Battle for Supremacy: Starbound vs. Terraria

Posted on December 18, 2022

Sandbox games are growing in popularity. More than 15% of games on both PC and console are now open-world. Players love the opportunity to do things at their own pace and make their own adventures. 

Starbound and Terraria are some of the most popular sandbox games, and there are debates all over the internet about which one is better. The battle of Starbound versus Terraria continues to rage! Both games have their unique characters, so it's no wonder each one has dedicated fandoms. 

Considering buying or playing one of these games? We've put this guide together to help you make a great decision. Read on and learn more about the pros and cons of each title. 

Starbound versus Terraria

Both of these 2D survival games have quite a few similarities. Starbound and Terraria are sandbox adventure games, allowing players to get creative in how they play the game. 

Both games feature similar character development systems. You can level up your skills, collect resources, and create a base of operations. You also need to craft various pieces of equipment and can go on in-game quests. 

Before deciding which game is suitable for you, it's best to look at each game individually. Think about what you and your friends enjoy in a game and which one might be best for you. 


Starbound, as the name suggests, is a space-themed game. Players customize a spaceship and voyage to new planets, discovering new items, ship parts, friends, and enemies.

The game takes place in a richly developed sci-fi world. There are lots of aliens and characters to meet as well as a storyline you can follow if you wish. 


As a sandbox game, Starbound allows players to choose their own adventure. At the start of the game, you'll create your character and ship, then set out on a journey.

What you do is up to you, but plenty of options are available. You can enjoy quests if you want to enjoy the game's narrative, or you can focus on building a base or customizing your ship.

Quests are pretty diverse too. You might be tasked with finding a lost relic on a mysterious planet. Or you could turn bounty hunter and track down an intergalactic bandit. 

There are lots of collectibles to hunt down too. You can even find musical instruments to use on your ship or in your base! Everywhere you turn in the game, you'll find something new or exciting. The universe is full of surprises!


The 2D graphics are pretty basic. But the subdued color palette is easy on the eyes. There are also lots of menus for characters and crafting options, allowing you to get a slightly more detailed look at the game. 

Creative Features

For creative types, Starbound may be the better choice. Its procedurally generated features and options for terraforming new worlds make it the perfect option for those with big imaginations. 

When you touch down on a new planet, you can set up a base on the new world. To do this, you'll need to gather resources by mining and exploring. Over time, you'll turn the planet into the world of your dreams. 

The almost infinite nature of Starbound's world works well for those who love to work on lots of different projects at once. If you run out of space with one of your bases or something goes wrong, there's no need to despair! 

And the creativity doesn't stop when you're whizzing through space. Ships have a range of features for customization, allowing you to change the look and performance of the ship according to your desire. 

You can also hire a crew for your ship! You can hire characters from all races to work as engineers, tailors, and security officers. Some crew members can be recruited through quests and will wander around your ship as you travel. 

Character Customization

Characters can be customized heavily in Starbound. From aesthetics to game stats, there are many different reasons to change your character. This broad choice also adds replayability value to the game since you can enjoy adventures under several different personas. 

There are seven races to choose from in the game. Players can choose their character to be a human, a glitch (a kind of medieval robot), or a gassy Novakid! You can also select the gender of your character along with their skin or fur color. 

Each race benefits from unique types of armor and ship parts. There are also different skills available. With hundreds of thousands of character combinations available, there's no end to how you can play the game.  


While Starbound is set in a futuristic world of advanced technology and space travel, Terraria takes place in a medieval fantasy world. The player must explore and fight their way through the land, taking on all kinds of mythical beasts.

Although the game was released over 11 years ago, it receives regular patches and updates, keeping the game fresh for its players. 


Terraria is often described as a 2D version of Minecraft. Players begin with essential tools and must build up their equipment and skills as they journey through the world. There are several choices of core game modes that alter the game's difficulty level and impact some other conditions. 

Players progress in the game by fighting against bosses. Many of these bosses are extremely tough, requiring a lot of grinding and skill to beat. The game gets more challenging for all players after certain bosses are defeated, so things can be a little tough for less capable members of a group. 

That makes Terraria the ideal game for those who love a challenge. Bosses use various combat mechanics, so you'll need to be on your toes to beat them. 


This pixelated game has a simple graphical style that's appealing to many. Although there are more elaborate styles of graphics out there, many of Terraria's fans enjoy the fact the graphics take a backseat, allowing the game to thrive as a truly imaginative experience. 

Creative Features

Although not quite as creative as Starbound, Terraria still allows players a little room for imagination. For example, you can choose how to build your base and design mining systems. 

If you're looking to create grand projects and megastructures, Terraria might not be the game for you. That said, you can be creative in terms of mapping out the course of your game in whichever route you choose. 

Character Customization

Although it doesn't offer as many options for customization as Starbound, Terraria still allows players a decent number of options to change up the look and performance of their character. 

On creating a new character, you'll get the option to choose the style and color of hair, eyes, and clothes. You can also decide whether you want to be a male or female.

Along with these basic options, characters can be more heavily customized as the game progresses. You'll find armor and weapons along with other pieces of equipment which allow you to customize your stats and appearance. The inventory even features vanity item slots, allowing you to choose the look of the equipment you like best. 

The Verdict

In the end, it's hard to say which game is better, as both will appeal to different styles of gamers. Consider how your friend group might enjoy the dynamics presented by each game world. 

Terraria could be the game for you if you love a challenge. But if you're focused on creativity and prefer a more relaxing game environment, Starbound might be the game for you. 

If you're still unsure which one is right for you and your group, consider watching gameplay videos on YouTube or Twitch. Or try playing each game for a week and see which is more appealing. 

Your Own Game Server!

Starbound versus Terraria is a battle that will continue for years to come. Both are great games with potentially hours of fun to be had. It all comes down to opinion in the end; many people like to play both games.

Whichever game you prefer, it's more fun to play on a private server. You can play with your friends, create unique mods, and build your community. Check out our personal server options for a range of games, starting from only $1.50 per GB on a Terraria server!

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