After reading our Starfield review, you might purchase the game and even pour in a couple of hours to get yourself situated in this sci-fi space adventure. Now, you’re looking for an in-depth guide on ship-building in Starfield. Lucky for you, we’ve got one! In this guide, we’ll be looking at how to get ships, build them, and what to look out for in terms of modules and components.
Strap yourself in, and let’s go on a Starfield ship-building adventure!
Ship Building Requirements
Money plays a vital role in ship-building in Starfield. You will need money to buy ship parts, upgrade, and build your ship. A safe amount to have is around 100,000 credits and above. You might have to dream on for a while longer if you have not reached this point.
Another requirement would be to allocate a few skill points in your skill tree that will allow you to get better components for your ship. There are a few points in the tech and social trees that will help you gain more money and build your ship.
How to Get Ships
Before you start your journey of ship-building in Starfield, you need to get a ship. There are several ways you can get ships and start building them. One of the easiest ways is to use the ship you got from your first mission; how nice of Bethesda to give players one so early! You can tear it down, build it up, and upgrade it. All you need to do is find a ship technician to start your ship-building journey.
The second option is to simply buy a ship from a technician at one of the many spaceports located in the major Starfield cities. However, this costs a significant amount of money, and if you end up not liking the ship, it will be a total waste of credits. There are several ships to choose from though, each ranging in price and design.
Note that some rare ships require you to complete certain missions, quests, or faction assists before they can be unlocked and bought.
The last and third option is to join a mission with the main objective of ‘Eliminate Pirate.’ To get this far, you will have to:
- Unlock the ‘Targeting control systems’ in the Tech skill tree. This will allow you to easily disable the ship’s engine to enter it.
- Fire the entire ship’s crew to take control of the ship.
- Search for any Contraband on the ship, as these are illegal to have on you or the ship.
- Start storing items in your cargo or throw them out to avoid being criminalized.
- Make your way to a new system and register the ship.
Honestly, this last option seems like the most work, but it’s also a fun and challenging experience for those who enjoy a little adventure.
Ship Manufacturers and Sizes
For this segment, if you’re not interested in buying ships, you can scroll away to the building part. There are a lot of different ship manufacturers you can choose from when it comes to shipbuilding in Starfield. Each manufacturer focuses on different aspects and designs. The main ship manufacturers you will come across will be Taiyo, Hopetech, Nova Galactic, Deimos, and Stroud Eklund.
Usually features a rounded and white color palette with a typical bridge style. Interior-wise, they feature a semi-circle design with dark overheads and light floors. These ships are typically on the more stylish side over functionality.
You can find the Taiyo Astroneering Technician in the Ryujin Industries Tower in Neon, located within the Volii System. The NPC you’re looking for is called Veronica Young on the Taiyo Astroneering Floor in the Show Room.
Their ships are more industrial and bulky, with no care for aesthetics. They only have one cockpit design and a darker interior color palette. The whole idea is to get from one point to another with as much cargo space as possible.
Hopetech’s ship saleswoman, Inaya Rehman, can be located within Hopetown on the planet Polvo in the Valo System. It is located close to the Narion System, so you will have to look closely to find it.
Their designs feature a more aged punk style; everything looks relatively aged with a worn aesthetic yet with a slight modern flair. They have about three cockpit designs for you to choose from.
You can find this manufacturer on the New Homestead settlement situated on the moon of Titan orbiting the Saturn set in the Sol System.
Their designs are more rigid and angular with sharp edges. These ships are usually used as battleships with contrasting interiors that typically have a slight pop of color. Even so, their ships are rather versatile and sit right about the middle ground when compared to the rest.
Nikau Henderson is the technician you’re looking for. The Deimos manufacturer is located in the Sol System, on the Deimos moon orbiting Mars.
If you’re looking for more bulkier and futuristic designs with boxy interiors, this would be a good pick. There are also two different types of cockpits for you to choose from here. Its interiors feature darker walls but light floors. These Stroud Eklund ships focus on functionality and storage, but your mobility might take a hit.
You can find the technician – Havershaw, in the front lobby of the Stroud Eklund Staryard. This Staryard orbits the asteroid Dalvik near the planet Deepala within the Narion System.
Best Starfield Ships
As previously mentioned, you will need to complete quests, missions, and even faction assists to unlock certain rare ships. Here are some that you may consider unlocking or simply buying:
- Star Eagle: Complete the Freestar Ranger questline.
- Abyss Trekker: Can purchase this from Ship Services Technicians in Paradiso for 365,525 credits.
- Razorleaf: Obtained by completing the Mantis questline.
- Silent Runner: Can purchase this at Hopetown HQ for 390,150 credits.
- Narwhal: Can purchase this from the Ryujin building in Neon from Taiyo Astroengineering for 455,400 credits.
- Starborn Guardian: Complete the Constellation Starfield questline and start on the Starfield New Game Plus mode.
- Stronghold: Can purchase this from Akila City for 400,125 credits.
Each of these ships is equipped with good stats and is a great option depending on what you need them for. Some are highly defensive, some have great cargo space, and some allow for a long jump drive. However, they are already well-built from the get-go, which would make your journey towards ship-building in Starfield easier.
How to Start Building Your Ship
Head over to a port or landing pad by a populated area like the cities in Starfield. You’ll be able to find a technician NPC who will help you buy and sell parts, pay for repairs, and even buy entire ships. We’ve talked about where to find certain manufacturers above as well. To start ship-building in Starfield, it’s best to go by sections. Even so, here are some important things to remember:
- To access higher-level components, you will need to level up Starship Design, located in Starfield Skills.
- You can only use parts that match your current reactor rating.
- Anything you add to your ship will affect its weight. This will, in turn, affect its speed and maneuverability as well as your range to light jump. It can even make you more vulnerable.
Truthfully, there are a lot of stats to take into account when ship-building in Starfield. We would tell you to focus on what you think is important. Generally, here are some stats you should keep an eye on though:
- LAS: Damage done by the ship’s laser weapons.
- BAL: Damage done by the ship’s ballistic weapons.
- MSL: Damage done by the ship’s missiles.
- Hull: your ship’s durability (works like a health bar).
- Shield: The amount of protection your shield provides before your ship takes any damage.
- Cargo: The amount of cargo your ship can carry.
- Crew Capacity: The amount of crew members that can be on your ship at one time.
- Jump Range: Maximum distance your ship can travel within a single Grav Drive measured in Light Years.
- Mobility: Control and maneuverability of your ship in combat.
- Top Speed: How fast your ship can go.
- Mass: Total weight of your ship.
- Fuel: How much fuel your ship can hold, which influences the amount of times you can Grav Jump.
- Shielded Cargo: The amount of smuggled cargo your ship can carry that will be concealed from scanners.
- Reactor: How much energy your ship provides to be allocated between your systems.
As you add modules and components to your ship, it all comes down to what kind of ship you prefer to have. A super light ship with bare necessities? Or a defence-packed ship that may be weighed down? Your choice. A balance can be found, though, don’t worry.
Modules and Components
When it comes to modules and components, there are certain modules that you must have in your ship, while others may be unnecessary. The must-have modules and components are your essentials, like cockpits, engines, and Grav Drives. Let’s look at some that we consider important and what they are for below.
This is simply where your ship is flown from and where your Cargo can be accessed from. Depending on your cockpit, some can hold extra cargo and add on more Crew stations. Naturally, Cockpits are an essential part of your ship. Some stats you need to be aware of when it comes to Cockpits would be Cargo, Hull, Crew Slots, and Mass.
Cargo and Shielded Cargo
There are two types that you can add to your ship. Cargo is your typical storage which is accessed through the cockpit, as mentioned above. The more cargo holds you add to your ship, the more storage space you have. Shielded Cargo is more conspicuous and is best for any contraband smuggling you plan to do.
One thing to note is that these cargo holds will add a significant weight to your ship. Some stats to monitor would be your Hull, Mass, and Cargo.
You wouldn’t be able to get anywhere without your engines. The more engines you have, the faster your ship will be. However, these are powered by your reactor, so be sure that it can handle the amount of engines you plan on using. This is another essential component.
Stats to watch out for include Class, Max Power, Engine Thrust, Maneouvering Thrust, Engine Health, Hull, Crew Capacity, and Mass.
Arguably the most expensive part about ship-building in Starfield would be your reactors. These are essential as they supply power to your systems. Better reactors will repair faster and generate more power, but it takes a significant amount of credits to continuously upgrade or get them.
For stats, look at Power Generated, Class, Hull, Crew Capacity, Mass, Reactor Health, and Repair Rate.
Another module that we would deem important is your shields. These protect your ship with a bubble of energy. As such, they can get damaged by energy-based weapons. But, the more power you use to maintain them, the tougher they get. They also regenerate faster with more power. It is safe to say that there is no downside to adding a shield to your ship.
As for stats, you might want to monitor Max Power, Shield Max Health, Regen Rate, Hull, Class, Mass, and Crew Capacity.
Without your Grav Drives, you won’t be able to Grav Jump from one-star system to the next. Good Grav Drives will allow you to go further in one jump. If your Grave Drive gets destroyed, you won’t be able to escape. Stats to keep in mind include Class, Max Power, Grav Jump Thrust, Grav Drive Health, Hull, Mass.
This is the landing bay at the bottom of your ship with a ramp for you to get in and out of a place. There are rules on where you should or can place this, as it should be able to touch the ground and be accessible to you. You need to be aware of your Hull and Mass stats when installing this.
Dockers are like hatches that allow you to connect to other ships and space stations. Similar to the landing bay, there are specific spots where you can place these dockers. You can either place it on the ceiling or by the wall, depending on where you prefer to exit. Note on your Hull and Mass stats for this.
Your fuel tanks store the Helium-3 you will need to use your Grav Drive. Of course, larger tanks will allow for further and more frequent jumps before your ship needs to be refueled. Fuel Tanks automatically refuel after each jump, so that’s not something you need to be concerned about. Of course, Fuel Tanks are an essential component for ship-building in Starfield, so do remember to add them. The stats you need to keep in mind would be Grav Jump Fuel, Hull, and Mass.
These are weapons that fire solid bullets or missiles that can damage a ship’s hull rather than their shields. Depending on what weapon you are more partial to, some are fast-firing weapons, and some may be slightly delayed with a larger impact. These are important for you to have some form of attack against other ships.
Look out for the Class, Range, Fire Rate, Hull Damage, Hull, Shield Damage, Max Power, Crew Capacity, and Mass stats.
Since we’ve touched on solid weapons, it is imperative to talk about energy weapons that can destroy shields on enemy ships as well. These are typically lasers or suppressors that can burn through energy shields and expose the ship’s physical elements. When the ship is exposed, you can bash them in with ballistic weapons.
For stats, look at Class, Range, Fire Rate, Hull Damage, Hull, Ship Damage, Max Power, Crew Capacity, and mass.
The last set of weapons you can add to your ship. Missile Weapons are slower to fire and use, but they are the best at targeting certain parts of your enemy’s ship systems. With one missile, you can completely destroy one part of a ship, like its shield, engines, and more.
For stats, look at Class, Range, Fire Rate, Hull Damage, Hull, Shield Damage, Max Power, Crew Capacity, and Mass.
Additionally, for a more in-depth look at what modules and components are available, you can check out this simple guide from the Starfield Database. They list out the name, module type, value and mass so you can plan out what to add to your ship beforehand. It should ease up your process when it comes to shipbuilding in Starfield.
Ship Power Allocation
Now that you’ve sort of figured out what modules and components you should include in your ship, it’s time to figure out their power allocation. Here you can allocate and switch how much power you want to give to each system incorporated on your ship. There are six power indicators that you can navigate:
- LAS: Laser Weapon Damage
- BAL: Ballistic Weapon Damage
- MSL: Missile Weapon Damage
- ENG: Flight Speed
- SHD: Shield Strength and Protection
- GRV: Grav Jump Charge Speed
You can change the power allocations by playing around with these indicators. The great thing is you can change them whenever you want, and it will take immediate effect. So if you’re in a pinch and need to run away, you can focus all your power on Grav Jumping with GRV.
As a reminder, the amount of power you have is affected by your reactor. Be sure to invest in or upgrade your reactor for more power.
Customizing Your Ship
Want to make your ship stand out with pops of color? Well, you can customize this by selecting the module in your shipbuilder and pressing LS to switch your coloration. A majority of modules have about three sections that can be recolored, and you can select them all to save time.
For further customizations, that depends on your modules and components. It depends on where you would like to put your modules and how you want them to look. This is especially true if you decide to add in the Structural modules, which comprise all sorts of miscellaneous modules. You can find portholes, weapon mounts, and more. The aesthetic of your ship will depend on what you choose.
There’s also the Habitat Module which creates rooms for your ships. You can add workstations, armories, control rooms, and more. The Structural module and the Habitat Module are not essential, you can go bare bones with your ship. Yet, it always feels more fun to build a ship decked out the way you want it to.
Now that you have a better understanding of ship-building in Starfield, you will need to figure out what kind of ship-build you want to go for. Depending on your gameplay and what you plan on doing, here are some ship builds that you could go for:
- Cargo/Smuggler Build: This one focuses on smuggling contraband, so you will have numerous cargo holds with high shields and high reactor power. When it comes to battle, your best option is to Grav Jump and flee, so your attacks or weapons will generally be low or nonexistent.
- Pirate/Bounty Hunter Build: This emphasizes more on high attack and high defense. As such, you will minimize your Grav Jump length and cargo holds for better weapons, engines, and shields. This is for those with a more aggressive playstyle, shooting other ships down and docking on them to take over.
- Explorer Build: Less on the attacks and defense, more on the longevity and time. This build stresses better jump drives, more fuel tanks, cargo space, and diverse hub modules. Some firepower should be kept for emergencies, but largely there won’t be much firepower added.
With that said, you can also forgo these builds and go for a more all-rounder build that focuses on balancing everything.
And that’s the end of this rather comprehensive guide to ship-building in Starfield. There are some parts that we did not touch on when it comes to the modules and components, but the basics are there. Hopefully, this is enough to help you on your journey of building a ship that you’ll be proud of. Now, go on your merry way, and happy ship-building!