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How to Make a Server on Starbound

Last modified on Aug 10, 2023 in starbound

mc head By Nathan Young

How to Make a Starbound Server


Starbound is an outstanding survival game that allows you to interact with other players, leading to enjoyable adventures. However, the game doesn’t allow you to host an online world for users to always join. This can invoke desires to start a dedicated server to play with friends and build a community. Servers can be customized with mods or through config files, thereby giving you complete access and control over it. The exact process for starting one is complicated, which can demotivate some people. Luckily, Apex Hosting offers Starbound server plans to easily host a world so players from around the globe can join. Our easy-to-use panel simplifies the steps needed to start one, as it’s all done with a few mouse clicks. In this guide, we’ll go through how to create a Starbound server and essential information to get you started playing with other players.

How to Make a Starbound Server

  1. Head towards your Apex server panel and locate the Game File section.
  2. Click the dropdown menu and lookup Starbound, then press it.
    Apex Server Panel Changing Server Type
  3. Once selected, confirm the changes and create a new world when asked.
  4. Restart the server after that and wait for it to load, which may take a few minutes.
    Apex Server Starbound Restart Now
  5. When it’s finished, try joining the server to confirm it worked.


Getting Started

Starbound Door Entrance

Now that you have a Starbound server, there are many features to implement or change. For instance, making yourself admin, changing the server’s name, or uploading mods are a few examples. This allows you to fully customize everything to better manage the server, which is preferred among most owners. We’ll get you started by addressing common aspects to edit and follow.

How to Join Starbound Servers

  1. In your server panel, locate the IP Address:Port section near the top of the page.
    Apex Server IP Address:Port
  2. Copy the numbers to the right of it, and launch Starbound.
  3. When it loads, click Join Game from the main menu and select or create a new character.
  4. Proceed to enter the IP Address, and Port in the respective fields.
    Starbound Server Info
  5. Afterward, press Join Server at the bottom to connect and start playing.
    Note: If you need more information about this process, head here.


Adding an Admin Account

Server owners tend to want admin access, so they can use all commands to manage the players, test features, or cheat. This is an essential aspect to ensure the game progresses according to your goal(s).

  1. Head towards the Config Files in the top left from the server panel.
  2. Once there, click on Server Config to start viewing the options.
    Apex Server Starbound Server Config
  3. Locate the serverUsers setting, then highlight the following lines:
      "serverUsers" : {

  4. Copy the following code, then paste it for the highlighted lines in the file:
      "serverUsers" : {
        "UsernameHere" : {
            "admin" : false,
            "password" : "PasswordHere"

  5. Replace the UsernameHere field with your desired name.
  6. Change the admin option to “true”, then enter a password for the PasswordHere area.
    Starbound Admin Account Settings
  7. Once you made these edits, in the top left press Save and click Restart Now to apply the changes.
    Apex Server Starbound Config Saved

    Note: When you join, make sure to use the defined username and password for the account. Additionally, use the /admin command in-game to enable permissions.

In some cases, you might want to add more admins or accounts to the server. This can be done by reviewing this, which goes into detail about the process.

Enabling Whitelist

When adding accounts to the server, you can also toggle a whitelist to prevent unauthorized players from joining. This is useful for creating a private server, which uses the added accounts to confirm who’s allowed to join.

  1. Inside the Server Config from Config Files via the panel, locate the allowAnonymousConnections setting.
  2. Change this to “false” and press Save in the top left corner.
    Starbound Whitelist Settings
  3. Afterward, click Restart Now to apply the whitelist on the server.


Changing the Server Name

Personalizing your new server is something that many owners do, and a popular change is setting a name for it. This makes it easier to recognize your server in-game or for branding purposes.

  1. Head towards your server panel, then click Customizations near the left hand-side of your screen.
  2. From there, locate the Server Name option in the Server Settings section.
    Starbound Server Name Setting
  3. Start entering your desired name in the text box area.
  4. When you’re done, return to the main panel and Restart the server to apply the changes.


Editing Team Sizes

The sizes of the team can be edited, which is used for larger servers. The default size is 4, but if you increase that value then all players will need to change their client-sided config file to match it. We’ll go over the changes needed for the server and client to get this started.

  1. Enter into the Customizations area from the main panel, which is near the left.
  2. Once there, locate the World section and edit the Max Team Size option accordingly.
    Starbound Max Team Size
  3. When you finish making the changes, return to the main panel and Restart the server.
  4. Next, open your Steam client and right-click Starbound in your Library.
  5. Hover over Manage and click Browse Local Files, which will open the game’s folder.
    Starbound Browse Local Files
  6. Inside the folder, enter the Storage directory to view the configuration files.
  7. Edit the starbound.config file with Notepad or another program such as Notepad++.
    Starbound Client Configuration
  8. Inside of this, locate the maxTeamSize setting and edit the value to match the server’s option.
  9. Save the file and you should be able to join without issues.


Adding Server Mods

Instead of playing vanilla Starbound, you can install Workshop mods to the game and server. This can allow for a customized experience for all players! Down below details the processes to install mods on the server, but requires client-sided work too.

  1. In Starbound’s Workshop, locate mods and start subscribing to them so it downloads.
    Starbound Workshop Mod Download
  2. After installing your mods, navigate to the Library on Steam and right-click Starbound.
  3. Click Browse Local Files from the Manage category, this will open the game’s directory.
  4. When it opens, at the top click steamapps, press the workshop folder, then enter 211820.
    Starbound Local Mods Folder
  5. Inside of this, you’ll see your mods and inside of each folder will have the same .pak file names. Change all names to anything you want, as it's required to upload to the server.
  6. Afterward, gather all renamed PAK files and compile them into a ZIP file.
    Starbound Zip Mod Files

    Note: We suggest using 7zip or WinRAR to zip them.

  7. Once you have the zipped file, head towards your Apex server panel.
  8. In the top left corner, press FTP File Access and use your password to login.
  9. Enter into the mods directory, then click Upload in the top left.
    Starbound Upload Server Mods
  10. Drag and drop the zip folder in the “Drop files here to upload” area, then wait for it to reach 100%.
  11. When it’s finished, return back to the mods folder.
  12. Check mark the file and press Unzip in the top right, then Submit the request.
    Starbound Unzip Mod Files
  13. Head back towards the main panel and Restart the server to apply the mods.
    Note: For more details about installing mods on the server, visit our guide here.



An important aspect to Starbound gameplay is commands, as this allows you to use cheats, configuring spawn points, manage players, among other features. We’ll go through important ones for you to review, but visit the Command Wiki to know all of them.

/adminToggles admin mode for your account.
/warpTeleports you to another location on a planet or a defined area.
/timewarpModifies the server’s time, specified in seconds causing day-night cycles.
/setspawnpointSets a spawn point for the world when players beam down.
/spawnitemAbility to spawn any item for your character.
/spawnmonsterSpawns a specific monster at the mouse cursor.
/spawnnpcSpawns an NPC of your choice at the mouse cursor.
/spawnvehicleInstantly spawn a vehicle at your location.
/kickRemoves a player from your server.
/banBans an account from the server.
/enablespawningEnables monster spawning in the current world.
/disablespawningDisables monster spawning for your world.
/upgradeshipApplies specified upgrades to your ship.
/suicideKills your player in-game.
/pvpToggles player versus player combat.



Due to the amount of features for Starbound, your ability to create communities, events, or host custom servers is possible. Having online worlds is beneficial to players, as it stays active all the time and allows people to continuously play. Additionally, the level of control owners have range from modding to making the server private. This truly gives you countless options to make a perfect game for your friends or other players. Whether you customize the server’s name, its team size, or add multiple accounts, our user-friendly panel makes the editing process smoother. With all this in mind, take charge of your world with a dedicated Apex Hosting Starbound server.

Useful Links

How to Join a Starbound Server
How to Add User Accounts on Starbound Server
How to add Mods to Starbound
Admin Starbound Commands
Starbound Dedicated Servers
Starbound Guides

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