How to Host a Starbound Server

Starbound is a sandbox online action adventure game developed by Chucklefish. The game is currently in development for home video game consoles (Playstation Vista, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One).

What is Starbound?

In Starbound the player is in a two-dimensional world where they can explore the towns for items, weapons, armor, enemies, and seek other planets to explore. At the beginning of the game, the player is inside a spacecraft after the earth has been destroyed. The spacecraft is home to an intergalactic organization that keeps the peace, and is known as the Terrene Protectorate. The craft tumbles around space with only the player guiding it to explore. Players can teleport back to other planets they are visiting and customize the inside of the spacecraft. Starbound is a widely popular game that’s won two awards: The Most Anticipated Game of 2013 from Indie Game Magazine and No. 1 Indie of The Year 2013. The award-winning game has also earned high marks in game review publications such as IGN and PC Gamer.

Playing Starbound With Friends

Starbound’s expansive universe is best explored by more than one person, and it’s easier to survive, collect and build that way too. If you want to play Starbound with your friends you have two options. The simplest and easiest way is to use Steam networking, but when using this method people will only be able to join and play while you are in game. If you want your friends to be able to play while you aren’t online and actively hosting, you’ll have to set up and host a dedicated server. Fortunately, Starbound makes it easy to set up and host a dedicated server.

In this guide, we’ll cover how to port forward on a Windows-based PC. However, this can also be done on a Mac OS and Ubuntu. For these, the process is going to be slightly different.

The first thing you need to do is statically assign yourself an IP address and forward TCP port 21025 on your router.

Port 21025 is the default port for a Starbound server, and if you want to use a different port, you’ll need to replace the steps regarding port 21025 with whichever port you want to use.

After, you may have to allow traffic over that port in your firewall. This isn’t always necessary, but might as well be done.

Finally, you’ll need to configure the server settings, and then you’ll be ready to launch your Starbound server.

Setting up a Starbound Server

  1. Obtain your IP information
    a. Open command prompt by searching “cmd” in Cortana’s search bar and press enter
    b. In the command prompt type “ipconfig” and press enter
    c. Take note of your current IPv4 address, the IPv4 address of your default gateway
  2. Statically assign your PC an IP address
    a. Search  “Control Panel” in Cortana’s search bar and press enter
    b. Go to “Network and Internet”
    c. Go to “Network and Sharing Center”
    d. Select “Change Adapter Settings”
    e. Right-click your wireless or ethernet connection and click on properties
    f. Click on “Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)”
    g. select properties
    h. Click on “use the following IP address” then enter your current IPv4 address into the IP address field (ensure you’re NOT entering the IPv4 of the default gateway). This will be your static IP address.
    i. Fill out the subnet mask and default gateway address
  3. Forward Port 21025
    a. Type your default gateway address into the address bar of your search engine of choice (Google, Yahoo!, etc.) and press enter
    b. Log in to your router’s interface with your credentials
    c. Look for the port forward utility, which is usually under a menu/tab that is titled “Advanced”, “Applications” or “Port Forwarding”
    d. The port will be 21025, the protocol will be TCP, the static IP address is the one you set up in step two (your current IPv4 address)
  4. Allow incoming traffic over port 21025
    a. Search “Windows Defender Firewall” in Cortana’s search bar and press enter
    b. Click on “Advanced Settings”
    c. Click on “Inbound Rules”
    d. Click on “New Rule”
    e. Click on “Port” for rule type
    f. Click “TCP” for your protocol type and use 21025 in “Specific Local Ports”
    g. Check all of the boxes for domains
    h. Name and describe the port however you like
  5. Configure the Server (optional)
    a. Locate the file Starbound.config
    i. This is easiest done by right-clicking Starbound in your Steam library and going to properties
    ii. From there go to the tab “Local Files” and then click on “Browse Local Files”
    iii. In the file explorer that pops up, open the folder named “giraffe_storage”
    iv. In that folder, there should be a file named “Starbound.config.” Open this with the word editor of your choice
    b. Create a backup copy of this file somewhere else on your machine in case you mess it up and aren’t sure how to fix it
    c. Edit the arguments (post-semicolon, pre-comma) to your liking, in order to change the server name, maximum amount of players, server password, etc., making sure to keep the syntax correct
    d. Save the file and exit
  6. Launch Your Server
    a. Launch Starbound and click on “Launch Dedicated Server” and press play
    b.  Launching the server won’t work if you edited the arguments incorrectly, so if this doesn’t work check your file. In the worst case scenario revert to the file you backed up

Now you can play Starbound on this one server with any number of friends you want. Your server is equivalent to one Starbound universe. Even after you log out and are offline your friends can still play on your server, allowing for different schedules and time zones while still upkeeping game progress over time.


Do you host a Starbound server for you and your friends?

Do you have any further tips?

1 Comment
  1. Playing Starbound on my friend’s server. But now it’s time to invite them on my server. Thanks webhostingsun.

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