SOLVED! Starbound “Incoming Client Packet Has Caused Exception”

SOLVED! Starbound “Incoming Client Packet Has Caused Exception”

Starting out as a Kickstarter-stye game, Starbound is now one of the best sandbox titles with the space exploration theme. Featuring basic but addictive gameplay, the game from Chucklefish provides players with hours upon hours of entertainment. Nonetheless, Starbound players still experience issues occasionally and at the top of the list of complaints is the “incoming client packet has caused exception” error. With the Starbound “incoming client packet has caused exception” error kicking players off the session time and again, it’s natural for everyone to feel frustrated.

A Summary Of The Error 

Keep getting this but don't know why. Can someone help me? : r/starbound

You keep coming across the “incoming client packet has caused exception” error as you play Starbound and don’t know how to take care of it? In that case, this article is exactly what you need. Down below is everything you must know about the “incoming client packet has caused exception” error of Starbound.

Possible Causes 

All in all, a number of explanations exist for each of the issues in Starbound. That being said, once it comes to the  “incoming client packet has caused exception” error, you should keep these possibilities in mind.


Generally speaking, Starbound is a stable game but it’s not uncommon for players to run into hiccups out of the blue. For most of the time, hiccups in Starbound have inconsequential impacts on the gaming experience and go away on their own. Still, hiccups sometimes prevent the game from initiating a couple of operations which result in errors. Thus, if you notice the “incoming client packet has caused exception” error, it’s strongly recommended that you add hiccups to your list of suspects.


In layman’s terms, Starbound only runs smoothly if all of its files work as designed. That means if one of the files becomes corrupted for some reason, there is a very good chance that Starbound would behave erratically. Unsurprisingly, a lot of articles that deal with the Starbound “incoming client packet has caused exception” error deem corruption to be a potential culprit. As long as the files remain corrupted, it’s impossible for the game to perform normally.


Since Starbound supports mods, players could customize aspects of the game by taking advantage of mods. In simple-player, people have the freedom of incorporating as many mods as they see fit into the game. However, in multiplayer, the “incoming client packet has caused exception” error usually occurs if one of the participants plays with mods that others don’t have. Because of that, if you keep having the “incoming client packet has caused exception” error while playing with friends, you should take mods into account.


You and your friends stick to the vanilla Starbound but the “incoming client packet has caused exception” error still gives you all a hard time? Then it’s highly likely that the server of Starbound is the one at fault. For your information, the server is responsible for hosting game sessions and if it acts up, things would go haywire in multiplayer. Unfortunately, if the service is causing the “incoming client packet has caused exception” error, you cannot do much from your end.


On occasions, items in the inventory of Starbound players could bug out and create the “incoming client packet has caused exception” error once selected. One way to test the theory is to scroll through everything in the inventory one by one. Assuming that the game only displays the “incoming client packet has caused exception” error whenever you come across certain items, those items may be bugged. You should be able to bring the game back to normal by throwing out bugged items.

What Must Be Done

The moment they detect the “incoming client packet has caused exception” error, Starbound players resort to all sorts of measures with varying degrees of success. Still, if you like to resume playing Starbound immediately, it’s suggested that you check out the following fixes.

Save And Exit 

Overall, hiccups in Starbound usually vanish if players end the current session and start a new one. Thus, while troubleshooting the Starbound “incoming client packet has caused exception” error, you must make use of the Save And Exit option. When you hit Save And Exit, the game is going to save your progress then shut down on its own. Next, launch Starbound again, play for a couple of hours and determine whether the error persists.

Get Rid Of The Corruption 

Considering the difficulty of reversing the corruption in the files, it’s suggested that you uninstall and reinstall Starbound. By doing so, you could eliminate all traces of corrupted files which restore the performance of the game. In the case that you don’t find uninstallation and reinstallation appealing, there is an alternative: the verification of the integrity of files. Since corrupted files of Starbound should be replaced by uncorrupted ones following the verification, the corruption would come to an end.

Give Mods Some Thought 

The “incoming client packet has caused exception” error only appears if you play Starbound in the multiplayer mode? Then you may want to ask your friends whether they have mods that you don’t have. Once you ensure that everyone owns the same set of mods, join a session and see how things turn out. If the error still lingers, it’s a good idea to switch to vanilla Starbound by deleting all of the mods.

Check Out The Server 

If the server is not working as expected, a lot of Starbound players would complain about that. As a result, all you need to do to assess the status of the server is to ask around. If the server is working in the way that it’s supposed to be for everyone, move on to the next solution. Nonetheless, if you notice multiple reports about the server acting up, the server could be responsible for the “incoming client packet has caused exception” error.

Remove Bugged Items From Inventory

In a number of cases, bugged items won’t trigger errors when players interact with merchants so it’s possible to sell them. That being said, if you have a hard time selling bugged items, discard them by going through these steps:

  • Step 1: Open the inventory
  • Step 2: Select one of the bugged items
  • Step 3: As soon as I Starbound kicks you to the main menu, log back in
  • Step 4: The corrupted item you selected previously should be stuck to your cursor now so trash it
  • Step 5: Repeat the process until your inventory is out of bugged items

Final character wipe coming to Starbound

Is Starbound A Long Game?

It depends on the way you play. If you stick to the primary quests, you would be able to complete Starbound in less than 24 hours. However, in the case that you aim for 100% completion, it would take close to 200 hours to wrap up everything.

How Could I Speed Up Starbound?

You don’t need a monster gaming rig to play Starbound but if the game performance is not your liking, you should try out the followings:

  • Close all programs beside Starbound
  • Increase the Zoom level in the game
  • Deal with quests using the Quest Journal
  • Adjust settings (Triple Buffering, Threaded optimisation, V-sync, etc) of the graphics card
  • Use the Fullbright command to reduce the reliance on torches

Do I Need A Steam Account To Play Starbound?

Currently, Starbound is available on Steam, Humble and GOG. You need a Steam account to play Starbound on Steam but both GOG and Humble host direct download versions.

Starbound: an ambitious 2D sandbox game set in a procedurally generated infinite universe | PC Gamer

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