Starfield - Ships Hub

An explorer heads towards their docked ship

An explorer heads towards their docked ship

Starships were meant to fly, and you will be using them in Starfield a lot. No good open-world space game would expect you to float across the galaxy. Our handy Starfield Ships guide will help you on your way.

From one-man basic fighters to giant long-haul freighters, we will steer you right with our guides. Starfield will allow some fantastic customisation options via its Shipbuilder feature.

How To Get Your First Ship In Starfield

Thankfully, getting your hands on the first ship in Starfield happens pretty early in the main story. The Frontier will be your beginning vessel, and here is how to get it.

player walks to their ship
expand image
Credit: Bethesda

Play through the first mission, One Small Step, after meeting Barrett and dealing with the pirate attack, speak to him again. Barrett will then invite you to join Constellation and suggests you meet with them at their headquarters on New Atlantis.

He will then offer you his ship to fly there, head on board, and blast off into space for a starship tutorial. After learning the basics of fast travel, space combat, and more, the Frontier is yours to pilot as you see fit.

Ship Types

Image of a smaller starship in shipbuilder
expand image
Credit: Bethesda
The Frontier type will be a nimble starship

Different starships will be used throughout your time in the vast galaxy of Starfield. Try to avoid getting too attached to any one ship; you will need to modify and even fully replace some of these as you go. Smaller spaceships will be best for swift maneuvering and getting out of ambushes fast.

Larger freight ships will be necessary when taking on far-reaching space expeditions. Ships are classified into three types based on their reactor class.

  • Class A
  • Class B
  • Class C

Class A is the smallest, and Class C is the most powerful ship tier. However, Class C ships are more expensive and require you to invest points into the Piloting skill before you can use them. Furthermore, being larger means sacrificing speed and being easier to hit.

What Is Shipbuilder?

A giant mech created with starship parts
expand image
Credit: Bethesda
Giant mech ship judges you, Shipbuilder is awesome

Shipbuilder is the in-game way to customize your starship; adding extra pieces works so simply, thanks to the work from the Doom 2016 SnapMap team. Head to your nearest spaceport and speak to the ship maintenance technician to enter the shipbuilder mode.

Our advanced shipbuilding guide will help you to get the most from this feature, so be sure to check it out.

Word of advice before you go: if you have a stolen ship, you must register the starship for a fee to modify it.

How to Store Items on Your Ship

Adding more space for cargo will boost the amount of space treasure you can plunder. Not only this, but you can unload any items that you want to keep for later into the storage here. Top tip - Be careful not to hit the jettison command when viewing your ship's cargo hold, as it's assigned to the same button as the equip command on your inventory screen.

The payloads skill badge
expand image

Check out the Tech skill tree if you find your ship getting full quickly from all your looting. Here, you will find the Payloads skill, allowing you to expand your cargo hold capacity. You can also increase this capacity by getting Cargo storage upgrades. Be careful with Contraband items in your cargo, as you need to know how to smuggle them.

How to Refuel Your Ship

You may wonder how to refuel your ship in Starfield; the good news is you don't need to. Each jump will display how much fuel will be consumed traveling the selected route, but once the jump is made, your ship's fuel will automatically top back up.

starfield grav jump animation
expand image

When making your way through the cosmos, you may notice a fuel level on screen while preparing to grav jump. Some systems will show up red, and you cannot jump there. There are a few solutions to make those jumps, so let's take a look.

Jump to a Closer System

This is the first option you'll likely have to go with early in the game. Your ship's fuel capacity limits how far you can jump across the galaxy.

If one of those systems exceeds your ship's fuel level, you must jump to a system along the way first and then jump one or more times again to reach your chosen destination.

Get Another Ship

If option one gets annoying and makes you feel like a space kangaroo with all the jumping, it may be time for a new model. The Frontier is a great first ship and can see you through the end of the main quest.

However, if you want to jump directly to the galaxy's far reaches, you must either upgrade the engine on your current ship or obtain a new one. Just register your ship first if it has been acquired through 'alternative' means. An easy way to get a better ship early on is by playing through the Mantis Lair side quest.

Learn all the ways to get a new ship in Starfield.

How to Dock

There will be opportunities to go and explore inside of other spaceships and space stations on your travels. Some of these encounters will be pleasant and friendly, maybe even offer some help to the passengers should they need it. Other times, you must go in blasting as the ship or station is infested with hostiles and creatures.

ship approaching the eye space station
expand image

To board another ship or space station, approach from any angle, hold the A A button or the E key to hail the crew, and then press and hold the X button or the R key to dock your ship. This will connect your ship's airlock to that of the other ship or station. To undock, you can reverse the process when you are back onboard your ship, but this time, press the indicated button to undock and continue.

Using this method, you can even dock an enemy ship during battle, providing they have given up the fight and you haven't blown them to smithereens. If you are boarding after a battle, there may still be hostiles on board, so be sure to go in ready for a fight.

Do I Need Crewmates?

Inside the starship the crew are working at consoles
expand image
Credit: Bethesda
Hiring a crew for your starship is crucial

Crewmates are NPCs in Starfield that you can hire to join your fleet and help you aboard your starships. Assigning companions to your ship is the cheapest way to do this, as they don't require payment to join your crew.

Alternatively, you can head into the nearest populated city to hire new crewmates; you can try to lower their fee by using the Persuasion skill, but this may require higher ranks to achieve success as the potential crew is a stubborn bunch!

You must be selective when hiring a crew to ensure your starships are maintained and adequately staffed. Depending on your Starship's crew capacity, you can only assign a certain number of crew.

Shipbuilder is for sure one of many standout features in Starfield. The possibilities of what can be created in this mode are exciting, and players are constantly coming up with fantastic new and creative designs.

Why not check out one of our other guides and articles like Starfield - Factions or Starfield - Crafting Hub?

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

This Article's Topics

Explore new topics and discover content that's right for you!

Starship GuidesGuides