that they will use if you're in contact with them, playing this somewhat straight.
  • Colony Drop: If you're on a planet that has an asteroid field nearby, sometimes you will either get tiny meteors raining down or a REALLY big meteor that falls anywhere on the planet. Doubles as Jump Scare if said meteor ends up falling on your face.
  • Commonplace Rare:
    • Iron is virtually nonexistent in the endgame planets, where its several times less frequent than gold. This is likely to change.
    • Leather is a surprisingly infrequent drop when you consider every animal should be skinnable.
    • The game can churn out Mix-and-Match Critters for every planet, but bog-standard cats and dogs are rare enough that the former is only found in a secret area in the Erchius Mining Facility mission while the latter is an extremely rare spawn outside of the Outpost.
  • Continuing Is Painful:
    • When you die in Casual, you lose 30% of your pixels (the game currency). You can, however, convert raw ores into Pixels through the Refinery, allowing an easy and efficient means of accumulating more. There is also the Pixel compression machine, which allows you to store your pixels as an inventory item, but is very inefficient.
    • Normal, on the other hand, makes you drop everything you're carrying on top of the pixels (similar to Minecraft). The game is kind enough to make your belongings player-persistent when the scenario happens, so there's no rush to getting your stuff back as long as you don't save and quit.
  • Convection Schmonvection: Currently played straight but, with the temperature system included in the game this may change with future updates. Overheating is currently not in the game due to complications of implementing the system and concerns over gameplay and balance issues.
  • Cool Starship: Each character gets their own, its design based off their race, I.E. florians having a plant covered ship. It's their base of operations in space, and it also provides the important tech that aids in exploration of the planet below, in addition to apparently being able to recreate any equipment using pixels. As of Upbeat Giraffe, it can be upgraded for additional space.
  • Crisis of Faith:
    • Some Avians are banished for defying their god's demands for sacrifices.
    • In specific Avian Lore there is the saga of one who was at first loyal, but after marrying an atheist and watching his brother nearly die in the attempt to ascend he lost his faith.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: In contrast to Killer Rabbit below, there are many menacing/creepy-looking monsters that are passive and only attack if you provoke them.
  • Death Is Not Permanent: Barring the permadeath option, each race has its own method of respawning after death.
    • Humans are cloned in a machine that builds their skeleton, grows muscles and organs, then overlays skin and hair. (For the time being, this is also the Novakid respawn animation, presumably as a placeholder.)
    • Apex are cloned in a similar manner to humans, except they're cloned in a capsule full of liquid and injected with the serum that turns them into super-intelligent ape-men.
    • Avians are hatched from a new egg as a chick, then rapidly aged to maturity.
    • Hylotls, similar to Avians, are hatched as tadpoles, then aged up to maturity.
    • Florans are grown from a seed, with their new body hatching from a new plant.
    • Glitch are simply rebuilt.
  • Death Trap: They come in many flavors: pools of magma and poisonous sludge, sharp stalactites and thorns, layers of burning coals, electrified fences...
  • Defector from Decadence: The Floran PC's reason for leaving their planet? They're sick of their races Ax Craziness and want to start a new life.
  • Denial of Diagonal Attack: Most melee weapons attack in a set range, but one-handed blades can be aimed while two-handed swords have a fixed attack angle. Most Mods that deal with combat or spears already allow spears to operate this way, with a future update making this an official ability for spears.
  • Devolution Device: The Apex government invented a way to make their own people into ape-men. Supposedly this was a tradeoff to make everyone more intelligent.
  • Difficulty Levels: There are three difficulty levels: Casual (drop 30% of pixels on death), Normal (lose pixels and drop resources on death), and Hardcore (once the character dies, it cannot be played ever again).
  • Disk One Nuke:
    • Getting a gun early on often from a gun trader early on. Guns give players reach and frequently higher DPS then melee weapons making them quite powerful. This largely applies to the first sector.
    • There is a chance to find powerful randomly generated weapons dropped by boss monsters that may allow the player to simply breeze through the first sector.
    • Changes made to the universe with one character are carried over when you start a new game with a new character. So it's possible to leave some advanced-level items on a planet with the strong character and pick them up with the new character.
  • Double Jump: The Pulse Jump tech.
  • Dragons Prefer Princesses: In order to summon the Dragon King, you need to build a Decoy Princess to attract it.
  • Dual Wielding: One-handed weapons can be wielded in each hand, so you can have two swords, two guns, or a gun in one hand and a sword in another.
  • Dungeon Bypass: Averted as of Upbeat Giraffe - mission areas and random dungeons can't be mined until completed (in the case of the former, by defeating the boss; in the case of the latter, by destroying or activating a certain item).
  • Dystopia: In the Apex society, 1984 meets Planet of the Apes under the rule of Big Ape and the Ministry of Knowledge. Their furniture includes all kinds of cameras and propaganda posters. (Most of which are memes.)
  • Early Game Hell: Your starting multitool takes about 15 seconds to chop down a tree, and that much time to mine out a single block of cobblestone. Your only early means of self-defense is a broken sword, and if you go to any planet with a threat level higher than your armor, monsters kill you quickly. Once you craft an axe and a copper pick, things go much more smoothly.
  • Earth That Was: Humans were driven off of Earth by an Eldritch Abomination and now wander space. It is not known if Earth is irrevocably changed or destroyed.
  • Eldritch Abomination:
    • Some version emerges from inside Earth during the Human intro, and the Human lore has the Eldritch abomination landing on Earth from somewhere in space.
    • Some worlds will have giant tentacles and/or brain or eyeball-themed plant life, making the whole world seem like an Eldritch Abomination.
    • The first boss, the appropriately-named Erchius Horror. It's a giant crystal with a single red organic eye that's responsible for creating the mutated miners in the level.
    • A planned boss is a meteor with tentacles poking out, implied by the description to be the source of the entity that conquered Earth and the Tentacle biome planets.
  • Elemental Weapon: Some randomly-generated melee weapons can be enhanced with either poison, fire, or electricity. Poison and fire inflict their respective status effect on enemies, while electricity just adds a projectile attack in the form of a short-ranged pulse of electricity that shoots directly in front of you.
  • Everything's Better with Penguins: Or not, when they're Space Pirates who try to kill you in a UFO.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: Early game feels a lot like this- no materials, no armour, a broken sword for a weapon... You're gonna be seeing that respawn screen quite a few times.
  • Extreme Omnivore: A product of their carnivorous nature, Florans see a lot of things as possible dinner. Apex Facility items are just the start.
  • Fail O'Suckyname: Big Ape, not that anyone's going to call him out on it.
  • Fantastic Fruits and Vegetables: Some of the alien crops can be bizarre.
    • Oculemons are pretty much eyeball fruit.
    • Automatoes are metallic-looking tomatoes that contain screws.
    • Boneboo plants have bones for their stems.
    • Diodia tastes like copper.
    • Avesmingo has 100 different flavours in one fruit.
    • Neonmelons have glowing seeds.
  • Fantastic Racism: Zigzagged: in any given town from a race different to you, one third of its people will be positively curious about your visit, another third will mock you and your species, and the rest will just talk about something else.
    • In the backstory, there are mentions of repeated wars between the Florans and the Hylotl, which has led to great animosity between their species. In game, the two races have universally disparaging comments for each other, an occasionally found piece of Floran decor is spike-mounted Hylotl skulls, and the Hylotl Impervium weapons are named "Stemcutter", "Rootcutter", "Plantpounder", "Vinehacker", etc.
    • Glitch villagers also tend to not care for Hylotls. While they're not as hostile to Hylotls as Florans can be, they are very mistrusting of them and tend love to make fun of them.
  • Fast-Forward Mechanic: When a planet remains uninhabited for about a minute, its time will automatically reset to just after morning. In single player all a character needs to do is beam up to their ship and wait a short time and it will be morning when the character beams back down to the planet.
  • Feather Motif: Being birds, Avians have a focus on feathers to varying degrees.
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: In the late game, this develops. Staves and magic armor focus on energy, melee weapons and armor on health, while ranged weapons and armor form a middle ground.
  • Film Noir: One of the random lore books you can pick up from a glitch society is a book written like this, depicting a detective looking for malfunctioning (self-aware) glitches in a murder case. The detective's dark secret is that he himself was self-aware, but he deliberately fits in with society in order to help other self-aware glitch stay safe.
  • Fluffy Tamer: The Creature Capture Pods allow players to capture monsters while in their infant forms, then train them to fight for them.
  • For Science!: The Apex scientists shout this as a battle cry.
  • Funny Animal: The Avian race, with a Mesoamerican Feather Motif.
  • Fictional Currency: Money in Starbound comes in the form of "Pixels", which are used to create objects from 3D printers or used to craft items at various work stations.
  • Final Death: The Hardcore option, upon character creation, will drop everything and keep the character dead when killed.
  • Fish People: The Hylotl race complete with under the sea cities.
  • Fish out of Water: Naturally, the PC is one for leaving their home planet for whatever reason stated in Call to Adventure above. For the Hytol, their very first quest is titled this trope.
  • Flushing Edge Interactivity: There are Toilet and Outhouse items in the game, and the player character can sit on them like any other chair item.
  • Frying Pan of Doom: As a random weapon model, with its own damage type.
  • Game Mod: One of the key features of this game is the ability to easily make mods for it. This was one of the key goals of the game's designers... and they have succeeded.
  • Great Escape: Many prisons have a release control somewhere. If triggered by the player, the cells will open and the inmates will Zerg Rush the guards.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: The player character can find a Ball of Gnomes in underground gnome biomes to use as a throwing weapon.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: In Fatal Circuit's backstory, it's revealed that the Glitch wanted to create a new form of Glitch. After the robot was activated, it went berserk, no thanks to the monster brain used in its construction.
  • Healing Spring: Healing Oasis rather. Desert planets may have this mini-biome, with reeds, palm trees, and various pools of glowing water that grants recovery as long as you're swimming in it. The water itself can be drained and harvested with an upgraded Matter Manipulator for bottling or even building your own spring.
  • Helicopter Blender: Touching the propellers of an Avian Airship is a One-Hit Kill on your character.
  • Humongous Mecha: With "a factory capable of producing mechs" to ride.
  • Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: The "Floran Party" mission. You're invited to a Floran Party. This being Florans, it's a party where they get to hunt you down, and you have to escape.
  • Idiosyncratic Version Naming: The early beta versions all have "Koala" in their version names, and said Koala gets angrier each version. For example: v. Perturbed Koala, v. Irritated Koala, v. Offended Koala, v. Angry Koala, v. Furious Koala and v. Enraged Koala.
  • I'm a Humanitarian/To Serve Man: The Florans. Floran characters will openly refer to other species as potential meals when examining posters and other decorative objects, and seem to have a particular fixation towards the Apex, for some reason. Floran NPCs will also threaten to eat the player character.
    • An unintentional example would be Moontants dropping Raw Steak. Since Moontants once used to be people until mutated by the Erchius Horror, it can count in a Squicky way.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Florans, or at the very least the Floran PC, which isn't surprising, considering their sheer bloodthirstiness. In any case, when asked about a hunting trophy stand, the PC will fondly reminisce about the time they bludgeoned their prey to death with a trophy stand before setting it up proper, and when commenting on their own flag, they comment they'd gladly stab someone with the flagpole.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: Several from the speech bubble test video.
  • Infinite Flashlight: Each starter kit for characters has one. Due to the way lighting works, they are one of the only ways for a character to light up the surrounding area without placing any item. Due to the way the game works, flashlights can be dual-wielded, however this has little benefit except intensifying the light.
  • Instant Awesome, Just Add Mecha: Each race has its own mech that can be piloted once the tech for them is found and equipped. As of Beta v. Furious Koala, human and Glitch mechs have been implemented.
  • Interface Screw: If your heat bar gets too low, the screen becomes progressively whiter until you can't see anything.
  • In-Universe Game Clock: Similar to Terraria, each planet has a certain day/night cycle. These cycles vary depending on the planet. Some are eternally day and night.
  • Justified Extra Lives: When a player character dies on the surface of a planet, game resumes from the spaceship. See Death Is Not Permanent for more.
  • Killer Rabbit: Among the randomly generated creatures, there are some that turn out to be rather cute. Unfortunately, they're most likely aggressive and will attack you on sight.
  • Kill It with Fire: Florans are not fond of fire at all. Particularly evident when inspecting any fire item while playing as a floran, as the player will often respond with fear or uneasiness.
  • Let's Play: The developers posted links to a few people who got beta a few days before the public beta released. All of them end round the 30 minute mark, which is generally just finishing up the beginning of the tutorial quests.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: One of the items you can find is a Starbound arcade game. The description: "A Starbound arcade machine. How meta." Floran characters will even say they got an achievement for "sssmashing fourth wall".
  • Lovecraftian Superpower: The pink fleshy aliens in the Erchius Mining Facility mission attack by using their hand to spray their flesh at you.
  • Low Culture, High Tech: The Avians were granted spacefaring technology by an as-yet-unamed Precursor race who neglected to give them the necessary social advancement to properly understand that it wasn't a gift from their god.
  • Luck-Based Mission: What planet you start on can be a big influence on how much of an Early Game Hell it is. Arid and dessert planets have less wood available. Snowy planets will have you freezing to death. And hellish planets are covered with obsidian, which is slower to mine than regular stone.
    • The developers are planning to avert this by making all players start out on a safe garden biome planet with lots of trees, as well as no hazardous weather, surface obsidian or cold.
  • Madness Mantra: "Floran know one thing - ssstab, ssstab, ssstab."
  • Man-Eating Plant: The Florans are a race of carnivorous plant people. If you play as one, they have a fixation with food and eating, and will comment on their desire to eat the subject if you examine certain posters showing other races, especially the Apex.
  • May Inca Tec: The Avians buildings and technology strongly resembles Aztec and Mayan structures.
  • Mechanical Horse: The Glitch knights behind the castle gates ride these.
  • Medieval Stasis:
  • Mighty Roar: According to NPC dialog, Apex are capable of roaring. Which is awesome.
    Floran NPC: "If monkey roar, Floran call Green Guard!"
    • Mighty Roar is also an ability used by monsters, which hits a large area around them.
  • Mini-Game: A future update will include the ability to program within the game, which can result in the creation of minigames. Two examples shown thus far include a simple game of Pong and a first-person maze game.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: Most monsters and animals are randomly generated and can have a variety of weird body types grafted together.
  • Monochromatic Eyes: The Florans have jet-black eyes, coupled with More Teeth than the Osmond Family.
  • Mundane Utility: Certain high tier weapons can have explosions after an attack. These can be used for crowd control... Or for digging (slowly) through blocks.
  • My Species Doth Protest Too Much: For the majority of the playable races, the player character themselves have taken to space precisely because they got sick of their race's xenophobia in one way or another. The exceptions are humans (who lost their home planet and didn't have a choice), Hylotl (an inversion who seek to spread their ways of enlightenment across the stars), and possibly Novakids (who are described as mostly only doing things because why not.)
  • No Arc in Archery: Averted. Arrows have a noticeable arc even with the bow at full draw. At the far end of the range the player will need aim higher to hit their target of choice.
  • No Campaign for the Wicked: Those who explore the planets are likely to eventually find an intelligent race of mushroom people who can occasionally be found living in mushroom villages. The developers suggest that these are in fact The Corruption and quite wholeheartedly wicked, so they're not playable. At least, not officially.
  • Non-Mammal Mammaries: Mammaries are defining characteristic between the sexes of all playable species so, yeah.
  • Noodle Implements: The Torture Device is... Some kind of fountain thing. Water Torture exists, yes, but we never know how it works (and the description tells us we don't want to), but we do find out that, apparently, Glitch find it particularly unpleasant, the Florans themselves find the thing scary, and that it doesn't work on Hylotl.
  • Odd Friendship: The Glitch and Florans react very positively to each other for some reason. When one race is a visitor to another's village, they are surprisingly welcoming. A page in Floran lore also implies the Glitch taught them how to read and write.
    Floran NPC: "Robot and Floran friends."
  • One-Gender Race: Despite the variety in the Florans' appearance and the player being given the choice between a masculine or feminine appearance, the ''Meet the Florans'' intro of the race says they are unisex.
  • Our Monsters Are Weird: Inevitably, you're going to find monsters with really bizarre appearances.
  • Oxygen Meter: Present whenever your character is in water or in space-based biomes with no oxygen. Strangely enough, the Glitch and Hylotl still need to breathe underwater.
  • Parental Bonus: Various species notice a tadpole-like creature next to a circle in the display of the Medical Screen item. Avians mention that the screen is investigating reproduction in certain species.
  • Perma Death: As of v. Furious Koala, there is an option while creating characters to enable Permadeath. As the name suggests, dying with Permadeath on means your character stays dead.
  • Planet of Hats: Each race as at least two components to their hats.
    • Florans have the savage and plant-life hat. They are both as lethal and cruel, even to each other, as they can be, as well as being meat eating plants, and they are a plant race.
    • Humans currently are a race without a home planet much like humans in Titan A.E.. Something special for the humans is a possibility in the future.
    • Glitch have the oldest theme, being stuck in the past due to an issue with programming (hence their name), and are still in the time of swords and farming. Despite being robots and stuck in the past, they are actually one of the most friendly races to find on a planet, and seem good natured despite their issues.
    • Apex are ape-men who seem to follow the government strongly. They are a blend of 1984 and Planet of the Apes. Their furniture tends to be more centered around the 70s and their "music" seems to indicate that they have regained some bestial instincts despite remaining intelligent.
    • Hylotl are fish people who appear to be the most modern. Despite that, they have a heavy Asian influence in their clothing and ships. It's noted in lore that Hylotl are the most peaceful of the races, to the point of getting mockery from time to time. They also value beauty, which is more of an Informed Ability at the moment due to there being so few items that show that.
    • Avians are a strongly religious race with a heavy May Inca Tec aesthetic. Avians value piety to their god, Kluex, above all else, and those who renounce their faith are summarily excommunicated.
    • Novakids are Space Westerners with bodies composed of energy. They are amongst the oldest races in existence, but their short-term memories also makes them the most technologically stunted and does not help in relations with other races.
  • Plant Aliens: The Florans. They are a very aggressive carnivorous plant people that react in a hostile way towards non-Floran creatures. They will even eat their own kind if given the chance. There are a few of them who like to be around other creatures, however. It's also noted that they suffer from a "what measure is a non-Floran" as the reason for their aggressiveness, rather than outright maliciousness.
  • Plant People: The Floran subvert this. The Meet the Florans pagenote  points it out, saying that they put their "survival through reproduction and expansion" above conserving the environment and that the assumption that they are environmentalists because they're humanoid plants allows them to thrive.
  • Planet Heck: The "Heck" Biomes introduced in version Enraged Koala have Flesh Blocks and Brains as walls, lights and plants that look like flesh, and unique loot designed from bones.
  • Power-Up Food: Some foods like Pinapple Upside Crown Cake and Banana Bread grant super speed and jumping.
  • Power Up Letdown: Yellow stimpacks. They make you glow brightly so that you can explore dark locations more easily! ...for about 5 seconds.
  • Prison: All the races have prisons as important locations, where you can go in and see a little more of their idiosyncrasy. The types and amount of torture devices vary from none to lots, the facilities offered can vary just as much, and in the Florans' case they also double as cattle pens.
  • Procedural Generation: For planets, weapons, wildlife, and visual details like trees' appearance. The game uses the coordinates of each point in space to check if placing a system there, and if it does, uses said coordinates as seed.
  • Proud Scholar Race Guy:
    • Apex have more technological furniture than any other species.
    • Although backstory wise the Hylotl are this. They're noted as being the most peaceful of every race.
  • Psychopathic Man Child: The Florans as a whole are very simplistic but notoriously aggressive and violent. The playable Floran is this less so than the rest of their kind, but it still shines through when inspecting things.
  • Purely Aesthetic Gender: Gender only affects cosmetic features and has no other effect on gameplay currently.
  • Put Down Your Gun and Step Away: The guards of many settlements will advise you to holster your weapon, and after a while enforce it with extreme prejudice if you do not comply.
  • Randomly Generated Loot: Weapons and shields have randomly-generated stats and appearances corresponding to the difficulty of the planet they were found on.
  • Rainbow Pimp Gear: Optional. Each character has six equipment slots for armor: three for the armor to actually use and get stats from, and another three for the armor to display, so you can avert it or play it straight.
    • There are certain cosmetic items that are chromatic and sparkle when you run with them. So it is played straight. The problem is finding them...
  • Rare Random Drop: An Upbeat Giraffe update added rare loot tables to monsters, allowing them to drop items like seeds, cosmetic clothes, or instruments.
  • Recurring Riff: "On the Beach at Night", is the main theme of the game, and its chorus shows up in many of the other songs on the soundtrack. Unusually On The Beach itself is not in the official soundtrack release (though you can play it in-game on one of the instrument items).
  • Remember When You Blew Up a Sun?: You can find a book detailing an (in)famous military maneuver made by a Human commander during one of their earliest conflicts with the Florans, entailing the commander dumping several thousand gallons of what is basically Agent Orange on the Florans. This didn't have the intended effect. Instead of killing them it made them drunk, but still achieved the desired effect of allowing the humans to retake the area long enough to evacuate the colonists. Judging by the last line of the book, it serves as this trope to the rest of the USCM.
  • Ribcage Ridge: Occasionally found on desert planets. Sometimes, the giant ribs and skulls are even placed on top of piles of smaller bones.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Several randomly-generated aliens may sport a really adorable face and small body. Still doesn't mean that they aren't aggressive, though.
  • RPG Elements: Set to be averted. While subject to change, the devs have stated they have no intention of including character attributes or stats. Any effects or specializations will come purely from equipment. There will be player race specific abilities such as Florans being able to eat poisonous plants.
  • Rogue Drone: PC Glitches are Glitches who have become self-aware, causing them to be cut off from the rest of the Glitch collective and branded a heretic.
  • Run or Die: At the end of the Floran Party mission, there's a boss Floran who takes extremely little damage from all weapons and wields a very painful Bonehammer. You're supposed to flee from him until you can get to the transmitter at the end, then get out of there. You can, however, whittle his health down and get a unique cosmetic item for beating him.
  • Schizo Tech:
    • The Glitch are programmed not to fully grasp that they're robots and cyborgs in an otherwise medieval European society.
    • Despite the advanced technology available to players common starting tools are made of stone and bows are used to hunt for food from animal life. The most extreme example? As soon as the game begins, the player is presented with a handheld nanomanipulator. The very first thing they're likely to do with it is use it to build a pickaxe. Lampshaded by the pickaxe description, which says it's so last millennium.
    • Your spaceship, capable of FTL jumps that can take it from star system to star system in mere minutes. It runs on such ores as uranium, plutonium, Solarium and charcoal.
  • Schmuck Bait: The descriptions for the first two boss-summoning items heavily imply they do anything but. The summoning item for the Dragon King at least states it is bait for a boss. But what a boss it is. The summon item for the fourth boss is also presented in the form of a classic box-and-stick trap, complete with bait, and the boss' lore drop later comments on how you should've seen that coming.
  • Science Is Bad: Any Glitch who, through another glitch, becomes aware of their backwards technology will invariably start to invent more advanced technology. This is frowned upon by Glitch society.
  • Sentry Gun: Can be built and placed, and will attack enemies. They have a limited amount of energy and will deactivate when they run out, but the player can interact with them to replenish it. An upcoming update will allow players to place their own guns into the sentries, allowing them to use those guns' projectiles.
  • Shout-Out: So many they have their own page.
  • Single-Biome Planet: Although it may change in the future, as of right now all planets are made up of a single biome with "sub-biomes" for flavor.
  • Sky Pirates: There are Avian groups of pirates, complete with rotor-powered wooden ships. They don't seem to do much piracy except selling guns.
  • Slobs Versus Snobs: The Florans (Slobs) versus the Hylotl (Snobs). There are even repeated wars between the two.
  • Smash Mook: Many land-dwelling aliens tend to have "Charge", "Body Slam" and "Bash" as their abilities, which makes them either charge at you, jump on you to damage you, or damage you on contact.
  • Space Amish: The Glitch are scattered across the galaxy because the precursors put them there, and they all have the same society because of a programming error.
  • Space Pirates: Dreadwing and his penguin armies.
  • Space Western: The Novakids seem to literally be this, as they have a very wild west-esque motif, complete with space trains.
  • Spikes of Doom: Several variants. Most of them damage you on contact. Wooden Spikes, however, are a One-Hit Kill on anyone who touches them.
  • Strange Syntax Speaker: The Glitch speak in the exact same manner as HK-47 from the Knights of the Old Republic series, declaring precisely what sort of sentence they are about to say before speaking.
  • Sufficiently Advanced Bamboo Technology:
    • The Glitch spaceship looks like a castle.
    • The Rubium and Cerulium weapons are this: super high technology made to look like magical staves.
  • Super-Persistent Predator: Most enemies, as of Beta version Offended Koala. A few bird species will, however, give up on prey that gets away.
  • Survival Sandbox: Permadeath mode turns the game into this.
  • Terrible Trio: Big Ape, Thornwing, and Greenfinger are often mentioned in the lore as working together.
  • That Makes Me Feel Angry: Glitch always preface what they say with the emotion they are delivering it with.
  • The Password Is Always Swordfish: In some versions, the default password for a server is "Swordfish"
  • Third-Person Person: Almost all Floran speak like this.
  • This Is a Drill: You can't craft them right from the beginning, but they take the place of pickaxes later in the game.
  • Third Eye:
    • The Hylotl have third eyes.
    • Some Glitch have four or even six eyes. And because in the sprite they look the same, some have eye-nipples.
    • Some of the procedurally generated monsters can have a third eye.
  • Throwing Down the Gauntlet: In one lore entry, Big Ape challenges Kluex to a cage match to prove Apex superiority, unaware that Kluex is not alive when he makes the challenge.
  • Token Heroic Floran: Type A, with shades of Type I, although it's unclear how much of a hive-mind the Florans have.
  • Tin Tyrant: The Glitch's Doom Lord armor set, natch. Complete with horned helmet.
  • Too Many Mouths:
    • Some of the Florans have Venus flytrap-like jaws attached to their heads.
    • Some of the monsters can have multiple mouths.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: The Apex love bananas. A given for being ape-folk.
  • Trashcan Bonfire: Found in prisons, bandit camps and other such places of ill repute. Notably, the Glitch PC notes that it looks unsettlingly similar to a burning Glitch.
  • Underwater City: A given for the Hylotl, considering they're Fish People.
  • Unusable Enemy Equipment: Two sentient races, the Agarans who are mushroom people and the Colorfuls who look like rabbit ninjas, are not playable. Their villages and houses can appear on planets however.
  • Unwanted False Faith: Avians in a naturally-generated village may ask if the Avian player character is Kluex and is going to take them away.
  • Variable Mix: Both the experimental soundtrack and the devs hint at this occurring based on the planet you visit and if you are in combat or not.
  • Violation of Common Sense: You need a processor board to upgrade your crafting table into a robotics table. So you simply craft it, right? That's not how you do it. Instead, build a murderous robot first, activate it, then destroy it in battle and rip off the board from its dead body.
  • Wakeup Call Boss: The first boss encounter is far harder than any enemy on the starting planet. A common complaint among beta players was that they didn't realize they weren't stuck on their starting planet, and needed to explore other planets for upgrades before even considering summoning the boss. (The description of the summoning item made it Schmuck Bait as well: "maybe this distress beacon will summon help!")
  • Was Once a Man: The pink fleshy aliens in the Erchius Mining Facility distress mission. After facing a number of these, you eventually encounter miners undergoing transformation into one of these horrors. One of the surviving uninfected miners even mentions that the pink things look like people. It turns out that they were turned into these things by the area's boss.
  • Weapon of Choice: Each species mentions a different preferred weapon when the player character inspects a Glitch Sword Display. Despite liking stabbing, the Floran player character prefers the hammer to a sword or knife.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: The Florans treat animals like we treat plants.
  • Witch Hunt: Any Glitch that, through yet another Glitch, realizes that they are part of an experiment and that their technology can be more advance is treated as raving lunatics and are hunted down by the mainstream Glitch.
  • With This Herring: At the beginning of the game, you're supplied with only a matter manipulator, a flashlight, 10 torches, a few crops, a broken two-handed broadsword, and the meager clothes you're currently wearing. The matter manipulator is slower at mining than a stone pickaxe, the flashlight only illuminates areas at a small angle (unlike the torches and almost all other light sources), and the broadsword should immediately be replaced with a hunting knife once you have the iron to craft it.
  • Wizard Needs Food Badly: The player characters have a hunger meter that slowly depletes over time, and must eat in order to replenish it. Yes, even the robotic Glitch need to eat. As of Upbeat Giraffe, this is no longer the case.
  • Womb Level: The "Tentacles" planets. The outer layer looks a lot like flesh, trees are replaced by tentacles, and burrowing inside them you can find clusters of flesh and pools of blood.
    • Heck Biomes. The "ground" is made of either flesh or brains.
    • There's also the Eyeball minibiomes, which are quite similar, except with staring eyeballs.
  • Word Salad Humor: Arcade games in this galaxy have some seriously odd names. Psychedelic Rodeo Melee is a rather artsy game, Stylish Thief Wasteland is apparently violent as hell, Screaming Fashion Agent is seriously terrifying, and that's just the start.
  • Wutai: Hylotl appear to have this as their other hat, the first one being fish people and everything that implies. Their default clothing resembles Japanese clothing, and their spaceship seems to take off both the Chinese koi and Japanese dragon. The ship's default interior has strong resemblances to eastern housing as well, complete with lanterns.