From facilitating your interstellar journey to serving as a hub for your crew, ships in Starfield have multiple purposes. Bethesda has put a great deal of focus on making ships integral to the game with deep customization, upgrades, and shipbuilding. Here’s all you need to know about how to get a ship and develop your fleet for space exploration.
Each ship in Starfield is unique, with its quirks which can be modified to suit your needs. You can choose different ships for different missions, from bounty hunting to smuggling and cargo missions. Now, let’s start with learning the basics of ships in Starfield and then see how to obtain more ships in the game.
Since your ship acts as your home among the stars and your primary source for space travel, you will spend a good chunk of time upgrading and maintaining it. Let's take a look at the first ship you get in Starfield.
How To Get Your First Starship
The Frontier will be your first starship in Starfield; the good thing is you will have a little time before you can take the controls. Play through the mission One Small Step until you get to speak with Barrett after the shootout with the pirates.
He will let you know how impressed he was with your skills and invite you to join Constellation! He instructs you to meet with the faction on New Atlantis and graciously offers you his ship to fly there alongside VASCO.
You will be presented with a tutorial on the basic controls when piloting in space, fast travel, navigation, space combat and more space activities. After you complete the tutorial - the ship is all yours!
Starting Ship in Starfield - The Frontier
You start your adventure in the stars with your first ship in the game Frontier. It is a sturdy and quick ride that can take you through the game's early missions without hassle.
Once you acquire some resources, you can enhance its performance by upgrading the ship or changing its design using the Ship Builder tool you can access by talking to ship engineer NPCs.
How to Get All Free Ships in Starfield
Once you're tired of the Frontier or keep dying in space battles with it, it might be time to move on to a new ship. Luckily, you can get powerful ships that will make your life much easier and carry you to the endgame.
Easily one of the most popular ships in Starfield, the Razorleaf is an A-class vessel that is loved for its ease of access, powerful early-game stats and ability to make any Spacers run away in fear from you. To get the Razorleaf and the formidable Mantis Spacesuit, you need to complete the Mantis Quest.
The Kepler R is a C-class vessel available after the High Price To Pay quest. If you can complete Overdesigned, the quest handed to you by Walter Stroud, you can get this ship for free. It boasts some of the best stats of any early game ship in Starfield and will carry you to the endgame.
The Datura is a fine vessel you can get from one of the Ryujin Industries Quests. The Daruta isn't exactly one of the most powerful ships, but it's pretty handy and a straight upgrade over the Frontier in every possible way. Learn how to get it in the Datura in the quest, Top Secret.
The Star Eagle is one of the best early-game ships to get due to its 29 Reactor power despite being just an easy-to-fly Class-A ship. Furthermore, it has a great Cargo Capacity and can hold up to five crewmates. The weapons and shields on this thing are no joke, either. You can get it by completing the Freestar Rangers questline.
The Wanderwell is also a relatively easy ship to get, as it only requires you to have the Kid Stuff trait. It's also one of the reasons this is considered one of the best traits in Starfield. The Wanderwell has some respectable weapons, a decent hull, and a whopping 800 Cargo Capacity. This makes it one of the best ships for exploration and combat in the early game!
How to Get More Ships in Starfield
Since you can own dozens of ships in Starfield, growing your fleet as big as you like, there are multiple ways of finding and obtaining ships in the game. Here are the three methods of acquiring new ships in Starfield that you need to know.
Purchasing a Ship
One of the easiest ways of obtaining a new ship is to buy it at a spaceport. These spaceports are home to ship technicians, who will be your primary source of buying, selling, and customizing your ships. If the current ship you have active gets damaged, you can also repair it using credits on these ports. You can also complete the Crimson Fleet questline to access their unique ship parts selection.
Aside from the ports, you can visit massive star yards, find more NPCs, take on cool side quests, and find new merchants to buy ships. Check our list of the best early-game ships to purchase in Starfield.
Stealing a Ship
Another solid method of obtaining new ships is to steal and make them your own. Throughout the game, you will engage in space combat against enemy ships. You can destroy the ship, turning it into scrap entirely.
However, the best approach in this case is to dock the enemy ship silently, deal with the crew on board, and take control of the ship. For this, you need the Targeting Control Systems skill that lets you target and disable enemy engines. Then, you need to approach the enemy vessel and choose to dock it. Kill the ship's crew and step into the pilot seat; ensure your Piloting skill is sufficiently ranked.
Once you’ve hijacked the ship, you can make it a part of your fleet and retrieve it at any spaceport.
Once you own and register a ship at a spaceport, you can upgrade individual components. However, the real fun lies in the Ship Builder menu, which is one of the most remarkable customization features in the game. You can modify the entire layout of your ship in this menu by changing its components or adding new ones. Players have come up with unique ideas you should check out for inspiration.
In the Ship Builder menu, the UI is pretty intuitive and helps you identify any errors, incompatibilities, or missing parts of your ship. Once you’re done building your ideal ride, you can do a flight test before you take your newly formed across the galaxy.
Ships can be treated like characters in the game that need to be maintained. Hence, you can hire crewmates to help you keep your active ships up and running. Each ship has a different crewmate capacity, and adding crewmates to your ship allows you to use their unique piloting skills and buffs.
Like Marika Boros, these crewmates, like Heller, can be recruited in different spaceports or found while exploring certain planets. You can also find secret companions such as Amelia Earhart or Erick Von Price, who provide helpful ship buffs. However, the best piloting skills will generally belong to your primary companions, such as Sarah Morgan and Sam Coe.
Since your ships will travel to different star systems, they need to run faster than light. That’s where Grav Jumps come in. Each ship has a Grav Jump Thrust rating, which indicates how far it can travel in a single jump. For example, your home ship Frontier has a 16 LY rating, enabling it to travel 16 light years in a single jump. You can add more fuel capacity and install more powerful Grav Drives to jump farther distances without interruption.
If you intend to travel farther and farther into the stars, be sure to upgrade your Grav Jumps. You will need these if you plan to visit faraway systems to farm XP in Starfield.
While your ships are mainly used for transportation, you can actively engage in space battles with them, taking out enemy ships. Each ship you own has a Hull rating, which signifies its health. As your ship takes fire, its Hull takes damage. However, you can further strengthen your ship by upgrading its Shield and adding more components to increase its size and durability.
For the offensive part, your ship can have up to 3 weapons, usually lasers, ballistics, and missiles. Enhance their effectiveness and ammo to make the ship more potent during fights. You can do this by levelling ship skills such as Automated Systems, Ballistic Systems, and Missile Systems. However, if you genuinely plan on mastering space combat, we suggest looking at our space captain guide.
That's all you need to know about how to get a ship in Starfield and everything you can do with it, from maintenance to space exploration and even space battles.
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For more articles like this, take a look at our Starship Guides page.