Starfarer 0.51a Release

Edit: The download links have been updated to point to a hotfix release that fixes a crash bug when clicking on an empty slot in any orbital station inventory.

Original blog post below.

First off – let’s talk about version numbers. The previous release was technically a “preview” of the 0.5a build “proper”, whatever that means. That was until I started thinking about how to version this “bugfixes & improvements” release, which still wouldn’t have all the features slated for 0.5a. 0.5a2? 0.5a-preview2?

I’ve had to sit through a few meetings with people arguing about version numbers at my various former jobs (seems like everyone doesn’t want to waste time with it, but also can’t stand doing it any way but theirs), and I don’t want to be that guy, especially not to myself. Down with the version number sophistry! This release will be known henceforth as 0.51a, and the next one will be… wait for it… 0.52a. I’ll just have to avoid specifying a version number when talking about planned feature sets, as I did with version 0.5a.

I’m sure everyone is quite sick of talking about version numbers by now (see what I mean? I didn’t want to waste time on this, and look what happened!), so let’s dive into what’s new in this version.

  • Improvements to the command system – new escort behavior and tasks chief among those
  • Ship balancing (slowed down some frigates, sped up most larger ships)
  • Hull mod balancing (added downsides to some of the best ones, buffed some of the weaker ones)
  • Added two new orbital stations (pirate & Tri-Tachyon), tweaked content progression
  • Larger ships now need less experienced crew
  • Re-worked post-battle surrender mechanics
  • Improvements to ship and admiral AI
  • Added several new medium-sized missile launcher weapons
  • Lots of bug fixes

The new version is not save-compatible. My apologies for that – but as the game is still in alpha, maintaining save compatibility just isn’t something we can do yet. Also, at least some (perhaps most) mods will be broken, so you should disable them before playing the new version. On the bright side, the changes in this version mean it will be much, much easier for multiple mods to work together without conflicts.

You can see the full list of changes here.


Please download the new version using the buttons below. You’ll have to reinstall the game, but shouldn’t need to enter the activation code again.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, March 7th, 2012 at 12:01 pm and is filed under Releases. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.


  1. Hey, bought the game when the last version came out… just uninstall the old and then reinstall this one? That the proper process?

    by Dri
  2. Great to see that this is out!

    @above: “Please download the new version using the buttons below. You’ll have to reinstall the game, but shouldn’t need to enter the activation code again.”

    by XpanD
  3. It probably is Dri, but I’ve had no problems just installing on top of the previous one so far.

    by Aklyon
  4. Seeing as the installer deletes all the old files first, you shouldn’t need to manually uninstall the old version first.

    by Phil
  5. Anyone getting odd sound effects with the new version?

    by The Soldier
  6. Keep the good work!!!

    by krelian
  7. If I may say something about the controls: I strongly recommend switching the “Strafe and turn to cursor” to A,D keys and putting “Turn left/right” on Q,E since timing the holding shift in a tight battle is really hurting the wrist. This way the ships commands would be QWEASD which are extremely easy to press with one hand.

    by Alex V.Sharp
  8. To dose that want to cheat or just maby try the bigger ships witout having to earn the money here are a few simple step how to get much cash fast. Thise only work on new game what I know and I have tested it myself and nothing wrong have happend to me but be sure to make a backup just incase.

    1. Make a new game and then you just press exit when you are in game. (OBS!!! dont press save & exit)

    2. Open instalation folder and then go to “saves” folder.

    3. Open the folder with the new game and open the campaign with wordpad.

    4. Press CTRL+F and search for “Credits” and the first hit under it it will say ” 5000.0″ Change that amount to the amount of cash you want the exit and save.

    5. Load the game and there you go.

    I love the game and I only recommend you doing thise if you want to try som of the bigger ships fast or wanna try new ships from mod.

    by Sebastian
  9. That’s odd… The weapons are displayed under the ship…?
    Are they supposed to be viewed on top?

    by Captain Obvious
  10. Oh nevermind (silly me)
    The ships are stripped of their weapons when I purchase them…

    by Captain Obvious
  11. I would like to be able to compare the wepons on the ship and the wepons I can chane to without have to change wepons.

    by Sebastian
  12. Ok so…I love this game so far and have probably put 20 hours into my campaign mode without loosing the fun. But now this is all gone? This really sucks because I want to play the new version, but I refuse to throw my progress over 20 hours away. I still love the game and will continue to play it, but I won’t be updating until save compatibility is upgraded. If anyone can find a solution for me, that would be great. Keep doing what you’re doing and thanks!!

    by Me
  13. Yay a really quick update, just in time to revigorate the waning interest in owning the sector many games over. The especally interesting part of the update for me would be the upped speed for capitals. I love my Onslaught and tryong different fits, but with its speed it was hard to get in the battle quick enough to actually take the brunt of ennemy barrage and dish out whatever you can.

    by Troll
  14. I was just talking about basic version number systems with my fiancee 2 days ago.

    by DarkstarMatryx
  15. I like that we can cheat saves right now to regain our old ‘saves’ but perhaps some kind of save converter could exist? Not to add work to the update schedule of course, just wondering if there’s a way to transfer some rudimentary variables from one to the other, credits, ships, not necessarily their loadout or player position, but the important/easy stuff.

    by Adam Caverhill
  16. This game, your speed, your updates and the direction in which Starfarer is going is sublime! I made you some video’s as a small thankyou – Check IceXuick & Starfarer on YouTube

    by IceXuick
  17. @Me
    Its a game in alpha. Alphas tend to be more on the ‘improve all the things, deal with save-breakings later’, since not everything is actually in the game and/or working yet.

    by Aklyon
  18. please make another class of ships, super rare DREADNOUGHTS, really really big with insane range to make up for lack of speed!

    by Alsmonty
  19. this game is like caffeine I just can’t sleep, but I was wondering why there’s only 4 weapon groups it’s kind of annoying with the Helios Cruiser.

    by Stall4Time
  20. @aklyon
    Yes I understand that the gam is still in alpha but I feel that saves should be important. I don’t have much free time on my hands and I don’t want to waste that over and over whenever a new version comes out. I am not trying to personally attack you, I am just sayin that saves are a very important thing to me.

    by Me
  21. @Me: I hear you, but at this point it’s just not something that we can do – things are changing too quickly.

    However, you can rather easily “cheat” (by editing a save file, enabling dev mode, and a few other means) to get back your progress. To a degree, anyway – you can get whatever ships you like, or just get the credits to buy whatever is available.

    by Alex
  22. The new update is great. I feel like I actually own my ships now, as opposed to a carbon copy of that ship.

    Can’t wait to see what else you have in store for us…

    by Toms
  23. How can I get an Omen class ship? They cannot be bought and do no spawn in a Tri Tachyon fleet. I have tried to find it but so far is super rare in independent mercenary’s or does not appear. Also independent mercenary’ and the like still act as one big group. Instead of putting all these updates in a new game file you could just post it as a mod on the forum

    by Farlarzia
  24. Also trident bombers and long bow ships are not avaliable

    by Farlarzia
  25. Im sorry but that update makes me rage it has a silly bug with the crew, for some reasons it wont detect the crew i have in my inventory the ships will be marked as “needs more crew” and i have like 50% more than the required amount (and its the whole fleet that suffer that bug)

    Please fix it soon im so raging over this.

    Edited for, um, mature language – Alex

    by soldierss666
  26. @soldierss666: Buying more crew or moving large ships to the end of the list will solve the issue. It only shows up when you don’t have enough crew for *all* your ships.

    by Alex
  27. Btw how do I recover my activation code? I’m trying to install on a new computer.

    by Me
  28. @Me: send me an email from the email address you used to preorder, and I’ll re-send the activation email.

    by Alex
  29. @soldierss666
    I shouldn’t be a bug due to the game version since you seem to be the only one having it (or at least reporting it on the blog). When you say 50 % more is it by calculating the recquired crew for each ship or simply by looking at the Personnel bar on the right along with the cargo / fuel bars ? if its the bars, it takes in count the marines too.

    by Troll
  30. How can I get an Omen class ship? They cannot be bought and do no spawn in a Tri Tachyon fleet. I have tried to find it but so far is super rare or only found in independent mercenary’s or does not appear. Also independent mercenary’ and the like still act as one big group. Instead of putting all these updates in a new game file you could just post it as a mod on the forum.Also trident bombers and long bow ships are not available. Sorry for reposting this but also I really want my old save back! And all my save files from, every version appear in the load bit but when i press delete it will delete it but if i go back on it will be there. The reason I want my save back is that I had 3 xyphos fighters, a paragon and the 3 deck capital but now they are ALL gone! Come back my sweet little baby’s!

    by Farlarzia
  31. Getting no sound at all with the new update 🙁

    by Ohccasional
  32. Sorry about the trouble! Hmm… and you’re sure the previous version’s sound still works? Nothing significant should have changed there.

    by Alex
  33. Sure you enabled sound in the menu that pops up when you start the game?
    Oh, and there’s another glitch when you’re salvaging items after a battle. If you click on an emply spot, the game crashes with the “fatal null” error.

    by The Soldier
  34. @The Soldier: That bug should be fixed in the hotfix release (0.51a-RC3), and the download links in this blog posts should point to it (if not, try clearing your cache).

    by Alex
  35. Will the AI of hammerheads be fixed too? when you made frontal shield-type ships more afraid of missiles, it also made hammerheads turn sideways whenever missiles are fired at them, making them take the full force…. it kind of made me waste all my credits I gained on my game when I bought 2 of them for my fleet, only to get blown up in the next battle… Also can’t wait for custom battles :). And re-add Conquest-class into the random battles, its my fave ship and whenever i just wanna fight with one in random, i have to roll approximately 9 times to get it as a random part of my fleet :P.

    by Leuku
  36. @Leuku: Yeah, that will be fixed (already is in the dev version).

    by Alex
  37. Also forgot to mention: PIRANHA WINGS. THEY MURDER YOU, Enemy or not… Most of my losses come from the fact that my 4 wings of piranhas destroy my frigates :/

    by Leuku
  38. any ETA on the next content patch? the current state the money gain is just to low. only way to get new ships is to board them

    by Hampamatta
  39. After playing the new version on my pc, I notices that it is very hard to get weapons. Normally this wouldn’t be a problem, but since there is such little variety at the space stations and ships dont come with them already, don’t you think that random weapon drops after battles should be more frequent?

    by Me
  40. Btw if your piranha wing are killing your own ships, maybe you need to rethink your strategy. Try rallying your piranha wings on a side of the map. This makes them attack from left to right as they fly by. Then they will come in from the opposite way for another run. Make sure your frigates attack straight on also you may want a support carrier by your piranha rally point for repairs.

    by Me
  41. just a question but will asteroids be mineable in the future?

    by fox
  42. The piranha thing is strange, they never damages my ships before (last I played was RC2 not RC3).

    For weapons I too find it hard to outfit correctly some ships, even while making the cycle between all three stations and having tried idling while speeding the game 15mn to let convoys come in, I barely have what I need for 2/3 Onslaughts.

    by Troll
  43. I think the piranha thing is caused by the fact that all bombs now hit you, while in the old version they just slided over you… not taht its too bad of a change, but now they just feel inferior to any other strike craft :/

    by Leuku
  44. I was disapointed in loosing my save files. However, having attacked a capital ship for a laugh(fresh out of battle with the Hegemony forces)it surrendered to me. All I had at the time was a Wolf Class Frigate. My experience with the new patch: FREE CAPITOLS 😀

    by Eric
  45. @Eric
    He has a point, there has been quite a few times where there was a huge expensive Cap ship without any crew flying around space waiting to be picked up by my fleet, is this on purpose?

    by misterjscape
  46. Not quite – it should be possible, but happens too often now. Will be addressed in next build.

    by Alex
  47. Yeah I found way too many ships returning home, sometimes fleet, all surrendering without even a fight. Especially pirate groups taht become one of the easiest money makers when camping near thei homeplanet.

    by Troll
  48. The new builds pretty fun especially with three stations to dock at and more supply fleets to attack. I was wondering what influences the chance you will capture a ship after disabling it in a battle? Also it seems once you buy all of a hull in a station it’s gone. The station doesn’t get restocked by the supply fleets even after they drop stuff off.

    by GreyG884
  49. […] Starfarer news, Space Sector has their own look at the game, which also got a new version released […]

    by Spacey Snippets – 3-16-12 | Space Game Junkie
  50. Keeps getting better. But I won’t set a good year into this until I have the character bar. lol 🙂

    by Sam
  51. I discovered something “scary” today.
    I can’t play to SPAZ anymore. Whenever I get in a fight I want my Onslaught and wonder why there are so few weapons, and why ships move so linearly.
    Starfarer imposed a new milestone for me in terms of 2D space fights, and I’m glad it is so.

    by Troll