The Matter Manipulator is one handy tool to have at your disposal in Starbound. While you’ll get it straight from the beginning of the game, it can become even more useful if you spend a little bit of time and effort to upgrade it. Here’s how you do just that in Starbound.
For those who have just jumped into the game and aren’t exactly sure what your Matter Manipulator is capable of doing, this omni tool allows the player to mine blocks, cut down trees, place blocks, and has the potential to collect and distribute liquid (thanks to the upgrades).
In order to upgrade your Matter Manipulator, you must first complete the opening tutorial quests. These are tasks that SAIL will give you, such as building an Iron anvil. Once you’ve completed these, you’ll then be given the choice to upgrade your Matter Manipulator.
Now that you have the option available to you, you’ll need to find the Manipulator Modules required to perform the upgrade. These can be found in tech chests, and very rarely in just standard chests. The number of modules you need depends on which upgrade you’re wanting to execute. For example, the first upgrade to the Expansion slot that enables the collection of liquids using Excavation mode requires only three modules, whereas the third upgrade to the Power Generator requires 32. Therefore, whenever you spot a Manipulator Module lying around in Starbound, be sure to pick it up.