I currently have two quests involving steel, which requires oil to create. I can't harvest oil until I upgrade my matter manipulator, but I cannot for the life of me figure out how to do that!

I've read that you can do so via the ship's AI, but I do not see any options either in the main 'chat' menu, nor in the tech menus. At my base I have the iron anvil, alloy furnace, and iron workbench, and can't seem to create anything at any of those that will give me an upgrade either. I've gone through the outpost to make sure that I haven't missed a quest or something there.

I'm sure I must be missing something stupid. Can anyone help?


The quest I'm currently on with SAIL involves providing Erchius Crystals to fix the FTL drive. These I get from the Erchius Facility, but in order to obtain the quest to get there, I need steel armor.

My SAIL commands currently include:

  • Enable Teleporter
  • Repair FTL Drive

That's it. I have tried talking to SAIL with 10 bars of copper to see if that would prompt the dialogue option, but it did not.

Someone mentioned in the comments below that my quest line is possibly out of sync. I'll investigate this more when I get home from work, if there's no other definitive response by then :)

  • Do you have the needed materials?
    – Nitro.de
    Commented Feb 6, 2015 at 14:50
  • I think you need a refinery to transform iron into steel, which has been the way to do it since before the Upbeat Giraffe update, but I cannot confirm.
    – Zibbobz
    Commented Feb 6, 2015 at 14:57
  • 1
    @Zibbobs Now it is iron+oil to make steel in an alloy furnace. Commented Feb 6, 2015 at 14:58
  • 1
    @TomThorogood take a look here: starbounder.org/Matter_Manipulator scoll to bottom, there is an image which show you the materials for the matter manipulator upgrades so upgrade 1 takes 10 copper bars for example
    – Nitro.de
    Commented Feb 6, 2015 at 15:02
  • 1
    If the AI is showing the "Enable Teleporter" option even though you're already using the teleporter then your game has gotten "out of sync" and you'll need to resort to either hacking your character profile or creating a new character. Commented Feb 6, 2015 at 16:18

3 Answers 3


First you need to go to your Ships AI and talk with SAIL http://starbounder.org/SAIL. He will give you Quests. At first there are Quests like build an Iron anvil and stuff. If you compleate all the "beginner / tutorail" quests than you will be given the choice to upgrade your Matter Manipulator.


Upgrade 1:  Copper Bars (10)    Radius: 2   Power :1.8      
Upgrade 2:  Silver Bar (10)     Radius: 2   Power :1.8              Enables liquid collection
Upgrade 3:  Gold Bar (10) & Titanium Bar(10) Radius: 3  Power1.8    Radius increase
Upgrade 4   Durasteel Bar (20)  Radius: 3   Power :2.6  Power increase 
Upgrade 5   Refined Rubium (10) Refined Violium (10) Refined Aegisalt (10)  Radius: 3   Power :3.4  Power increase 
Upgrade 6   Solarium Star(10) Diamond (10)  Radius:4    Power :3.4  Radius increase
  • The quest I'm currently on with SAIL involves providing Erchius Crystals to repair the FTL drive. To get these, I have to complete the quest at starbounder.org/Erchius_Facility, but in order to get that quest, I need steel armor. I have no other quests from SAIL. As I mentioned above, I already have the anvil and alloy furnace, but I never got quests for those. Commented Feb 6, 2015 at 18:56
  • If you already have the quest to get the Erchius Crystals you need to talk to SAIL and he can Teleport you to the first Boss of the game wich gives you the Crystals. If you dont have that the Proffesor Guy (White Coat) has the quest for that
    – GEnGEr
    Commented Feb 7, 2015 at 16:00
  • Also i found a link with all Quests there are in the right order At the right you can collaps/expand the Qeust lines ... You should be somewhere between on Starter and Tutorial starbounder.org/On_The_Run
    – GEnGEr
    Commented Feb 7, 2015 at 16:26

It turns out I skipped most of the tutorial quests. Actually clicking on "Enable Teleporter" and playing through the tutorials unlocked the ability to upgrade my MM.

NOTE: If, like me, you were already a starbounder and ignored the tutorials, you can get through most of this easily. You don't actually have to craft anything it asks of you. Just collect the items you've already created (furnace, crafting table, etc.).

  • If this is your answer, Mark is as one ;)
    – Serverfrog
    Commented Feb 8, 2015 at 12:23
  • There's a timeout before that option is available. I had to sleep sometime! Commented Feb 8, 2015 at 18:37

My friend also had this problem, a quick solution was to take the Flashlight out of his Ship Locker. It's one of the first quest and as soon as he completed it he was given the option to upgrade the matter manipulator. Although he may have completed one or two other tutorial quests such as crafting a hunting bow and cooking a piece of meat. I'd say click on the exclamation mark at the top right of your screen and complete any tutorial quests you're stuck on.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .