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What are the Best Starbound Mods?

Starbound might be the new kid on the sand-block but that hasn't stopped modders from going wild.

This article first appeared on USgamer, a partner publication of VG247. Some content, such as this article, has been migrated to VG247 for posterity after USgamer's closure - but it has not been edited or further vetted by the VG247 team.

Mods. They're the unsung heroes of the gaming universe, the vanguard against boredom, the first and the last bastion of hope for all those unwilling to surrender their favorite game just because they're run out of things to fiddle with. And because mods are such wondrous inventions, it really shouldn't come as a surprise that Starbound, in spite of only having been around for a short time, is already bristling with community-generated content. As always, be prepared to back up your files, ready contingency plans and have the instructions examined three times over. We will not be held accountable for your ship blowing up.

Starbound Mod Manager

Like pizza slices with a double helping of cheese, mods can be gooey, slippery rascals. Delicious, but difficult to handle. If you're one of those people who'd much rather not have to deal with the technicalities of actually firing up one of these babies, here's a solution: the Starbound Mod Manager. It's a smooth, supple way of keeping your mods organized and limiting the time you spend fiddling with 'em. Nothing to compose Bohemian Rhapsodies about, perhaps, but certainly a utility your mother would approve of.

Check it out here.

Lissar's Hair Mods

Floransss like to be pretty flowersssss

There's really not much that needs to be said here. Though Starbound offers reasonably comprehensive character generation options already, Lissar's Hair Mods will provide the fashion-conscious with even more variety. Focus here appears to be skewed towards the Florans. Nonetheless, those who might have been hoping for a larger range in beards, beaks, robotic head ornaments and regular human hair will not be disappointed.

Check it out here.

Starbound: New Horizon

To boldly go where no one has died before!

New Horizon is currently in a somewhat volatile state as it's still early in the production cycle. Like Starbound itself, the existing release is mostly intended to allow people to jiggle with its contents and provide feedback. Boring disclaimer aside, the mod itself, even if its current form, sounds rather exciting -- it encompasses a whole variety of goodies including planetary modifiers, changed monster spawning, a research system, an altered crafting system, enhanced base building, new mining tools, artefacts and open world exploration. In the future, the devs are apparently planning on a xenobiology system which will allow you to unlock new tech by "researching the DNA of fallen enemies."

XCOM, anyone?

Check it out here

Starstructor, the mod formerly known as the Starbound Toolset

Want to modify dungeons and ships but lack the toolsets to do so? This spiffy little graphical editor has got you covered. I think. The description sounds reasonably impressive though I doubt a sickness-addled mind can properly parse it for you. So, instead of having me mangle the explanation, here's the blurb from the pertinent thread:

The editor reads from a dungeon or ship file, converts that data into a graphical representation as would be seen in-game, then displays the results to the developer. The developer will be able to place tiles, objects, and npcs in the dungeon or ship, and the editor will automatically convert this back to the appropriate data that Starbound can read. The tool will completely abstract any JSON editing from the developer through use of intuitive user interface elements.

Check it out here

Fully Customizable Ship

You know you want to make the Death Star.

To paraphrase someone from the forums, "A world of phallus-shaped ships is now at your fingertips." Except, you really shouldn't. Please don't. Phallic edifices exist a-plenty in the gaming universe already. we don't need more. Having said that, the Fully Customizable Ship mod is honestly rather cool. It essentially permits you to disassemble your ship, block by block, and rebuild it in whatever manner you so choose, allowing you to concoct pretty much anything your mind can conjure. So use this power for good, damn it!

Check it out here

Legend of Zelda: Link Mod

Why Robot Link? Because we can.

This one is for all you Nintendo fans out there. Because, honestly, the mod's not quite thematic.. Nonetheless, if you've ever wanted to root out an Ocarina on a planet and play an iconic Legend of Zelda tune while cosplaying as Link, there's your chance right there. Plans for future updates include more weapons, shields, the Hylian race, armors, pets and potentially even dungeons.

Check it out here

Craftable Instruments

Sing us a song, Mr. Pianoman.

Arguably one of the greatest things about Starbound is the fact that it allows its users to stage impromptu concerts. Musical instruments abound within its procedurally generated landscape. Well, "abound" might not be the best word. If you get lucky, you may find it in a chest somewhere. Maybe. Some may argue that the search is part of the appeal. However, for those unwilling to expend energy in such directions, here's a way to craft your own symphony. Enjoy.

Check it out here

Honorable mention:

  • Ponex Race Mod -- Because friendship is magic! And because intergalactic ponies make about as much sense as brain-trees and carnivorous plant people.
  • Turn unrefined wood into coal -- Personally, I think it's a bit of a cop-out. Part of the fun of games like Starbound is the need to force life out of hostile situations. However, if you can't be buggered to go find more coal, here's a reasonably easy solution.
  • The Serenity from Firefly -- Not available for download just yet but who can say no to the opportunity to pilot something like that, really?
  • Penguin Race -- "Gunther?" "Dood!" "Gunther!" "DOOD." Seriously, this has the potential to be amazing.
  • Gravity Gun Mod -- Proof Half-Life 3 is coming. Or something.

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