Starflight is a space exploration, combat, and trading role-playing game (RPG). This mixed-genre game was developed by Binary Systems. It was published by gaming giant Electronic Arts, popular for franchises like Apex Legends and The Sims. It first debuted on August 15, 1986, on the IBM PC. It was later ported over the years to the Amiga, Commodore 64, Atari ST, Macintosh, and Sega Genesis.
This single-player game has gone on to sell over a million copies. It received not only critical acclaim upon its release but also earned high praise from science fiction writers, like Orson Scott Card and Jerry Pournelle. Starflight has even been called the Star Wars of sci-fi games and the most authentic Star Trek experience on a PC even if it isn’t a Star Trek game.
The planet Arth is a haven for survivors of the Old Empire. However, due to heavy radiation, the inhabitants were forced to live beneath the planet’s crust for centuries. Now the radiation has finally dissipated and the population can uncover the long-lost technology and history of Arth’s original settlers. The current inhabitants of Arth have recently discovered they were once a colony world of Earth. But there is also a hostile entity known as the Crystal Planet that is eradicating all life it comes across.
Now in the year 4620, Arth’s new people must discover alien races, the remnants of the Old Empire, and investigate a repeating distress call that has been transmitting for over a thousand years. Players will have to explore the solar systems, gather clues, and find special artifacts that can help them access the Crystal Planet. Gameplay is mostly nonlinear with ship-to-ship combat, alien diplomacy, and even mining adventures. But how sure can you be about your own history? Maybe the true innocent aren’t who you thought.
Starflight Main Characters
In Starflight, players control a crew and a spaceship. At the start of the game, players will have a set amount of currency that can be used to hire and train a crew as well as upgrade the ship. The crew has several positions that need to be filled like engineers, communications officers, navigators, scientists, and doctors. Communication officers will be especially important so players can interact with any of the nine alien races they may encounter on their journey.
Players can fill these positions from a variety of races such as humans, androids, Velox, Thrynn, and Elowans. Each of these races has their own stats like durability, learning rate, and various aptitudes that can make them better for certain positions. All crew members will need to be trained, except for androids which have hard-wired programming that cannot be changed or leveled up.
The ship will also need upgrades and items like armor, engines, weapons, shields, and cargo pods. The higher the class of the item the more effective and durable it will be.
This game is the first installment in the Starflight series. It not only got a sequel and anthology book, Starflight: Tales From The Starport Lounge, but it also inspired the Star Control series. Some even consider Star Control II as a spiritual successor of Starflight. And if that wasn’t enough, Starflight was even one of the key inspirations for Mass Effect. Other games that also were influenced by this galactic RPG are Exoplanet and Dwarf Fortress.
- Starflight (1986)
- Starflight 2: Trade Routes of the Cloud Nebula (1989)
- Starflight 1 + 2 (2011)
And if you are still looking for more space trading and combat games, check out these titles below.
- Elite (1984)
- Wing Commander (1990)
- Privateer (1993)
- X: Beyond the Frontier (1999)
- X-Tension (2000)
- X2: The Threat (2003)
- Freelancer (2003)
- No Man’s Sky (2016)
- The Outer Worlds (2019)
Starflight Cheat Codes
For those with a Sega Genesis and a third-party cheat device like the Pro Action Replay or Game Genie, we have several unique codes you can try out. Just make sure you are using the right codes for the right device, otherwise nothing will happen. We’ve broken them all down for you below.
Sega Genesis Pro Action Replay Codes
|Have Lots of Money
|Infinite Cargo Pods
Sega Genesis Game Genie Codes
Equipment Cost Codes
|Buzz Bombs Cost 0 Instead of 50,000
|Cargo Pod Costs 0 Instead of 500
|Class 1 Armor Costs 0 Instead of 1,500
|Class 1 Shield Costs 0 Instead of 4,000
|Class 2 Armor Costs 0 Instead of 3,100
|Class 2 Shield Costs 0 Instead of 12,000
|Class 3 Armor Costs 0 Instead of 6,200
|Class 3 Shield Costs 0 Instead of 32,000
|Class 3 Engine Is 0 Instead Of 20,000
|Class 4 Armor Costs 0 Instead of 12,500
|Class 4 Shield Costs 4,464 Instead of 70,000
ACGA-CAA4 + ACGA-CAA6
|Class 4 Shield Costs 0 Instead of 70,000
|Class 4 Engine Is 0 Instead Of 40,000
|Class 5 Armor Costs 0 Instead of 25,000
|Class 5 Shield Costs 0 Instead of 125,000
|ACFT-CABG + ACFT-CABJ
ACGA-CAA8 + ACGA-CABA
|Class 5 Shield Costs 59,000 Instead of 125,000
|Class 5 Engine Is 34,464 Instead Of 100,000
|Class 5 Engine Is 0 Instead Of 100,000
|Fusion Blaster Costs 0 Instead of 100,000
| ACFT-CACL + ACFT-CACN
ACGA-CACC + ACGA-CACE
|Fusion Blaster Costs 34,464 Instead of 100,000
|Lance Costs 0 Instead of 8,000
|Phaser Costs 0 Instead of 450,000
|Phaser Costs 56,784 Instead of 450,000
|ACFT-CAC4 + ACFT-CAC6
ACGA-CACW + ACGA-CACY
|Photon Torpedo Costs 0 Instead of 250,000
|ACFT-CACR + ACFT-CACT
ACGA-CACG + ACGA-CACJ
|Photon Torpedo Costs 53,392 Instead of 250,000
|Pulse Cannon Costs 0 Instead of 1,000
|Tri-Cannon Costs 0 Instead of 2,500
|Twin Beam Costs 0 Instead of 100,000
|ACFT-CAC0 + ACFT-CAC2
ACGA-CACR + ACGA-CACT
|Twin Beam Costs 34,646 Instead of 100,000
|All Items Are Free (Shields, Armor, Weapons, Training, etc.)
|Firing the Ship’s Weapons Does Not Use Fuel
|Acceleration Doesn’t Decrease When Adding Mass
|Class 1 Engines (The Engine You Start With) Has 20 Acceleration Instead of 4
|Class 2 or 3 Armor Adds Zero Mass to Your Ship
|Class 4 or 5 Armor Adds Zero Mass to Your Ship
|Your Ship Can Carry Up to 26 Cargo Pods Instead of 16
|Your Ship has Almost Infinite Fuel
|Your Ship’s Armor Will Not Take Damage from Most Enemies
|Your Terrain Vehicle’s Armor Will Not Take Most Damage
|Your Terrain Vehicle Will Not Take Damage from Most Enemies
|Your Terrain Vehicle Can Carry Infinite Cargo
|Your Terrain Vehicle Can Travel 2x As Fast on Water
|Your Terrain Vehicle Can Travel 3x As Fast on Dark Green Terrain
|Your Terrain Vehicle Can Travel 3x As Fast on Open Terrain
|Your Terrain Vehicle Can Travel 4x As Fast on Icy Terrain
|Your Terrain Vehicle Can Travel 4x As Fast on Water
|Your Terrain Vehicle Can Travel 5x As Fast on Dark Green Terrain
|Your Terrain Vehicle Can Travel 8x As Fast on Icy Terrain
|Your Terrain Vehicle Can Travel 8x As Fast on Mountain Terrain
|Your Terrain Vehicle Can Travel 16x As Fast on Mountain Terrain
|Your Terrain Vehicle Will Have Infinite Fuel
|Your Terrain Vehicle Starts with Twice As Much Fuel
New Game Codes
|Start a New Game with 115,536 Instead of 50,000
|Start a New Game with 705,360 Instead of 50,000
|Start a New Game with 2,016,080 Instead of 50,000
|Start a New Game with Twice as Much Endurium Fuel
|Your Ship Starts a New Game with Zero Mass, and No Mass is Added from Weapons, Shields, Armor, Cargo Pods, etc.
|Kill Enemies With One Hit
|Makes the Pulse Cannon 10x Stronger
|Makes the Pulse Cannon 20x Stronger
|Makes the Pulse Cannon 30x Stronger
Sega Genesis Exploits
This exploit works both with and without a cheat device.
- Unlimited Money: Land on the planet and capture any life forms around. Then return to the spaceport and sell the captured creatures. Leave the spaceport and immediately return. The life forms will re-appear in the cargo hold. Sell the creatures and repeat this process to accumulate an unlimited amount of money.
Unfortunately the game does not have any known cheats or exploits on the other consoles.
Starflight Cheat Code FAQ
Does Starflight have any cheat codes?
Unfortunately without a cheat device, the game itself does not have any cheats for any of the consoles. But for players who have a Pro Action Replay or Game Genie for their Sega Genesis, there are a variety of codes. These codes can give players unique weapons, infinite fuel, and even make them invincible. There is also an infinite money exploit for the Sega Genesis version.
What is a Pro Action Replay?
A Pro Action Replay is a cheat device that allows players to input different cheats and codes for multiple different consoles like the SNES, Game Cube, Sega Genesis, and so much more. They manipulate the memory of the game code itself to allow cheats like infinite health, more powerful weapons, and even saving the game when it does not have a save mechanic.
What is a Game Genie?
A Game Genie is another cheat device, similar to the Pro Action Replay. They are available for many retro consoles like the NES, SNES, Sega Genesis, and more.
What makes a cheat device different?
Since developers implement traditional cheat codes in their games on purpose, not every game has them. But that does not mean players don’t want them. Hence, cheat devices were born. Devices like the Game Genie or Pro Action Replay allow players to do things the developer did not intend, while regular cheat codes are put there by the developers. They alter the game’s code to get it to work differently.
How long will it take to beat Starflight?
According to HowLongToBeat.com, the main story of this game can be beaten in around 20 hours for PC and Commodore 64 or 12 hours for the Sega Genesis. This makes it slightly shorter than its sequel, Starflight 2: Trade Routes of the Cloud Nebula, which can have its main objectives finished in 22 hours.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Cover Art for Starflight.