This is the best Starbounder wiki has to say on the topic right now (November 2016):

Monsters will spawn where background blocks are placed, but appear to not spawn where background blocks and lights are placed. However, light alone does not prevent their spawning.

This doesn't sound very confident or specific. I'd rather know what are the exact rules (as exact as possible anyway) and how to play against them.

  • 1
    <Speculation> I think monsters can't spawn in areas that have player-placed walls. The wall material also matters - dirt is a raw material so monsters can still spawn there even if player-placed, while they won't be able to spawn on, say, wood plank walls. </Speculation>
    – Mage Xy
    Commented Nov 2, 2016 at 17:12
  • More than 6 months later and no answer?
    – C. Ross
    Commented Jul 3, 2017 at 21:03
  • Sounds a little Terraria to me Commented Jul 6, 2017 at 1:04
  • @C.Ross Not a starbound player myself, but the question can be easily answered by looking around on the web. I can answer but I will rely myself on content found on the net by regrouping sources, and not actually playing the game. Is it okay for you?
    – Ikaros
    Commented Jul 7, 2017 at 8:06
  • 1
    I spent 20 mins trying to look for the rules, most people seemed puzzled about it. There is something about background and foreground blocks that have something to do about it. But lighting is not part of it.. that's all I know Commented Jul 8, 2017 at 20:59

2 Answers 2


One thing in this game is that light does not directly affect monster spawn rate (unlike Minecraft) One thing that I found consistent in my research is that there is no straightforward way to remove mobs from your base. There are not very clear rules.

Some people found that placing a bed in their base with lighting might help. That is because a bed has a big AoE. Post From Here!

Other people from Reddit found it that a completely enclosed room will not have mobs spawning (background and foreground blocks are player placed). Find it here!

I found that there was a command to stop spawning /admin first then do /disableSpawning. If you want spawning again do /enableSpawning. I have not personally tested this method and some players may consider this cheating.

This game has been around for almost a year and players are not yet sure about spawn mechanics. I am not sure about the EXACT RULES but the "enclosed space" trick worked for me. Sometimes game developers like to keep some game mechanics secret for reasons like player attraction, speculation, social media rampage, e.t.c!.

Good luck!


  • How can I improve this answer? I put a good amount of effort into it. If you can tell me why it is downvoted, it will be greatly appreciated! Commented Jul 8, 2017 at 15:18

Starbound uses a similar system to Terraria where in order to prevent monster spawns, the area needs to have background blocks (possibly requires these to be non-natural) AND the area must be lit up.

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