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Starbased – The Missing Manual!

Welcome to the unofficial guide for SAGE Starbased, the latest iteration of SAGE Labs! This guide explains everything you need to know to transition from the old SAGE Labs to the new SAGE (Labs) Starbased.

Starbased – The Missing Manual


If you are new to SAGE (Labs), then this guide may not yet be for you. This guide will not fully explain how the game works. Instead, it focuses (for now) primarily on the new elements that can be found in Starbased, as compared to the previous version of SAGE Labs.

This guide includes the following chapters:

  1. Quick Overview of the Changes
  2. Priority Fees
  3. Loyalty Points
  4. Upgrading Starbases
    • Crew Needed
    • Starting an Upgrade
    • Monitoring & Completing an Upgrade
    • Collective Efforts
    • Redundant Contributions
    • Starting & Finalizing Tier Upgrades
    • Upgrade Costs
    • Loyalty Points
  5. Upkeeping Starbases
    • Maintaining a Starbase
    • Upkeep Numbers
    • Loyalty Points
    • Redundant Token Accounts
  6. Earning Atlas
    • Epochs
    • Fixed Emissions
    • Acquiring Atlas
    • Calculating your Atlas Reward
    • Redeeming your Atlas Rewards
  7. Experience Points & Licenses
    • Licenses
    • Council Rank
    • License Progression
  8. Frequently Asked Questions

1. Quick Overview of the Changes

The previous version of SAGE Labs offered three different interfaces for playing the game: V1, V2, and the 3D version. SAGE Starbased (still a SAGE Labs game) comes with only one interface, which is an evolution of the aforementioned V2 interface.

Access SAGE Starbased here:

The biggest changes in a nutshell:

  • Starbases are no longer Tier 5, they have been reduced to Tier 1. The core objective in Starbased is to upgrade those bases back to Tier 5.
  • Helping your faction upgrade those starbases will earn you Loyalty Points. Don’t mistake this for reputation because you will be spending these points!
  • For the first time, actual player progression will be stored on-chain in the form of Experience Points (XP). Though these don’t come with tangible effects right now, in the future, you will have a headstart when actual License & Player levels will be introduced.
  • All redemption recipes have been removed. You can, at launch, use your resources, materials, and components for one thing only: contributing to your faction’s efforts
  • Yes, this includes Council RFRs. Atlas has to be earned through accumulating and spending Loyalty Points from now on (see next section)
  • 3 new resources have been added to the map: Titanium, Silica, and Nitrogen.
  • 5 new recipes have been added that incorporate these new resources
  • The map has slightly changed, and not just to incorporate the new resources.
  • Scanning requires Food now, instead of Toolkits

2. Priority Fees

First things first! If you encounter issues with failing transactions, please click the cogwheel in the top right corner to open the Advanced Settings.

Screenshot 2024 04 03 at 18.29.02
Starbased – Advanced Settings

Among the options presented, one reads Priority Fees. Enable that one, and hopefully, your transaction success ratio will increase!

Screenshot 2024 04 03 at 15.36.52
Starbased – Priority Fees – Your new best friend

Note: If you are using Phantom, you may want to do this as well, as Phantom calculates outrageous fees every now and then.

3. Loyalty Points

Starbased will introduce a new currency of sorts: Loyalty Points (LP). These points are stored on-chain but not represented by a token. As such, you won’t see them show up in your wallet, and you won’t be able to trade them with others. These points are soulbound, which means they are tied to your PlayerProfile and can not go anywhere else.

The goal of Starbased is to help your faction strengthen its hold on its territory. You do this primarily by upgrading the 16 Starbases under your faction’s control (besides their CSS). In addition, primarily because it is required to perform these upgrades, you will be tasked with maintaining those same starbases, as well as the Central Space Station (CSS).

Your faction, in return, will reward you with Loyalty Points. These LPs can be used, at launch, for one thing, and one thing only: to acquire a slice of your faction’s steady flow of Atlas emissions.

In other words, in order to earn Atlas, you will first have to earn LP. There are two ways to do this:

  • Supply material and crew to help upgrade a Starbase (within your faction’s borders)
  • Supply Food and/or Toolkits to any one of the Starbases (within your faction’s borders)

Before going into the actual earnings, let’s look closer at these two new core gameplay loops!

4. Upgrading Starbases

Each Starbase that is not at max Tier will offer several Upgrade projects (aka Effort) to the players. When all efforts have been completed, any player can hit the button and upgrade the Starbase to the next Tier.

Each Faction’s Central Space Station is at Tier 6, which is its maximum. This means there are no Upgrade projects available here, and there will never be.

Every other Starbase starts out at Tier 1 and can be upgraded up to Tier 5, which is its maximum.

Every Tier of a Starbase comes with its own assortment of Upgrade projects. Tier 1 Starbases offer 5 different projects that must be completed before they can be upgraded to Tier 2. Tier comes with 6 projects that need to be completed instead, and each next Tier will add one more project.

Each new Starbase Tier comes with Upgrade projects that require the exact same components as those of the previous tier, plus an Upgrade project for one additional new component. However, each upgrade will come with higher component demands.

Crew Needed

It’s not enough to just contribute components. Someone is going to have to use these to do the actual construction work. And, you guessed it, this is you! Or rather, it’s your crew. Whenever you supply components, you will also have to supply a number of crewmembers. In this sense (and in many more), this process behaves a lot like a regular crafting process.

Your contributions won’t register as complete before all the components you supplied have been used up in the Upgrade process. Again, like with regular crafting, the more crew you supply, the faster you’ll complete your contribution to the upgrade project.

Of course, you will get the crew back once your work is completed. On the other hand, the components supplied will be gone forever.

Starting an Upgrade

First, select the Operations option in the Starbase Controls for one of your Faction’s Starbases (one for where you have the right components and crew available). The first tab in the dialog that pops up, Base Management, is exactly where you need to be. At the top of the tab, you will see the Starbase Maintenance and Upkeep section. Right below it, you will find the Starbase Upgrade / Staging Area. This contains the Starbase’s Upgrade projects.

Starbased - A pristine Tier 1 Starbase
Starbased – A pristine Tier 1 Starbase

The top line, Base Staffing, lists the number of crew members you have available at the station and how many of them are available for work. Directly below are the various Upgrade projects to which you could contribute. Some may have already been completed, which will be clearly marked, making it impossible to commit efforts to that project.

A Tier 1 Starbase offers 5 different projects you can contribute to by supplying resources and lending out crewmembers. Choose the one you wish to contribute to and select Commit to Efforts.

Starbased - Upgrade Project: Frameworks
Starbased – Upgrade Project: Frameworks [note LP reward here is wrong!]

In the following screen, you can input the number of components you wish to supply and select the number of crewmembers you wish to lend out. At the bottom, you can see how much LP this contribution will reward you after your crew has completed their part of the upgrade.

When you return to the previous screen, Base Management, you won’t see a change in the Effort Progress indicator for the component you provided. This is not an error; this is because only completed work is registered there.

Monitoring & Completing an Upgrade

After you have supplied some components and crew to an Upgrade project, you can track your crew’s progress through the Staff Efforts tab (the third one at the top) of the Operations dialog. You’ll have to select the second internal tab to access the Staff Upgrade Projects.

Here, you will see a list of your Upgrade efforts underway, along with a timer counting down to completion.

Starbased – Upgrade Effort (Ongoing)

If you abandon the effort, you will get your materials and crew back right away. However, you will not have contributed, so there will be no LP reward!

Starbased - Upgrade Efforts (Completion)
Starbased – Upgrade Efforts (Completion)

If, instead, you wait until your efforts have been installed, you will see a line pop up in the Ready for Installation section. Selecting the line and clicking the Install into Starbase button at the bottom of the popup will return your crewmembers and collect your LP reward!

Collective Efforts

Neither the Upgrade projects nor the Upkeep efforts are solo endeavors. Other players are contributing to the very same projects, which is why you will see their progress jump up occasionally.

Once a specific Upgrade project has been completed, additional components of the required type can no longer be used to upgrade that Starbase. At least, not while there are other Upgrade projects remaining that have not yet been completed.

Screenshot 2024 04 03 at 17.24.02
Starbased – Upgrade Efforts Met

Redundant Contributions

Considering all of the above, you may have noticed an issue. Because your contributions are not taken into account until your crew has finished their work, that specific project will remain open for others to contribute to, even when your contribution would complete the project.

The game has to take into account that you may choose to abandon your effort.

How is this handled? Well, once a contribution is finished and claimed (installed), if it’s enough to finish the project, all is well, and it’s handled as normal. If there is a surplus (because someone else made a smaller contribution that finished earlier), you’ll get the surplus refunded, and you will only get LP for the number of components that were required.

If your entire contribution is redundant because the project has already been completed, you will see this right away in the interface with a Reclaim button. That button will refund your components and you will not gain any LP for the time spent.

Starbased – Upgrade Effort (Redundant)

This means that towards the end of a specific project, it could make sense for you to make smaller contributions with your full crew available to ensure it is completed faster.

Starting & Finalizing Tier Upgrades

When you are the first person who wants to Upgrade a Starbase to the next Tier, there is one initial step you’ll need to perform. You will notice no Upgrade projects are shown because they have not been created on-chain. Someone will have to do that first, and that someone is you.

The process is simple. Just click the Start Upgrade (Tier X) button in the dialog’s bottom right corner. The Upgrade projects will appear almost immediately after.

Screenshot 2024 04 03 at 20.37.48
Starbased – Kickstarting the upgrade process to the next Tier

When all Upgrade projects have been completed, the Finalize button will be enabled (that was always lurking in the bottom right corner). Someone will have to click it to set the actual upgrade in motion. When you do, the Starbase will level up on-chain, and, provided the max tier was not reached, the next Tier upgrade can be started.

Upgrade Costs

Below are a few tables that list the exact Upgrade mission requirements:

ComponentAmount RequiredTime cost (1 crew/1 component)
Power Source194,664,86215s
Tier 1 to Tier 2

ComponentAmount RequiredTime cost (1 crew/1 component)
Power Source226,110,72615s
Field Stabilizer105,484,38424s
Tier 2 to Tier 3

ComponentAmount RequiredTime cost (1 crew/1 component)
Power Source268,440,55415s
Field Stabilizer125,231,94724s
Radiation Absorber91,260,43248s
Tier 3 to Tier 4

ComponentAmount RequiredTime cost (1 crew/1 component)
Power Source318,045,74915s
Field Stabilizer148,373,58824s
Radiation Absorber108,124,47048s
Particle Accelerator84,590,77096s
Tier 4 to Tier 5

Loyalty Points

Loyalty Points can be retrieved after your crew completes their upgrade work in the Staff Efforts tab of the Operations dialog.

The amount of Loyalty Points you get for contributing to an Upgrade effort depends on the component you are supplying. It does not depend on the number of players contributing to the same Upgrade project during an epoch, nor does it matter if it is a Tier 1 Starbase you are upgrading or a Tier 3. Lastly, it does not matter which faction you are in. The LP reward for a specific component is constant. Below is a table showing the amount of LP you can earn with each contribution.

ComponentLoyalty Points/component
Power Source90
Field Stabilizer288
Radiation Absorber768
Particle Accelerator1920
Loyalty points earned through Upgrading

5. Upkeeping Starbases

Each Starbase that is not at its max Tier will offer two different Upkeep missions: One to supply it with Food and another to supply it with Toolkits.

  • Toolkits: Upgrade efforts will pause when a Starbase runs out of Toolkits. This means that all players’ upgrade efforts will stand still and will be unable to be completed until more Toolkits have been supplied.
  • Food: Crafting processes will pause when a Starbase has run out of Food. Like the above, crafting processes will resume once more Food has been supplied.

If a Starbase is at max Tier, only the Food mission remains. The reason for this is simple: Toolkits are required to ensure Starbase Upgrade missions continue uninterrupted. But if a Starbase is at max Tier, it can not be upgraded anymore, so there is no need to supply Toolkits as Upkeep.

This is why the CSS also only has one Upkeep mission (Food), as it is already at max Tier (6, in that special case).

Maintaining a Starbase

First, select the Operations option in the Starbase Controls for one of your Faction’s Starbases (one where you have Food/Toolkits stored). At the top of the dialog that pops up, you will see the Starbase Maintenance and Upkeep section within the Base Management tab. This section lists the available upkeep processes for this specific Starbase.

Starbased - Upkeep
Starbased – Upkeep

Unlike Upgrade processes, no crew is required to maintain a starbase. As long as the bar associated with a Resource Requirement is not empty, the related processes will keep functioning. In other words, it’s not necessary to completely fill it up, though you are free to do so, of course.

If you want to contribute, click the Resupply button to add Food or Toolkits to the Starbase’s reserve.

Starbased - Resupplying Toolkits
Starbased – Resupplying Toolkits

In the following dialog, you will be able to input the number of Food/Toolkits you wish to contribute. Unlike Upgrade processes, you will get LP awarded instantly the instant you hit the Resupply Starbase button. There are no processes that need to be completed first.

Above the input box, you can see at a glance how fast the Starbase burns through this specific resource (Supply depletion rate) and how long it will take before the current supply is exhausted (Supply Exhausted).

Note that you can’t add more of a resource above its maximum supply.

Below the input, the dialog shows your current LP total (left) and the amount after resupplying (right, in light green). Beneath this new potential total, you can find the amount of LP added specifically for the current inputted contribution. Simply click the Resupply Starbase button to effectuate your contribution.

Upkeep Numbers

Below, you can find tables for each of the different Tiers of Starbases with their Food and Tookit burn rate (depletion rate in seconds) and the maximum storage capacity they have available for the resource (max reserve).

ResourceMax reserveDepletion rate/s
Tier 1 – Upkeep

ResourceMax reserveDepletion rate/s
Tier 2 – Upkeep

ResourceMax reserveDepletion rate/s
Tier 3 – Upkeep

ResourceMax reserveDepletion rate/s
Tier 4 – Upkeep

ResourceMax reserveDepletion rate/s
Tier 5 – Upkeep

ResourceMax reserveDepletion rate/s
Tier 6 – Upkeep

Note: The maximum reserve size divided by the depletion rate is a little over 12 hours for each of the resources and tiers.

Loyalty Points

Loyalty Points are earned immediately upon supplying either Food or Toolkits. Below is the number of LP earned for a single Food or Toolkit:

ResourceLoyalty Points/Resource
Loyalty Points earned through Upkeeping

Redundant Token Accounts

Every now and then, you could run into redundant token accounts while trying to contribute, such as when trying to provide Toolkits for a Starbases’ Upkeep.

Screenshot 2024 04 03 at 20.55.42
Starbased – Redundant Token Accounts

Here, the dialog will not allow you to click the Resupply button until you close your redundant token accounts. You can easily do this by clicking the red banner at the top of the dialog.

Redundant token accounts are nothing to be concerned about. During your adventures, some token accounts fail to close for whatever reason. It’s not a reason to halt your game, but at some point, it’s best to clear them up.

Sometimes, clicking the banner once is not enough, and you’ll have to click it again to get rid of the remaining accounts.

After this has been resolved, you can continue supplying your resources!

6. Earning Atlas

In Starbased, Atlas rewards have to be acquired using your LP. Before getting into this, let’s first cover some of the new mechanics that play a role here.


From an economic perspective, Starbased gameplay is split into an infinite number of consecutive, fixed-length windows of time, called epochs. All epochs have the exact same duration, and whenever one ends, another one will start. Every action a player performs occurs during one such epoch.

For the launch of Starbased, the team has set the length of a single epoch to 24 hours. To make things easy for the player base, an epoch currently starts and ends with a day in the (fictional) UTC timezone, which means a new epoch starts at 0:00 (12 AM) UTC every day.

This means that at launch, players on the US East Coast will see this happen at 8 PM, whereas for most of Western Europe, this will happen at 2 AM (02:00) instead.

Fixed Emissions

We’ve written in more depth about Atlas emissions in our long-form article “A New Economic Paradigm“, but we’ll give you the short version here.

At the end of every 24-hour epoch, the team emits 4.5 million Atlas as in-game rewards to Starbased Players. This Atlas will, in its entirety, be dropped to the players who spent their LP to acquire Atlas during that same epoch (more on this later).

But there is more to it. The 4.5 million daily Atlas emission is actually split into three equal-sized portions of 1.5 million. Each portion has been earmarked for one of the three player factions: MUD, ONI, and Ustur. Instead of 4.5 million Atlas, it’s really these three 1.5 million Atlas pools that will be distributed to players. To be precise, 1.5 million Atlas will be distributed to each faction after an epoch ends, specifically to the players within that faction who actually spent LP to purchase Atlas (that epoch).

This has consequences, which we’ll get into in a bit.

Acquiring Atlas

Atlas will not be earned automatically in Starbased; players must instead buy it at their faction’s Central Space Station. It’s important to note that you will not get your Atlas right away. As mentioned above, the Atlas will be dropped at the end of every epoch. We’ll get into the reasoning for this and the exact calculation below. Let’s first contribute some LP to get Atlas.

To do so, select one of your faction’s star systems. Then select the LP Exchange option on the menu (Starbase Controls) at the bottom left-hand side of the screen.

This will bring up the following dialog:

Starbased - LP Exchange
Starbased – LP Exchange

By default, the first tab, Loyalty Redemption, is shown. Here, you can acquire Atlas with your Loyalty Points.

The dialog starts by showing the date of the current epoch and how much longer you have until it ends. You can also see the daily Atlas pool, which is 1.5 million Atlas, as mentioned earlier.

Then, there is an input where you can input the amount of LP you wish to spend to acquire Atlas. There is a handy Max button to go all-in in one go. To the right, it shows you how much LP you have already contributed during this epoch.

Then, there are the Redemption Details, which should interest you. First, it shows the Total Faction LP Contributions for the Current Epoch. Keep a close eye on this, as the total LP redeemed during an epoch will impact your exact Atlas earnings, as we’ll see in a moment.

Next, the interface shows you the amount of Atlas you could roughly receive. This number will change along with the number of LP you input in this dialog. The number shown is based on historical data from (up to) the last 30 epochs. This means it is an estimate and may deviate quite a bit from reality. All the more reason to keep an eye on those total contributions mentioned directly above.

Enter the amount of LP you wish to convert to Atlas and hit the Redeem your Loyalty Points button to effectuate it. Note that you can not cancel this at a later point. Once you hit that button, your LP is gone.

Calculating your Atlas Reward

The amount of Atlas emitted is fixed and constant for each faction and each epoch. The team made that work by rewarding each LP spent with a different amount of Atlas from epoch to epoch (day to day).

At the end of each epoch, for each faction, a program calculates the total amount of LP spent by its players. Then, it divides the 1.5 million Atlas by that number to get to the amount of Atlas that a single LP is worth during the (now) past epoch.

This clarifies why the team has to wait until an epoch has ended. Only then is it possible to summarize each player’s spent LP and do the math to calculate the Atlas reward per LP for the past epoch.

Your reward will simply be the amount of LPs you spent times the Atlas/LP number they calculated.

Redeeming your Atlas Rewards

Your Atlas rewards won’t be airdropped to you automatically. You can claim your Atlas sometime after an epoch has ended by navigating to the second tab of the LP Exchange screen: Redeemable Atlas Claims.

Atlas Claim
Starbased – LP Exchange – Atlas Claim

This interface will show you a list of all your pending claims (one per epoch). For each of these, your LP contribution is shown, along with the contribution of your entire faction. This means you can always do the math yourself and see if it checks out. Hit the Claim Reward button to collect your Atlas!

7. Experience Points & Licenses

You can Experience Points (XP) for almost any activity you perform in SAGE. Like Loyalty Points, XP will be locked to your account. Unlike LP, you can’t spend it. It will forever remain locked to the account and can only be accumulated.

This XP is often referred to as Council Rank XP, character XP, or account XP.

There is an XP ceiling in place. This means that each account can only earn up to a maximum amount of XP per day. This limit has been set to 40k/epoch (day).

This levels the XP progression path somewhat for all players, ensuring whales do not blow through the Council Rank levels (aka player levels) in a matter of days. Players with decently sized fleets should be able to hit the cap relatively easily.


We can’t really talk about XP without first talking about the Licenses.

There are 4 licenses active in Starbased, but, as we pointed out in our Career Guide, these are not yet the full-fledged licenses we’ll get later. These only serve to accumulate your license-specific experience points for now.

The 4 licenses are:

  • Pilot – Gain License XP by moving your fleets around and transporting goods
  • Data Running – Gain License XP by scanning
  • Mining – Gain License XP by mining
  • Crafting – Gain License XP by crafting
Starbased - Licenses
Starbased – Licenses

Here is the important bit: License progression feeds directly into your Council Rank XP. It is through the license progression that you really earn XP. In other words, if you are not performing an activity that earns you XP for a specific License, you are not earning XP.

The amount of XP you can gain per epoch for a single License is also limited. That limit is 10K License XP/day.

This daily License XP ceiling is directly responsible for your Council Rank XP ceiling. When you hit max daily XP on a license, that activity will stop adding Council Rank XP as well. This means that in order to get the full 40K XP for your account, you have to dabble in all four activities! You can not just focus on one and keep going.

Note: Due to a bug on launch day, it was possible to keep earning Council Rank XP despite maxing out the related License. This was fixed the following day.

You can find your License progression by clicking the Licenses drop-down right beneath your XP and LP counters at the top right of the Starbased interface.

Council Rank

Through account XP, you will be able to attain new Council Rank levels in the future. A key feature of these levels is that each awards the player a specific number of points they can invest into upgrading certain parts (of their choosing) of their account. For example, they could choose to bring in bigger ships, bigger fleets, more fleets, etc. See the SAGE Manual for an overview of this.

Though these levels, perks & restrictions won’t yet be live in Starbased, you will start earning XP right away (Michael calls this “pre-leveling your character”). This will allow players to be less bothered by the restrictions when they go live with this mechanic will go live, which will happen when combat is added to SAGE.

License Progression

Different activities related to a specific license can yield different amounts of XP. Note that Faction Contributions do not yield XP for any of the licenses! However, you would gain the XP by performing the mining, scanning, and crafting of the resources required to make these contributions.

  • Pilot License – XP is earned for sub-warping, warping (and other actions in-game?)
  • Mining License – XP is earned when you Harvest the resource and stop mining.
  • Crafting License – XP is earned when you Claim your crafted resources
  • Scanning License – XP is earned whenever you perform a Scan

Pilot License

Movement is the way to get Pilot License XP. It does not matter if you are freighting resources or just idly flying around.

Ship (single)Subwarp XP/squareWarp XP/square
Fimbul Airbike515
Rainbow Chi??
VZUS opod20?
Example XP for Movement

Mining License

Mining harder resources will yield a higher amount of XP.

Ship (single)ResourceLocationXP
Armstrong IMP TipHydrogenCSS310
Example XP for Mining

Crafting License

When Crafting, the longer it takes to craft something, the more complex the recipe, or the higher the tier of the input materials, the more Crafting XP that recipe will yield.

An example of this can be seen with the three different Framework recipes in Starbased. All three recipes yield the same output: a single Framework. However, you’ll earn more XP using the Framework 3 recipe than with Framework 1. And, as you’ve no doubt guessed, Framework 2 XP lies between these two.

Scanning License

(We hope to get some more data on scanning XP soon)

Ship (single)Failed Scan XPSuccessful scan XP
VZUS opod2200
Example XP for Scanning

Once more specific metrics become known, we will add additional data to this guide.

8. Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I mine in a star system if the Starbase is not maintained (upkeep supplies ran out)?
A: Yes, you can. Mining is in no way influenced by the state of a Starbase

Q: Where do I need to click to check up on the mining progress of my fleet?
A: Counter-intuitively, you have to click the Stop Mining button (with the fleet selected) to pull up this data. You have to confirm this action in there, so you can safely click that button.

You’ve reached the end of this guide!

Go forth and have fun in SAGE Starbased!


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