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About this mod

This is my Mod Pack for Starsector. The goal of this Mod Pack is to put all of my private modifications to Starsector into one easy-to-install package. Some parts of the Mod Pack are stand-alone Utility projects that don’t depend on other components.

Permissions and credits
Pack Goal

The goal of this Mod Pack is to put all of my private modifications to Starsector into one easy-to-install package.  The Mod Pack is broadly compatible with faction mods, Nexerelin, etc.

Some parts of the Mod Pack are stand-alone Utility projects that don’t depend on other components.  These are meant for broader use within the Starsector community.

However, to run Rebal, all of the components must be installed and active, as well as LazyLib (not included with the Pack).

Suggested Installation

The Mod Pack's designed to support Rebal. Install all of the mods in the Pack to play the mod as it is designed to be played.

Only Utility mods are guaranteed to operate with Rebal. In general, I've tried to make Rebal compatible with Faction mods, etc., but YMMV.

Mod Pack Components
Starsector Rebal

  • Rebal focuses on rebalancing the combat and non-combat parts of the game to support diversity in play styles and character concepts.
  • Rebal also includes many innovative sub-systems for modders to use, such as the Special Shot System, Beam / Energy mechanics, shield / flux systems, etc.
  • A detailed summary of Rebal’s changes to gameplay is further below.

Starsector AI Overhaul (MT)

  • AI Overhaul is an AI replacer for most core functions of the Starsector AI, utilizing multithreaded Java so that AI can run on multiple CPUs at once.
  • AI Overhaul is not 100% compatible with all modded AIs that rely on certain AI-Flag combinations, but is designed to be generally compatible, and it features a blacklisting system, for mods where it isn't suitable.
  • AI Overhaul also includes sub-AI for weapons, including turret controls (auto-aim) and missile guidance.

Starsector FX (MT)

  • FX consists of two parts: a core Utility mod and an example project specifically designed to support Rebal.
  • The core Utility mod is designed for modders, and does nothing on its own.  It is a multithreaded Java utility for building particle effects and trails with powerful tools for modders to use. 

EZ Faction

  • EZ Faction is a Utility mod that makes building Faction mods as easy as possible, yet powerful enough for most modders. 

EZ Damage

  •  EZ Damage is a Utility mod that makes applying generic damage effects to a ship or CombatEntityAPI one line of code.

Explorer Society

  •  Explorer Society is a basic Faction mod included with the Mod Pack to demonstrate EZ Faction, EZ Damage, FX, etc. in the context of Rebal.  Explorer Society explicitly depends on Rebal being installed to use, as it shares some systems.

Rebal Mod Change List

It’s almost impossible to succinctly summarize all of the core mechanic changes in Rebal, but this is an overview.

Starting selections have been changed to reflect the style of gameplay they represent.

  • The Wolf start now includes a Scarab and a Dram. This is intended to be a “hard combat start”.
  • The Wayfarer is now a “trader” start, it now comes with a Mule, Tarsus, and a Dram, as well as some random goods to allow for the player to begin trading while in Galatia.
  • The “explorer” start has been rebalanced a bit to work better with the new combat systems.
  • The “mercenary” start has been rebalanced slightly.

Travel speed has been increased in general, especially in hyperspace.

  • Burn speed is now considerably faster than vanilla's default.  As a result, Sustained Burn is now significantly faster.
  • The eminently abusable Transverse Jump has been replaced with Hyper Jump.  This new ability allows the player to instantly traverse large sections of hyperspace nearly instantly... but it costs a lot of Fuel.

Tariffs have been changed to fit the theme of each faction.

  • Hegemony:  Low (20%)
  • Luddic Church: Very High (40%)
  • Knights of Lud: High(35%)
  • Ludic Path:  Very Low(10%)
  • Persean League:  Low(15%)
  • Sindrian Diktat:  Moderate(25%)
  • Lions Guard: Moderate(25%)
  • Tri-Tachyon: Low(15%)
  • Independent: Very Low(10%)
  • The Explorer Society: Very Low(10%)
  • Pirates:  Very Low (5%)

It doesn't make sense that all of the Factions uniformly agreed on a 30% tariff and uniformly agreed to keep legitimate trade away from their planets.  This has never made much sense, nor has the lack of genuine trade routes.  So, in general, tariffs have been lowered, to increase the incentive the player has to trade 100% legally with several of the Factions (including the Pirates).  It should be possible to raise one’s Reputation with the Pirates through legitimate trade runs and Missions and even <ahem> make a living as a Pirate.

Experience gain is much faster than Vanilla, to reduce time spent grinding.

Grinding in Starsector is largely wasted time, after a few runs through the game.  I want to get to the fun parts where I get to bash giant fleets together... don’t you?

Money gained from most major Intel activities / Missions is increased substantially.

This includes income from bounties, exploration, and trade missions.  Bounty missions are far more common, so that players aren’t ever waiting for one to populate.

To help balance this increase of income, expenses are increased as well.  This includes monthly maintenance, Officer pay, and Crew / Marine pay. On the high end, this means that fleets can cost ruinous amounts to maintain.  Players will need to balance their need for firepower against their budgets.

Factions are NOT fully dynamic like they were in Vacuum (yet).

This mod does not replace Nexerelin’s functions or implement the full features of Vacuum (my previous, barely-lamented mega-mod TC).  Dynamic behaviors will probably be added when Alex releases the next major build of the game, if Alex doesn't get around to it (which, based on his latest comments, he probably won't).

Player fleets are allowed to be much larger than vanilla.

  • Player fleets can be as large as 90 ships.
  • AI fleets can be as large as 180 ships.
  • Giant fleets to bash against aren't happening... yet.  This is on my list for late-game tweaks.

Level caps and Skills have been adjusted.

  • The Player level cap is 80, giving access to more Skills (but not quite all).
  • Combat Skills also give fleet-wide buffs at level 3.  WARNING: this means that the AI can have a significant advantage if the player does not invest in Combat.
  • Officer level cap is now 29.  This allows Officers to max out 10 skills fully, rather than missing points or not filling out their Skill bar.

Shields and Flux

  • Shields have their base damage-resistance value tied directly to their arc, in degrees.  A small-arc shield is nearly invulnerable to enemy fire, but will not protect the entire ship, whereas a Bubble Shield provides complete protection, but with considerably less resistance.
  • Form Shields offer players a new shield type that has some major weaknesses and strengths.  Form Shields go up / down instantly and are, as the name suggests, form-fitting, reducing a ship’s hitbox.  However, they are vulnerable to Fragmentation and EMP damage and don’t benefit as much as conventional shields from Skills and Hull Mods.
  • Hard Flux drains constantly, based on Capacity.  This is a passive ability that all ships have now.
  • Other Hard Flux mitigation tools are widely available.
  • Many ships that were widely-perceived as “shield tanks” are more effective in Rebal in their theme.
  • There are no shield-less ships in Rebal.  Even Pirate “trash” ships have some shielding.  In some cases, this means certain ships are considerably improved over their Vanilla versions.

Weapons Changes

  • Weapon stats have been extensively altered, across the board, using a balancing system where all weapons have been par-balanced versus their cost in Ordinance Points.  This isn’t 100% perfect, but weapon balance is generally better than in Vanilla; there aren’t “trash guns” or other newbie-traps.
  • Beams do Hard Flux damage, and do more damage the closer they are to targets.  After extensive testing of alternatives, this appears to be the best way to fix Beam balance.  Certain Beams have had their ranges reduced to compensate.
  • Energy Damage weapons do more damage the closer they are to targets.
  • Missile weapons all reload, and do not run out of ammo.
  • Certain Vanilla weapons have new behaviors (for example, the Thumper is now an efficient “shotgun” that kills fighters well).
  • Friendly Fire is no longer a thing.  The performance implications of Friendly Fire for the AI far outweigh the small problems it creates for players and AI ships occasionally using each other as cover.

Hull Mods

  • Most Hull Mods cost fewer OPs.
  • Lots of Hull Mods have had their effects tweaked, sometimes in radical ways.  For example, Rapid Venting gives players a small boost to passive Flux drain, as well as improving Venting speeds.  Ion Shielding gives ships a big improvement in resistance to Beams, etc.
  • As a result of the above changes, ships tend to have a much broader selection of Hull Mods and many different ship builds are viable that weren’t really available in Vanilla.

Ship Changes

  • In general, ships are a little more-firmly placed in their size class.  For example, there are no Destroyers who are faster than Frigates, there are no Frigates faster than Fighters, and so on.
  • In general, the larger ships have considerably-higher values for Armor, Hull Points and Flux stats.  Larger ships can tank more damage than in Vanilla, in general. The difference in stats between Capital-class ships and Cruisers has been made a little sharper; a Capital-class ship is usually capable of destroying multiple smaller vessels by itself in late-game play.
  • In general, Fighters are still strong, but not as strong overall as they are in Vanilla (as of 0.91a).  Carrier-only fleets generally don’t work as well, but Fighters are a strong, viable supporting element.
  • Some ships, particularly Destroyers, are geared for player use while being somewhat viable for the AI.  Destroyers are the “sweet spot” between effective combat power and maneuverability in Starsector, and I’ve tried to make some of them feel very special for players who want to have a ship designed for hands-on play.
  • For players who prefer a more tactical role as commander, rather than as a fighter, the larger ships are very suitable for this style of play.  Taking command of an Onslaught that forms the core of your fleet should feel like a valid choice, even if you’re just giving directions occasionally.
  • Expert players, who want to do both piloting and fleet direction in combat, will be amply rewarded.

Other Notes

  •  Rebal is a work-in-progress; it has changed many times as my understanding of what might work best has altered.  This build represents where it is today. It’s not 100% perfect, but I think it’s generally Fun and improves certain aspects of Starsector, both early and late-game play.
  • I’ve tested FX with multiple computers / GPUs; it should be broadly compatible with most people’s hardware, as it uses very basic OpenGL to do the final drawing of the sprites.
  • The AI mod does not behave like Vanilla’s AI.  This isn’t a bug, it’s a feature. Getting used to how it works in specific ways (for example, Fighters don’t have an artificial range limit from carriers) takes time.  Be patient and try different ship builds out to see how it works.
  • Rebal’s mechanics are mainly geared for late-game combat builds, where I feel that Starsector is too reliant on artificial limits and game-mechanics that limit both players and the AI.  In Rebal, players can build vastly-powerful fleets; the problem is largely, “how do I pay for that killer fleet” rather than, “I cannot really build a fleet that can take multiple Pirate Armadas”.  The change in emphasis on Combat Skills to include fleet-wide buffs largely addresses the power-imbalance between players and the AI in late-game, where AI fleets, being less carefully-optimized, start having major problems competing.  In Rebal, the player is forced to either put points into all of the Combat tree skills, or face opponents who may have small (but significant) advantages.
  • Rebal and the other mods together mean that large-scale battles with the AI scale well and perform very well; this is how I like to play Starsector, with giant battles between epic-scale fleets.  I will probably make this emphasis even stronger in the future.