Starsector (PC) Preview

By Eric Ace 04.07.2017

Review for Starsector on PC

Starsector is an "open-galaxy" sandbox space combat, economic and exploration game that has been in development since 2010. Players take the role of a single person, slowly acquiring more and more ships and bouncing between planets, buying items, selling them, and engaging in combat along the way. Featuring RPG elements, simulation aspects and a very detailed combat weapon system, Cubed3 takes a first look at this in-development title.

Starsector is an interesting mix of different genres that actually works out okay. It is most similar to Star Nomad 2 or perhaps Distant Worlds in that the player mainly drives a ship around the solar systems and galaxy, while other ships are doing the same thing. Anyone that has played those will know what they are in for here, as this is generally similar.

For those that have not, beginning with a small ship, players fly around to small quests, such as salvaging wreckage, doing simple things like flying to space stations, and so on. Along the way, they upgrade more weapons, buy new ships, pick a few skills and engage in trade.

Combat occurs in pause-able real-time, with the ships generally acting independently, short of the player giving some orders, where it is fun seeing all the missiles and lasers going off at once. A key concept is "flux," which is like an upper energy limit that weapons contribute to, and eventually ships will have to pull out to cool down, helping add tension to battle.

Screenshot for Starsector on PC

On the map there are various options, such as "going dark" to reduce visibility, or engaging in an emergency jump to get away from ships. These are generally pretty good about encouraging immersion out of the player as they try to run from ships.

At this time, Starsector still has some improvements to be done to it. At the root, it is actually a pretty fun game, but the UI at times is really bad as to what exactly the player is looking at. Combat can vary wildly as far as not knowing how strong a ship is and suddenly getting blown away. Also, the game tends to suffer from too expensive costs of supplies, which constantly drain, leaving a feeling of never getting anywhere and always about to be completely bankrupt because there are not enough supplies - despite selling hundreds of laser guns over and over.

Screenshot for Starsector on PC

Final Thoughts

Starsector has a way to go as far as hammering out balance, UI and issues of this kind. At its core, it is actually a fun game. Slowly getting a bigger fleet and more and more equipment is enjoyable, but it is unfortunate how often money simply runs out, which is a massive annoyance to an otherwise promising space sandbox game.


Fractal Softworks


Fractal Softworks





C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  n/a

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   


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