Starfield - How To Upgrade Your Ship

Player approaches their ship
Credit: Bethesda

Player approaches their ship
Credit: Bethesda

Starfield will be remembered as one of the most memorable Xbox exclusive launches ever. Bethesda's epic space RPG will naturally have you piloting many ships during your adventures in the cosmos. But, it isn't always about simply flying; you will also need to modify and improve your ship should you want a chance at survival. This guide will look at how to upgrade your ship in Starfield.

Ships will be your primary way to get around the galaxy to visit new planets when you aren't using fast travel. Sadly, there aren't vehicles for land travel in Starfield at launch, so building your fleet and upgrading your ship will be crucial for interstellar travel.


Starfield's spaceports are where it all begins on your journey through the cosmos. Here, you can buy a new ship, hire a crew and even customise the layout and interior of your fleet.

A ship designed to look like a giant mech
expand image
Credit: Bethesda

There are spaceports at all the major cities and significant landing zone locations in Starfield; visit one whenever you want to work on your ships. Speak to the spaceport worker to see what is available to buy, and then use Shipbuilder to customise things.

Hiring a crew will be essential to keeping your vessels in top running order. Pick who you want to maintain your ship even when you are not on board at a spaceport today! You can find crew for hire at bars and cafes nearby.

What Is Shipbuilder?

Shipbuilder is where you can let your imagination run wild. Created in collaboration with the same team that made SnapMap for Doom 2016, Shipbuilder is easy to learn and simple to use.

You will, of course, need to have a ship first, and if that ship is stolen, you will need to register it before you can use Shipbuilder. You can find out how to get a ship, then pop back.

A ship under construction in shipbuilder
expand image
Credit: Bethesda

Obtain the parts you need to upgrade your ship at the merchants and design your new layout. Light and nimble will be the way to go before entering battles with the Crimson Fleet, while large and bulky will be needed when going on smuggling adventures. Be sure to check our list of all ship manufacturers and their specialities.

Whatever your need may be, Shipbuilder will be the place to turn your introductory ride into a souped-up rocket. If you want to master shipbuilding, we suggest taking our advanced shipbuilding course.

How to Upgrade Ships?

You can only upgrade your ships at shipyards and technicians at various spaceports. Talk to them and open up the ship menu. Here, you'll see the pre-existing components of your ship that you can replace with new ones. You can also open the shipbuilder to attach and detach new parts manually. Here are the steps to remember when upgrading and building your ship.

  • The only currency used when building and upgrading ships is Credits.
  • The upgrade mechanic only lets you choose variants from the same manufacturer for non-weapon modules.
  • The most limiting factor for your ship will be its Reactor Class. It limits the type of weapons and parts you can attach.
  • Getting skills like Starship Engineering or having crewmates with that skill gives you access to higher-level ship parts.
  • Swapping to Particle Beam weapons will make your life easier if you're confused and at a loss with dogfighting.
  • The least essential upgrade is the Grav Drive, as you only need a better one for lengthier Grav Jumps. It's better to keep an extra ship for long jumps.
  • Habs increase crew capacity and passenger slots.
  • Add fuel tanks for longer grav jump distances.
  • Keep a watch over the energy bars on the top left as they indicate if the current part is an upgrade or downgrade over the previous part.
  • If you get the 'Missing Weapon Assignment' issue, open up flight check and map each weapon to its respective slot. You can have three weapons at most at once.

While visiting, why not pop by and check out our guides on the spacer's faction or read up on the enlightened? Once you have filled your boots with that knowledge, you can check out our build guides to plan your ideal character.

Whatever your need may be, from beginner's guides to lategame xp farms, we will have you covered.

For all things Starfield, stick with us at Starfield Portal.

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