Starbound Server Hosting – (5 Best Options) Hardware, Setup, Migration

Hosting a Starbound server can be quite an intergalactic adventure! Here are some options:

  1. Self-hosting: This is the DIY solution. You can turn your own computer into a Starbound server. You’ll need to have enough bandwidth, storage space, and a decent enough computer to handle the game. This can be a little tricky, but it’s the cheapest option if you’ve got the resources and the time. Think of it as setting up your own space station in the unknown, equipping it to withstand meteor showers, space pirates, and occasional black holes (read: power outages).
  2. Cloud Services (AWS, Google Cloud, Azure): If you’re comfortable with tech, you can rent a virtual machine from AWS, Google Cloud, or Azure, and set up your server there. You’re basically renting a slice of an ultra-powerful mothership to host your server. They come with strong shields (security measures), warp-speed engines (fast connections), and colossal fuel tanks (large storage capacities).
  3. Game Server Providers: There are services dedicated to hosting game servers, such as Nodecraft,, and GTXGaming. These offer pre-configured servers that you can just jump into and start playing. You pick the plan, they handle the tech. It’s kind of like hiring an experienced spaceship mechanic who does all the dirty work while you sit back and sip your cosmic mocha.

Hosting a server can be a bit like trying to teach a Floran how to use a computer:

  • Self-hosting: You hand the Floran the computer and tell them to figure it out. Hopefully they don’t eat it.
  • Cloud Services: You hand the Floran a hyper-advanced supercomputer and a 300-page manual. The Floran looks at the manual, looks at the computer, eats the manual, and starts pressing buttons. Things either go exceptionally well or very, very wrong.
  • Game Server Providers: You hand the Floran a pre-programmed handheld gaming device. They can’t eat it, they can’t break it, and all they have to do is press ‘start’. You hope.


  1. Nodecraft:
    • Features: Nodecraft offers an intuitive control panel, NodePanel 2, and allows for instant setup of your server. It includes DDoS protection and offers one-click modpack installation for supported games. They also allow game switching, so you can change your server to a different game without additional cost.
    • Customer Service: Nodecraft has a strong reputation for its customer service, offering 24/7 support.
    • Pricing: They use a “pay for what you need” model with several tiers available depending on the resources you need. Discounts are often available for longer billing cycles.
  2. GTX Gaming:
    • Features: GTX Gaming provides a custom control panel, automated updates, DDoS protection, and a free MySQL database for use with your server. They also support a large variety of games.
    • Customer Service: GTX Gaming offers 24/7 customer support and has a generally positive reputation in this regard.
    • Pricing: They offer a range of options depending on the game and server size. Discounts can be available for longer commitments.
  3. GameServers:
    • Features: GameServers offers a custom control panel, automatic game updates, and servers located in data centers around the world. They also provide DDoS protection.
    • Customer Service: GameServers provides 24/7 customer support. Their large size and long tenure in the market have allowed them to build a robust support system.
    • Pricing: Pricing is based on the game and number of slots (player capacity). They also offer a 5-day money-back guarantee.
  4. Survival Servers:
    • Features: Survival Servers boasts a custom control panel allowing for direct control over your server. They also provide automated updates, full FTP access, and a free web hosting package.
    • Customer Service: They offer ticket-based support with a commitment to respond within 24 hours, though responses are often faster.
    • Pricing: Pricing is dependent on the game and server size. They also provide a 2-day money-back guarantee.
  5. Nitrado:
    • Features: Nitrado provides a user-friendly web interface, automatic updates, and full FTP access. They offer a flexible service where you can switch between games they host.
    • Customer Service: Nitrado offers 24/7 support and has a generally positive reputation for customer service.
    • Pricing: They use a prepaid system, and pricing depends on the game and server size.
  6. PingPerfect:
    • Features: PingPerfect provides a game switching service, free web hosting, DDoS protection, and a 48-hour trial for free.
    • Customer Service: They provide 24/7 support via a ticket system.
    • Pricing: Pricing depends on the game and number of slots. They also offer a 48-hour money-back guarantee.


Hardware needed

  1. Hardware:
    • CPU: A high-end processor is beneficial, as the game’s calculations can be CPU-intensive. For instance, you could go for an Intel i5 or i7, or an AMD Ryzen 5 or 7. The exact model you need will depend on your player count and what else your server is doing, but as a rule of thumb, a server with a 3 GHz or higher clock speed should handle a small to medium-sized server well.
    • RAM: 4GB is the minimum, but for a server hosting more than a handful of players, you’ll need more. 8-16GB would be better. It’s always better to have extra RAM than to run out, as this can cause significant lag or even crashes.
    • SSD: Solid state drives (SSDs) are much faster than traditional hard drives (HDDs). The game needs to frequently access and write data, and an SSD can speed this process up significantly.
  2. Bandwidth:
    • As a rough guide, each player on your server will need about 100 KB/s of upload bandwidth. So if you’re planning to host a server for 10 players, for instance, you’ll need an upload speed of at least 1 MB/s. Keep in mind that this is a rough estimate; the actual bandwidth usage can be higher or lower depending on what the players are doing.
  3. Software Configuration:
    • There are many server settings you can tweak in the starbound.config file to optimize performance. For instance, maxPlayers sets the maximum number of players that can connect to the server. If you’re experiencing performance issues, you might try reducing this number.
    • Mods can greatly enhance the game, but some are more resource-intensive than others. Be selective about which mods you install, and monitor their impact on server performance.
  4. Player Capacity:
    • The number of players your server can support depends on your hardware and bandwidth. If you notice performance issues when more players join, you might need to upgrade your server or limit the number of players.
  5. Server Location:
    • If you’re hosting the server at home, but your friends are spread out across the country or around the world, you might encounter latency issues. One solution is to rent a virtual private server (VPS) or dedicated server in a data center that’s centrally located relative to your players. Many companies offer this service, including Amazon AWS, Google Cloud, and many others.
  6. Server Maintenance:
    • Regular maintenance is crucial. This can include tasks like checking and installing software updates, restarting the server to clear out leftover data, and performing regular backups to prevent data loss.
  7. Optimization Mods/Plugins:
    • Some mods are designed to improve server performance. For instance, the mod “Universe Generation Overhaul” reduces the complexity of planet generation, which can improve server performance. Always check the description and reviews of a mod before installing it, to ensure it’s reliable and compatible with your version of the game.



1. What do I need to host my own Starbound server?

Like crafting your own space suit, you’ll need a few key ingredients. A computer with enough power to run the server (recommended minimum of 2.4 GHz processor, 4GB of RAM), enough storage for the game and player data, a solid internet connection (preferably with static IP), and the Starbound server software. Also, a fair bit of patience while you figure out how to avoid the seemingly inevitable asteroid field of server issues.

2. How do I set up my Starbound server?

After you’ve installed the game, you’ll find the Starbound server software in your game directory. Running it will create a new universe for your game. For example, on a Windows system, the path will be something like: C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Starbound\win64\starbound_server.exe

It’s a bit like setting up your own interstellar command center – the control room might seem intimidating at first, but you’ll quickly get the hang of it!

3. What are the advantages of using a Game Server Provider?

Game Server Providers (GSPs) are the full-service vacation resorts of the server world. They handle all the technical details, from server setup to maintenance, while you get to focus on playing the game. They’re great for those who want to skip the fuss of setting up a server and jump right into exploring alien landscapes.

4. How do I choose the right Game Server Provider?

Choosing a GSP is like choosing the right spaceship for your intergalactic journey. You’ll want to look at the specs (server hardware), customer support, pricing, and any extra features they offer, like mod support or custom control panels. Some popular GSPs for Starbound include Nodecraft,, and GTXGaming. Always make sure to check reviews from other interstellar explorers before setting off!

5. What if my friends and I are spread across different planets (read: geographical locations)?

If your crew is scattered across different galaxies, you’ll want to choose a server location that provides the best average connection for everyone. Many GSPs offer multiple server locations around the world (Earth included). If you’re self-hosting, you might want to think about migrating to a central star system… or just investing in a better internet connection.

6. How do I manage my Starbound server?

Managing a server is like captaining a spaceship. It can be smooth sailing, or you can find yourself wrestling with alien bugs in the engine room. You can manage your server via the command console, through which you can control player access, modify the game world, and fix any problems that might arise.

Q: What is game hosting?

A: Game hosting is a bit like hosting a party at your house, but instead of spilled drinks and noise complaints, you get dropped connections and occasional cries of “LAGGG!” Essentially, you provide a space (server) where players from around the world can join and play a particular game.

Q: Can I host a game server on my home computer?

A: Technically, yes. Should you? That’s like asking if you can turn your studio apartment into a nightclub. You could, but it probably won’t end well. Home computers typically lack the necessary power, security, and internet bandwidth to host a popular game server. It might work for a few friends, but if you’re looking to host for a larger crowd, consider a professional game hosting service.

Q: What are the benefits of a professional game hosting service?

A: Using a professional game hosting service is like having a fancy, 24/7 party planner. They provide the technical infrastructure and maintenance so you can focus on the fun parts. Their servers are specifically designed to handle the load of multiplayer gaming. Plus, they come with handy features like customer support, data backups, and DDoS protection. It’s like having a personal bodyguard for your server.

Q: What games can I host on a server?

A: Your server is like an all-you-can-eat buffet. You can host nearly any game that supports private servers, like Minecraft, Counter-Strike, World of Warcraft, ARK: Survival Evolved, and so on. However, remember that each game has different requirements and might need different server configurations. So, check that your server (and your hosting provider) can handle your game of choice.

Q: What is “ping” and why does everyone keep yelling about it?

A: Ping is a measure of how quickly data travels between computers on a network. It’s like the time it takes for your friend to respond to your text messages. If it’s fast, everyone is happy. If it’s slow, things can get frustrating. In games, a high ping can lead to lag and delays, which can be the difference between epic victory and digital faceplant. As a host, your goal is to keep that ping as low as possible.



How to setup

Step 1: Downloading the Starbound Server Files

  1. Visit the official Starbound website or another trusted source to download the server files.
  2. Choose the appropriate version of the server files for your operating system (e.g., Windows 64-bit).
  3. Download the server files and save them to a location on your computer.

Step 2: Installing and Configuring the Server

  1. Extract the downloaded server files to a folder on your computer.
  2. Open the extracted folder and locate the starbound_server.exe file.
  3. Double-click the starbound_server.exe file to launch the server.
  4. The server will generate some initial files, including the starbound.config file.

Step 3: Configuring Server Settings

  1. Open the starbound.config file using a text editor (e.g., Notepad).
  2. Customize various server settings in the configuration file, such as the server name, port, maximum players, and server password. Example:
  1. "gameServerBind" : "",
    "gameServerPort" : 21025,
    "gameServerMaxPlayers" : 8,
    "gameServerPassword" : "mypassword"

Step 4: Port Forwarding (if applicable)

  1. If you want your Starbound server to be accessible from outside your local network, you’ll need to configure port forwarding on your router.
  2. Access your router’s administration settings and locate the port forwarding or virtual server configuration.
  3. Add a new port forwarding rule for the Starbound server, specifying the internal IP address of the computer running the server and the port number (default is 21025).

Step 5: Launching the Server

  1. Double-click the starbound_server.exe file again to start the server.
  2. The server console will open, displaying log messages and server status.
  3. Wait for the server to finish initializing and loading the game assets.

Step 6: Connecting to the Server

  1. Launch Starbound on your computer.
  2. In the main menu, select “Multiplayer” and then “Join a server.”
  3. Enter the server IP address (your public IP if hosting publicly or your local IP if hosting locally) and the port number (default is 21025).
  4. If you set a password in the server configuration, enter it in the appropriate field.
  5. Click “Connect” to join the server.

Players can now connect to your server and enjoy the game together.

You can further customize your server by installing mods, adjusting gameplay settings, and managing server administration tasks.




  1. Starbound 1.0: After a lengthy period in Early Access, the 1.0 version marked the full release of the game on July 22, 2016. It introduced the story campaign, numerous biomes, procedurally generated creatures, and sandbox exploration elements that the game is known for.
  2. Starbound 1.1: Released in December 2016, this version added new gameplay mechanics such as fishing, and a collections system that allowed players to collect items, pets, fish, cooking recipes, and farmables throughout the universe. It also introduced Novakid villages.
  3. Starbound 1.2 “The Vault Update”: Released in December 2016, this update expanded the endgame content by adding ancient vaults, challenging dungeons that players could tackle after completing the main story. It also introduced the Terraforming feature, which allowed players to alter the biome of a planet. A system for upgrading legendary weapons was also added in this update.
  4. Starbound 1.3 “The Spacefarer Update”: This update, released in June 2017, significantly overhauled space exploration in the game. Players were given the ability to deploy customizable mechs for planetary exploration and in space encounters. Space stations could also be built and expanded, giving players a new avenue for customization and gameplay.
  5. Starbound 1.4 “The Bounty Hunter Update”: Released in May 2019, this update introduced a bounty hunting system, turning players into interstellar bounty hunters. Players could take on missions to capture or kill criminal gangs and notable enemies. It also added new procedurally-generated missions and a new dungeon.
  6. Starbound 1.4.4: This is the latest update for Starbound. Released in February 2021, this update included various bug fixes and minor improvements.


The Game

  1. Gameplay Modes: Starbound offers three main gameplay modes: Casual, Survival, and Hardcore. In Casual mode, players can focus on exploration and building without worrying about hunger or resource management. Survival mode introduces hunger and resource management, adding a survival aspect to the game. Hardcore mode is similar to Survival mode but with the added challenge of permanent death, meaning that if the character dies, they cannot be revived.
  2. Quest System: Starbound features a quest system that guides players through the game’s progression. The main storyline quests provide objectives and guidance, while optional side quests offer additional challenges and rewards.
  3. Spaceships: Players start the game with a damaged spaceship called the “S.A.I.L.” (Ship-based Artificial Intelligence Logic), which serves as their home base and method of interstellar travel. As players progress, they can upgrade and customize their spaceship, adding new modules and features.
  4. Biomes: Starbound offers a wide variety of biomes on different planets, each with its own environmental conditions, weather patterns, and distinctive flora and fauna. Examples of biomes include lush forests, arid deserts, frozen tundras, toxic wastelands, and underwater worlds.
  5. Vehicles: In addition to spaceships, Starbound features various vehicles that players can acquire and use for faster exploration. These include ground-based vehicles like mechs, motorcycles, and hoverbikes.
  6. Bosses and Dungeons: Throughout the universe, players will encounter challenging boss monsters guarding valuable loot and unique rewards. The game also includes procedurally generated dungeons with traps, puzzles, and powerful enemies.
  7. Matter Manipulator: The Matter Manipulator is a versatile tool that players start with, allowing them to manipulate and extract resources, dig tunnels, build structures, and even reshape the terrain.
  8. Musical Instruments: Starbound includes a variety of playable musical instruments that players can use to compose their own tunes or perform with others in multiplayer.
  9. Modding Community: Starbound has an active and passionate modding community. Players can download mods from platforms like the Steam Workshop, which can introduce new content, gameplay mechanics, visual enhancements, and more.
  10. Development and Updates: Since its release, Starbound has received regular updates from the developers, adding new content, gameplay improvements, bug fixes, and community-requested features.


List of more providers

  2. Nitrado
  3. G-Portal
  4. Host Havoc
  5. Survival Servers
  6. GTXGaming
  7. PingPerfect
  8. Blue Fang Solutions
  9. Multiplay (owned by Unity Technologies)
  10. Citadel Servers
  11. Fragnet
  12. LogicServers
  13. Nodecraft
  14. ServerBlend
  15. Nitrous Networks
  16. Streamline Servers
  17. VeryGames
  18. Shockbyte
  19. Hypernia
  20. Gameserverkings
  21. Clanwarz
  22. CubedHost
  23. ServerMiner
  24. CraftAndSurvive
  25. BeastNode
  27. MPServ
  28. MelonCube Hosting
  29. ScalaCube
  30. RoxServers
  31. VillagerHost
  32. Hosthorde
  33. AGS Hosting
  34. Wombat Servers
  35. HostYourCraft
  36. NitroServ
  37. GTX Gaming Servers
  38. ZAP-Hosting
  39. Apex Hosting
  42. Zap 2 It
  45. AGS Hosting
  46. ServerBlend
  47. GMCHosting
  48. LogicServers
  49. Mineocity Hosting
  50. MCProHosting



  1. Backup your current Starbound server: Time to play it safe, like a cautious Floran hunting for tasty plants. Log in to your current server’s control panel or navigate to the server files directly. Create a backup of your server’s files and configurations. Make like a careful Hylotl and copy the entire Starbound server directory. Remember, backups are your best friends in the universe!
  2. Set up the new server: Ahoy, Captain! Find yourself a new hosting provider or set up a fresh server where you want to migrate your Starbound adventures. Make sure the server meets the system requirements for Starbound. You don’t want your Glitch companions getting stuck in a time loop due to insufficient resources.
  3. Install Starbound on the new server: It’s time to bring your star-hopping dreams to life on the new server. Get your hands on the Starbound server files from the official Starbound website or through Steam. Install Starbound on the new server like a Novakid embracing the warm glow of a supernova.
  4. Transfer the backup files: Now, let’s move your precious Starbound universe to its new celestial home. Connect to both servers and initiate the transfer. Use your favorite method—FTP, SCP, or perhaps a web-based file manager if you’re feeling futuristic. Remember to keep an eye on the progress, just like a vigilant Apex commander watching over their troops.
  5. Update configurations: Your new server might have a different flavor than the old one. Take a look at the server configurations you backed up earlier and tweak them to match the new server’s taste. Adjust IP addresses, ports, server names, and other settings, as needed. Think of it as customizing your ship’s cockpit to fit your personal style.
  6. Test the new server: Brace for launch! Start the Starbound server on the new hosting environment and invite your fellow space explorers to join you. Put on your space helmet and connect to the server using the Starbound client. Ensure everything works like a perfectly tuned FTL drive. If something doesn’t seem right, don’t panic! You’re just encountering a small space-time anomaly that can be easily fixed.
  7. Update DNS settings (if applicable): Ah, the beauty of custom domain names! If you have one, update your DNS settings to point to the new server’s IP address. It’s like plotting a course through the cosmic web. Make sure your fellow adventurers can find your new home among the stars.
  8. Inform players: Gather your crew and make an announcement! Let your players know about the migration and provide them with the new server address and any updated connection details. Maybe throw in a few space puns or tell a joke about Florans and their love for leafy greens.
  9. Monitor and finalize: Congratulations! You’ve successfully migrated your Starbound server. Keep a vigilant eye on the new server, like a watchful Glitch overseeing its metallic empire. Test all functionalities and configurations thoroughly to ensure a smooth and glitch-free experience for your players. Address any hiccups with the agility of an Avian soaring through the skies.


Compare games

  1. Starbound vs. Terraria:
    • Engine: Starbound and Terraria both use different game engines. Starbound is built on the XNA framework, while Terraria is developed using the Microsoft XNA framework with MonoGame.
    • Graphics: Starbound features detailed pixel art graphics, offering a visually appealing 2D experience. Terraria also has pixel art graphics but with a slightly simpler aesthetic.
    • World Generation: Starbound generates an entire universe with multiple planets, each with its own biome, structures, and inhabitants. Terraria generates a single world with various biomes and layers, including surface, underground, and underworld.
    • Crafting and Building: Both games feature extensive crafting systems, allowing players to create tools, weapons, armor, and structures. However, Starbound offers more complex crafting options and a broader range of building materials.
    • Modding Support: Both Starbound and Terraria have active modding communities. Starbound provides official mod support through Steam Workshop, while Terraria supports modding through third-party tools like TModLoader.
  2. Starbound vs. No Man’s Sky:
    • Engine: Starbound uses its custom engine built on the XNA framework, while No Man’s Sky is developed using the proprietary in-house engine called the “No Man’s Sky Engine.”
    • Scale and Procedural Generation: No Man’s Sky offers an enormous procedurally generated universe with billions of planets to explore. Starbound also generates planets procedurally but on a smaller scale with a finite number of worlds.
    • Space Travel and Flight Mechanics: In Starbound, space travel is achieved through the use of a spaceship and navigation between planets is relatively quick. No Man’s Sky has more intricate space flight mechanics, including realistic physics and seamless transitions between planetary surfaces and space.
    • Multiplayer: Both Starbound and No Man’s Sky support multiplayer. Starbound allows players to invite friends to their own universe, while No Man’s Sky has a shared universe where players can encounter each other while exploring.
  3. Starbound vs. Minecraft:
    • Engine: Starbound uses the XNA framework, while Minecraft is built using Java and the proprietary “LWJGL” (Lightweight Java Game Library).
    • Graphics and Rendering: Starbound features pixel art graphics rendered in 2D, whereas Minecraft has a blocky 3D aesthetic.
    • World Generation and Size: Minecraft generates an infinite procedural world made up of blocks. In contrast, Starbound generates a finite number of planets, each with its own set of biomes and structures.
    • Crafting and Mining: Both games feature extensive crafting and mining mechanics, but Minecraft places a heavy emphasis on resource gathering and building, allowing players to manipulate and shape the environment more freely.
    • Modding: Minecraft has a massive modding community, with support from tools like Forge and the ability to modify almost every aspect of the game. Starbound also has modding support through Steam Workshop, allowing players to enhance gameplay and add new content.



  1. Adding new Items: You can create new weapons, armor, objects, and other items. For example, the mod “Frackin’ Universe” adds thousands of new items to the game.
  2. Changing Gameplay Mechanics: Mods can alter the game’s mechanics to provide a different experience. For instance, the “Survivalist” mod makes the survival mechanics more challenging.
  3. Adding new Biomes and Planets: Mods can add new biomes to explore and even entirely new planets. Again, “Frackin’ Universe” does this, vastly expanding the game’s universe.
  4. Adding new Races: Starbound already has a selection of races to choose from, but mods can add even more. The “Avali” mod adds a new bird-like race with its own items and ships.
  5. Adding new Creatures: You can introduce new enemies or pets. “The Bees!” mod, for instance, adds bees as potential foes and friends.
  6. Overhauling Graphics and Sound: Some mods alter the game’s art style or sound design. The “Starbound Music Overhaul Project” mod changes the game’s soundtrack to provide a fresh audio experience.
  7. User Interface (UI) Changes: Mods can change the UI to provide more information or make it more user-friendly. The “Extended GUI” mod offers a more expansive and customizable interface.
  8. Mod Compatibility: Not all mods are compatible with each other or with every version of Starbound. Always check compatibility before installing a new mod.
  9. Installing Mods: Typically, mods are installed by placing the mod file (.pak format) into the “mods” folder in your Starbound directory. Some mods may require additional steps.
  10. Mod Conflicts: Some mods can conflict, causing the game to crash or behave unpredictably. It’s a good idea to install mods one at a time and check for issues.
  11. Server Mods: If you’re running a server, each player usually needs to have the same mods installed to join the server. Some hosting providers offer tools to make mod installation easier.
  12. Safe Downloading: Only download mods from trusted sources (like the Steam Workshop, NexusMods, or the official Chucklefish mod repository) to avoid malware.
  13. Backups: Always make a backup of your game before installing a new mod. This allows you to revert to a previous state if a mod causes issues.


To install mods in Starbound, you usually download the mod file (usually in .pak format) and place it in the “mods” folder in your Starbound directory.


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