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Space travelling ships are the main transport of navigating within the Settled Systems. Your character can own up to 10 ships at a time, including one as your home ship with your cargo and crew. Any ship that you obtain, purchase, or maraud can be edited, customized and upgraded as you chose.

Ship Piloting

Depending on which platform you are on (Xbox console or PC) the controls for piloting in Starfield will be slightly different. The direction of the ship is controlled by either the Right Stick (RS)/mouse. On Xbox the sideways pitch is also controlled by the Left Stick (LS). Moving up on the LS also increases or reduces the speed (depending on how much power has been diverted to the engines). In scenarios of docking or more precise control, the flight mode can be temporarily switched by holding RB/Space, and only moves the ship in an up/down/left/right direction. For a quick boost, RS/Left Shift can be pressed to fire the boosters which will quickly drain until they are replenished.

Starfield spaceship controls mapping for Xbox and PC
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Ship Systems

There are several ship systems which can affect the performance of your ship. Each ship has its own varying power outage, with an allotted energy amount to distribute between each system. These include Lasers, Ballistics, Missiles, Engines, Shields, and the Grav Drive. If more power is allocated to a certain system it will perform more efficiently. And if a system receives little to no allocated energy, so goes the opposite. The systems can be operated using the D-pad/arrow keys, which is represented on the display in the HUD in the bottom left hand-side of the screen.

How to maneuver and dock?

If a first-person ship view is not to your liking, the point-of-view can be toggled to look outside of the ship with the view button/G key. This is an especially useful point-of-view if you are attempting to dock with another ship or station. This involves you approaching close enough to the other vessel without ramming it and either hailing or docking using X/R.

Space Combat

Whether you are an intergalactic pirate or simply a piloting a freighter, at some point you will run into the need for combat in space. All spaceships are equipped with some forms of weaponry, although each of the layouts can be altered or customised. There are only three types of ship weapons however, which include lasers, missiles and ballistic artillery.

  • Lasers – Ideally used for attacking an enemy vessel’s shields. Their damage is more limited, but they recharge much faster.
  • Ballistic – Their primary purpose for damaging the hull of enemy ships once their shields are down.
  • Missiles – General purpose guns, they can be effective at both damaging shields and hulls depending on what type you have installed on your ship. The are often slow to recharge however, so use sparingly.
Ship HUD Starfield

Shield & Hull Damage

Your own shield strength is displayed in the HUD on the bottom right of your screen. The number (out of 100 total) indicates the total percentage strength before it fails completely. Once your ship’s shields fail, you will begin to take damage to you hull until your ship explodes. Your shields will begin to slowly recharge after several seconds of no continuous attacks. If your hull has taken over a certain amount of damage during battle, you can repair some of your ship’s systems using any ‘ship parts’ you have in your inventory or cargo hold by pressing RS/the O key. Ship Parts can be either scavenged from ship wrecks, purchased from vendors, or discovered.

Ship Classes

Each ship is labelled as one of three classes: A, B, and C. A are the most common and basic by performance, and A is the most advanced. Although you can pilot class C ship straight away, you will need the Rank 3 and4 ‘Piloting’ trait under Tech to own and pilot all classes of ships. Every ship can be customized and upgraded to perform better, however, higher level class ships will generally better in combat and include higher specs.

Customizing & Upgrading

Any ship that you own can be customized, altered, or upgraded by a Ship Services Technician at most popular space ports. A ship landing pad and customiser can also be built within a generated player outpost. To customize your ship at a space port, simply go to the technician and as “I’d like to view and modify my ships”.

From there you can click through all of the ships you own. Selecting one and purchasing upgrades. By selecting ‘Ship Builder’, you can edit almost any part/section of your ship. Systems can be moved, deleted, or duplicated to redesign your ship into an entirely new shape or set up. Editing the ship may also have an affect on its systems performances. And if you chose to, you can re-color any part of your ship with any color selection. If you so choose, you can also rename your ship in the section of the ship building menu.

Ship Builder Starfield

Upgrading Systems

If re-building or editing your ships design isn’t of interest to you, but you still want to improve its performance, ships can also be upgraded. Selecting upgrade from the services technician will allow you ti individually upgrade each section to a new system of the same type. Performance stats will differ depending which model you choose, and better parts will cost more credits. Some ships may have certain components that cannot be upgraded.

Ship Repairs

If your ship has been damaged beyond normal repair from a previous space battle, you may need to fix your ship before you can upgrade it. This can also be done by the technician for the price of 1,000 credits, and the extent of the damage or ship type makes no difference.

Buying, Selling & Stealing Ships

Ships can be bought from any Ship Services Technician at most popular space ports. Simply talk to them and ask “I would like to see what ships you have for offer”. They can also be won, stolen, or rewarded as a quest achievements in certain circumstances.

To buy a ship simply go through the technicians inventory and compare the different makes and models. Selling your ships is the same process except from your inventory. Bear in mind that depending on the value of your ship, not all ship vendors will have enough credits to purchase the full price of what your ship may be worth.

Stealing Ships

To steal a ship in Starfield, this involves finding a ship while navigating any planetary system and defeating it (without destroying it) and boarding it. You may find some operational ships which are wither marooned or abandoned that you do not have to disable first to board. Once you have docked and boarded with the other ship, expect on most occasions some resistance from its current crew. Once you have defeated all of the remaining crew members, assuming you have a high enough ability to pilot the class of ship, simply sitting in the Captain’s chair and either grav jumping to another system or landing on a planet will save the new ship as your own. Your previous ship will stay in your ships roster until selected later and your crew will be unassigned.

Warning: If you choose to attack, destroy, or steal ships belonging to certain factions such as the United Colonies and Freestar Collective, this will be considered breaking the law and you may be caught have to face the consequences. Any stolen ship must also be licensed by a Ship Services Technician before it can be upgraded.

Written for www.starfieldguide.com. Starfield Guide is a fan run unofficial guide site about Bethesda’s game Starfield. You can tweet us @GuideStarfield, or you can follow our official Facebook, Instagram and YouTube Channel.

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