Upbeat Giraffe is the first stable Starbound update since March. It changes everything

starbound update upbeat giraffe chucklefish

If you’ve ever seen an upbeat giraffe, no doubt your thinking has turned to starship upgrades, matter manipulators, and bug catching, making it an appropriate name for Starbound’s latest update which adds all those things.

It’s the first stable update Chucklefish have released for Starbound since March last year and it changes just about everything in the procedurally generated universe explorer.

The main change to how you play will likely come from the new outpost. It’s a new hub that’s filled with shops, quest givers, and other services. It’s where you can upgrade your ship with extra storage capacity and take on missions and quests that lead you into unique instanced dungeons packed with special monsters and bosses. These can be played in co-op. Having friends along with the ride will make things easier but you’ll have to split the rewards.

Starbound’s combat’s been completely overhauled, too. You can now parry attacks, break enemies’ shields, and fight in full 360 degrees.

There’s a stack of new content to explore with new biomes, items, over 100 new recipes. Hell, you can even go out with a net and start catching bugs to collect on your ship.

Chucklefish suggest starting a new character after installing the update because “the game has changed so drastically that you’d miss out on most of the new content if you simply used an old character.” There’s a chance the team will release a conversion tool in the future but until then your old character will be unusable.

I’ve copied in the full patch notes on the next page because there’s simply too much to go through to accurately summarise.

Universe + Worlds

  • Sectors have been removed, so all stars are part of the same map

  • Star and planet types correspond to difficulty levels, giving players access to progressively more extreme environments as they advance through the game

  • Added oceanic world types including tropical and arctic oceans, toxic and magma planets

  • Added rare Barren and Asteroid worlds with no monsters for large scale building

  • New biomes

  • New surface and underground mini biomes

  • Many changes to surface and underground terrain generation

  • Improvements to background parallaxes and sky coloration

Ships + Navigation

  • Player ships now include an AI avatar specific to each race that gives access to the player’s techs, missions, 3D printer, and a variety of ship-related commands

  • Each race’s ship has its own unique set of upgrades, giving players much more room to expand as they progress

  • Fuel costs for travel have been reworked. Moving between planets within a system is now free, while jumps to other systems require fuel in proportion to the distance traveled.

  • Coal no longer powers spaceships! Instead, they can use either radioactive ores or the new Liquid Erchius Fuel that now appears in Moon biomes

  • Many improvements to the Cockpit interface, which now indicates more detailed planet information including weather and environmental hazards


  • The universe now has a civilized hub containing shops, quests, and other services. This is where players will find quests, missions, and ship upgrades which allow them to advance through the game

  • Includes a Sign Store based on the popular Custom Signs mod, where players can design and print their own signage for use in game. Thanks Wellbot!

  • At key points in the progression, players will unlock special Missions

  • Missions take place in unique instanced dungeons containing special monsters, bosses, and rewards not available anywhere else. Some missions can be quite difficult, so you’ll want to prepare carefully – or bring friends!


  • New playable race with their own unique progression of armor sets, craftable guns and ship upgrades!


  • Techs are now split into head, body, legs and suit slots, so you can equip up to four at once!

    • Head techs provide various activated effects triggered using the tech hotkeys

    • Body techs provide lateral movement abilities triggered by double tapping direction keys

    • Leg techs provide vertical movement abilities triggered with the jump key

    • Suit techs provide passive protection from specific environmental hazards

  • New tech unlocking system makes a variety of techs visible each time the player upgrades their ship. The player can then use Blank Tech Cards to unlock and equip these techs

  • Lots of new techs! Techs techs techs. It’s stopped sounding like a word now.


  • Matter Manipulator can now be upgraded over the course of the game to increase its mining power, area of effect, and allow it to collect liquids as well as blocks

  • Pickaxes and drills are more powerful, but have lowered durability and cannot be repaired, making them a consumable alternative to the Matter Manipulator

  • Smashable rocks found rarely underground contain richer deposits of certain ores


  • Energy

    • Energy regeneration has been changed. Rather than continuously regenerating energy at a slow rate, energy rapidly regenerates when not being used

    • Using energy that exceeds your maximum pool will disable energy usage for a few seconds until your energy has fully recharged

  • Staves

    • New weapon type!

    • Use a staff by holding the fire button to charge it, aiming, then releasing the button to unleash a powerful effect

    • Unlike guns, staves manifest their projectiles directly at your targeting cursor for precision combat

    • A variety of staves can be crafted at the new Manipulator Table

  • Armors

    • Beginning at Tier 5, armors are divided into three different progression paths with different stat balances

      • Separator armors have high armor and low energy for melee weapon users

      • Accelerator armors have a balance of armor and energy for ranged weapon users

      • Manipulator armors have low armor and high energy for staff users

  • Weapons

    • Many new unique biome weapons

    • More bows (and crossbows) for higher level hunting

    • Many new thrown weapons of various tiers

  • Defense Turrets have been massively improved and can be equipped with a variety of weapons for different effects


  • New monster type: large flying monsters

  • New monster type: large aquatic monsters

  • Many improvements to monster AI

  • Birds nerfed– they are now less of a menace

Survivals Mechanics

  • Temperature has been replaced by a system of specific planetary hazards, which the player will need to unlock new technology to resist

  • Hunger has been removed for now, replaced by an expansion of the cooking system with a variety of buffs (see below)

  • New difficulty option to drop ores and other valuable materials on death

Farming + Cookies

  • New crops

    • Hundreds of new cooking recipes

    • Cooked foods now provide a wide variety of buffs, with more elaborate recipes giving stronger effects

Bug Catching

  • Bugs unique to each planet type now spawn across the universe

  • Use the bug net to collect and display them!


  • Most lights in game can now be wired

  • More interactable switches

  • More sensors, switches, and logic gates

  • Fixed lots of usability bugs with wiring

Other Content

  • Many new status effects

  • Many new costumes

  • Many new biome furniture/object sets

  • Many new block types

  • Many (over 150) new underground microdungeons

  • Many new toys and novelty items

Performance Enhancements

  • Tile rendering

  • Liquid processing

  • Many other optimizations

  • Miscellaneous Improvements

    • Specialty hotbar slots and keys for Matter Manipulator, Wire Tool and Paint Tool

    • New font

    • Keybinding GUI

    • Character deletion option

Modding Features

  • Items are now scriptable

  • Status effects are now scriptable

  • New Script Console functionality gives a client-side scripted canvas to build your own GUIs, games, or whatever you can imagine

  • Many new Lua API bindings

Server Features

  • Access to tile protection system, preventing modification of specific areas

  • Ability to set spawn point for a world

  • Several other new admin commands

  • RCON support