A fairly basic question about Starbound - There are currently six playable races. Cosmetically, they are quite varied - Basic humans, Fishpeople, Robots, Bird people, Plant people, and Caveman-esque people.

Is there any difference, gameplay-wise, to playing one race over another?

UPDATE: Now that the Stable Giraffe update is out, are there any new noticeable differences beween the different races?

  • 1
    As far as I can tell, there is no differences, but I haven't played long enough to confirm it. It doesn't seem like it though, as robots still suffer from hunger and fishpeople drown underwater.
    – Rapitor
    Dec 5, 2013 at 15:29
  • 1
    Putting out a bounty since the Stable Giraffe update has definitely added at least one new difference between the races.
    – Zibbobz
    Jan 30, 2015 at 18:10

2 Answers 2


The only differences so far are the seeds you start with (though all races seem to start with wheat), race specific armor/weapon/food recipes you start with, and like you said, cosmetics including your spaceship and randomized names during character creation.

Chucklefish didn't want one race to be able to do something that another couldn't. All race specific recipes can be found by other races later in the game so everyone will eventually have access to all the same things.

The maybe not-so-noticeable cosmetic changes would be what one race has to say about another races technology, using the magnifying class on the right of the screen. For example, my Hylotl commented on the torture devices and large green cloning(?) tanks in the Apex outposts very negatively saying such things do not belong in civilized societies.

Your race will not affect how other races act towards you. If you stumble across any villages, they will pay you no mind (as long as you don't have a weapon equipped) and merchants will sell to you. If you come across a dungeon, you will be attacked on sight. Even if you are the same race as the dungeon.

Update for Upbeat Giraffe released 1-29-15:

A new class has been added, the nova kid! The most interesting part about this class is their starting weapons include ranged weapons unlike the other classes that only get melee weapons.

Other than the nova kids, anything class-specific still seems to be cosmetics (starting armor, craftable weapons, recipes, etc.), most notably added in this update your ship's AI (S.A.I.L.). Also added in this update was the ability to upgrade your starting ship. These upgrades add sections to your ship giving you much more space to decorate, set-up a farm, or really anything you would want to do on your own gigantic spacecraft. Each classes ship has it's own unique style.

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    Actually my friend's playing as a Hylotl, and when he wandered into a Floran village, they called him 'cute'. Whether or not you think this is 'good' is up for debate.
    – Zibbobz
    Dec 5, 2013 at 16:02
  • My first planet has been very unlucky for me as I've only found a number of empty Apex outposts. Nothing very exciting to test. Dec 5, 2013 at 16:37
  • I thought I read in the update notes that each ship also now had new upgrades that you could get specific to each race. Did I misread the update notes?
    – Zibbobz
    Jan 30, 2015 at 21:27
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    I know what you're talking about, but I read that as in each class does get it's own ship upgrades but they all share the same purpose in giving you more space on-board. See this link, they all differ vastly but are just cosmetic changes. Jan 30, 2015 at 21:34
  • Aaah, I understand. I'm going to leave the bounty open a little longer in case some new changes surface during the week, otherwise I think your update might suffice.
    – Zibbobz
    Jan 30, 2015 at 21:43

the different races have abilities given by armor that is race specific, avian armor will look different than apex armor, avians can glide with this armor, apex run faster and jump higher, fish people breathe underwater, robots mine faster, humans get more storage, and plants get energy from the sun with the armor. hope this helps

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