The 30 Best Starbound Mods Worth Trying (All Free)

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Starbound has become one of the most enjoyable 2D action-adventure games for lovers of sci-fi and space exploration (or just anyone who likes Terraria).

Chucklefish’s take on the “procedural generated space opera” formula has captured our hearts with its charming sprite-based graphics and intuitive gameplay.

That said, humans will eventually get bored of everything. And if Starbound has lost its sheen for you, then mods are a great way to reignite your passion for exploring the great pixelated unknown.

So many fantastic mods are out there, and they can revolutionize your Starbound experience.

Let me share some of my favorites to get you started.


30. Less Dead Moons

Less Dead Moons Starbound Mod

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Visiting a moon in vanilla Starbound is pretty underwhelming, them being barren and all.

At most, you can get some fuel, but that’s about it.

As the title suggests, Less Dead Moons does away with these barren astral bodies – not by removing them, but by filling them up with content and bringing them to life.

It spices things up by adding new structures and dungeons to almost every moon, as well as NPCs operating these facilities.

You’ll even find a bit of lore here and there, and micro-dungeons make mining on them much more engaging.


29. HoloHUD Interface

HoloHUD Interface Mod for Starbound

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It’s always fun to customize your UI a bit, and the HoloHUD Interface is a favorite of mine.

This nifty mod will replace your previous UI with something much more holographic. It touches the sidebar, action bar, the party menu, the chat, the quest tracker, and text boxes.

It doesn’t change the crafting menu or the inventory, though.

But it is super colorful, and it supports a quickbar.

This techie & bright look just feels more appropriate for a game set in outer space.


28. Music Packs

Music Packs Starbound Mod screenshot

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All things considered, Starbound’s music is pretty good.

But once you’ve put a certain amount of hours into the game, you’ll start getting a bit tired of hearing the same songs over and over again.

A great way to improve the situation is by installing Music Packs.

Some of my favorites are the harrowing Undertale Music Pack, the upbeat Oneshot Music Pack, and the fantastic Queen Music Pack.

Watching your Starbound character playing your favorite songs on their instrument of choice is just too cool to miss out– especially if you’re musically-oriented in real life as well.


27. Cyberpunk Stylist

Cyberpunk Stylist Starbound Mod

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Cyberpunk and space exploration belong together.

And if you don’t believe me, you’ve clearly never watched Cowboy Bebop.

Cyberpunk Stylist is a mod that’ll bring them together again by adding some cyberpunk-inspired wigs and hairstyles, all to customize your character like an 80s geek’s wet dream.

With these, you’d look right at home in Cyberpunk 2077’s Night City.

They can really bring out your character’s personality, especially if you use this mod in conjunction with Green’s Dye Suite for some custom-colored hairstyles.


26. Merchant Inventory Extender

Merchant Inventory Extender Starbound Mod

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Don’t you hate having to visit five different stores every time you want to do a DIY project, or cook something out of the ordinary?

I sure do.

The Merchant Inventory Extender will make sure that never happens to you in Starbound, by expanding the inventory of vanilla merchants so they’ll sell everything they could possibly sell at all times.

Every merchant will carry around 30 items now, helping you stay well-equipped throughout your travels.


25. Instant Crafting

Instant Crafting Mod for Starbound

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It’s normal to assume that crafting has to take time.

After all, time is one of the most important resources we invest in real life.

That said, we don’t really need to represent reality quite so strictly in our games – and a lot of us just don’t have the time to sit around waiting for something to finish crafting.

Instant Crafting is a client-side mod that disables the timer on crafting tables, making everything finish instantaneously.

If there’s something about Starbound’s pace that doesn’t quite do it for you, this may help turn things around.


24. Extended GUI

Extended GUI Starbound Mod

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Another great thing you can do with your UI is make it more practical with the Extended GUI mod.

This nifty modification enlarges several aspects of the UI, including the map and the inventory windows. This makes it easier to look through your item hoard and find your way around your surroundings with a bigger map.

You’ll also be able to fit more items on-screen at one time.

It’s like having more counter space at home!

Anyone living in a 1-room apartment with a tiny kitchen knows how important that can be.


23. Container UI Tweaks

Container UI Tweaks Starbound Mod

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One of the most recommended essentials you need for Starbound is the Container UI Tweaks mod.

This simple modification lets you move container and inventory windows independently around the screen, making them less intrusive.

This way you can comfortably look at your character while managing your item hoard.

It may not sound like much, but once you get it, you’ll never go back.

It’s just incredibly convenient and something the game’s developers should definitely have thought of.


22. Boundless Space Stations

Boundless Space Stations Mod for Starbound

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Space stations in Starbound are some of the most exciting things you can find floating around– and having one of your own can make you feel like you’re truly going somewhere in the spacefaring game.

This Boundless Space Stations mod helps make your space-abode much more interesting (and customizable) by removing space constraints when designing your station.

Where the previous limit was 1650×500 units, it’s now 64000×64000.

You’ll still need plenty of materials to create the colossal space citadel of your dreams.

But it’s a great thing to aim for in this addictive sandbox title.


21. The Land of Ooo Forge

The Land of Ooo Forge Starbound Mod

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I love Adventure Time.

The Land of Ooo is just a marvel of whimsical worldbuilding! I can’t get enough of it – and I found a great way to bring some of its charms to my Starbound game.

The Land of Ooo Forge adds a nice collection of Adventure Time swords, mostly the ones wielded throughout the series by Finn.

These include the Golden Sword, the Root Sword, the Demon Blood Sword, and many others.

It also adds an Adventure Time-themed forge (with cameos from BMO and Jake) where you can craft these fantastic weapons.

They’re all gorgeously recreated in Starbound’s pixel art style, and the forge looks right at home in my base’s workshop.


20. Black Ice

Black Ice Starbound Mod screenshot

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Expanding your arsenal is one of the most important survival strategies for any outer space explorer.

Black Ice is the new weapon manufacturing corporation on this side of the galaxy, carrying all sorts of cryo-themed weapons.

They’ve got icy handguns, shotguns, missiles – and freezing munition for all of your weapons as well.

They also have some really nice branded furniture you’ll love to have around the next time you’re sprucing up your base.


19. Bl3k’s Inventory

Bl3k’s Inventory Mod for Starbound

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If you’re putting more and more of your free time into Starbound, you need to start making your gaming efficient – and a good inventory mod can greatly diminish the time you waste looking through your things.

Bl3k’s Inventory is one of the most recommended in the Starbound community, thanks to its simplicity.

It adds several more tabs on your inventory, and makes each of them thrice as large.

It’ll also help you organize your items by sorting them into categories like Armory, Materials, Furniture, Vehicles, and so on.

If you want to further customize your inventory, consider a re-skin of this mod.


18. Enhanced Storage

Enhanced Storage Starbound Mod

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A super important QoL add-on that every Starbound player should have is Enhanced Storage.

This overhauls your item-hoarding experience and makes containers much more versatile.

Among other things, it adds new and larger containers – and specialized ones for different uses.

But it also improves item sorting, and makes it easy to search through your collection. You can also easily transfer items between storage and your inventory, rename containers, and more.

One of my favorite features is that it’ll tell you the price of items, and calculate the value of your entire hoard for you. You can finally brag about your Starbound net worth.


17. Futara’s Dragon Engine

Futara’s Dragon Engine Starbound Mod

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Not all mods are flashy and colorful.

Some help us from behind the drapery, like Futara’s Dragon Engine.

This excellent mod edits Starbound’s config for better performance, especially on systems that struggle with the vanilla game. It works by reducing how much of an area is rendered at once.

Now, what you see is the entirety of what’s being rendered.

It also reduces how many particles are created whenever blocks are destroyed, which could be a heavy load off of some systems.

Among other things, it helps diminish frame skipping. It also lets you have custom music for shops, combat, and field exploration.


16. Make the Universe a Cuter Place

Make the Universe a Cuter Place Mod for Starbound

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I’m always down to inject some more anime charm into my games.

And “Make the Universe a Cuter Place” is the best way to do that for Starbound.

It replaces most of the game’s sprites, giving everything a cute anime aesthetic.

This includes armors, clothes, accessories, hairstyles, faces, bodies, and even character portraits!

Every type of armor that lacked a female version now has one, too.

Female armors are a little tighter than male equipment, which adds a lot of visual variety to the game’s characters.

A perfect mod for the spacefaring weeb.


15. Universal Uncrafter

Universal Uncrafter Starbound Mod

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Everyone’s always talking about crafting.

How to craft better, faster, easier… but don’t you ever need to uncraft something?

I certainly do. So I got a brand new crafting station for my base – the Uncrafter.

This powerful space tech will take any item you feed it and break it down into Grey Goo. This gooey material can be stored more efficiently for later use.

All things considered, this is a great way to put those old pieces of armor and outdated weapons to good use – or at least have them waste less space in your storage.


14. Compact Crops

Compact Crops Mod for Starbound

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While some are busy traveling around looking for the next big thing, others prefer to build a homey base and spend their time tilling the soil and tending to the land.

Compact Crops makes it much easier to practice agriculture at an acceptable scale, without needing stupid amounts of land.

It makes crops grow closer together, increasing crop density (and therefore, yields).

Get this if you just want to live a simple life close to nature, but haven’t quite made the jump to Stardew Valley just yet.


13. RPG Growth

RPG Growth Starbound Mod screenshot

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If you’re a traditional RPG lover and would rather have a more traditional progression system in your game, RPG Growth is worth checking out.

Now when you defeat monsters and complete other tasks, you’ll gain levels.

At each level you’ll get some AP to distribute, so you can choose how your character grows stronger.

You’ll get new abilities, and maybe even equipment, depending on how you develop your character.

RPG Growth also adds a profession, affinity, and specialization that’ll come into play as your levels rise. Definitely worth a try.


12. Green’s Dye Suite

Green’s Dye Suite Starbound Mod

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In a game as vast as Starbound, it’s easy to become dissociated from what happens on screen after playing for a while.

Deep character customization is a great way to feel connected to your character, and therefore, more immersed in your playthrough.

Green’s Dye Suite offers over 4000 palettes for almost every piece of equipment in the game – including most custom creations from mods.

You can also add your own palettes if you want.

It’ll send your customization into overdrive and make playing this sandbox game a more personal experience.


11. Improved Containers

Improved Containers Mod for Starbound

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There’s always need for many containers in Starbound to store all of your space trinkets and materials.

Might as well make them as good as they could be!

Improved Containers makes them closer to the ideal by introducing persistent storage, mass selling, searching in containers, automatic sorting, and quick stacking directly from your inventory with just one click.

This mod also makes newly-opened chests a bit less explosive.

Rather than just ejecting their items when opened, they’ll store the rewards for you to pick out in a civilized way.


10. Felin Race

Felin Race Starbound Mod

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I’m a cat person through and through.

So I obviously had to get a race of adorable cat people for my Starbound universe.

The Felin Race is a complex and long-lived society of humanoid felines living all across the galaxy.

The mod adds custom Felin furniture, outfits, vehicles, and ships. It also makes some Felin villages spawn here and there.

They even play custom instruments and speak a unique language (that’s actually custom-made rather than jumbled-up English). This is basically the Lord of the Rings of Starbound mods!


9. Avali Race Mod

Avali Race Mod screenshot

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The first thing I thought of adding to my Starbound game was some more races.

I’m always in the mood for cute critters, so I was instantly drawn to the Avali.

These feathered creatures resemble a middle ground between a rabbit and some kind of terrestrial bird.

Despite their tribe-like aesthetic, the Avali are very technologically advanced – and they’ve got some powerful weapons to show it.

Along with the playable race and their weapons, you’ll also find furniture, Avali equipment, vehicles, and mounts that really flesh out the race and show what they’re all about.


8. Character Extender

Character Extender Starbound Mod

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If you’re going to bolster your game’s diversity, you’ll need more space than what the game’s original character creator has for species icons.

Character Extender is a nifty mod that lets you have up to 36 different species in your character creation screen, all without sacrificing comfort.

It doesn’t include any new species. But it serves as an important framework to browse your modded-in races.


7. Elithian Races Mod

Elithian Races Mod Mod for Starbound

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The galaxy is vast, and countless species hide in its various worlds.

And the Elithian Races Mod will greatly expand the number of races you can meet in the game (and play as).

It includes the reptilian Avikan, the robotic Trinks, and the descendants of mankind – the Aegi – among others.

Each of the new races has a well-developed aesthetic, too. You’ll see it on armors, weapons, structures in their enclaves, furniture, and decorations.

This adds a lot of variety to Starbound, and may be what gets you to start a second playthrough.


6. More New Species

More New Species Starbound Mod

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Other than what we’ve covered so far, there are countless other fantastic species mods to overhaul your Starbound’s biodiversity.

So let’s leave this place in the ranking as a general advice of “check out all the mods for different species”.

Some of the best are the insect-like Saturnians, the serpentine Lamias, and the Orcana whale people.

You can even find a mod to add the Argonians from The Elder Scrolls!


5. A.V.I.A.N.

A.V.I.A.N. Starbound Mod screenshot

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If you’ve grown bored of the default AI in Starbound, A.V.I.A.N. is exactly what you need.

This digital blue bird is basically avian Cortana, and she’ll replace the default AI for every race in your game.

She speaks quite a lot, and has some interesting things to say about most events in a regular playthrough.

You don’t even have to start a new game to get this birdie assistant!

That said, you’ll have a much more immersive experience if you do. This anthropomorphic bird gal really adds a lot of flavor to the game.


4. XS Mechs

XS Mechs Mod for Starbound

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I’ve always been a fan of mecha anime like Mobile Suit Gundam and Code Geass.

And now I can live the dream in by Starbound game thanks to XS Mechs.

This incredible vehicle mod adds a wide variety of mechs to your game. Even the most basic model is pretty cool, and it only gets better from there.

The smallest mechs are only a couple humans tall, but some are much bigger than that. They’re all quite mobile, can fly up pretty high (some can even leave the atmosphere), and carry devastating weapons like missiles, cluster bombs, and miniguns.


3. N7 Arsenal: A Mass Effect Mod

N7 Arsenal: A Mass Effect Mod screenshot

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Considering these are both games about exploring a universe full of species that form an intergalactic ecosystem, Starbound fans have a large overlap with Mass Effect fans.

The N7 Arsenal mod brings a lot of Mass Effect’s charm into Starbound by way of new items, weapons, armor, and lots more.

Among the new weapons, I’d highlight the M-8 Avenger, the N7 Valkyrie, and the classic N7 Eagle handgun.

There’s also lots of cool apparel, including Quarian, Turian, and N7 Human armor.

And you’ll love the Asari DJ.


2. Frackin’ Universe

Frackin’ Universe Mod for Starbound

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One of the simplest ways to renovate Starbound is Frackin’ Universe, an all-encompassing overhaul that brings a lot of new content into the game.

Among other things, it introduces many new biomes, new races, and even new monsters.

There’s also an improved crafting system, more science and research objectives, and so on.

Unfortunately, you can’t just grab an old save file and continue playing with Frackin’ Universe. It changes so many things that it just wouldn’t work without a fresh save.

But if you like this mod, you’ll be glad to know it’s compatible with most other great mods, such as Universal Uncrafter and Compact Crops. You just need to apply a patch.


1. Arcana

Arcana Starbound Mod

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The worst part about installing mods is the time you spend choosing what to get.

After all, you want to get to the game – and no aspect can go untouched.

Arcana is a massive mod that’ll completely overhaul your Starbound experience with just one simple install.

It adds armor, clothes, furniture, new buildings, and tons of gameplay improvements, especially when it comes to food and farming.

On top of over 60 unique weapons and armor sets, Arcana also adds new bosses and planet biomes like the Illuminated Plains, the Windswept Peaks, and the Arcane Desert.

There’s even a new race – the Arcanians!

If you’re looking for something that’ll make your next playthrough feel fresh, this is it.

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Nelson Chitty

Nelson Chitty is a Venezuelan expat living in Argentina. He’s a writer and translator passionate about history and foreign cultures. His ideal weekend is spent between leisurely playing games of Civilization VI and looking for the next seinen anime to marathon.