Astroneer sets players in a 25th century gold rush where they explore the frontiers of outer space, risking their lives and resources in harsh environments for the chance of striking it rich. On this adventure, a player's most useful tool is their ability to shape their world, altering the terrain and extracting valuable resources from planets, asteroids, and moons. Resources can be traded on the open market or crafted into new tools, vehicles, and modules to create everything from massive industrial bases to pop-up tents for overnight expeditions.
Environments are procedurally generated in a uniquely rendered voxel engine, featuring a textureless aesthetic that allows players to deform and shape the terrain as though it were made of Play-Doh. The expansive galaxy allows the player to explore a virtually infinite number of planets that are each unique, malleable, and traversable from pole to pole.