Starfield has an incredible Ship Builder mode that lets you construct some truly gorgeous and horrific vessels, which can act as your mount and portable base on your journey through the game. You need to follow some rules to build a ship from scratch, as some components are vital to your survival in space.
Luckily, you don’t NEED to build a ship in Starfield. You’ll be given a vessel called the Frontier in the opening, and that will act as your initial ship. You’re then free to upgrade the Frontier to make it stronger, buy a brand new ship from one of the many dealers in the universe, or steal one like the space pirate scum you are. You have lots of options, so don’t feel pressured to build a ship if you’re not interested in turning Starfield into your own personal LEGO set.
The Basics of Building Ships in Starfield
In order for a ship to work in Starfield, you need to assemble the following components and ensure they’re connected:
- A cockpit
- A docker
- At least one engine (more will be required depending on the mass of the vessel)
- A grav drive
- A landing bay
- A reactor
- A fuel tank
It’s important to note that the landing bay and landing gear are on the same level as each other, as they’re needed for you to land the ship. It also helps to add a berth so that all the individual components have something to sit on.
It’s also important to note that all modules need to be connected for the ship to work. If you don’t do this, the game won’t let you pass the Flight Check, preventing you from using your ship. Luckily, you can check each ship component manually, so it won’t take long to find the missing piece. You can also alter the individual or overall color scheme of the ship.
How to Add Weapons & Shields to a Ship in Starfield
The components mentioned in the previous entry are the basics you need to build a ship, but you won’t last long without a means to defend yourself. Adding shields is simple enough; all you need to do is buy a shield generator and hook it up anywhere on the vessel’s exterior.
Adding weapons to your ship is a little trickier, as it has some additional steps that the game doesn’t tell you about. First, you need to add weapon mounts, as you can’t just stick a weapon on the ship’s exterior for some reason. Once that’s done, enter the Weapons tab in the Flight Check menu and manually assign weapons to your reactor slot. You cannot use weapons if you don’t follow this step. An example of this can be seen in the screenshot above.
Ship Parts You Should Add in Starfield
You will also want to add cargo holds to your ship, as these will increase the maximum load you can carry, which is helpful for people who want to sell all of the loot. There are plenty available to buy from ship technicians, and they can easily be slotted on the back of your vessel, though bear in mind that cargo holds add a tremendous amount to the ship’s mass, and you might need to add more engines to compensate.
You should add two structures as soon as you have the money: the Galactic Workshop and the Research Lab. These will add nearly all of the crafting & modding stations for weapons, equipment, and restorative items. If you plan on altering your own gear, then these should be a priority. If you don’t buy these facilities and add them to your ship, then you’ll be wasting time running to cities to enhance your items.
Outside of these additions, your main goal should be to upgrade and add to your existing systems. The first objective should be to upgrade the reactor, which is used to power everything else. After that, your engines and shields should be next, as maneuverability and survivability are more important than weapons, as it’s easy for a faster ship to zip past you and out of your line of fire, allowing them to blast you while you’re still turning around.
Related: Starfield: How to Sell Ships
Once you have the basics down, you should soon create all kinds of outlandish designs for your Starfield vessel. The universe might be a beige nightmare, but you’re free to spice things up with a bizarre and colorful ship that signifies your arrival with its radiant beauty wherever it goes.