One of the many features of Starbound is exploration, whether it be planetary, inter-planetary, or inter-stellar. You can explore other planets by using your starting spaceship to travel and beam down using the x.
Every player starts with a spaceship that is equipped with a dork container, 3D printer, Teleporter, fuel meter, and pilot seat.
Vehicles allow for the quick movement from one location to another, and are often quite expensive to create.
Boats allow for both diving and quick crossing of deep waters.
Hoverbikes are one of the fastest methods of travel across land, and are relatively cheap to produce compared to other vehicles.
Mechs are heavily armored and equipped combat vehicles, and represent a powerful presence on the battlefield.