Characters in Starfinder come in a myriad of forms. A character's race determines a number of additional factors that influence how they play on the tabletop, from mechanical factors representing their unique biology to roleplaying opportunities resulting from their native culture. For tropes that applied to these races in Pathfinder, see either Pathfinder Playable Races, Pathfinder Humanoids, Pathfinder Monstrous Humanoids or Pathfinder Aberrations.
Made from equal parts machinery and biology, androids were once a servitor race before breaking free to form their own society. Unlike other creations, androids have souls, a distinction that plays a large role in distinguishing them as sentient.
- Artificial Human: Their most notable trait. The differences between them and normal humans is Androids are often depicted as unusually pale (almost white), with unnatural hair colors and Tron Lines on them.
- Ascended Extra: They started out as a fairly minor, background playable race in Pathfinder, but became one of the core races of Starfinder.
- Discard and Draw: Starfinder androids don't have the Nanite Surge ability of the Androffan/Numerian androids of the past. Instead, they have a built-in armor upgrade slot. However, the Character Operations Manual offers a variant choice that replaces the slot with the classic Nanite Surge again.
- Mechanical Lifeforms: Androids are Ridiculously Human Robots, "bleed" watery coolant and even have souls. There are multiple times that reinforce that Androids are purely synthetic Artificial Humans, but respond to healing magic and have souls as organic creatures do. They breathe and eat much as humans do, but through artificial organs, and they circulate their healing nanites like blood through their bodies via pale fluids. They are inexhaustible, immune to diseases and resistant to other biological effects, and fortified against mental effects, but also suffer the same maladies and vulnerabilities of constructs and are susceptible to supernatural curses, including lycanthropy.
- The Nth Doctor: Inverted, the same body is host to a succession of different people.
- Reincarnation: Inverted. When an android has lived what it feels is a full enough life, it triggers it's nanites into an accelerated repair mode that fixes the body just like new, but their soul will leave the body for the Boneyard and a brand new soul will come to inhabit it. They call this "Renewal", and consider it a form of procreation.
- Ridiculously Human Robots: They can generally pass as human despite "awkward mannerisms" (though some do go for more obvious mechanical features), but bleed watery coolant. Moreover, they actually have souls.
- Slave Race: What they originally were, and what some places still use them as.
- Tron Lines: These cover their bodies, though they can be more or less obvious depending on how much energy their systems need to be channeling at a given time.
- Who Wants to Live Forever?: Androids are functionally immortal as long as they have proper maintenance, but most will willingly undergo Renewal after around a century.
Originating from Golarion and Akiton, humans have since taken to Absalom Station as their homeworld following the Gap. An ambitious and creative race, they are often viewed as brash and reckless by others.
- Captain Ersatz: Akitonian humans have red skin.
- Humans Are Average: They don't have any eye grabbing special abilities, just a general proficiency in most things.
- Human Subspecies: There are a few variants in the Character Operations Manual:
- Heavyworlder: "Gravity Dwellers" get higher strength and dexterity but lower charisma.
- Lightworlder: "Featherlights" have a +4 to dexterity but lowered strength.
- "Dusk Sights" have low-light vision.
- "Fortified" get +2 to Fortitude saves against environmental conditions.
- The Hylki pf Akiton have literally red skin but statistically are no different from the average Golarion human.
- Jack-of-All-Stats: Humans' versatile racial bonuses lend them well to every class though there are some cases where specific races have special class synergies that top humans.
Four-armed natives of a distant, desert world, the kasathas fled their home as their star neared collapse and arrived in the Pact Worlds in the generation ship Idari.
- Ascended Extra: They started out as a fairly minor, background playable race in Pathfinderin fact, they were an example of what you can build in the Advanced Race Guidebut became one of the core races of Starfinder.
- Doomed Hometown: Their homeworld of Kasath is dying, and the kasatha are trying to carve out a new life in the Pact Worlds as immigrants.
- The Faceless: There has never been an image of a kasatha that's shown its lower face, with every one of them hiding it with a scarf, mask, or other item of clothing. Covering one's lower face is a tradition that extends millennia in the past, but no one quite knows the origin of it. For the curious, an image of a kasatha skeleton◊ in Pathfinder shows a fairly human-like jaw.
- Generation Ship: The Idari, a slower-than-light colony ship originally sent from Kasath to colonize Akiton. Most of the Kasatha in the Pact Worlds were either born on the Idari, or are second-generation of immigrants who arrived on it.
- Good Old Ways: Respect for tradition is considered a high virtue in Kasatha culture, inclining many of them to hold to ancient ways and the study of history. They're regarded by others as being a combination of hidebound and aloof, but also very knowlable.
- Multi-Armed and Dangerous: They have four arms, though with Starfinder's changes to how many attacks you can make this just gives them more flexibility, such as being able to use a rifle while still having hands free for backup weapons or the like, or taking extra advantage of feats that require free hands to employ.
- Named After Their Planet: The kasatha came from the planet of Kasath; it is unknown whether the planet was named after the race or vice versa.
- Our Nudity Is Different: Kasatha modesty requires that the mouth be covered around all but the most intimate companions.
Natives of Castrovel, lashuntas are separated into two subspecies, the bulky and muscular korasha and the lithe and graceful damaya, with each lashunta starting out as indeterminate at birth and developing into one or the other subspecies as a response to environmental factors or as a conscious choice aided by medications and meditation. Both subspecies have innate psychic powers useful for self defense and communication.
- Amazonian Beauty: The korasha lashunta are a bit short for this trope, but being stout and well muscled doesn't take away from their attractiveness, as the book mentions.
- Arch-Enemy: They've warred with the formian hives of their homeworld for thousands of years, with peace having only been declared within the last few decades.
- Ascended Extra: They started out as a fairly minor, background playable race in Pathfinder, but became one of the core races of Starfinder.
- Bleached Underpants: While still very attractive and often wearing flattering clothing, the fact that they wear proper clothing at all is more modest than their ancestors in the pre-Gap time of Pathfinder.
- Bishōnen: A male damaya is this by default, given how willowy and graceful the caste is.
- Fantastic Racism: While the lashunta normally pride themselves on being cosmopolitan and accepting, their long, long, long history of war with the formians has left them suspicious of other insectoid races, with many extending that to the shirren, wondering how long it will be before the "bugs" turn on them.
- Green-Skinned Space Babe:
- Damaya lashuntas look like idealized humans or elves (of both genders, admittedly — male damaya share these traits in full), are renowned for their beauty, and live on a hot planet that is most comfortable in minimal clothing. Subtle.
- Korasha lashuntas are downplayed versions; they're not quite as idealized, but they're still more than ruggedly handsome enough to qualify for the Charisma bonus.
- Progressively Prettier: The korasha in Pathfinder were noted to be ugly, while in Starfinder they're more ruggedly handsome.
- Proud Scholar Race: Lashunta are drawn to scholarly and magical pursuits and gain a bonus to Intelligence.
- Proud Warrior Race: Korasha are drawn to physical and martial careers and have a Constitution bonus.
- Psychic Powers: They have minor telepathic abilities, which they can learn to amplify to aid their allies and Bond Creatures, and their home planet is renowned for its psychics.
- Rubber-Forehead Aliens: Their most alien feature is their antennae. Other than that, they look just like elegant and beautiful (if damaya) or stout and muscular (if korasha) humans.
- Space Elves: Damaya lashuntas are tall, willowy and graceful humanoids with a pair of small antennae, are known for their ancient and scholarly civilization and have an affinity for both magic and psychic powers. The korasha, by contrast, are more akin to Space Dwarves, being short, stout and muscular, although they still have the telepathy and antennae.
Members of a rogue subhive of the Swarm, shirrens are insectoid beings foreign to the Pact Worlds.
- Bizarre Alien Sexes: Shirrens have three sexes; Male, Female, and Host. Hosts, as their designation suggests, actually carry the fertilized egg to term, and also contribute their own DNA to the child in the process.
- Horde of Alien Locusts: They originated as a sub-hive of one such Horde, the Swarm, until a mutation granted them sapience and free will. Once they had the ability to control their own lives, the Shirren chose to reject the Swarm's life of mindless, constant and aggressive consumption, and decided to try living alongside other lifeforms instead of eating them.
- I Just Want to Be Special: Downplayed, the same mutation that broke them from the Swarm's Hive Mind makes them almost compulsively fascinated by self-expression. A Shirren spends their life looking for new ways to distinguish themselves as individuals, finding joy in simple expressions of personal decisions.
- Insectoid Aliens: They resemble large, bipedal locusts. They have six limbs — two legs, two large arms and two smaller arms — but they keep their smaller pair hidden away most of the time: in their culture, the smaller arms (usually called the "mating arms") are only supposed to be used during reproduction, and are not to be used or revealed for any other reason. They used to be part of a Hive Mind as well, but they long since broke away from it, only retaining a mild form of telepathy from it.
- My Species Doth Protest Too Much: They used to be part of the Swarm, a Hive Minded Horde of Alien Locusts. They broke away and developed individuality due to a mutation. They defected from her rest of the Swarm, choosing to live as their own beings and to try to coexist peacefully with other races, rather than mindlessly destroying and consuming everything they found.
- Our Nudity Is Different: Their main physical taboo relates to their smaller second and third pairs of arms. They're only supposed to be used in mating and in certain ceremonial situations, and using these arms for any other purpose is considered obscene and taboo.
- Rogue Drone: They were once part of the Swarm, a roving predatory Hive Mind. They developed independent consciousness due to mutation, and afterwards abandoned the Swarm to live their own lives as free beings.
- Telepathy: One feature they did retain from their old Hive Mind is a mild ability to sense other beings' thoughts and emotions, a weakened derivative of the Swarm's shared consciousness.
- The Unpronounceable: Because of their insectile physiology, shirren names can sometimes be harsh and awkward for members of other races to pronounce. They readily accept nicknames bestowed by members of other races.
Burly reptilians from the Veskarium, a warrior civilization originating in a nearby star system.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: While there are Vesk who occupy all walks of life, political power within the Veskarium is limited to those who demonstrate martial skill. Many young Vesk who aspire to influence go on errant journeys to demonstrate their prowess, while those seeking influence outside of those martial traditions often travel outside the Veskarium to find their fortunes.
- Enemy Mine: The Veskarium and the Pact Worlds first interacted through open war, and later coexisted in an tense cold war for several centuries. By the game's present, they've been forced into an uneasy alliance in order to face the rising threats of the Swarm and the Azlanti Star Empire, which neither would be able to face alone.
- The Empire: The Vesk are the ruling population of an empire encompassing a single system, imposed from one inhabited world upon all the others within that system, and were posed to expand before the Pact Worlds fought them to a standstill and the coming of the Swarm forced them into an alliance together.
- Expy: As an interstellar empire of honorable alien warlords, in a tentative alliance with the Pact Worlds, they're quite reminiscent of both the Klingons and the Kzinti.
- I Gave My Word: Vesk have a strong sense of honour and pride in fulfilling their agreements.
- Lizard Folk: Starfinder's primary race of reptilian aliens. Appearance-wise, they resemble burly humans with scaly skin, clawed fingertips and reptilian heads and tails. They also come in a range of colors, mostly blue and green. Personality-wise, they're highly aggressive and expansionistic warriors, with the main concern of their civilization being warring against and subjugating all other species they meet.
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: The vesk come from an empire known as the Veskarium, a warlike civilization focused on martial values and military expansion. They swiftly conquered their entire star system after achieving space travel, and their first reaction to obtaining Drift technology from the Pact Worlds was to use it to launch a full-scale invasion of the same in an attempt to conquer the Pact Worlds too.
Small rat-like beings known for wit and technological skill. Their homeworld is unknown, as ratmen have been found on several worlds before spaceflight was possible.
- The Nicknamer: Nicknames are often as important to ysoki as their actual names, and they tend to give both other ysoki and their non-ysoki friends monikers that refer to their personality or physiology.
- Rat People: They resemble small, bipedal rats.
- Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: You can tell the females in the artwork mostly by their long eyelashes. Their apparent androgyny is actually noted in the text.
Golarian RacesThese classes, many of them core races of Pathfinder, are still around now, and often still have important roles in the Pact Worlds.
- Demoted to Extra: With Golarion's disappearance, many of these races have declined in prominence.
A short, stocky, long-lived race, dwarves heavily value tradition. One of the most prominent traditions is the Quest for the Sky, and while some believe it fulfilled, others feel it will not be complete until they find a new homeworld for themselves. They are largely concentrated in Absalom Station or on dwarven star citadels.
- Good Old Ways: With long lives and strong traditions, dwarves are very slow to change their way of life.
- Long-Lived: They can live several hundred years before dying of old age.
- Our Dwarves Are All the Same: Very standard dwarves that are short, stocky, conservative and traditionalist, live in a clan-based society and have an affinity for mining and technology. They no longer live underground though, as Golarion is gone.
Elegant humanoids with a long lifespan, the Gap hit them harder than most. With vast swaths of their population missing the majority of their memories, many elves became convinced that they had been betrayed during the Gap. Unable to determine who the guilty party could be, if there even was one, the elves withdrew to Sovyrian on Castrovel and rapidly developed into a reclusive and xenophobic society. Elves deeply value magic as the continuation of their ancestors' work and many of the elves seen outside their own kind are seeking fragments of lore or magical items.
- Hidden Elf Village: Following the Gap, elves have mostly retreated to their ancestral homeland of Sovyrian in Castrovel and isolated themselves from the rest of the universe.
- Long-Lived: Even more so than dwarves, with lifespans capping out near a thousand years. Yes, this means that many Elves lived though the Gap, and they are not happy about that.
- Our Elves Are Different: Elves are still the same lithe, long-lived, whimsical and passionate race of humanoids with characteristic pointed ears that live in relative isolation with other races. They were also the hardest-hit race by the Gap, and have adopted xenophobia as a result of that.
- Pointy Ears: Pointed ears are a trademark of elves that set them out from humans.
- Rubber-Forehead Aliens: They're native to Castrovel and look like humans with pointed ears.
Emigrants first of the First World, then of Golarion, Gnomes are a varied people. There are two ethnicities of gnome. Feychildren have wildly colored hair and skin, but are forced to constantly seek new experiences to maintain their vibrancy or else undergo the Bleaching. Bleachlings are descendants of those who survived the process, lacking the wild personalities and appearances of their feychildren kin. Gnomes are also the only outside race welcomed by the elves of Castrovel for reasons unknown.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: The feychildren have a wide variety of hair colors, including bright green, blue and purple.
Interracial children of elves and humans. With no one heritage, they often feel like outsiders and band together with others who feel the same way or those to whom humans and elves are so alien they wouldn't realize something was strange. Half-elves are welcomed in Sovyrian, though they are considered second-class citizens, and Absalom Station takes them as readily as it does any other.
- Half-Human Hybrid: The vast majority of half-elves are half-human on the other side, to the point that they have both the elf and human subtypes.
- Non-Human Humanoid Hybrid: A growing number of half-elves on Triaxus are half-ryphorian instead of half-human. They are oddly similar to their human-born counterparts, however.
- True-Breeding Hybrid: It's not particularly common, but half-elves breed true and a number of half-elven settlements have sprung up around the Pact Worlds. The result is that some half-elves are quite far removed from their human, elven or ryphorian ancestors.
Interracial children of orcs and humans. Generally shunned by society, most half-orc either seek positions where the fear they cause is an asset, group with others shunned by society, or push beyond society to break ground for colonies.
- Determinator: They can keep going for one round after being brought below zero hitpoints.
- Half-Human Hybrid: Half human, half orc. However, since it's mentioned that because orcs were almost entirely contained to Golarion and Golarion is gone, most half-orcs since the Gap have been the result of true-breeding between other half-orcs.
- Slave Race: Not technically but for all practical purposes. The majority of half-orcs and orcs live on Apostae as second class citizens with no say or representation on political matters at all, serving the drow rulers of the planet as manual laborers or mercenaries.
- The Character Operations Manual introduces a variant that actually were slaves under the Drow, and thus have different stat bonuses than freed Half-Orcs.
- True-Breeding Hybrid: Orcs were almost entirely confined to Golarion at the time that it disappeared, making them very rare in the modern Pact Worlds; as a result, most half-orcs now are the result of true-breeding between half-orcs.
A diminutive race known for their even tempers and cool heads. Most halfings eschew enhancements, considering halfling biology to be pretty much perfect already. Though they make good spokesmodels or entertainment stars, a long history of enslavement means few will lock themselves into commitments.
- Born Lucky: As always, they're naturally lucky.
- The Pollyanna: Their cheerful optimism is often kept even when in danger, making them seem fearless in comparison to other races.
- Retired Badass: Halflings are practically genetically predispositioned to become this, most of them having a phase as bold daredevils in young adulthood before mellowing down.
- Slave Race: They've had a history of being such, and distrust many races as a result.
The barathu are natives to the gas giant Bretheda. Resembling floating, tentacled brains, barathus are capable of modifying their own genetic code and combining together into larger, more powerful collective entities. Early stage barathus are about the size of a human and enjoy wandering, exploring other cultures and societies.
- Adaptive Ability: They can adapt their bodies at will, gaining more powerful options as they mature.
- Asteroids Monster: Larger barathu can split off some of their composite beings, usually to serve as representatives for the larger entity.
- Fusion Dance: They can combine into larger beings that have their own intelligence. Barathu "corporations" can be made of hundreds of smaller barathu.
- Living Gasbag: They vaguely resemble something like a giant jellyfish or sea squirt, with no discernible external features save for long, trailing tentacles and filled for the most part with lighter-than gases that allow them to float through the endless skies of their gas giant homeworld.
- Promoted to Playable: Brethedans in Pathfinder were considered just another race of monsters. In Starfinder, they received rules as player characters in the first Alien Archive.
- Starfish Aliens: They look like floating, translucent masses of gelatin, with clusters of tentacles trailing from their undersides. They are adapted for living in the endless skies of gas giants, and can modify their own genetic code to suit their needs and join together in large numbers to form enormous, hyper-intelligent shared consciousness.
- Sudden Name Change: The barathus were originally just called Brethedans after their home planet in Pathfinder, as no one on Golarion knew their racial name back then.
- Underground Monkey: In The Ruined Clouds, the fourth part of the Dead Suns AP, the daelns (a barathu-like race native to Nejeor VI) are treated as variant barathus by the game itself despite being unrelated species that live on completely different planets.
The contemplatives of Ashok were once a humanoid race native to Akiton. Upon achieving psychic powers, they allowed their bodies to wither as they fed their minds and are now little more than floating brains carrying vestigial bodies.
Long ago an amphibious race, the draeliks hail from a now-arid world called Great Shadar. Many follow a religion headed by beings from the negative energy plane, who preach that entropy is the natural order of things. Though they almost exclusively create devices that increase this entropy, often through the use of negative energy, they look down on those who would hurry existence to its final state like children who want to skip to dessert rather than experience the full meal.
A race native to Triaxus, dragonkin resemble humanoid dragons. They are capable of forming a permanent bond with a partner, a deep and meaningful connection that ends only with death.
- Amazing Technicolor Population: Dragonkin have all the same varieties as both Chromatic and Metallic Dragons.
- Draconic Humanoid: Dragonkin can stand on their hind legs much more easily than true dragons, and have opposable thumbs that allow them to wield weapons as humanoids do.
- Promoted to Playable: In Pathfinder, they were considered effectively a type of monster, albeit one close to humanoids. Starfinder allows you to play as one, size and all.
- Psychic Link: Back in the day, dragonkin linked with ryphorians, whom they then allowed to ride them. In modern times, there is far less need to riding a dragon into battle, but the link still makes them excellent copilots.
The dark cousins of elves, the drow have taken to Apostae as their new homeworld. Dwelling in subterranean caverns, drow have a strictly matriarchal society where families constantly strive to backstab and outmaneuver each other in their constant climb for power.
- Evil Counterpart Race: To the elves.
- Irony: They're actually somewhat more well integrated into Pact World society than baseline elves are, acting as arms dealers and developers, while elves have become far more isolationist. It's mentioned that elven extremists who launch attacks against them are actively condemned by Pact World governments.
Found primarily on Castrovel within the Pact Worlds, the formians are a communal insectoid race divided into castes for different roles.
- Arch-Enemy: They've been at war with the lashuntas for thousands of years, with peace only taking effect in the last few decades.
- Bee People: They have a structures social system dominated by queens.
- Elaborate Underground Base: Formian hives tend to run for miles underground, leaving vast swathes of surface wilderness untouched.
- Insectoid Aliens: They're quadrupedal ant people that live in hives.
- My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Some formians don't agree with the strict social systems of the formian hives. There are several organizations dedicated to helping habilitate these formians for independent life.
- Promoted to Playable: Formian warriors are another monster race of monsters from the original Pathfinder that became playable in the Alien Archive of Starfinder. The worker caste remains unplayable, while the myrmarch and queen haven't been statted up yet and aren't likely to become playable either.
An enigmatic race, the few who know of their existence know them as infiltrators and spies. What their end goals are, or if they even have any, are unknown to all but themselves.
- The Grays: They are a malevolent race of alien humanoids with grey skin, long, willowy limbs and a bulbous head with oversized black eyes. They have a habit of abducting people and have infiltrated several societies throughout the Pact Worlds, pursuing complex agendas of manipulation and espionage aimed at goals only they know of.
- Intangible Man: They can phase partially out of reality, making it harder to hit them.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: They use memory expungers to wipe memories of their actions.
- Mind Rape: They have telepathic abilities they use to this effect.
- The Spook: Very little is known about them or their goals.
An arthropodan species native to Bretheda. They weave balloons from webs which they use to float through the air and can spit fire to defend themselves. Their society forbids all but the most basic of tools and those who leave home to venture the stars are considered dead by their kin.
- Ace Pilot: Those who do leave Bretheda find themselves adept pilots.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: They're insects bigger than most humanoids.
- I Have No Son!: The haan who venture off world are considered dead to their families.
- Mix-and-Match Critters: They combine aspects of bombardier beetles, spiders, and eurypterids (sea scorpions).
- Technophobia: Almost all haan consider technology taboo.
The ikeshti are a reptilian race native to Akiton with an unusual life cycle. Born as little more than ravenous mouths, they develop into an adolescent stage that lasts between one and two decades before entering their adult stage. They become composed to mate and after doing so engage in battle to the death, with the surviving mate settling into the final stage of their life to tend for the young. Those who are unable to secure a mate regress into savage beasts that care for nothing but battle and food.
- Lizard Folk: They're human-sized, bipedal reptiles with rust-red scales.
- Was Once a Man: The riveners are ikeshti who weren't able to mate and had their minds and bodies overwhelmed by a flood of hormones. They're much larger than their still-sentient brethren and care for little more than killing and eating.
Natives to the Brethedan moon of Kalo-Mahoi, the kalo are an aquatic species that cannot survive out of the water without specialized gear. Resembling a cross between a fish and a bat, they place an emphasis on tradition, using ancient titles and names for modern positions.
- Action Fashionista: They're famous for both their fierce and valorous hunters, and their cutting edge fashion.
- Humanoid Aliens: They're capable of bipedal movement, but they're primarily adapted to life underwater.
- Super Not-Drowning Skills: They're an aquatic race and as such are perfectly capable of breathing water. Unfortunately, breathing air is an impossibility.
Natives to the Brethedan moon Marata, the maraquoi resemble humanoid monkeys. Their unique reproductive system has seven genders, all of which are necessary to reproduce, and as a result many are highly averse to killing, so as not to prevent reproduction altogether.
- Bizarre Alien Sexes: They have seven sexes, all of which are necessary to reproduce. For the curious, they are:
- Three "fathers", the Ilsha (earth-sire), Qsha (sky-sire), and Susha (water-sire), who contribute genetic material.
- The Uisha (sharer), a "conceptual mother" who takes in the sires' DNA, conceives the fetus, and passes it on to...
- The Klsha (bearer), similar to the Shirren Host gender, who carries the child to term, then passes the newborn child to...
- The Mesha (cradle), who nurses the child in a marsupial-like pouch.
- And among all these is the Zysha (facilitator), who for some reason has to effectively oversee all this and somehow still contributes to the child's DNA like the other six despite having no apparent physical contact in the process.
- Humanoid Alien: They look like monkeys with insectoid compound eyes.
A rare race, nuars resemble minotaurs and claim to originate from Golarion. Their culture draws from bits and pieces of many others, particularly orcs.
- A Load of Bull: Nuars are minotaur-like creatures with formidable frames and roughly bovine faces, hooves and horns and claim to be distinct from their bigger, less smart minotaur relatives. They have natural grasp of complex patterns and shifting connections.
- Dash Attack: They have the ability to charge and attack opponents in the same turn without incurring the usual penalties.
- Horn Attack: Their horns are able to be used as Natural Weapons much like Vesk claws are.
- Smarter Than You Look: Most people assume nuar are stupid because of their bestial appearance. Most people are very wrong; on average, nuar are smarter than humans.
- Transforming Weapon: Their signature technology, the maze-core, allows one to build these.
Shapeshifting reptilians, reptoids infiltrate societies to further their unknown goals.
- Lizard Folk: In their true form, they're reptilian, crested humanoid aliens.
- Reptilian Conspiracy: They're reptilian shapeshifters who infiltrate and manipulate other species' societies for their own ends.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: They can switch between their own form and that of a particular humanoid. They can change who their false form is, though this often requires staging the death of the old identity.
Natives to Triaxus, ryphorians appear in three subtypes depending of which centuries-long season their world is currently in. Though ryphorians are born to the winter type, modern technology allows them to change into whichever subtype they wish.
- Bizarre Alien Biology: Ryphorians have three appearances depending to their planet's season at birth, even when off-world. In winter, they grow short fur over their bodies, while in summer they are hairless and have larger eyes. The third form is for those born just before or during the transition between seasons.
- Dragon Rider: In the old days, the ryphorians of the Skyfire Mandate and other Allied Territories could form links with dragonkin, large Draconic Humanoids who allowed their smaller allies to ride them. Few Ryphorians ride Dragonkin nowadays, but they still enjoy the bonds, and many partner up as co-pilots.
- Rubber-Forehead Aliens: They look like elves with some feline features.
- Sudden Name Change: In pre-Gap Golarion, the name "ryphorian" was unknown and everyone called them Triaxians.
A tall species native to one of the planets that now makes up the Diaspora. They are capable of surviving in space for up to an hour, suppressing their breathing and growing solar wings to glide through the void.
- Cold Sniper: They make excellent snipers, especially since they can take up position outside of a space station or starship to fire on targets inside.
- Growing Wings: They can manifest wings of pure energy, but only in a vacuum.
- Noodle People: They're incredibly tall, with long spindly limbs.
- Progressively Prettier: In Pathfinder, the sarcesians' heads look like those of the Muun from Star Wars: tall and thin with a tiny face. Now they look more like large-eyed hairless elves.
Collectively called the shobhad-neh, these four-armed giants are native to Akiton. Living in low-tech nomadic societies, they place great value on martial prowess and personal honor.
- The Big Guy: They tower over most races.
- Captain Ersatz: They're pretty much the Starfinder equivalent of Green Martians.
- Multi-Armed and Dangerous: They have four arms, are larger than most races, and place great value on combat ability.
- Progressively Prettier: Inverted. While not depicted as particularly attractive in Pathfinder, they were still relatively◊ human looking◊, aside from being green-skinned, four-armed giants. In Starfinder they're hideous◊ monsters◊ with inhuman mouths, tusks, clawed hands and toes more extreme than any orc. This is likely to increase their resemblance to the Tharks on whom they are based.
A race of peaceful, communal creatures from Vesk-3, skittermanders are good-natured if hyperactive mammals with six arms and furry bodies. They are instinctually helpful, which vexed the Veskarium when they attempted to invade, as the vesk code of honor forbid them from firing on a foe that wasn't interested in a fight.
- Badass Pacifist: If they are Obfuscating Stupidity, then they're masters of nonviolent resistance, having successfully resisted vesk control through sheer force of friendliness.
- Belly Mouth: As we see from the illustration, skittermander whelps have a lamprey-like bitey umbilical cord.
- Bizarre Alien Psychology: If they aren't a case of Obfuscating Stupidity, then they just genuinely don't understand that they've been conquered, or indeed the concept of being conquered, or simply see no reason to care. Either way, the Vesk are tearing their non-existent hair out.
- Contrasting Sequel Main Character: To the Pathfinder goblins in the free RPG modules. While goblins are Ugly Cute fire happy violent creatures that are mostly impossible to live with in civilized society, skittermanders are largely Ridiculously Cute Critters that are almost impossibly friendly.
- Keet: Their hyperactivity gives them an extra move action once per day.
- Heavy Worlder: Downplayed, but according to Near Space, their homeworld has half-again standard gravity. This likely explains why they take no penalty to Strength despite being the approximate size of a human toddler.
- Killer Rabbit: Skittermander whelps are as cute as the adults, save for a secondary mouth they use to take bites out of large prey. It's normally all-but harmless given their diminutive size, but a swarm of whelps can skeletonize their homeworld's equivalent of a cow.
- Nice Guy: To an almost infuriating degree. Those that leave Vesk-3 tend to become bureaucrats for the sole purpose of helping as many people as they can.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Some vesk suspect that they're intentionally obtuse in order to annoy their vesk "overlords" and maintain their autonomy while reaping the rewards of being part of the Veskarium.
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: They're adorable little fur balls. They're both less and more cute as whelps, as though their faces are even cuter, they have a creepy worm-like mouth on their stomachs.
A small and chaotic race, goblins are known for cobbling technology together out of scrap, voraciously consuming anything they can get their hands on, and generally being a pain to deal with.
- Archaic Weapon for an Advanced Age: They still carry the trademark crude cutting weapons of their ancient brethren. And yes, they're still called dogslicers.
- Big Eater: They eat a lot, though not to the same extent as normal goblins.
- Space "X": Pathfinder's standard, borderline suicidally stupid goblins but IN SPACE!.
The primary race of the crystalline world of Dykon, Urogs are large, plodding snail-like creatures made of shimmering crystal. Though they are brilliant mathematicians, they have no real sense of tact, so they tend to rub other races the wrong way with their constant criticism and bluntness.
- Brutal Honesty: Urogs value frankness and getting to the heart of a matter far more than protecting the feelings of others.
- No-Sell: Since urogs can break off and absorb only the molecules they need and leave aside the others when eating, they are almost impossible to poison or drug.
- Silicon-Based Life: They developed on a world that was full of these.
- Starfish Aliens: They look like some combination of snail, turtle, and insect, to say nothing of the fact that they appear to be made of some crystalline substance.
Natives to Verces, the verthani are a highly cooperative race that specializes in biological and cybernetic augmentation.
- Ace Pilot: Aside from cybernetics enhancement, this is their race's hat. They were the first race to develop space travel, and the first to launch a ship through the drift.
- Cyborg: Nearly all of them, and even the ones who aren't are more capable of receiving them than other races.
- Fantastic Caste System: Verthani are divided into three castes known as the Augmented, who use technology to modify their bodies and travel in outer space in aetherships; the Pure Ones who reject bodily augmentation and concerns themselves with government, farming, and commerce; and the God-Vessels, clerics who permanently burn holy symbols on their skin. In order to prevent any caste from gaining too much power, the Augmented and God-Vessels are only allowed to marry Pure Ones.
- Noodle People: Their gangly limbs are one of the things that sets them apart from humans.
- Perfect Pacifist People: Subverted. Their nations haven't been to war for longer than anyone can remember, but their relationships with the Outlaw Kingdoms are far less peaceful, and can even be a bit bigoted.
- Rubber-Forehead Aliens: They look like humans with large mouse-like eyes and longer limbs.
- Sudden Name Change: The verthani were originally just called Vercites after their home planet in Pathfinder, as no one on Golarion knew their racial name back then.
A mysterious race, the witchwyrds were the progenitors of the kasathas and shobhads.
Natives of Akchios, these ocean dwellers use hormone supplements to keep their chitinous summer shells year-round and allow them to leave their watery home. They remain vulnerable to changes in temperature and often wear environmentally controlled suits to maintain a constant temperature.
- Expy: They're very reminicent of the prawns from District 9
- Humanoid Aliens: They look like humanoid crustaceans.
- Super Not-Drowning Skills: They can breath underwater and on land.
- The Voiceless: Their bodies were meant to function in an aquatic environment, including their vocal systems. They need specialized masks to adapt their voices to tones and volumes audible in air.
Alien Archive 2
Usually being born as a result of a tryst between a good-aligned outsider and a mortal, assimars are the result of that. Already outliers in the community, their potent blood makes them ambitious, and thus many of them seek highly rewarding but also highly risky jobs, such as explorer, mercenary, spy, or pilot.
- The Charmer: Noted as naturally being eloquent, which is represented as a racial bonus to Diplomacy.
- Divine Parentage: Usually the way they were conceived, though it's not unheard of for them to be born as a side effect of powerful magic.
- Light 'em Up: Assimars have the ability to light up an area around them, even from magical darkness (if they're powerful enough).
An underground species who specialize in digging, they've only just made contact in the past few decades, when outsiders stumbled upon them. Though intentionally wary of the outsiders, a mutually beneficial trade agreement was able to be reached. Even those that go out into the galaxy prefer to be alone, or with another burrowing species that can share their love of digging.
- Dash Attack: Bolidas are able to roll themselves up into a ball and charge at enemies, gaining multiple benefits from doing so.
- One-Gender Race: All Bolidas can both carry and fertilize eggs.
- Weakened by the Light: Being a species naturally adapted to being underground, Bolidas gain the light blindness weakness.
Survivors of a shattered planet, Damai are a hardy, if sometimes foolish, people. Only making their way out of their underground bunkers a few decades ago, Damai are ambitious to the stability they once had, though it's a hard going process for them.
A plant race originally created on Golarion long ago. Tired of being eaten by unscrupulous neighbors over the centuries, the Ghorans collectively abandoned the entire system soon after spaceflight was developed into order to find a homeworld of their own. Finding a planet they called Ghorus Prime, they eventually developed into two sub-races: The small Saplings and the towering Oaklings.
- Fantastic Racism: Played with, due to the Gap many hobgoblin societies no longer have any animosity with the elves, save for those that suffered elven attacks right after the Gap.
- Outgrown Such Silly Superstitions: They used the Gap as an opportunity to re-examine some of their long-held traditions and discard those that didn't make sense, such as the prohibition on magic use.
- Proud Warrior Race: Their societies are virtually all military.
- Slave Race: Orcs are enslaved by the drow on a grand scale.
- Asexuality: Most of their species are asexual, however the minority who are interested in sex often birth litters of six to eight.
- Cat Folk: Look like leopards or jaguars, their spot patterns were traditionally used to decide their profession.
- Lightworlder: Their homeworld has slightly lower gravity and they get a penalty to strength.
- Silicon-Based Life: Explicitly described as such.
- Drop the Hammer: Their racial Weapon of Choice, as hammers can be used both as weapons and as constructive tools.
- Face of a Thug: Don't let their huge size and monstrous buggy faces fool you; trox are kindhearted souls.
- Gentle Giant: Trox are typically lawful or neutral good, and overall have kind hearts.
- Lightning Bruiser: They're a Large race with bonuses to Strength and Constitution, a base land speed of 40 feet, and they're the only race with eight base HP.
- Martial Pacifist: While trox are generally peaceful creatures, they are still some of the biggest and strongest people in the galaxy and will gladly Drop the Hammer on evildoers.
- Papa Wolf: In Pathfinder, trox could enter a pseudo-rage when they took damage. In Starfinder, trox go into a frenzy when their friends get hurt.
- Progressively Prettier: A variant; while they're still monstrous-looking beetles, their personalities are greatly improved from Pathfinder. In Pathfinder, trox were wild, Chaotic Neutral savages enslaved by the duergar to be used as war machines. The trox in Starfinder are closer to the original trox that the duergar corrupted; gentle, peaceful emissaries who worship the Forever Queen.
It's a bear. Originally a non-sentient creature given self-awareness and cognitive ability, uplifted bears enjoy natural science and often share communities with one another.
Wolf-like humanoids from a frigid dying world seeking to save their people.
- The Apocalypse Brings Out the Best in People: Their homeworld's star is dying, and they've responded by building strong communities that look out for one another and venturing among the stars to find a long-term solution.
- Disability Superpower: Two-thirds of all vlaka are born blind or deaf, but with stronger other senses that negate the usual penalties and give them blindsight.
- Team Spirit: Vlaka get bonuses to "aid another" actions and can transfer their resolve points to allies.
Alien Archive 3
- Video Game Caring Potential: This race was made available for all Society members to play without requiring a boon (provided they bought the book/pdf they came in) due to the majority of Society players opting to keep the Izalguun's secret (advanced tech) during their introductory adventure.
- Worm That Walks: A spathinae colony is a swarm of hundreds of inch-long component insects that swarm together in a humanoid shape.
- A Form You Are Comfortable With: Astrazoans maintain their shapeshifted forms not to deceive or even out of fear, but out of consideration for their neighbors, as they understand that their natural form can be disturbing to humanoids.
- Hermaphrodite: Astrazoans can form both male and female reproductive organs and are effectively hermaphroditic.
- Not So Extinct: Astrazoan DNA samples are suspiciously similar to that of the ilee, the original natives of Apostae that supposedly went extinct.
- Starfish Aliens: In their natural form, astrazoans look like seven-limbed, human-sized starfish with cartilaginous skeletons and jelly-like flesh.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: Astrazoans can assume the appearance of almost any creature of the same size.
- Bizarre Alien Locomotion: They roll on a single sphere-shaped foot.
- Keet: They're very hyperactive; they literally cannot sit still for any length of time or else they start to experience a sensation similar to claustrophobia that causes them to hyperventilate and pass out.
- Starfish Aliens: A bantrid is a single column head/torso mounted on a spherical, rolling foot, with two sets of hand-like tentacles extending from either side of their bodies. They also have no sense of smell at all.
- Thrill Seeker: They're always in search of new experiences.
- Truly Single Parent: They reproduce via budding.
- Technically Living Zombie: Despite being considered undead, borais are only mostly dead bodies that still have a sliver of the soul inside, usually because of a botched resurrection or because the borai was too stubborn to die. They still need to breathe, eat and sleep like normal living people.
- Bizarre Alien Biology: They're masses of roots and vines arranged in the structure of a bipedal humanoid with a glowing seedpod where the head would be.
- Nature Hero: They're big on preserving nature and the natural world from the constant encroachment of industrialization.
- Plant Aliens: Technically they're humanoids so physically and mentally they're a lot closer to other humanoid species than the ghorans of Golarion, despite looking more alien.
- Ridiculously Human Robots: SROs are constructs with positronic brains so complex that they've attracted souls and developed free will. They can eat and drink but don't need to, and they have to sleep by entering offline mode for 8 hours every day. Because of their healing circuits, SROs can heal naturally and be resurrected like organic creatures, and healing spells can also affect them to a lesser degree.
Another race formerly originating from Golarion, the Strix of the Pact Worlds come from a spire on the "Day" side of Verces.
- Bird People: They have several subtle avian qualities. For instance their eyes are fixed in their skulls and they have to turn their whole heads to look around.
- Slave Race: They were originally bred as one by the syrinx, but since they seem to have vanished with Golarion, the strix in Starfinder are entirely free.
- Winged Humanoid: Despite their avian natures they do look more like this, as they lack feathers anywhere but their wings, don't have beaks, and have humanoid hand structures (though they do have digitigrade legs, and non-functional claws instead of nails).
Sentients native to Eox, most turned to undeath when the backlash from a superweapon decimated their world. A few survived in their normal, living forms.
- My Brain Is Big: Their enlarged craniums signify their advanced intelligence.
- The Necrocracy: Undead elebrians now far outnumber living ones, ruled by the bone sages.
- Rubber-Forehead Aliens: They resemble humans with enlarged craniums.
- Sudden Name Change: The elebrians were originally just called Eoxians after their home planet in Pathfinder, as no one on Golarion knew their racial name, or that they were a distinct race from humans, back then.
- Undead Laborers: The undead elebrians know that they won't age or weaken, there's no concept of retirement, and an elebrian tasked with guarding a wall knows that in 3 centuries, the wall will still be standing and the elebrian capable of doing so.
A stout race from a world consumed by a black hole. They now live on their moon, still floating just outside of the event horizon.
- After the End: Their homeworld, Elytrio, was devastated by nuclear war, with a portion of the survivors living in a protected dome city while the rest eek out a living in a harsh, radioactive wasteland.
- Bizarre Alien Biology: Ghbrani are dimorphic, but this is due to environmental factors, with the membrane ghibrani living in comfort and luxury growing soft but retaining their ability to fly, while the husk ghibrani have adapted to life in a radioactive wasteland, becoming hardier but losing their wings.
- Insectoid Aliens: They're humanoid beetles.
- Nice Guy: Their "affable" trait gives them a racial bonus to diplomacy checks.
- Scam Religion: The husk ghibranis who live outside the domed city of Arkeost do so because hundreds of years ago, the ancestors of the membrane ghibranis told them the goddess Mother Touloo had declared them her chosen people and had a promised land for them in the wasteland. Problem being that Mother Touloo is entirely fictitious, invented for this purpose to save Arkeost from overpopulation. Centuries later, the membrane ghibrani have completely forgotten their own deception.
- Bizarre Alien Biology: They've got multiple heads and multiple sets of redundant organs.
- Genius Bruiser: Large sized, and with racial bonuses to both strength and intelligence.
- Made of Iron: Large and hearty, they've also got multiple sets of redundant organs.
- Man Bites Man: Ther multiple sets of powerful jaws and sharp teeth allow them to bite enemies and hold on and grapple enemies once bitten.
- Multiple Head Case: They have one primary head, but have several (artwork depicts both six and seven) other, smaller heads that look like snakes sprouting from their neck ad shoulders. Their language is particularly hard to master because all of these heads speak together in a way that isn't easy to immitate, to the point that many other races choose to send whole teams of diplomats trained to speak together as a chorus to deal with the ilthisarians.
- Snake People: They're serpent-like aliens with a humanoid torso, but with a snake's tail as a lower body that forks into two tips at the end.
Primitive descendants of the kishalee, an advanced civilization that once ruled the stars, the kish live among the ruins of their former glory, ignorant of the power their people once held. They are humanoids with skull-like faces, mandibles, and digigrade feet.
- Bio Punk: Scyphozoan technology depends on genetically manipulated organisms that function similar to mechanical and electronic devices.
- The Federation: The most advanced and powerful economic and military force on Primoria is the Council States, a commercial and defensive confederation of scyphozoan city-states and tribes.
- Funny Animal: Scyphozoans are a race of civilised jellyfish that can breathe air as well as water, has two prehensile tentacles ('arms') and multiple ambulatory tentacles to walk on land.
- Poisonous Person: Scyphozoans can secrete corrosive acid with their tentacles.
- X-Ray Vision: The scyphozoan's bell and tentacles are sensitive to vibrations in the air or water, allowing them to sense nearby creatures even if they can't see them.
- Base on Wheels: Selamids build their cities called megadoplexes upon the backs of their gentle, half-mile-long cousins called megadolorids.
- Blob Monster: The first playable race of oozes in Starfinder, selamids have mutable, flexible bodies made of protoplasm.
- Extreme Omnivore: Selamids can eat nearly any organic matter.
- No Biological Sex: Since they reproduce asexually via binary fission, selamids have no concept of biological sex, and game material refers to them by the pronoun 'it'.
- One Size Fits All: Invoked: equipment and armour of the appropriate size never needs to be adjusted to allow a selamid to use it.
- Truly Single Parent: Selamids reproduce by dividing into two identical ones at the end of their lifespan.
- Archaic Weapon for an Advanced Age: Due to the scarcity of resources they have access to, they've become very proficient with archaic weapons and receive bonuses to them.
- Bizarre Alien Locomotion: They have four legs, but rather than being arranged in a centaur-type configuration, it's more like if you had two legs coming out of either socket in your hip.
- The Exile: A whole race exiled from their homeworld by a virus that will kill them if they go back. Unfortunately for them this happened before the advent of drift travel, when they were confined to a single system. And perhaps more unfortunately, their homeworld is the only planet in their system that sustains life.
- Future Imperfect: Knowledge of exactly what it was that caused them to flee their planet has been lost to them and most believe that it was some crime against the gods for which they are being punished for all eternity.
- Killer Space Monkey: Well not especially killer given that they aren't particularly hostile or warlike, anymore so than anyone else. But they are a race of aliens who resemble simians, though with four legs.
- Sins of Our Fathers: Self-imposed by the Exilytes, a cult like organization that permeates every level of Seprevoi society. They believe that their race must pay eternal penance for some forgotten crime, and no technology or magic can ever bring them back to their homeworld.
- Space Station: They are confined to a series of them in orbit around their home planet, which they can no longer go to.
- The Virus: They created a biological weapon that only targets their own race. Unfortunately it got loose and became air born, rendering their entire planet uninhabitable for their species, though other races are unaffected. The seprevoi themselves have forgotten this, and believe the virus to be a divine punishment.
A species from a watery world, the woiokos are separated into two subspecies. The Deepborn live deep in the oceans, while the Floatborn live in floating cities on the ocean's surface.
Against the Aeon Throne
Natives of Bortan II, a world reduced to an irradiated wasteland during the Gap. They were marginally conquered by the Azlanti Star Empire, with the only city on the planet arising around the empire's single outpost.
A race with highly malleable flesh they can reshape to look like other races.
Natives of a volcanic continent on the planet Duren, glosclaws became experts at engineering to build safe subterranean homes. When the Azlanti Star Empire came to them they knew they could not resist and willingly submitted, becoming a citizen race.
Natives of the jungle world Gjor III, their lack of technological development made it easy for the Azlanti Star Empire to conquer them. Technology continues to baffle them, but they are skilled ecologists even without such aids.
One of the first species ground under the heel of the Azlanti Star Empire. Their homeworld of Eostrillion was taken from them and the species was beaten down into a race of sycophants.
- Number Two: They're the Star Empire's favored non-human species and hold the highest possible status for such a race, but they're still second class citizens.
- Sycophantic Servant: The responded to centuries of Azlanti oppression by becoming very good at being subservient.
- White-Collar Crime: Screedreep who go bad tend to gravitate to this. With their size and dispositions, they're not much for violence, but their managerial talents come in handy as mob consiglieres.
Diminutive psychic creatures from the deep oceans of Parin. The Azlanti Star Empire nearly wiped them out through pollution, not realizing they were sentient, and they have since integrated with the Empire in order to disperse across colonized space and ensure their race can't be wiped out in one fell swoop.
- Little Green Man in a Can: Being aquatic cephalopods the size of small cats, they couldn't normally adventure on land or use vehicles and equipment made for humanoids. Stellifera who leave the seas use their Mind over Matter abilities to construct mobile aquariums/environment suits out of water.
- Octopoid Aliens: They look more like cuttlefish than octopodes, but the same idea.
- Psychic Powers: They're telepathic and telekinetic.
Native to the superheated oceans of Oyojii, the vilderaros are recent additions to the Azlanti Star Empire. They might not remain so for long, as Azlanti monoculture is proving to be a difficult burden for them to accept.
- Bizarre Alien Reproduction: All vilderaros can reproduce asexually; they develop the ability to reproduce sexually (which is preferred, due to it creating more variety within their Genetic Memories) later in life.
- Genetic Memory: Vilderaro offspring inherit knowledge from their parents.
- One-Gender Race: The entire species defaults to using she/her.
- Starfish Aliens: They look somewhere between a sea cucumber and a sea anemone, prefer to lie flat on the ground but typically stand upright on their three legs while around other species, have tentacles for arms, seem to be radially symmetrical, and can reproduce via parthenogenesis but prefer not to.
- Truly Single Parent: A possibility for the species, but considered less than ideal.
Inhabitants of a dying world, they applied for admission to the Pact Worlds through the Starfinder Society. Whether by fleeing their homeworld or by gaining admittance, they contribute to the galaxy at large.
A sentient species resembling walruses with opposable claws on their side flippers, morlamaws are pre-spaceflight natives of the cold, watery planet Arniselle. While the majority of the race remains on their home world, a few adventurous souls have joined the crews of starships to see the universe.