Crew Members

StarboundThis section is largely condensed from the Starbound Wiki. From time to time we archive important information, as the internet has proven rather ephemeral when it comes to preserving content.

Crewing your vessel is a time consuming, but worthy enterprise. To gain the more specialized varieties, you will need to establish a colony using Colony Deeds, and then complete quests for them until they decided to join your ship.

Once you've recruited your shipmates, you will have companions who improve your ship and grant you helpful buff while aboard it - and also follow you on dangerous missions providing combat support. They are very helpful when you are focusing on mining or building - killing hostile enemies as you work.


Manning Your Starship

(Mostly taken from the Starbound Wiki with some improvements, clarifications and edits).

Crew are specialized NPCs that reside on the player's ship and generally provide passive benefits. Up to twelve at a time can be recruited at a time, and up to two at a time can follow the player to any place in the universe, giving buffs or assisting in combat. The Soldiers, Outlaws and Janitors tend to be the most useful units. The Chemists and Medics, while helpful aboard your vessel, cast their buffs far too infrequently to be of much assistance planet side.


Crew Roles

Each crew member has a role assigned. Each role provides a benefit to the player or the ship. The color of each crew member's uniform corresponds to the role they have. Roles can be reviewed in the 'Crew' tab in SAIL on the ship.

- Medic: Grants a 30 second regeneration boost - permanent while aboard ship.
- Blue Chemist: Grants a 30 second jump boost - permanent while aboard ship.
- Green Chemist: Grants a 30 second run boost - permanent while aboard ship.
- Orange Chemist: Grants a 30 second damage boost - permanent while aboard ship.
- Yellow Chemist: Grants a 90 second light boost - permanent while aboard ship.
- Engineer: Increases ship travel speed by 10%.
- Mechanic: Increases ship fuel efficiency by 10%. 2nd adds 5%, 3rd 2.5% etc.
- Tailor: Changes the uniforms of the crew to the player's cosmetic effects.
- Soldier: Fighter, uses broadsword or an assault rifle in combat.
- Outlaw: Fighter, uses a broadsword or a shotgun in combat.
- Janitor: Fighter, uses daggers or pistols in combat.
- Penguin Mercenary: Fighter, uses two different pistols.

It's best to take a balanced selection of crew members - you gain very little for having multiples of the same variety. Even Mechanics and Engineers have savagely diminishing returns for recruiting more than one. You'll note there are twelve slots for crew members, and twelve different types of crew. This is what we in the gaming world might call "a hint."

Starbound Crewmembers

Acquiring Crew Members

Crew members of most races can be obtained by gaining favor with regular, non-merchant NPCs through quests. When an NPC decides that they want to join your ship, they will change into a Protectorate Set colored according to their prospective job and can be added to the crew by interacting with them and clicking 'hire' while you have room in both your landing party and on your Ship. (While merchant NPCs do give quests, they never become available as crew. You can use colony deeds if you would like to generate a merchant aboard your starship.)

Not all kinds of NPCs can become all kinds of crew. Depending on their type, their crew type chances are as follows:

Generic NPC:
• 14.3% Soldier
• 3.6% "Blue Chemist
• 3.6% Green Chemist
• 3.6% Yellow Chemist
• 3.6% Orange Chemist
• 14.3% Engineer
• 14.3% Mechanic
• 14.3% Medic
• 14.3% Janitor
• 14.3& Tailor

Philanthropist & Socialite:
• 100% Tailor
Generic Guard, Convict:
• 50% Soldier
• 25% Engineer
• 25% Mechanic

• 50% Engineer
• 50% Mechanic

Apex Rebel:
• 25% Soldier
• 25% Engineer
• 25% Mechanic
• 25% Medic
Miniknog Researcher, Hazmat Scientist & Scientist Tenants:
• 25% Blue Chemist
• 25% Green Chemist
• 25% Yellow Chemist
• 25% Orange Chemist

You can "influence" what type of tenant you will receive by putting furnishings relevant to their profession in a dwelling before placing a colony deed. I.E. scientific furniture will result in some manner of researcher, while weapon's crates and military objects will spawn a guard. You can break this down along racial lines as well, for example, decorating a home with lots of Apex machinery will generate an Apex Electrician tenant.

In addition to recruiting colonists, there are two other ways to acquire crew members:

Penguin Mercenaries: Penguin crew members can be hired with dubloons from the Beakeasy once the Dreadwing the Penguin encounter has been completed in the current universe. All penguin mercenaries have the job Soldier.

Outlaws: When on a quest to kill an NPC, that NPC, once brought down to low health, sometimes decides to surrender and requests that you lower your weapon (done by switching to non-weapon items or emptying your hands - Z by default). If the NPC does not decide to betray your trust, doing so will allow you to recruit them. They will always have the job Outlaw.

Starbound Crewmembers

On-Ship Effects

Crew members who provide ship effects will either periodically upgrade the ship or will provide a passive effect to all crew and team members on board. When they aren't following the player, crew members will act like regular NPCs, interacting with other objects on the ship and one another.

Every two ship members recruited will unlock a new ship upgrade quest just outside the Outpost in the shipyard. Penguin Pete will increase ship size provided players have both the crew and the correct number of Upgrade Modules. The player's initial ship can hold 2 crew members, and each of five ship upgrades increases crew capacity by 2; therefore, a maximum-size ship can hold 12 crew members.


Creating a Party

Players can talk to crew members on their ship to add them to their party. When in a party, the crew members follow players. A maximum of two crew members can follow the player at once; however, you will not be able to recruit more crew members to your ship if you already have two crew members in your party (despite new crew members directly beaming to the ship).

The party will accompany the player to a planet's surface, the outpost, and missions, and will fight monsters and hostiles. Crew members' health and combat power scales with the player's currently-equipped armor.

Soldiers, Outlaws, Janitors and Penguins provide the best away-mission support. Engineers also provide combat support when traveling, though they are not as strong as combatant types. Other crew classes may also be able to provide combat support. Tailors do not leave the ship.

Crew members will respawn on the ship when killed, and will return to the ship if the player does (even if the player is killed). If they respawn on the ship because the player died, they will leave the party. If left behind, party members will teleport to the player's location unless they have been commanded to stay in place by the player. Note that this sometimes takes a while for them to catch up, greatly hindering the usefulness of Chemists and Medics outside of your vessel.

Party members will not follow players into liquids (and thus are not ideal for ocean planets).

Starbound Crewmembers


The tailor role lets you change the uniforms between the default Protectorate uniform assigned, or a custom uniform based on what you are wearing when you talk to the tailor. Your crew members will wear colorized versions of the one you assign to indicate what their roles aboard the ship are.

Starbound Crewmembers

Dismissing Crewmembers

Crew members can be dismissed from duty via SAIL's 'Crew' tab. This can effectively be used to make space for more crew members to be recruited.

You will not receive any compensation for the process of previously obtaining the crew member, e.g. you will not receive a dubloon that you had previously spent on a Penguin crew member, should you choose to dismiss one.

Starbound Crewmembers