Follow on G+ Follow on Twitter Subscribe the Facebook page Subscribe the RSS feed Receive notifications of new posts by email

StarDrive Open Beta Now Available on Steam

By on March 11th, 2013 7:41 am

StarDrive | Real-time space 4X strategy game | Open beta

StarDrive is now available for pre-purchase on Steam as open beta. StarDrive’s open beta model follows on the footsteps of games like Elemental: Fallen Enchantress, Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion and others, where the player may participate in the game’s beta phase and help report bugs and propose enhancements by pre-purchasing the game, usually at a lower price than when the game is officially released, 17% off in this case. The game is expected to release officially on April 19th, at least according to Steam.

StarDrive is a real-time 4X space strategy game with a particular focus on modular ship design and an interesting twist which allows you to command any ship of your empire in a “WASD” faction, therefore the “action-strategy” label.

StarDrive was developed by Daniel DiCicco, a lawyer who has decided at some point of his life  that what he really wanted to do was to develop a space-based game, and in particular a space 4X game.

StarDrive | Real-time space 4X strategy game | Open beta

Dan succeeded on Kickstarter and not long after that he signed a publishing deal with Iceberg Interactive. Now Dan is one step closer on achieving his dream. In Dan’s own words: “I’ve gone from the guy with the dream to a guy with a game.”. You’re really very close now Dan. I wish you a nice and fruitful beta, now with much more feedback to digest.

To know more about StarDrive check our interview with Daniel. If you want to read it from the publisher’s perspective, have a look at our interview with Iceberg Interactive, which also includes some StarDrive talk.

Our last StarDrive preview dates back from August 2012, but we’ll have an updated version up very shortly. So, stay tuned for that!

Here’s the beta launch trailer.

     Subscribe RSS

Tags: , , , , , , , ,


  1. DeLastOne says:

    The lack of a “real” tutorial made my first user experience a very bad one.

    The only help given is two start videos I couldn’t watch and some very nasty textual tutorial.

    I really would love to see some starter missions for beginners.

    The game is really amazing but this is going to be very difficult to get new players in if it is not in the dev roadmap soon.

  2. Loyal_Viggo says:

    I bought this Friday afternoon… and I spent about 16 hours over the weekend on it…

    It’s alot of fun, and is still as you say in beta so there are things that need completing etc, but the feedback from the devs on their website and community assistance is first class. Once finally completed, this is going to be superb indeed.

    Ship design is outstanding, yet time consuming (I’m a perfectionist).

    My only tiny gripe is that I researched every single tech fairly easily and was able to stomp all over the opposition with my titans and many fancy weapons… there needs to be more/expanded research.

    I think too that the possibilities for modding and expansion are high.

  3. Towerbooks3192 says:


    Is this game like Distant Worlds like pausable real time and does it run well on older laptops like lets say it could handle distant worlds well?

    I really dont have a clue and I am planning to get this on wednesday, I also had to set-up my pc again after taking it down to use my desk for study so I have to use my mac with core 2 duo and nvidia 320M and it runs distant world with no hitches.

    • Mark says:

      From what I’ve read it will not run on integrated graphics chipsets like Intel at all. It needs a dedicated graphics card like ATI or Nvidia.

      • Towerbooks3192 says:

        so does nvida 320m do it? I can run distant worlds with no problems so what are my chances of running this game?

        • Mark says:

          I’m running Stardrive with Nvidia 330m on a Sony laptop. I’d say your chances are good to run it.

      • RandomBlue says:

        It’s been confirmed to work on Intel HD3000 cards. It’ll probably run on most, if not all, nVidia and AMD/ATI notebook cards as long as they support DirectX 9. You’d have to have a very old laptop to run into that issue with nVidia or AMD/ATI mobile cards.

    • Happy Corner says:

      Since no one else addressed it: yes, it’s pausable real-time.

  4. Mark says:

    I’m not involved in the beta, but I’ve heard some very interesting things about this game so I’m looking forward to reading the reviews with great anticipation.

    Could this finally be the game to eclipse Moo II? I have my fingers crossed.

    • DeLastOne says:

      Hmmm… far to be the one IMHO. But still a great refreshing alternative to a lot of the current 4x games around :) And the shilp builder is kick ass.

    • DeLastOne says:

      Ho and ground combat :)

    • DeLastOne says:


      I reply again just to let you know there is a project out there call Free Orion :

      This is a modern clone of MOO :)

      Try it ;)

      • Mark says:

        Thanks DeLastOne, I actually know about Free Orion, but unfortunately the deal breaker for me is the forced use of starlanes, something that MOO I and II never had, and did very well without. Funny how FO was born out of dissatisfaction with the train wreck that was MOO III but they still kept III’s bloody starlanes. Can making a clone of MOO II be that hard? Apparently.

        I don’t know if Stardrive is going to force the use of starlanes. I hope not, otherwise I’m going to be giving that a miss too. “Roads in space” just totally break my suspension of disbelief.

        • Keith Turner says:

          Starlanes don’t exist in StarDrive, at least not in the traditional sense. You can create your own “lanes” using projectors, and these provide you with sensor data and also allow your ships to travel through the area without using any of their stored power. With the right technology unlocks, it also allows you to move faster within them.

          Beyond that though, you can fly anywhere from anywhere anytime you like currently. There are no space lane restrictions.

        • Mark says:

          @ Keith,

          Sounds good, in fact what you described sounds quite interesting. I really like that fact that they don’t force you to use them.

  5. zigzag says:

    I’ve been waiting for this for a long time. I made the mistake of not preordering when it was available.

    I was impressed with how smoothly the game runs (esp. when compared to SOTS2 and LOP). This seems like an advantage of working with Unity3D rather than developing a proprietary engine.

    I’ve only played the game for about ten hours, but I’ve enjoyed it. My only criticisms are that it seems very difficult to control ships when assuming control and that I sometimes get a Distant Worlds-esque game-playing-itself feeling (although, not nearly to the same extent as Distant Worlds).

    • RandomBlue says:

      It’s not a Unity3D game, it’s a Sunburn engine game. But yes, using a pre-built engine to make a game certainly saves you a TON of work up front.

  6. DannyD says:

    I’m very interested to preorder this game, but I’m also a Distant Worlds fan, and it’s my doubt. Is “big” than Distant Worlds or is “smaller”?

    • zigzag says:

      I really dislike Distant Worlds, so take this with the appropriate perspective. Stardrive seems much “smaller” than Distant Worlds in two senses: the galaxy itself is smaller, and the mechanics are more streamlined (see, for example, the tech tree in Keith’s preview). It encourages players to take a more hands on approach, but still retains features for automation. e.g. Planets can be designated to be colonized, automatically queuing a colony ship.

      • DannyD says:

        Thanks! zigzag! Mh… I’ve some doubt because I’m torn between stardrive, M.O.R.E and Starlords. I know, Starlords and M.O.R.E are different from Stardrive. The main features I like of Daniel di Ciccio’s work is the “WASD” command of the ships, but my “fear” is possible limited game like ” Endless Space ” ( oh, is a great game and atm I’m official italian translator of Amplitude but compared to Distant Worlds is smaller. Distant Worlds is yardstick for a good 4x )

        • RandomBlue says:

          I was excited about Starlords at first and I’m in the alpha. However, progress has been extremely slow the game is extremely generic currently. There is almost no personality.

          I’m also a backer for MORE but that looks to be a long way out as well.

        • zigzag says:

          I’ll second RandomBlue’s opinion on Starlords. It is very generic. The races in Stardrive are much more interesting. (They adhere to the same conventions in most sci-fi/fantasy games. I’m currently playing as the sneaky, seductive race that might as well be the Darloks.)

        • RandomBlue says:

          Wait wait wait, you’re telling me the Drayloks are like the Darloks? WHAT?

        • DannyD says:

          oooooooooook! In fact I think M.O.R.E maybe will be released in … 2014?

          Ok, I’ll take Stardrive this weekend ( you’ve convinced me D: ). Last question : for you,it’s possibile to made a translation?

        • DeLastOne says:



          There it says about it. “Because StarDrive will be in many languages[…]” and also “[…]you need to go to StarDrive/Content/Localization/English.xml, and open up that file[…]”

        • DeLastOne says:

          Also see it here :

          Hi Eddy.

          Well, I think the plan is for English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish. I have to deliver a “loc kit” to my developer here pretty soon so that they can do the localization.

        • DannyD says:

          Many Thanks TheLastOne! I’m interested of a possible Italian translation. Next step, registration on the forum :)

          Thanks again!

  7. DevildogFF says:

    I’ve long been a vocal fan of Stardrive, to the point that I sound like a fanboy. Truth is, it’s hard not to be.

    The game is in great shape. Is it perfect? No, but the rough edges are smooth enough that it’s all fixable and Zero is hands down one of the most responsive developers I’ve ever seen. It’s hard NOT to like him.

    I’ve watched it grow over the past year from little more than a proof of concept to a full-fledged real-time 4X game that has the potential to win a lot of people over.

    It needs a good tutorial. It needs some UI love. It needs its core gameplay to be finished (the pirate encounter, the Revoranii, etc.), but I have a gut feeling that it will all come together to present as one of the best 4X games to date. Truth is, everyone should buy a copy. If only to support a great example of what one man can do with an indomitable spirit and with a fraction of the resources these BIG companies have.

    TL;DR: I’d much rather spend $25 on Zero’s game than waste it on $60 train-wreck city simulations that require me to be online…*cough cough*

    This game is worth the money and then some. Get hyped.

    • Njordin says:

      Yes, absolutely. I can only agree with devildogs whole statement.
      I don´t know one single person, who regret to buy SD.

  8. Gijas says:

    I like it. Coming from DW here as well. But Im also wanting more tutorials or better ones. Im not into building ships like a lot of you. More into exploration and expansion of my empire. I found there are 3 basic ship designs fighter, shuttle and colony to start. But are these just empty ship hulls? Where anything extra you put on yourself? Excluding your main ship.

    • DeLastOne says:

      “Where anything extra you put on yourself? Excluding your main ship.”

      I think you are asking how to get more designs.

      You have to research them to get bigger hull. From fighter to freigther to battleship

      Starting with your current flag ship, you can build an armada of small figthers and then when you come accross your first ennemy, at the starting of the game, it should be enough for you to hold with them.

      Create fleets. You can save your fleet design and requesta requisition at any moment. The newly ships will be send wherever is the fleet.

      PS : one things badly missing is the “All together jump” option. Right now initialising a jump for you fleet will make them all jump at their own speed, making figthers arriving first and then your big battleship arriving a while after. I am using multi jump, waiting for the slow big ass to join the figther… Am I missing an option here ? Is it possible to make the fleet jump at the lowest speed ?

      • Keith Turner says:

        I had requested an option to have all ships in a fleet move at the same speed as the slowest ship, so that they could maintain formation and arrive at the same time, during the closed beta. Unfortunately, as far as I know, this mechanic doesn’t exist yet, I’ve gotten pretty used to ordering my ships to jump just outside an enemy system before going in, and this keeps them a little closer together anyway,

  9. Happy Corner says:

    I missed the earlier preorder deal, so it’s wonderful that StarDrive is available on Steam. I think it has promise… I see a lot of cues taken from MOO2, but it also has some things to move it forward and help it stand out, too. The developer has also been very responsive to feedback, always a plus.

    I second all the opinions about StarDrive’s UI, though. Right now it’s more cumbersome to play this game than it really needs to be. Even the tooltips take far too long to show up. In particular, I’d really like pop-up notices when my scouts reach a new system or other things that MOO2 would actually notify you about. Hell, the usual list of “Pause the game when…” settings would be great.

    Luckily, UI improvement isn’t too much to expect for a project like this, and I have faith that it’ll be a lot better in due time.

Related Articles:

Post category: News & Announcements