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Balthazar Research Report: The Astronomical Weight of Star Atlas


9/10 – Impressive

Pre released game score

Star Atlas takes GameFi to new heights through what we consider the boldest project in the entire space. The level of detail in everything released is just impressive. Our vote of confidence is high that Star Atlas will continue to deliver. See you in space cowboy!

Section scores

Background – 9
NFT Game Assets – 9
Website – 9
Artwork – 9.5
Team – 9.5
Whitepaper – 9
Socialnomics – 8.5

For more information about the scores please read – Explaining the Scoring.

About this pre-release editorial report

Our editorial research reports are separated into two categories; pre-release reports and released reports. The following research report is a pre-release report.

The pre-release editorial research reports aim to provide a thorough and holistic overview of a project in its pre-release stage. Therefore, alongside the report are our thoughts, opinions, and, if applicable, scoring of the said project from a pre-released point of view.

Our core mission is to increase the overall credibility, validity, and transparency in the GameFi space. Our reports should make it easier for both gamers and investors to find thoroughly researched information regarding the project in question.

The research reports only include publicly available information. This is a crucial aspect of the research reports as it helps further our core mission while holding the projects accountable for the information they publish publicly.

Please note that the given score in this article does not represent the quality of the game itself but rather an overall indication of the quality of the project in its entirety. A score more reflective of the game’s quality will be available in a potential future released report.

Balthazar’s editorial research reports are never sponsored, paid for, or affected in any way by the game under review. Our opinions and scoring are unbiased and compiled from our entire research team. Our research reports are not investment advice or recommendations.

Written by Nicholas Korsgård (Chief Gaming Officer), Kim Bjerkeli, Sigurd Thomassen, and Heidi Anette Laugsand Johansen (Game Strategist, Balthazar Alpha Team).


This one’s special, close at heart. It’s been in our sights for over a year, and the time is ripe. We are proud to introduce our long-overdue research report on what we’ve considered one of the giants in the GameFi space since Balthazar’s inception. So without further ado, prepare yourself; you are in for a long ride – Star Atlas.

Star Atlas is a sci-fi, space-centered next-gen gaming metaverse combining state-of-the-art blockchain, real-time graphics, Unreal Engine 5, and decentralized financial technologies. Star Atlas offers a mix of Grand Strategy, Exploration, Role-Playing, and Space Flight Simulation genres on the gameplay side.

In our report, you’ll be taken on a journey through the universe of Star Atlas, its background, NFTs, website, art, blockchain, and team. Before ending with a look at its roadmap, whitepaper, socialnomics, and a healthy dose of speculations highlighting some key questions.

Time to put on your space pants and get ready to explore everything Star Atlas has to offer. 


  • Star Atlas is a sci-fi space-centered next-gen gaming metaverse with top-notch graphics, offering various avenues of gameplay, such as strategy, exploration, role-playing, and space flight simulation. The game has a player-driven economy tied to the real world through fungible and non-fungible tokens.
  • The tokens at the economy’s core are called $POLIS and $ATLAS. $POLIS is the governance token, shipped in limited supply. $ATLAS, on the other hand, is inflationary and is the blood of the economy. With several burn mechanics and clever mechanisms to help manage the player-driven economy.
  • The Star Atlas team comprises around 200 people, many of whom have impressive backgrounds in their respective fields and merits. With the team, several members come from studios working on similar games like Star Citizen, Eve Online, and Elite Dangerous.
  • Star Atlas’ website is informative and very well made. It stands out among other web3 gaming projects and feels like a journey scrolling through it.
  • Star Atlas’ artwork can be summarized as impressive graphics with a high focus on visual fidelity.
  • The game features three “whitepapers.” One covers the general scope of the game, the second dives into the in-game economy and tokenomics, and the third covers governance. They’re all about 40 pages long, well written, easy to read, and pleasantly styled.
  • There’s a large community attached to Star Atlas. The main activity is on Discord, and the Twitter channel seems to have had its glory days at the end of 2021. Even if the engagement rate isn’t the highest, for now, the team is still active with tweeting news and updates. We believe the hype could return and pick up traction on social media.
  • We have a lot of thoughts and open questions regarding Star Atlas (see speculation section). However, time will tell if our questions and worries are of any concern.
  • Star Atlas is currently 5-6 years out from a full release.


Star Atlas is a science fiction metaverse set in the year 2620. This new hybrid game experience combines traditional game mechanics with features such as NFTs and currencies based on blockchain technology. 



In Star Atlas, there are several game mechanics. There’s an overarching strategy aspect to the game where space exploration, resources, territorial conquest, and political domination are the focus. 

Playing the strategy game, you interact with a dynamic overview of known and unknown regions of space via the Star Atlas, the map view of the game. Being the mastermind that you are, you have to claim stakes, install trade routes, and make a plan of action to expand your empire. The first iteration of this is called SCREAM, an acronym for Ship Combat Resource Extraction and Manufacturing. For a thorough guide on SCREAM and what is known, visit Aephia’s deep dive.



Not only can you strategize and conquer space through the executive map view described above, but you’re also able to captain your ship with your crew as you explore space and discover treasures on distant planets and derelict space stations. 

Some of your discoveries might be valuable asteroids or planetary mining claims. Stake your claim and start mining, refining, and trading the resources on the Universal Marketplace.

The exploration mode of experiencing Star Atlas is primarily a top-down view showing your ship’s exterior, with the option of looking at the internals with an x-ray view. It sounds similar to Eve Online’s way of navigating through space and exploring the stars in an RTS-like way.


Every star you can see in-game is a real asset and can be visited. Some extremely distant stars might prove difficult to reach due to fueling constraints, but anything is possible with the right ship and enough fuel. With no skybox, you, as the player, can go anywhere in the universe. 

Scanning equipment allows you to uncover signals leading to various assets or caches of loot. The higher quality scanners will lead to an even further reach. When you get a lead on your scanners, you can check it out yourself, or you can sell whatever you find on the marketplace.


Star Atlas’ economy is founded on the principle of mining. Mining is the well from which wealth is derived. Resources from mining are the basis for most other industries and ventures in the game. And there are a lot of possible revenue streams for you to explore and establish a career upon. 

Refining, cargo hauling, and crafting are just a few of the roles you can step into and develop your expertise as you advance within the specialization. Becoming a renowned mercenary could be your niche if you’re more into PvP and combat. You could get hired to protect a cargo hauling convoy or take out a prized target that has been terrorizing local miners. 

As you see, there’s a broad range of roles to fill in the game, and it’s all up to you what you want to do!


Space Flight Simulator

Finally, you can walk around on planets in FPS mode and manually pilot your spaceship if you want to. The game will allow for the beautiful experience of using equipment like joysticks, throttles, MFDs, head tracking hardware, and VR headsets. There will, of course, be an option just to use a keyboard and mouse, but who does that in a space sim?!


When it comes to combat, the ships are outfitted with weapon turrets and missile bays. For the turrets, there are various types of damage and ammo. The three main ones are energy, ballistic, and disruption. Different damage types have different strengths and weaknesses. Some ships and installations might be weak to ballistic damage, whereas others might have resilience towards it. Compared to Star Citizen, ballistic ammo is limited in capacity, and you must bring bullets. However, it has a high penetration of shields and is good for damaging the hull directly. At the same time, disruption damage will obliterate the shields but won’t do any damage to the hull structure.


We expect that damage types and ammunition to be similar to what we see in other space-sims like Star Citizen.

While on the topic of combat, you can target and destroy land- and space-based installations. In doing so, you free up the competitors’ claims. This lays the groundwork for base assaults and similar scenarios in which different corporations or alliances fight over territory. However, stumbling upon a base isn’t necessarily safe or easy pickings. Bases can have weaponry installed and shoot you down before you get too close.

You can also flag yourself as aggressive or passive when roaming the zones with lower security. If you’re flagged as passive, you’ll get a shield and maneuverability buff to give you a window of escape as there was no formal declaration of attack.


We, in the Balthazar Alpha Team, come from various backgrounds when it comes to games. Among us are people that have hundreds of hours flying agile spaceships in games like Star Citizen and Elite Dangerous. Of course, with the optimal setup of dual sticks (HOSAS), the trusty TrackIR head tracking gear, and the semi-optional throttle for “menial” tasks when not in combat. It is safe to say that when we first heard about Star Atlas back in Q3 2021, the flight-sim mode was what excited us most.

Star Atlas – Unreal Engine 5 – Space Flight Module Sneak Peek

Faction Security Zones

When you start the game after choosing your faction, you’ll be put in a faction-secured zone allowing you, as a new player, to understand the basics before you’re thrown to the sharks. You can explore all the various gameplay loops except those based on destruction, such as rescue, combat, and salvage. 

When ready to face the dangers of the universe, there’s a medium-tiered safety zone you can explore. In this type of zone, you’ll be able to engage in combat, and your stuff will reset if destroyed. However, if you’d go to the wild frontier where “might makes right,” you risk losing assets permanently if destroyed. 

Still, if you get blown to bits out there, only a portion of assets in combat are lost permanently. The result might be that your ship is blown into components and scrap; if lucky, some of the crew might survive in escape pods.


In summary, Star Atlas will have high-security, medium-security, and no-security areas. For comparison, this is much like Eve Online’s high-sec, low-sec, and null-sec.

Station Modular Construction

In Star Atlas, there will be a lot of different constructions and buildings players and corporations can set up.

For mining installations, there have to be adjacent installations providing auxiliary services such as power and protection.



Space stations would work similarly, but instead of adjacent installations, they’ll have decks that provide additional features to the space station as a whole. The various decks are detailed below.

  • Commerce: Used for storage and trading.
  • Shipyard: Used for ship manufacturing, repairs, refueling, configuration, and docking.
  • Refinery: Used for refining ore into higher tier materials.
  • Hangar: Used for long-term storage of ships.
  • Retail: Used for crafting and selling components and advanced materials.
  • University: Used for training and recruiting crew.
  • Cargo: Used for storing materials and components.
  • Defensive: Used for building defensive turrets protecting the station.

To access the Universal Marketplace, the space station you find yourself at must have a commerce deck. Cargo and refinery decks must be present to access higher-tier ore and advanced materials, run refining operations, and obtain components that need physical intergalactic shipping. Suppose you own a star and are at a point where you can build a Dyson sphere. In that case, you can also build a jump point allowing direct interstellar travel, significantly shortening travel time and, in turn, providing boons to economic trade routes.

Crew and Ship Components

Star Atlas has an exciting approach to outfitting ships. Not only can you be creative with components, but the crew also matters and affects ship attributes. Compared to other space games like Star Citizen and Eve Online, this seems like a thing in between. 

In Star Citizen, you can multi-crew a ship, but the crew has to do a good job on their station, and the sum of the crew working together makes the output of the ship better. Components also matter in Star Citizen, directly affecting the ship’s stats and limitations, as in Eve Online.

However, in Star Atlas, it seems that crew matters, but more like an additional “component” to fit into the ship’s attributes, instead of somebody playing the part of the crew, for example, manning the turrets or controlling the power to different subsystems.


Crew can be trained and specialized using the University decks, and crew trained together in University or on previous ships will buff each other when crewing together. However, matching a crew that doesn’t fit together could lead to debuffs in a ship’s performance.


In Star Atlas, you can choose from a ton of different roles and professions. It all comes down to how you spec out your ship with crew and components. Following is an example list of roles.

  • Transport
  • Rescue
  • Freight
  • Repair
  • Construction
  • Refueling
  • Miner
  • Salvage
  • Entrepreneur
  • CEO
  • Broker
  • Bounty Hunter
  • Pirate
  • Smuggler
  • Data Runner
  • Commander
  • General
  • Mercenary
  • Scientist

For the crew, there are also a lot of roles such as the ones listed below.

  • Pilot
  • Engineer
  • Repair
  • Scanner
  • Science
  • Gunner
  • Mercenary
  • Rescue
  • Power Manager
  • Janitor
  • Cargo Foreman
  • Hangar Foreman
  • Salvage Operator
  • Science Officer
  • Military Commander
  • Military General
  • Private
  • Sargent
  • Rookie
  • Smuggle Cargo Foreman
  • Captain

Decentralized Autonomous Corporations

DACs are the guild system in Star Atlas. Although you can play the game alone, it becomes a lot more enjoyable with others. Challenges are easier to overcome together, and the scope of activities broadens when grouped. You are encouraged to form factions, share resources, and collectively outwit rival players and factions.


DACs allow players to do great things together, such as erecting cities where the corporation controls the economy. Strategic alliances will allow you to control regions of space as well as the resources and operations within. The $POLIS token will allow the political stakeholders to impose taxes, fees, fines, rules, and laws on players outside of the DAC wishing access to the city’s amenities.

We see a lot of parallels to Eve Online in how these DACs are structured. Although Eve isn’t on the blockchain or has the token system, the political intricacies of Eve and the player-controlled corporations seem very familiar in Star Atlas’ description. From our time in New Eden (Eve Online’s universe), we’ve seen a lot of political drama, alliance-controlled space, and incredible feats from small hyper-focused corporations living off-grid in “wormhole space.” The corporation model in Eve Online is a model we believe is reasonable to emulate. If Star Atlas brings the same framework of space drama into web3, it will be an enormous accomplishment and something in which we personally would like to participate. 


Star Atlas features deep lore and backstory for this expansive universe. The following is a condensed description of the canonical known story of the civilizations inhabiting the galaxy up until the year 2620.

The story largely revolves around the three prominent factions, the Manus Ultima Divina (MUD), the ONI Consortium, and the Ustur. In a time when the different factions started expanding throughout the galaxy, a makeshift group of explorers from different factions found themselves in what is now known as the Cataclysm zone. At the center of it is the ancient planet Iris. Iris is full of invaluable materials, and way back in time, it collided with its seven child planets leading to “The Cataclysm.” Within the Cataclysm zone, a new form of free energy came to be. This new form of energy, alongside the treasure trove of other rare materials found in abundance in the Cataclysm zone, makes Iris and its surroundings THE point of interest in the galaxy.



The MUD, the holy representation of humankind, The Ustur, a civilization of sentient androids, and the ONI Consortium, a conglomerate of different alien races, all had expanded into space. 

They were equidistant to each other in each corner of the galaxy, naturally expanding towards the center. When Iris was discovered, all three factions had extensive infrastructure and supply lines near the center of the galaxy, near Iris. Entering the Cataclysm zone was everyone’s top priority. Long story short, when they all discovered Iris simultaneously, it led to years of conflict and outright war.



Eventually, a peace treaty was signed after the factions had overreached and stretched themselves thin. The peace treaty ushered in a new era of space exploration. Due to combined efforts from the factions as a way to mend relations following the war, they built the StarPath. 

The StarPath is a chain of warp gates enabling goods and services to traverse hundreds of light years in seconds. This groundbreaking infrastructure melded the faction economies together. After the war, the factions focused their efforts on their home regions, leaving the frontier colonies to themselves. After a century of reconstruction, prosperity returned. In this age, you enter the universe as a player, and the galaxy lays before you, calling you into the void.

Now, there is a lot more to the lore than this. We just compressed the general narrative for you, but if you’re curious, the Star Atlas Medium is a great source of information and worth your while.


Unreal Engine 5

Star Atlas is built using the game engine Unreal Engine 5. UE5 allows for several advances in the graphics department. Such as real-time cinema quality with the Nanite technology, a highly realistic dynamic lighting environment with Lumen, optimized physics with Chaos, and enhanced particle systems with Niagara.


Serum is a Solana-based DeFi ecosystem that fulfills Star Atlas’ requirements to support the economy surrounding the game. It has near instant settlements and negligible operating costs, making it the perfect tool for scaling Star Atlas’ economy.


Stardust is a tool that helps Star Atlas create and implement NFTs into the game. Using Stardust’s API, the developers can seamlessly integrate Solana-based NFTs with the Serum Decentralized Exchange (DEX).


Combining the new game engine with blockchain technology and serverless back-end systems will allow for a decentralized MMO game with AAA graphics and player-owned assets.

The serverless back-end system the project will use is still undisclosed. However, the team might have thought AWS lambda might be a solution.

In a later section, we’ll return to the blockchain Solana, which Star Atlas has as its foundation.

Economics & Tokenomics


When it comes to in-game economies in space MMOs, there is none as famous and successful as Eve Online’s fully player-driven economy. However, Star Atlas’ economics whitepaper shows it attempts to give Eve Online a run for its money.

Star Atlas’ economy will be player-driven, where the heart of the economy lies in mining and resource extraction. This will, in turn, lead to refining, production, and technology crafting. It all ends up at high-tier equipment and space ships used for combat, exploration, freighting, etc. When fighting or exploring in deep space, there is a real risk of losing your ship, for example, being at the wrong end of an ambush in no-security space. 

With real loss being a part of the economy, there will always be a need for the mechanics mentioned above to continuously extract new ore, turning it into useful materials for construction and manufacturing.

The ultimate goal of setting up an economy like this is to challenge players to team up, organize, build, and fight their way into the frontier of space. It may start as a makeshift gang of friends but eventually turn into corporations and larger alliances controlling vast regions of the galaxy with its own local micro-economy as part of the larger economy spanning in and out of the game.

The diagram below shows the resource flow described above.


To summarize the various “professions” above, some of the essential roles in the game economy are.

  • Extractors: Mines raw materials and has an upfront cost of buying an extractor building and fulfilling the power requirements to run the extractor through power-producing buildings. There’s also a maintenance cost to account for, coming in the form of land value tax, fuel transport of cargo into orbit, and gas fee in the form of ATLAS. Working with Extractors will yield raw materials and additional fuel.
  • Refiners: Processes raw material into usable resources. Refiners need access to a refinery deck on a space station and have to account for the costs of using this. There’s also a land value tax for refinery decks which goes under the maintenance cost. Refining yields refined materials for use in crafting or to sell in the market.
  • Managers: Responsible for optimal use of resources to create value and utility. Managers come in several types, such as Power Plant Managers and Salvage Operators.
  • Research and Developers: Comparable to crafting or alchemy in other games, this profession experiments with different combinations of refined and raw materials to discover new technology. Upfront costs are the required crafting rigs that must be placed on a land parcel to be worked. Developers would have to acquire raw and refined materials, which have their cost, and there would be an ATLAS gas fee per crafting attempt. Although the cost might accumulate, the yields are new technologies granting advantages in mining, building, combat, and expedition.
  • Production: Produce and maintain technology at scale. Upfront costs of production rigs and recipes, as well as the land cost to place the rig. Acquisition of raw and refined materials for each recipe and a fee of ATLAS per craft is considered the maintenance cost of producers. It, in turn, yields deployable technology.
  • Explorers: Comes in a few flavors, either the executive or the utility. Executives usually own the ship, which is a high upfront cost; it needs to be maintained through repairs and fuel. However, finding rare resources from deep space and selling scanned data often makes it worth it. Utility explorers are part of the crew and carry out executive orders. They provide component modules and crew acquisition, as well as partaking in the ship repairs and fuel costs. Resources gained through exploration are the yield.
  • Fighters: Comes in executive and combat roles. The cost is owning the weapons and fighter ships as well as fuel and repairs. Fighters usually yield a bounty from raiding the defeated ship.
  • Retail Deck Manufacturers and Sellers: Owning a retail deck allows for the production and sale of components, modules, crew gear, mod, and stims. It could also allow for overclocking components and crew gear. There’s a cost of purchasing the deck and the land where it should be placed. There are also transaction fees for every transaction done through the deck. However, the profits from the sales will be the yield for the seller.
  • Social Developers: Operate and build social buildings such as bars and theaters. Have to buy or build them from natural resources. It also needs to be on a suitable land parcel. Each activity will cost, but yield might be gained from ticket sales, social cohesion, and community building.

As you can see, there are many roles you can take on in Star Atlas. These are not hard-locked classes you select at the start of the game but ways of playing the game, all tied together in the economy.


Star Atlas uses a dual token system with the tokens $POLIS and $ATLAS.


$POLIS is the governance token for Star Atlas and is vertically integrated at every level of governance. From the overarching game governance down to player-owned DACs. $POLIS is low-velocity and meant for long-term store of value, incentivizing partaking in the governance of the $ATLAS economy.

$POLIS can be acquired in a few ways. It has been used as a fundraising tool for the project through private sales. If you weren’t an early investor, you could buy it on secondary markets. A small portion of $POLIS will also be available as a reward for completing certain missions in-game and participating actively in the community. Finally, staking $POLIS will grant you more rewards for a certain period. 

$POLIS has a capped token supply of 360,000,000 tokens. The distribution is as follows.



The token emissions will follow the curve below, lapsing eight years before everything is out.



$ATLAS is the currency of the game. It is what moves the market, the in-game “gold.” It is, like with most game currencies, inflatable. However, it is also a tokenized cryptocurrency, adding value outside the game.

The total supply of $ATLAS is set to 36,000,000,000 tokens; at the time of writing, there are about 2,100,000,000 tokens in circulation. The distribution is as follows.



$ATLAS will be burned and minted depending on the user base for Star Atlas. It will be stimulated with economic tools to keep it at a reasonable level for in-game asset pricing.

The flowchart below shows the flow of $ATLAS.


$ATLAS will go through three phases in its monetary policy. In the first phase, the development team will adjust the emissions through the developer’s DAO votes. This is much like a central bank. The purpose is to make the game accessible and optimal for growth while still providing some revenue for $POLIS holders.

Following the first phase will be when the DAO takes control, and the developer’s votes are phased out. Finally, the economic governance will become parametric, where an algorithm stabilizes the model following macroeconomic metrics and external markets. The model would have to be accepted by a supermajority of the DAO, and the DAO can still modify the KPIs.

$ATLAS token emissions will follow the curve below over eight years.


$ATLAS will have a currency cycle that follows natural cash flow principles. There are in-game fees and in-game taxes as the inflow. For outflow, we get in-game rewards for various activities. The chart below illustrates the concept.


The economy flows between in-game fees, such as fuel costs, and in-game rewards, such as mission payouts. A fixed percentage of the token will be taken directly from fees and recycled, going back into the ATLAS Recirculation Fund; the rest of the fees go to the DAO treasury. After eight years of emissions and vesting, the perpetual inflation target will be activated, enabling 4% inflation every year to keep up with growth in the player base. The DAO will still have some control over the economy through burning tokens and incentivizing or disincentivizing particular groups of activities through specialized rewards funds.


The matrix below highlights the overall value flow for stakeholders in the Star Atlas economy.


Economic Reports

Star Atlas publishes quarterly reports regarding the state of its economy. As an example, in the last quarterly report, they went through a bear market summary, some statistical definitions of the Star Atlas universe, a census of the players involved in the game, and an economic summary. The reports can be found here for those eager to truly dive into the numbers.

NFT Game Assets

Star Atlas’ NFTs will be central to the game economy. Every item (in-game) is an NFT living on the blockchain. Among them, but not limited to, are ships, equipment, components, and crew. NFTs such as ships will be periodically released, considering the inflationary impact of said release. 

Asset demands, user growth, asset availability on marketplaces, and loss of assets in-game to the deflationary mechanic of asset destruction will all be considered when launching new assets. 

There will also be an emphasis on having previous versions of an NFT with power bonuses or unique benefits, differentiating them from newer versions to provide value for early adopters.

NFTs will be used to reflect an item’s ownership and record attributes such as armor class, weapon damage, etc. The item will also have rarity, where its value is based on the statistical probability for it to drop or scarcity in the number of items available.

Items in-game can be either dropped or crafted. All items are subject to improvements which will increase their rarity. The diagram below shows how various items improve and meld with each other through development and refining in-game.



All ships in Star Atlas will be NFTs. Currently, there are 42 different types of ships and vehicles on the marketplace in different rarities. The ships come in classes of XX-Small, X-Small, Small, Medium, Large, Capital, and Commander. The rarities go from Common, Uncommon, Rare, Epic, Legendary, and Anomaly. Ships come in prices ranging from $15 to $100,000.





Resources come in several forms, but for now, only the consumable type is available on the marketplace. You would find ammunition, toolkits, food, and fuel among consumables.



In the collectibles category, there are a lot of different items and types to be gathered. On the marketplace, there are currently eight categories of collectibles listed below.

  • Crew Gear
  • Charm
  • Emote
  • Human
  • Poster
  • Pet
  • Skin
  • Trinket

Some of these speak for themselves, while others are a little bit vaguer. There are a lot of items, so if you’re curious about them, go to the collectible marketplace and browse around.



In the access class, there are two types, badges and licenses. Badges grants you access to future events and perks. However, licenses that are extremely limited in number grant you benefits or permits in-game. 

There are currently three types of licenses. The most abundant one is the VIP license granting access to station hubs through the VIP entry and also VIP access to events. The Faction Meta-PAS activates all permits and licenses for one faction, and only five are available. Finally, the Council Meta-PAS activates all current and future permits, licenses, and passports.



The structure category contains mining equipment, stakes, and space station structures. In mining equipment, you’ll find mining drills and power plants, which are both required to run a mining operation, and claimed land to place it on. Stakes come in five tiers, with higher tiers having a larger land claim scope. Finally, space stations are essential infrastructure you can construct in orbit above your mining facility to get your ore on the market or taken for further processing.



In Star Atlas, each planet is divided into parcels. The details and attributes of a parcel are recorded as on-chain NFTs. In order to claim land in Star Atlas, one would need a land claim stake. Claimed land is essential in most “professions” and mercantile operations. Depending on the operation you intend to operate, higher-end facilities require more developed land.

All land is owned instead of rented. The reason for building it like this is to protect users from eviction or discrimination by rent applications. As with most scarce things, flipping it for profit is an avenue many are tempted to go down. However, land in Star Atlas is subject to Land Value Tax, disincentivizing holding land just to sell it at a higher price. The Land Value Tax or LVT is priced in ATLAS, and the amount depends on how developed the land is. The top-level DAOs can adjust these tax levels.

Not paying taxes will eventually lead to the land being foreclosed, effectively disabling all buildings but not stopping tax accrual. With enough time elapsing without paying the tax, the local government can auction the land recapturing taxes and a fine before returning the remaining funds to the original owner.

Some regions could implement a Harberger tax instead of the LVT as an experiment. The Harberger tax is built on two principles. First, a fixed tax rate is set by the government. Landowners define their own land value, which is used to calculate their tax. The caveat is that anyone can purchase the plot of land at any time from the original owner for the value the owner set as the tax base. A tax system like this, although theoretical, would likely keep owners honest by setting a fair value for the land in order not to forfeit it for a low price. It would also lead to higher taxes in general for fear of losing land.

Star Atlas Website

We compared Star Atlas’ desktop version of its website to its mobile site to see how it measures up and if there were any changes they could make to the site to improve it. Follow along to see our verdict. In this test, we used a Samsung Galaxy S10+.

Star Atlas’ website has two main sites. One is meant for newcomers and mainly gives the idea of the game and information about the project. The second site is more of an active tool site that the player would have to use, including marketplace, inventory, and even leaderboards. 

Please Note: We will refer to the latter version as the active website and the informational site as the passive website.

This will be our longest website review thus far, so hang tight. Let’s start with the informative “passive website” and read our way through to the “active website” to finally reach the verdict.

Link to passive website: https://staratlas.com/

Desktop (Passive)

When we entered the main site for Star Atlas, we saw a minimized menu and the trailer on the bottom right and “Play now.” Clicking on the “Play now” site would send the user to the active website. There were also some hyperlinks shown on the bottom left of the website, which include “Team,” “Partners,” and “Contact.” However, these aspects are not what caught our eye; the purple theme and blue and pinkish lights did. 

Music started playing by clicking into the light, and we were immediately scrolling through an experience, not just a website. Scrolling down, the user would get to explore the metaverse, space concept, mining, and marketplace, discovering spaceships and tokens, to name a few. All these aspects were very briefly mentioned, but the animated background stood out and was truly original to anything we’ve previously seen. In some areas of the website, users could move their cursor over different options to see more. The site was very clear in the areas where this was an option, and we would rate this as a good user experience. 

Although the team is somewhat sparse with the information scrolling through, the effects and creativity this site beholds let us know that this project must be extraordinary. The ‘dot art’ following the entire site is remarkable and truly eye-catching. A screenshot could never translate how it feels scrolling through the site. Therefore, we highly recommend that any reader check out their main site and scroll through it to experience it. 

At the end of the website, the trailer is again displayed, another “Play now” option, and a chance to “Visit the showroom” to see their art gallery. A gallery would expose itself with floating effects by clicking into the showroom.

Lastly, by clicking the minimized menu we mentioned earlier, the user would be able to find the “Whitepaper,” “Economics Paper,” “News & Info,” “Team,” “Partners,” “Contact,” and an option to join the newsletter. In these options, we could also find the Roadmap, everything else we would expect to see on a website, and plenty of information. The social media links were also neatly displayed in the bottom right corner. 

Mobile (Passive Website)

The first thing we noticed was that both the pc and mobile sites were fairly similar. However, the trailer on the bottom right had been removed. When we clicked into the minimized menu, the layout was quite different, but in a good way.

The true question for the mobile site was how well it worked scrolling through. The music played in the background, there was a little play sign to control it. Because the background was cropped due to the mobile screen’s nature, some details were missing. However, the overall feeling and excitement of the mobile site were not lost, although the edges of the artwork had been cut to some degree. 

Both on desktop and mobile, the background had a hover effect. In the areas of the mobile site where the user would have to click to see more, for instance, when the factions were explained, we experienced high user-friendliness. It was very manageable to click through the options. Sometimes while scrolling, we encountered some seconds of delays, especially if scrolling up or down in a short amount of time, resulting in a lag-like feel.

The end screen looked good. However, the menu on the right sometimes collided with the text elsewhere. Overall, it worked well on mobile, making it easy to go back and forth through the site. While looking through the upper minimized menu, the showroom also seemed very nice at first glance. However,, we found the i to be very laggy when using it. The effects the team tried to implement felt faulty and upright uncomfortable to use, which is unfortunate since we had a really good impression overall.

Desktop (Active Marketplace Website)

First, the Star Atlas website layout wasn’t the standard single-paged website we have been used to seeing. The layout was unique, memorable, and still easy to navigate. There was also a high-quality video playing in the background, with a dark overall theme. Yes, this website had a lot of aspects to discover. There was “Home” and “Overview,” in addition to the menu on the left, which could be minimized if the user wanted to. Clearly, this website is supposed to be more of a resource than an informative website about the project. 

A few areas would only be accessible after connecting a wallet, such as the “Inventory,” “Faction fleet,” “Bookmarks,” and “My orders” in the marketplace aspect. However, the areas of the website needed for a newcomer were readily available on the homepage. Scrolling down, the creators had even created a “player resources” area to discover more. 

In this area, the main site was quietly displayed. Perhaps it would be an idea to make the main site link stand out more. If the user scrolls down in the “Overview” part of the website, they will also find a link to the main site. 

Keep in mind that this site is created to be used by the player. In contrast to the informative website, we think it’s an immaculate design that is easy to use for practical purposes. We also enjoyed how easy it was to look through the different NFTs in the marketplace, and we found ourselves smiling at the item descriptions such as “Tigu” and “Food.” The quality of the NFTs was stunning overall, and we could see the work put into each of them. More thoughts on the artwork can be found further down in the research report.

Indigenous space cat made of gas. Crew this Tigu on your ship to boost your repair rate when your ship is in a jam. https://play.staratlas.com/market/tigu 

The latest in molecular gastronomic science. Who knew corn could taste this good? Effective in addressing minor homeostatic crew deficiencies. https://play.staratlas.com/market/food 

Overall, this website has a lot of aspects to it, including marketplace, inventory, and the home site itself, which could give an impression that a lot is going on. However, we found it very easy to navigate when scrolling through and clicking into the different sections. This active website turned out to be user-friendly, practical, professional, and easy to understand. 

Mobile (Active Website) 

When entering the active Star Atlas site, we first noticed that the trailer in the background did not play the same trailer. The trailer on the mobile site was far shorter and showcased a robot that wasn’t previously seen as well as a creature, possibly from the USTUR faction.

We noticed that the heading menu had been cropped, and because of this, the “Legal” aspect of the menu was almost unnoticeable. However, the layout throughout the “Overview” part of the website fit the mobile screen well and looked very professional. The artwork displayed in this area of the mobile site also looked very well made and of high quality. Using a mobile device, we’ve noticed that artwork becomes more pixelated or of lower quality on other projects. We are happy to see that it wasn’t the case for Star Atlas. 

The minimized menu on the upper left was readily available, and by clicking on it, the user could discover more about the “Leaderboards,” “Marketplace,” “Inventory,” and “Faction Fleet.” However, we did see the same error occurring, as just mentioned. For instance, the new heading menus’ as we entered the different areas of the site were off-screen. This could result in the user not even knowing that there was more information to be found. 

Even though the site worked well apart from this, it is unfortunate that it has not been made clearer that the user would have to do something extra to see all available options available.

In addition, the marketplace had its own filter, just like on the desktop, which surprisingly fit the mobile site well.

However, we do have to give some credit to the creators that the option to slide the upper menu is possible. In some projects, the area that doesn’t fit the screen has been either faulty, entirely unusable, or cut off. Star Atlases’ solution to this might have been one of the best. 

The Verdict

If you’ve gotten this far, we applaud you. The next step in this research report is the verdict. 

Passive (Informational) Website

Using a computer, the passive informative website felt really well made. The team definitely stood out from all other websites, judging by the website alone. They have managed to create a website offers a unique experience while scrolling through rather than a bland site only for informational purposes. We are highly impressed overall. However, we did notice some faulty parts in this design. 

The scrolling function, both on desktop and mobile, sometimes felt laggy, especially using the mobile site. For lack of better terms, it felt like the sensitivity was off, making a swipe with the finger move either nothing or way too much. This was especially the case in the “Showroom” using mobile. On the desktop, it was super responsive and worked like a charm. 

Other than that, we did find what we’d expect to see from a website, including Partners, The Team, Social Media, Trailers, Whitepaper, and more. The soundtrack added was pleasant and gave an overall feeling of the game. It fits the design as well. It had been easily displayed for high usability for the areas where the user would have to click to see more.  

Active (Marketplace) Website

The “active” marketplace mobile site had some flaws, the biggest one being the heading menu which wasn’t made to fit the mobile screen. However, we are happy that we could still slide the menu to see more. 

Overall we were thrilled to see how the marketplace and everything else the site contained had been well constructed and had a high level of user-friendliness. As this will be the main site to use as a tool while playing the game, we are happy that it’s been well made and is easy to understand. 

The last piece of advice we have would be to perhaps add more links to social media. Although they have been promoted to some extent, we don’t think adding a few more of them around the websites would hurt. 

Finally, giving the verdict, we loved this website and the artwork, creativity, and how unique it was. Considering that Star Atlas has two websites with intense debt, we are over the moon considering how well everything worked. Perhaps the best website we’ve come across. Well done, Star Atlas, for creating something entirely original!


Star Atlas consistently uses impressive graphics and visuals throughout its social media, website, graphics, and video content. It’s clear that visual fidelity is a focused area – which we appreciate since having impressive graphics often is what entices players to check the game out.

Except for a few discrepancies throughout their platforms, they’re able to get their branding across to some degree. However, it’s somewhat generic, meaning that you’ll be hard-pressed to understand that it’s Star Atlas if their branding isn’t in plain sight. The quality of their graphics and visuals, however, make up for the bulk of this brand recognition, in our opinion.

In-game renditions, their trailer (previously linked in this report), and game presentations are of top quality. It’s actually so good that sometimes we can mistake it for going straight into a cinematic movie.


Star Atlas sees blockchain technology as a major breakthrough and a glaring opportunity for a new futuristic and sci-fi experience. Taking advantage of the Solana blockchain, Star Atlas can build their game on top of it as a serverless online multiplayer game.

What Chain Does The Game Run On?

Star Atlas will build on top of Solana.

Solana is open-source, and the project implements a new, high-performance, permissionless blockchain. The entity maintaining the project is “The Solana Foundation,” based in Geneva, Switzerland.

Solana claims to be the fastest blockchain globally and the fastest-growing ecosystem in crypto. It has projects spanning DeFi, NFTs, Web3, and more.

Solana focuses on scaling for global adoption. The motto is “Integrate once and never worry about scaling again.” Due to this scaling, Solana can ensure transaction costs remain less than $0.01 for developers and users. The blockchain is also fast, with 400 millisecond block times. With hardware improvements, block times will also get faster as time goes on. Finally, Solana claims to be censorship-resistant, where the network will be open for applications to run freely, and transactions will never be stopped.

Solana manages to be this fast due to leveraging 40 years of distributed systems development, as we can see with centralized databases. Solana can leverage this because they found a way to share time without nodes relying upon one another. Solana’s blockchain protocol uses the concepts of a centralized database where it verifies the passing of time while keeping several decentralized attributes without conferring with a central clock. The consensus method is called Proof of History (PoH) and is what adds the element of time to the blockchain. PoH is designed to verify the time passing between transactions on the chain. When time is a factor, the blocks will be in chronological order, and none of this is dependent on centralized clocks or timestamps.

Solana accomplishes the verification of time by selecting a network node to be the leader. Being a leader node means that it adds entries to the ledger, also called a transaction validator. The leader is also the one that generates the sequence for Proof of History. Having this leader do all the sequencing of messages results in maximum efficiency and throughput. When the leader has made its sequence, it is sent to replicator nodes called validators. Validators are in charge of verification for the consensus algorithm.

To ensure decentralization and some sort of equilibrium, leaders must rotate regularly. New leader nodes are chosen according to a leader schedule, which decides which validator gets to lead next, as there can only be one leader at any given time. The Proof of Stake elections chooses the leader schedule, encompassing the validator nodes. Proof of Stake (PoS) is a consensus algorithm with several flavors. We’ve talked about some of them in our reports on Tezos and Algorand. The PoS mechanism uses a Byzantine Fault Tolerance (BFT) mechanism called Tower Consensus in Solana. Tower Consensus uses the PoH mechanism as a global source of time before consensus is achieved.

The video below explains Solana’s PoH concept in a simple way.

Proof of History Explainer.

Our Thoughts On The Chain?

Solana is undoubtedly a fast and low-cost blockchain solution. For an in-game economy to function well, transactions must be immediate and essentially free for the players. What has generally been touted as one of Solana’s benefits over other blockchain solutions is the ability to handle up to 50,000 Transactions Per Second (TPS). However, one of Solana’s problems has been its several outages, counting at least seven since its ‘mainnet’ launch in 2020.

Despite the outages from various congestion and spam events, the blockchain has not been compromised security-wise. Solana also gets a lot of flak from the general crypto community due to these outages. However, it seems that recent developments on the network, such as the Google-supported QUIC protocol and validators upgrading to the latest software, have halted the outages.

Recent stress tests indicate that the network can at least handle 14,000 TPS. Solana usually hovers around 2,800-3,000 TPS from active use.


Recently, there was a very anticipated NFT mint on Solana called Y00ts, which, under previous circumstances, might have led to a halt due to the massive chain activity during the event. However, recent amendments could have solved the aforementioned issues as the hyped NFT launch did not affect the blockchain seen in the picture below.


It’s a pleasure to see the tech evolving and improving. Time will tell if the “usual” outages are a thing of the past, but things seem to be going in the right direction for Solana.

A feather in Solana’s hat is the engaged NFT community. NFT sales and the number of transactions on Solana have continuously been at the forefront. From the picture below, we’ve gathered some statistics from Cryptoslam.io showing NFT sales volume over the past 24 hours and seven days. Although Ethereum had the highest sales volume, Solana has significantly more buyers and transactions, indicating a very active community.

Source 13.09.22.

Source 13.09.22.

There’s no doubt that Solana can handle a huge number of transactions at speeds typical for traditional databases. These metrics will play well into what Star Atlas plans to do as a serverless game on top of a blockchain. Although Solana has issues like most blockchains, it seems it’s improving.


Who Is On The Team?

  • Michael Wagner – CEO
    • Co-founder & CEO (Aug 2016 – present) at Multichain Ventures
    • Founder & Managing Director (Nov 2013 – Dec 2020) at Digital Asset Holdings
  • Danny Floyd – Chief Product Officer
    • Chief Experience Officer (Apr 2019 – present)
    • Art Director (Mar 2018 – Sep 2021) at 1047 Games
    • Senior UX Designer (Jun 2018 – Sep 2020) at Multichain Ventures
    • Computer Artist (Sep 2002 – Oct 2007) at Electronic Arts
  • Jacob Floyd – Chief Technology Officer
    • CTO (Nov 2017 – present) at Multichain Ventures
    • Developer (Nov 2017 – present) at Tokes Platform
    • Principal Engineer (Oct 2008 – Sep 2014) at FoWare
  • Pablo Quiroga – Chief Revenue Officer
    • Founder (Jan 2019 – present) at Fuelixir Labs
    • Chief Revenue Officer (Jul 2019 – Mar 2020) at Vanguard Scientific Systems
    • SVP of Revenue (Mar 2019 – Jul 2019) at Vanguard Scientific Systems
    • VP Market Development (Sep 2018 – Feb 2019) at Vanguard Scientific Systems
    • Strategic Growth Advisor (Apr 2012 – May 2016) at Gold and Commodities
    • Founder (Jan 2014 – Apr 2016) at Razpo
    • Founder (2008 – 2014) at Save Tajeo
  • Guarang Desai – Head of Finance
    • Finance and Treasury (Nov 2018 – Jun 2021) at Lightnet
    • Senior Quantative Strategist and Risk Officer (May 2016 – Aug 2018) at CPB Equity Co.
    • Asset Liability Management (Jul 2013 – Apr 2016) at AIG
    • Senior Credit Risk Manager (Feb 2012 – Jul 2013) at AIG
  • Steven Sabol – Director of Economy
    • Chief Data Officer (Jan 2018 – present) at Capital Markets Data
  • Vitaly Moshlevets – Demand Generation Manager
    • Senior Marketing Advisor (Mar 2021 – Jul 2022) at Kaizen.Finance
    • Market Advisor (May 2019 – Jan 2021) at Hypershere
    • Growth Marketing Manager (Aug 2018 – Nov 2019) at Crypterium
  • Michael Lu – Head of Engineering
    • Engineer II (Nov 2019 – Feb 2021) at McKinsey & Company
    • Development Lead (Dec 2017 – Jun 2019) at Tokes Platform
  • Hanno Hagedorn – Character Art Director
    • Principal Character Artist (Dec 2020 – Feb 2022) at Tencent America
    • Senior Character Artist II (Dec 2019 – Nov 2020) at Blizzard Entertainment, working on Diablo 4
    • Principal Character Artist (Oct 2014 – Dec 2019) at Respawn Entertainment, working on Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
    • Character Art Director (Jan 2012 – Oct 2014) at Crytek, working on Ryse and Cinebox
    • Lead Technical Character Artist (Dec 2009 – Dec 2011) at Naughty Dog, working on Uncharted 3
    • Senior Character Artist (Sep 2008 – Jan 2010) at Naughty Dog, working on Uncharted 2
    • Lead Character Artist (Feb 2008 – Aug 2008) at Crytek, working on Redemption
    • Senior Character Artist (Aug 2004 – Jan 2008) at Crytek, working on Crysis
  • Chloe Paul – Director of Business Intelligence
  • Giuliano Giurca – Tech Lead
    • Senior Front End Developer (Aug 2017 – May 2021) at ITX Corp.
  • Ryan Moreau – Tech Lead
    • Webmaster (Sep 2019 – Mar 2022) at Element 6
    • Software Engineer (Sep 2021 – Feb 2022) at Bitbuy
    • Web Developer (May 2018 – Jul 2019) at Media Suite
    • Web Developer (Mar 2015 – May 2018) at Tyger Shark
  • John Reeve – Product Manager
  • Christophe dos Santon – Product Manager
    • Senior Product Manager (May 2018 – May 2022) at Colt Technology Services
    • Project Manager CRM/BI (Feb 2011 – Jun 2015) at Cegedim Relationship Management
  • Mo Yazdani – Product Manager
    • Product Manager (Aug 2021 – Nov 2021) at GameFi Inc.
    • Product Manager (Jan 2020 – Jun 2021) at Globacore Interactive Technologies
  • David Grinbaum – Product Manager for Engineering
    • Co-founder & Head of Post Production (Jul 2016 – present) at Chapter Four
  • Edward Denton – Lead Environment Artist
    • Art Director in Location Based Experience (Sep 2019 – Sep 2021) at Weta Workshop
  • Dominic Hegarty – Community Manager
  • Ruslan Mogilevets – Director of User Acquisition
    • Digital Product Manager (Sep 2018 – Dec 2021) Wells Fargo
    • Business Property Manager (Jun 2013 – Sep 2018) at Wells Fargo
    • Product Marketing Manager (Nov 2019 – Nov 2021) at SMP Robotics Systems
    • Senior Game Advisor (Mar 2004 – Sep 2014) at MindArk
  • Luciano C. – Director of Product Design
    • Director of Product, UX (May 2019 – Aug 2020) at Horizon Blockchain Games
    • Senior Product Designer (Dec 2015 – Aug 2017) at Shopify
    • UX Designer (Aug 2013 – Dec 2015) at Shopify
    • UX Designer (Jul 2012 – Aug 2013) at Jet Cooper
    • Creative Director (2008 – Jun 2012) at Climax Media
  • Te Wilson – Technical Art Director
    • Technical Art Director (Sep 2020 – Dec 2021) at Tencent
    • Tech Artist & Game Developer (Mar 2020 – Sep 2020) at Bonfire Studios
    • Technical Art Director (Oct 2017 – Feb 2020) at Microsoft
    • Principal Technical Artist (Feb 2012 – Jun 2017) at Riot Games, working on Valorant
    • Senior Technical Artist (Aug 2010 – Apr 2012) at Blizzard Entertainment
    • Character TD (Jun 2005 – Aug 2010) at Electronics Arts
    • Senior Animator & Character TD (Dec 2004 – May 2005) at Gener8Xion Entertainment
    • Senior Animator & Character TD (Jul 2004 – Dec 2004) at Namco America
  • Alexander Yartsev – Vehicle Lead
    • CEO (Mar 2022 – present) at RenderDock Studio
    • Art Director, Lead Artist, Founder (May 2018 – May 2022) at RenderDock Studio
    • Lead 3D Artist (2015 – 2018) at Noble Empire
    • 3D Generalist (2012 – 2015) at Noble Empire
  • Gary Sanchez – Art Director of Vehicle
  • Jeffrey James Wagner – Director of Utility Design
    • Design Lead (Jul 2015 – May 2021) at Wunderman Thompson Apps
    • Senior UX/UI Designer (Jun 2011 – Jul 2015) at Neu Citizen
    • Senior UX/Ui Designer (Jul 2011 – Dec 2014) at Big Block Industry
  • Matej M. – Head of Communications, Research and Innovation
    • Communications Advisor (Oct 2019 – Mar 2021) at Government of Yukon
    • Communications Manager (Oct 2013 – Sep 2019) at European Commission
  • Petra Korona Dr. – Project Manager
    • IT Program Manager (Jun 2020 – Jul 2022) at HBO Europe
    • Technical Program Manager (Jun 2020 – Jul 2022) at WarnerMedia
    • Technical Program Manager (Jun 2020 – Jul 2022) at Warner Bros
    • IT Project Manager (Nov 2019 – Jun 2020) at IBM
    • IT Project Manager (Jul 2015 – Nov 2019) at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HP)
  • Matthew Medney – Head Writer
    • Chief Creative Officer (Dec 2021 – present) at Digital Arts and Sciences
    • CEO (Dec 2019 – present) at Heavy Metal
  • Clara Martucci – Social Media Director
    • Researcher and Instructor of Record (Aug 2018 – Apr 2022) at Wayne State University
    • Communication Consultant (Jun 2020 – Aug 2020) at Henry Ford Health System
    • Corporate Communications Specialist (2013 – 2014) at Santander
    • Corporate Communications Coordinator (2009 – 2011) at Braskem
  • Michael Cain – Lead Blockchain Engineer
    • Lead Software Engineer (Aug 2019 – Nov 2021) at Brandable Ventures
  • Michelle Hipps – Director of Events
  • Csaba Madar – Director of RevOps Production
    • Project Manager (Dec 2019 – Jul 2021) at Provoke Solutions
    • IT Project Manager (Jun 2018 – Dec 2019) at Transpower New Zeland
    • Program Manager (Jun 2016 – Apr 2018) at DXC Technology
    • Project Manager (May 2013 – Jun 2016) at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HP)
    • Project Coordinator (May 2012 – Feb 2013) at HP Enterprise Services
  • Steven Haddadian – Director of Talent
    • B2B and Strategic Partnerships (Jan 2019 – Jan 2021) at Tencent America
  • Estefan Ramirez Vazquez – Head of Growth
    • Chief Growth Officer (2017 – 2019) at Northern Swan Holdings
    • Director of Sales & Corporate Development (2014 – 2017) at Pheonix Tower International
  • Marcel van Vuuren – Environment Art Director
    • Freelance Concept Designer (Jun 2018 – Dec 2021) at Neptic Design, working on Squadron 42
    • Assistant Art Director / Lead Concept Artist (Oct 2016 – Apr 2018) at Cloud Imperium Games, working on Star Citizen
    • Senior Concept Artist (Jun 2015 – Aug 2016) at Atomhawk Design
    • Concept Artist (Feb 2013 – May 2015) at Atomhawk Design, working on Mortal Kombat X, Injustice 2, Eve Valkyrie and Star Citizen
    • Graphic Designer / VFX / Motion Graphics (2009 – 2010) at C-Squared Productions
    • Graphic Designer (2008 – 2009) at ONE
  • Anthony Mason – Head of Marketing Intelligence
    • Senior Vice President of Marketing (Mar 2018 – Nov 2018) at Ocean Resort Casino
    • Vice President of Strategic Marketing (Feb 2014 – Nov 2015) at Foxwoods Resort Casino
  • Yves Candel – Technology Director
    • CTO (Jan 2020 – Mar 2022) at Salarise
    • Chief Information Security Officer (Dec 2019 – Mar 2022) at Navara
    • Technical Director (Jul 2019 – Mar 2022) at Navara
    • Principal Technology Officer (Jan 2018 – Jun 2019) at Navara
    • CTO (Oct 2019 – Aug 2021) at Homerr
  • Mitch Moody – Director of Product Management
  • Derek Rozycki – Director of QA
    • Senior QA Engineer (Mar 2021 – May 2022) at B-Stock Solutions
    • QA Engineer (Aug 2014 – Mar 2021) at Wunderman Thompson Mobile
    • Senior Lead QA Engineer (Jan 2018 – Feb 2019) at DispatchHealth
  • Chip Zurita – Director of Game System Design
  • Dave Boerger – Director of Tokenomics

Team Assessment

The team working on Star Atlas consists of around 200 members, including external vendors. An impressive growth in just under two years since January 2021 when they started the project with only the four co-founders, according to an interview given by Michael Wagner, CEO of Star Atlas to Business Insider.
Read the full interview here: Star Atlas Review a Solana Based Metaverse With Big Promise

According to Star Atlas’ LinkedIn profile we’ve found at least 95 of these members, and most of them have a public profile that we’re able to review. Their website only lists the leadership/co-founders and doesn’t write anything particular about their team members, which is somewhat unfortunate. We would’ve liked to see more information about their team either on their website or in their whitepaper – where they aren’t mentioned at all.

At the time of writing this report, Star Atlas has ten positions listed on its career page. These positions vary among four different departments; design, economy, engineering, and DevOps.

With the number of people on the Star Atlas team, we’re not surprised to see a lot of people with relevant and diverse experiences within their respective areas of responsibility. The team working on Star Atlas also seems to have acquired several contractors/freelancers with experience working with prominent and acknowledged companies such as; The Walt Disney Company, Square Enix, Frontier Development, Cloud Imperium Games (the creators of Star Citizen), Ubisoft, and more.

Other than the fact that we would’ve liked to see their team better disclosed, especially with several of the team members having the same or similar titles/roles, we find this team to be very solid. As such, we have high confidence that this team is able to deliver an amazing product that can compare to even the best web2 games in its genre.

Do They Have Relevant Experience?

The simple answer is yes, they do. Going through their team members, we’ve found a diverse team with previous experience ranging from members with little experience to veterans within the gaming industry. Most members have had relevant experience within their respective fields of work, some of them to an amazing degree.

Danny Floyd, CPO, has extensive experience in key leadership roles from companies such as 1047 Games, the creators of the game Splitgate. In addition, he has relevant experience from several years working at Electronic Arts (EA).

Hanno Hagedorn, Character Art Director, has years of relevant experience from very prominent gaming companies such as; Blizzard Entertainment, Respawn Entertainment, Crytek, and Naughty Dog. Respectively he’s worked on games such as Diablo 4, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, Ryse, and Uncharted 2 & 3.

Petra Korona Dr., Project Manager, has a vast background from being a project manager in companies such as; HBO Europe, WarnerMedia, Warner Bros, IBM, and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HP).

Marcel van Vuuren, Environmental Art Director, has worked on Star Citizen and Squadron 42 for several years. In addition, he’s worked on Mortal Kombat X, Injustice 2, and Eve Valkyrie (the VR experience of Eve Online). 

Andrian Luchian, Freelance Concept Designer, has an extensive background from freelance work with The Walt Disney Company, Square Enix, Frontier Developments (the creators of Elite Dangerous), Cloud Imperium Games, Gameloft, and Ubisoft.

Petur Arnorsson, a Senior 3D Artist, has done high-resolution promotion art for multiple known games such as; Doom, Dishonored 2, Mortal Kombat XL, Warhammer 40k Dawn of War 3, Quake Champions, Prey, Extinction, and Far Cry 5. In addition, he has worked as a modeler for films, such as Final Fantasy Kingsglaive XV.

Needless to say, Star Atlas has acquired several talented individuals with lots of relevant experience within the gaming industry and notable companies within their respective fields of work. A notable mention is that several of their team members have extensive experience from working on games that might directly be compared to Star Atlas, such as Eve Online, Elite Dangerous, and Star Citizen. 

Who Are Their Backers?

We could find Star Atlas’s leading partners easily available through their website. Let’s have a look at some of them below.

Animoca Brands

Here, we can discover Animoca Brands, a leader in digital entertainment, blockchain, and gamification. In this written moment, they have invested in over 340 projects, including some well-known names such as OpenSea, Axie Infinity, and Alien worlds. Animoca Brands strive to deliver property rights to the World’s gamers and create a more equitable framework contributing to building the open metaverse.

Read more about Animoca Brands here: https://www.animocabrands.com/

Yield Guild

We can also find Yield Guild that is bringing players together to earn through blockchain-based economies. They call themselves “The settlers of the new worlds in the metaverse.” They have invested and contributed gamers to well-known titles such as GuildOfGuardians, Illuvium, Nitroleague TheSandbox, Cyball, and Thetan Arena. 

Read more about Yield Guild here: https://yieldguild.io/.  

Republic Crypto

Republic Cryptos’ was founded in 2017, and its goal is to give everyone access to early-stage start-up investments. They invest in the world’s most anticipated crypto projects, startups, gaming, and real estate. They have over 1.5 Million users across 100 countries and have a world-class team advising on tokenomics, smart contract development, and more.

Read more about Republic Cryptos here: https://republic.com/crypto.


Star Atlas’ roadmap is divided into five phases, with a brief term explanation and color-coding of the different phases. On the original website, there is also an option to view the historical roadmap reports up to March 2022. The roadmap is built on the web-platform Notion and seems to be “alive,” meaning that it is subject to change. 

Game Developer’s Roadmap

Alpha Team’s Thoughts On The Roadmap

The roadmap has been made very clear and easy to understand. The most challenging part was finding the roadmap itself. 

The roadmap is divided into phases one to five and has been color coded depending on their status, making it very easy to see their progress. The project started in 2020 and has since managed to create and launch its tokens (ATLAS & POLIS), NFTs, the website, and platform for marketplace, inventory, leaderboards, and more. Their cinematic trailer was also impressive. Along with all the other achievements they’ve accomplished so far, we can see the quality of what they present and the experience of their team. 

Although the team has divided its roadmap into phases, all but three aims have been started properly. They aim to release the first version of the game in the form of SCREAM in 2022 on PC, and from what we can tell, they are working effectively to accomplish that. However, we do not expect a full game release for at least another five to six years.

Guild Facilitation

In Star Atlas, the Decentralized Autonomous Corporations or DACs are the game’s guilds. There is currently no wording indicating the typical manager/scholar model we’ve seen in other web3 games. We believe this is a good sign for Star Atlas, where actual players playing with their own assets will be the main audience and participants of the game.

For the guild aspect, the DACs will be central. They work similarly to DAOs with their own treasuries and constituents. However, the leadership structure may vary.

The organizational structure of Star Atlas’ DAOs is a top-to-bottom one. The diagram below shows how the various DAOs will be structured.


The general idea is that the higher you are on this schematic, the more stake in $POLIS is required, and the lower you are, the less stake, but more in-game participation.

At each level of the DAO structure, there are different governance roles. This is to reduce redundancy across DAO tiers. Where the top-level Star Atlas DAO will regulate the overall well-being of the game, the mid-level faction DAOs will enact in-game modifiers for its members and territories, and the bottom-level DAOs are limited to their own regions setting local mining taxes and so on.

As you can see, guilds or DACs are a central element of Star Atlas, and the ultimate goal is to have the game completely decentralized. However, in the early stages, it is critically important to get the game “right” before letting go of the reins completely. 


Star Atlas has not just one whitepaper but three. One is a general whitepaper and your guide to the game, the second takes a deep dive into the in-game economy and tokenomics, and the third covers the governance structure.

You can find the whitepapers in the links below.


Economics paper

Governance paper

Alpha Team’s General Thoughts On The Whitepaper

With the three whitepapers combined, it makes up 110 pages of information. The general whitepaper contains everything you need to know about the game in very broad terms. It’s not highly detailed on all specifics, but as a reader, you get the general concept of the game and an overview of the economy, tokenomics, and investment thesis.

We really liked the comparative analysis of Star Atlas versus its highest-profile competitors, although we don’t necessarily agree with how certain attributes are highlighted. Suppose you compare Star Atlas to its most obvious competitor, Star Citizen; Star Atlas’ traits in the exploration category are highlighted as a positive thing, whereas Star Citizen “lacks” in these traits; see picture below.


We argue that although Star Citizen has a “medium” world compared to Star Atlas’ “unlimited” one, it is not necessarily a bad thing for a game. As is also presented is that Star Citizen is “handcrafted,” whereas Star Atlas is “algorithmic.”

From our experience, algorithmic, unlimited games are not necessarily better, as they can often feel like enormous empty areas without any content. Handcrafted content is usually of higher quality than algorithmic, so we want to call out this comparison and point out that it is not necessarily a better design choice.

All in all, the whitepaper is a great source of information and is well-written, neat, and artfully crafted. There is a lack of lore and general world-building in the whitepaper. However, the Star Atlas Medium page is a great resource for this.

Regarding the economics paper, we really appreciated this one. It thoroughly explains how the tokens and NFTs play into the player-driven in-game economy. We can see that Eve Online has been a key inspiration for Star Atlas’ economy, which is a game economy that we strongly encourage being emulated.

The governance paper covers the importance of decentralization, the vision for the future, and how they can achieve decentralized governance.

In summary, all three of Star Atlas’ whitepapers are excellent sources of information. They are easily readable and contain the information we want. They thoroughly explain the economy, burn mechanics, deflationary systems, and also how to follow player growth by regulating the inflation of the $ATLAS token. It seems like a well-researched, well-thought-out economic system, and we’re eager to see how it will perform when the game launches.

Growth Implications:

Regarding the team and financing, we see little indicating growth, management, and marketing issues. However, we’re curious about the technical solutions. Suppose we use Star Citizen as an example. The game has been in development since 2012 and strives for something that has never been done before. Star Atlas is seemingly following in its footsteps regarding ambition, although it might not be AS extensive. 

However, both games have serious hurdles to overcome in the scaling department. Star Atlas hasn’t been as clear on how crowded they want an area or “server” to be. In theory, Unreal Engine 5 can handle an unlimited number of players, but the game must be made with network limitations and bandwidth in mind. Multiplayer has a cost, but if done well, can have a smaller impact on the performance.

Star Citizen has been working on this problem for years. However, they don’t use Unreal Engine 5 but a custom version of Amazon Lumberyard. The choice of the game engine won’t make the difference here. As of July 2022, they’ve only managed to host 120 players on one server consistently.

Star Citizen’s intention is to have thousands of players on the same “server” or even in the same area. However, for that to be possible, they will need server sharding. Shortly explained, you, as a player, won’t know you’re changing server while moving around in the game. One server might be responsible for a small area, and you seamlessly move onto another server while traveling elsewhere. Juggling several servers is not easy, especially when you want persistence across them. You don’t want to travel somewhere having lost all your loot because it’s not persistent across shards. 

To optimize a high-graphics game such as Star Citizen, they also use Object Container Streaming, meaning that once you move a certain distance away from an object, it’s streamed out of your computer’s memory. It works the opposite as well; when you’re getting close, it’s streamed in. This has to be managed for every item in-game.

The case with Star Citizen might be different from Star Atlas’, but we see a lot of similarities between the games, and this is a challenge we’re expecting they will have to overcome. Therefore, we would love to see some transparency and more details regarding the technicalities of things.

We know game-dev isn’t easy, and we would expect a project of this caliber to take years. As you might expect, we’ve been waiting for Star Citizen for a while, and it would be fair to Star Atlas’ backers to be transparent about these potential issues.


Social Media Followers Count

PlatformFollower count

Socialnomics gives a better understanding of the community. It also shows how well the project communicates through the various platforms. Without further ado, let’s look at Star Atlas’ socialnomics. 

The project’s Discord server has several chat rooms, including a general chat room, Q&A, and an entertainment area, including a chat for counting – of all things possible. We also noticed a support area where the community members’ issues were taken care of, which we found admirable. The general chat, which is the place for community members, seems to be talkative and presents with a good vibe. All in all, we can’t complain. The community seems active and happy, and questions that occur are continually answered. 

Star Atlas created the Twitter profile in October 2020. In their bio, we find links to both of their websites and a short description of the GameFi concept. Some weeks, they have upwards of 30 posts, including retweets. Most of these tweets range between 286-755 reactions. This results in approx. 0.09%-0.15% in engagement rate. We categorize 1% or above as really good. 

In their Tweet from August of 2021, featuring their teaser trailer, the project hit 2,333 reactions, equaling approx 0.74%. It seems like the older tweets have had a higher engagement rate in general, reaching their highest top of 15,569, from what we could see. We can only assume that the project had fewer followers then. Judging by the current followers, their engagement would be just short of 5%, which is still impressive. 

Their Youtube channel has gained 1.7 million views since January of 2021. For now, the project has created several playlists, including community videos from other creators. Their self-made videos consist of interviews, trailers, and gameplay for the most part. Considering the views of each video, the community is showing up well on their Youtube channel, but we would like to see more content.

Star Atlas has 589 posts on Instagram and over 20,000 followers. They are targeting four-five posts a week, and the typical posts are landscapes of the world and short videos. The descriptions often aim at the community, asking questions to create engagement, which seemingly works well. 

Many projects create a Facebook site, only to be available on more platforms and reach potential new community members. We have often seen that most posts are copy-paste of their Instagram, and Star Atlas doesn’t seem to be an exception to this. Although not every post on Instagram has been reposted to Facebook, we find that those that are, have the same description. We don’t necessarily find this to be negative; it just makes us wonder if they will differentiate their platforms in the future in any way.

In Conclusion, the community seems to be the strongest on Discord, which might not come as a surprise. Their Facebook and Instagram seem to have much of the same content. As we see it, Star Atlas’ Twitter had its glory days in mid to end of 2021, but we believe the hype could redevelop. The engagement rate is low for now, but it hasn’t stopped the team from tweeting every so often. We are curious to see how the project’s socialnomics will develop in the future and if the team will differentiate their various platforms. 

Speculations And Connecting The Dots

Star Atlas is an ambitious project aiming to compete with the titans in its niche. And yes, it is a niche, although seemingly a large one. They are stepping up as the only “web3” game in the genre able to compete with Star Citizen, Elite Dangerous, and Eve Online. Being a “web3” game, would Star Atlas be able to capture any of the others’ player base?

We believe that it might. From our experience, there is seemingly a lot of overlap between player bases in this genre. The kicker with Star Atlas is that it uses NFTs instead of “pledges” or “PLEXes.” Although NFTs are a new concept, many of these games have been using similar ways of income but in a more centralized way. 

In Eve Online, the value of a ship is denominated in the in-game currency ISK. However, upon reading about the grand space battles, the losses are often denominated in dollar value. Because of the monthly subscription pass granting you “full” access to the game, it has a dollar value and an in-game value as it can be purchased from other players on the in-game market.


Star Citizen is very similar to Star Atlas when it comes to buying ships and equipment. But instead of getting an NFT as proof of ownership, you “pledge” a certain amount to the fundraiser and are rewarded with an in-game spaceship. However, in Star Citizen, you don’t really own the asset. There is a grey market for buying and selling rare spaceships, but not as smooth and transparent as an NFT marketplace.

With this in mind, we don’t think that the “web3” stamp or NFTs would necessarily scare away the players of other games in the genre, and as a part of the same community, we aren’t afraid of it either and look forward to another space game with modernized graphics!

Some may argue that the price of ships is extreme in Star Atlas, where the NFTs range from $15-$100,000 at the initial cost, not accounting for secondary markets. Compared to Star Citizen, which also can have mind-boggling prices, this is not new but could definitely have an effect on players “getting burned” on how long it has taken them to play with their Star Citizen “pledge.” 


Will the high NFT pricing hurt the game in the long run? We don’t know, but In Star Atlas, there doesn’t seem to be a very high entry cost to the game. You don’t have to own a ship to play the game. You can crew onboard someone else’s vessel or spend your time down the gravity well, working on a mining outpost, making money to one day buy yourself a second-hand “humble beginning.”

If there’s one thing we know from other space games, bigger is not always better, especially if you fly solo. Although the commander class spaceship for $100,000 might be powerful, it might require a whole guild of players to make it effective. This is at least the case in Star Citizen, and with Star Atlas, it seems to be the same, whether they are AI crew or actual players. Therefore, the price of things in Star Atlas isn’t necessarily a deterrent. Most items intended for the general player will likely be within reasonable prices and achievable in-game once they start earning.

As has been alluded to earlier, this game fits a niche. It isn’t necessarily for everyone’s taste. Capturing the younger generation of web2 gamers spending their evenings with Fortnite isn’t necessarily the goal or intention with Star Atlas. 

However, we believe that Star Atlas aims at the same market segment of players that games like Star Citizen, Elite Dangerous, and Eve Online generally target – the Old-school gamers in the western world, now in their 30s and older, with ample capital and the patience to wait for their next decade-long immersion. 

We know how fast time flies and the state of the current gaming scene. Therefore waiting for projects like Star Citizen is, for many, a reasonable compromise, and we expect Star Atlas to fall into the same category. Being “web3” as it is, it also appeals to a new segment of players who might never have considered the alternative Star Citizen. Although there are definitely overlaps between the average “crypto bro” and “space gamer,” the overall population might just grow a little, moving into “web3.”


As discussed to length in the whitepaper section under growth implications, the technicality of things is a question mark for us regarding Star Atlas. Following this report, we would like to see some clarity regarding the game’s back-end and how the team intends to solve scaling. Building on top of Solana has been mentioned as a solution to the scalability, but we fail to see how this solves the “game” part of things. However, it might be an excellent solution to the economic side.

The epitome of game economies is a player-driven one. There’s no wonder why Star Atlas is going for this solution, and it is one we personally really appreciate. However, how does an economy like this fit into a world of instant gratification and immature impatience? We’ve already discussed that Star Atlas is a niche, and its player base will likely already be very familiar with this type of economy, commitment, and participation. If somebody hasn’t produced a certain thing, then you can’t just buy it from a merchant or vendor.


Star Atlas places itself in the middle of the “crypto world,” and the ethos is decentralization. Therefore, a player-driven economy to us seems like the only choice; anything else would just be an insult to the community. The whole point of NFTs in games is to give the power back to the players. With a game loop that allows permanent destruction of assets, being the sole supplier of new assets as the game developer would have been seen as both greedy and unethical. Therefore, a living economy with ties to real-world values driven forth and governed by the participants is an obvious choice.

A recent article reveals that Star Atlas is launching its demo on the Epic Games Store. The demo is essentially a showroom for players that already own ships in the game. It looks amazing, like most things in Unreal Engine 5, but it is far from a finished game. Michael Wagner, the CEO, envisions at least another five or six years of development before the game is ready. This timeframe confirms some of our assumptions regarding the development of the game.


Another interesting tidbit revealed in the article is that they plan on developing two different clients for the game. One for Unreal Engine 5 released through Epic Game Store for high-end gaming computers, and then another client based on WebGL so players can play it in the browser. Although the clients are different, all of the game functionality will be the same.

We find this an interesting proposal that would enable players from parts of the world where high-end gaming PCs aren’t commonplace. However, we’re also curious about the details of such an implementation. We got the whitepaper and economics paper; where is the technical paper?

As you understand, after reading our speculations here, there are quite a few unanswered questions still in the air. However, we are hopeful that within the remaining 5-6 years, more information, especially around the technical aspects of Star Atlas, will be released during the remaining development timeframe. 


Over 15,000 words later, what are our big takeaways on Star Atlas post-research?

Star Atlas has been one of the most renowned names in the GameFi space and has been on our radar for over a year, with good reason. 

What happens with Star Atlas is very likely to affect the entire space, regardless of chain;. Hence, we chose to title this report: “The Astronomical Weight of Star Atlas.” Amassing more than 315,000 followers on Twitter, and with their official trailer just passing 1,000,000 views on Youtube, they’ve taken a substantial and noticeable place within the GameFi ecosystem. 

The team is relentlessly pushing new high-quality content online and sharing updates with their ever-growing community. It’s a massive project, and there is a lot to love, which ultimately leaves us with a high conviction across the board.

Their team comprises around 200 skilled members, several of whom are contractors or freelancers who have worked with companies such as Cloud Imperium Games, Square Enix, The Walt Disney Company, Ubisoft, Frontier development, and more—overall giving the impression of having a highly competent team with diverse experience. We can see that they have the skills to deliver an outstanding product. However, only time will tell; the ballpark estimation is five to six years. Until then, we can only hope that the project can keep up with future technologies, trends, and possibilities. 

Every piece of content we can find, from the whitepaper to their primary website, is thoroughly made and an enjoyable experience. We generally find documentation somewhat lacking in detail or apparent neglect when researching projects in GameFi. However, that is not the case here, although there still are questions. We are truly impressed.

The Star Atlas website is a journey in itself and is definitely worth a visit!

Oh, and the artwork? It speaks for itself, it’s breathtaking, and it’s clear how huge of a focus visual fidelity is for the team.

We are aware that many games in the game-fi industry have long been either pay-to-win, pay-to-play, or even straight-out boring in the long run, resulting in little to no pleasure for the player. Star Atlas is amongst the web3 projects that are changing this by creating an entertaining, fun game to play for years to come with high-quality graphics paving the way for generations of gamers in the GameFi space and setting the bar higher for other projects. 

As you hopefully understand, we are incredibly excited to get our hands on the game and play it, our conviction is sky-high, and although the full release is more than half a decade away, we believe it will be worth the wait. Patience is a virtue, and good things come to those who wait, even in GameFi. 

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