By Michael Fontanini / April 23rd, 2015
Starbound has just received another stable update adding a number of new things, as well as changes and fixes. The new version is named “Spirited Giraffe,” which upgrades the game’s previous version, Upbeat Giraffe. As you can see in the screenshot above, one of the new features is the new Slime Caves biome, which can be found underground on radioactive worlds. The slime caves contain unique items and a new furniture set. However, before we get to all the other new stuff, the patch notes have an important warning for all players:
“As of this patch, the ‘Home’ planet feature has been replaced by planet bookmarks and direct teleporters. EXISTING CHARACTERS WILL LOSE THEIR HOME PLANETS! Make sure to write down your home planet’s coordinates or leave your ship in orbit so that you don’t lose track of its location.”
The next major addition to Starbound in this update is in ship navigation. Players now have the ability to bookmark planets, which will undoubtedly be a very handy feature. This can be done from the ship’s cockpit, of course. Simply select a planet, and click ‘Add Bookmark’ to save it in your bookmarked planets list. You can click on a planet in that list to set it as your navigation target when you want to return there. Looking at the screenshot below, it appears that you can write a note for each bookmarked planet, too.
There is another addition in the new Starbound update relating to the player’s ship, as well. Your ship will now be inhabited by a non-combat pet corresponding to your character’s race. Pets come in a variety of colors and will investigate held items and ship objects. You can feed your little pet, and it will develop a preference for certain foods. The Terramart now sells a few new pet-related items, as well, including a Food Bowl, a Pet Ball for play time and a Pet House where your pet can nap in an adorable manner after a hard day of being cute.
Another nice new feature in Starbound allows players to place and register teleporters on planets. Simply interact with a teleporter to add it to your list of registered destinations. You can then teleport back to it from any other teleporter. The new teleporters can be used to warp to a party member, as well.
So, how do you make them? First, you will need to find Teleporter Cores in the world. Once you have some of these, you’ll want to visit a new shop at the Outpost called the 2-Stop Teleshop, where you can use those Teleporter Cores you found to create various types of teleporters. There is also a teleporter at this store that you can register, allowing you to easily return to the Outpost at any time. If you break a teleporter, it will be destroyed, but it will give you back the Teleporter Core you used to make it.
There are a few other changes with regard to teleportation in Starbound‘s new update, as well. After logging out, when players rejoin the game they will spawn where they were when they logged out instead of back on their ship. Mission dungeons will persist for 10 minutes after all player’s have left (allowing continuation of a mission after dying an unfortunate death), and the mission dungeons also now have teleporters at their entrance and exit. Players can no longer be attacked while teleporting, and can no longer initiate a second teleport while teleporting. There is also now a teleportation cinematic while the destination planet is loading.
Starbound‘s Spirited Giraffe update has one more major new addition to the game. The Ancient Gates now have a new destination, called The Ark. It is a huge and mysterious ruin, where players can discover a few clues about the overarching plot of Starbound. You’ll have to investigate it for yourself to find out what secrets may be hiding there.
There are a number of other minor changes and fixes in the new Starbound update, too. For example, the path-finding AI for ground monsters and NPCs has been improved a good bit so that they should be a lot less likely to get stuck, avoid and escape liquids more easily and generally get around complex terrain much better than before. Player energy refills more quickly now, and performance improvements have been made for servers and the game itself. Codex’s are retained across universes now, but existing players will notice that their codexes will unfortunately be reset. That’s a pretty minor issue, though.
All in all, this looks to be a very nice update to Starbound with some useful new features for fans of the game to put to use during their galactic exploration. As noted in the patch notes, some of the changes may require a new universe to fully take effect. So it may be time to set out on your latest mission amongst the stars: “To explore strange new worlds; To seek out new life and new civilizations; To boldly go where no one has gone before!” (Many of Starbound‘s races are non-human so I changed “man” to “one” there). In any case, you have your next mission, so set a course for the stars, and… Engage!