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Starbound utilities for Python

This is a library to parse Starbound's file formats which are used to store worlds, player characters, assets, etc.

Feel free to contribute either via submitting pull requests or writing up issues with suggestions and/or bugs.

File & data formats

Check out for technical information on Starbound's file and data formats.

Command line utilities

Extracting .pak files

You can use the script to extract all the files in a .pak (or .modpak) file.


./ -d assets /Starbound/assets/packed.pak

Getting world info

If you want information about a region in a world (planet or ship), you can use the script. For example, here's how to pretty print the tiles in a region:

$ ./ /Starbound/storage/universe/
World size:        3000×2000
Spawn point:       (1224.0, 676.0)
Outputting region: (37, 21)
Outputting value:  foreground_material

Outputs something like this:

If you don't provide X and Y coordinates after the path, it will default to the region that the spawn point is in.

You can also output specific tile values (instead of the foreground) using --value-index (or -v):

$ ./ --value-index=12 /Starbound/storage/universe/ 69 27
World size:        3000×2000
Spawn point:       (1224.0, 676.0)
Outputting region: (69, 27)
Outputting value:  liquid_pressure

Outputs something like this:

And here's how to print the entities in a region:

$ ./ --entities /Starbound/storage/universe/ 69 27
World size:        3000×2000
Spawn point:       (1224.0, 676.0)
Outputting region: (69, 27)

      "direction": "left",
      "inputWireNodes": [],
      "interactive": true,
      "name": "wiringstation",
      "orientationIndex": 0,
      "outputWireNodes": [],
      "parameters": {
        "owner": "916d5878483e3a40d10467dc419982c2"
      "scriptStorage": {},

Using the Python package

The Python package lets you read data from Starbound's various file formats. The classes and functions expect file objects to read from.

You can use the mmap package to improve performance for large files, such as packed.pak and world files.

Example: Reading a player file

Here's how to print the name of a player:

import starbound

with open('player/11475cedd80ead373c19a91de2e2c4d3.player', 'rb') as fh:
  player = starbound.read_sbvj01(fh)
  print('Hello, {}!'.format(['identity']['name']))

Example: World files

In the following example the mmap package is used for faster access:

import mmap, starbound

with open('universe/', 'rb') as fh:
  mm = mmap.mmap(fh.fileno(), 0, access=mmap.ACCESS_READ)

  world = starbound.World(mm)

  print('World size: {}×{}'.format(world.width, world.height))
  x, y = world.metadata['playerStart']
  print('Player spawns at ({}, {})'.format(x, y))

  # Regions consist of 32×32 tiles.
  rx, ry = x // 32, y // 32
  print('An entity: {}'.format(world.get_entities(rx, ry)[0]))

Example: Getting assets from packed.pak

Starbound keeps most of the assets (images, configuration files, dungeons, etc.) in a file called packed.pak. This file uses a special format which can be read by py-starbound, as you can see below.

import starbound

with open('assets/packed.pak', 'rb') as fh:
  package = starbound.SBAsset6(fh)

  # Print the contents of a file in the asset package.

Example: Modifying Starbound files

Currently, only the SBVJ01 file format can be written by py-starbound. This means player files, client context files, and the statistics file.

Here's an example that renames a player (WARNING: Always back up files before writing to them!):

import starbound

with open('player/420ed511f83b3760dead42a173339b3e.player', 'r+b') as fh:
  player = starbound.read_sbvj01(fh)

  old_name =['identity']['name']
  new_name = old_name.encode('rot13')['identity']['name'] = new_name
  print('Updating name: {} -> {}'.format(old_name, new_name))

  # Go back to the beginning of the file and write the updated data.
  starbound.write_sbvj01(fh, player)
  # If the file got shorter, truncate away the remaining content.


MIT License