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How to Switch Ships in Starfield

Getting a ship onto a planet is a great first step to switch ships. But not the only one.
Getting a ship onto a planet is a great first step to switch ships. But not the only one.

It’s happened to everyone. You’re flying a spaceship in Starfield, discover a new perfect spacecraft, and decide you want to switch ships. You bring it to a planet, register it, and feel like you have it all figured out. And then, you’re just back in the Frontier again.

The ability to switch ships in Starfield is a frustrating headache that requires a lot more travel, upkeep, and conversation than one might expect. However, if you want to get easy access to some of your stolen vehicles, then you’re going to have to get used to it. Especially if you want different ships specced for different tasks in your hold.

How to Switch Ships in Starfield

If you want to swap your ship from your default one to one you’ve already registered, you must head to a city’s shipyard. Leave your ship and head to a Ship’s Technician, who tend to be walking around the port when you leave your ship. Head to “I’d like to view and modify my ships” and simply swap your ship by tabbing to the left or right – C or T by default on keyboard – and then select “Make Home Ship” on the menu.

Before you can take ships out of your own personal port, you might have to put ships into it. This just involves taking it over, either by climbing in or stealing it from its previous owners. Your old ship will kinda just leave you immediately, going right into its comfy pocket dimension.

If you can’t modify a ship that you want to swap to, you might just need to register it. That involves landing it at a city’s starport and going to a Ship’s Technician. Go through the same menus, but choose “Register” from the options at the bottom right. This’ll be expensive, but it’ll put the ship into your portfolio, letting you modify them and keeping them around without issue.

You’re going to want to get used to visiting Ship Technicians. From repairing your ship to renaming them, Ship Technicians do quite literally everything you could want for your ship. That includes modifying your home ship (or other ones in your inventory) through ship parts. Otherwise, while you can still look at ships from the Ships menu, they do little more than stare back at you.

Once you select “Make Home Ship,” you should see your craft behind you instead of whatever ship you flew in on. This is because “Home Ship” just means whatever ship you currently have active. You can view which ship is your home ship by going to your ships menu and peeking beneath the name of each ship in your storage. The one that you are currently flying is your home ship.

Expert Tip

The home ship is also the one that holds all of your cargo. This can be a massive headache if you are swapping to a ship with less cargo space. Make sure you’re only carrying what you need, and consider making an outpost with items that you are saving for a rainy day. Otherwise, your ship might instantly become over-encumbered, which means you’ll have to find somewhere else to dump the goods… whether that’s on your own body or the bodies of your companions.

Can You Switch Ships While Away From a City?

Getting a ship onto a planet is a great first step to switch ships. But not the only one.

Unfortunately, without landing at a city port, there is no way to change your current home ship. This is because you are technically modifying your ship when you choose for it to be a home ship and only a Ship Technician can do that. So, you can only swap your ship in a major town.

Thankfully, there are quite a few Ship Technicians that are found scattered across the galaxy. There are some in:

  • Akila City
  • Cydonia
  • Deimos Staryard
  • Gagarin
  • Hopetown
  • Neon
  • New Atlantis
  • New Homestead
  • Paradiso
  • Stroud-Eklund Staryard
  • Taiyo Astronnering
  • The Den
  • The Elos Retreat
  • The Key
  • The Red Mile

This covers a lot of the regions in early, mid, and late-game Starfield, letting you switch your ships quite often. However, in many of these cases, the Ship Technician may be named or located slightly away from the landing pad. If you don’t see one right away, don’t wander too far from the pad. Though, you may have to enter buildings or walk down hallways before you find someone who can help you access your other ships.

Written by Andrew Smith