Stealing ships in Starfield can be a great way to make a good amount of money in a short time. These are massive assets that you can take from NPCs, but you’re going to need the skills and perks to properly grab them up and add them to your fleet. It’s also not a straightforward process.
There are several skills and tips you’ll want to keep in mind if you ever want to take a ship for yourself. You might also get lucky and find one while exploring a planet with your crew. Here’s what you need to know about how to steal ships in Starfield, and the best perks to have on your character.
How Stealing Ships Works in Starfield
There are two ways you can steal a ship in Starfield. The first is by taking out the engines of an enemy ship during a dogfight, giving your ship the chance to dock with it. The second is watching one land on a planet, board it, and fly away after taking out the crew. The second method is much easier to do and doesn’t require too many special skills outside of meeting the Piloting requirements to fly it if the ship is a Class B or C, but I have rarely seen those land on the surface.
Now, the more difficult method is to take out a ship’s engines during a dogfight while you’re flying around space in Starfield. Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as having your ship fly behind the enemy starcraft and shooting them out of the sky. Using the Targeting Control Systems perk, you need to target their engines specifically, where you can lock onto an enemy’s specific ship parts and disable them during combat.
Without the Targeting Control Systems perk, you won’t be able to aim at a ship’s specific systems, and you can’t aim for their engines. You’ll be able to do this after a ship’s shields reach zero or your Starfield ship has an EMP weapon, which bypasses a ship’s shields, directly targeting the parts, and you can begin eliminating parts well before you take out the shields.
After you’ve destroyed the ship’s engines, you must clear out the immediate area and ensure no other enemy ships are nearby. You cannot dock with a ship while in combat, and it’s usually better to save the ship you want to steal for last.
But look out! Even though their engines are gone, their weapon systems still work, and they can turn the ship to fire at you while you’re fighting. You typically want to make sure a ship you want to board and steal is the last ship in the immediate area.
Shortly after crippling the ship and clearing it out, you can grab your new ship and fly off anywhere in the galaxy. You can sell it to any particular starport where you want to make money in Starfield and remove it from your fleet.
The Best Perks to Steal Ships in Starfield
The most important perk to have when stealing ships in Starfield is the Targeting Control Systems one. Without it in Starfield, there’s a good chance you’ll destroy the ship well before you attempt to take out the engines, and you can’t board it. However, there are several other perks you want to consider, and these are some of my favorites on my Starfield character.
- Ballistic Weapon Systems
- Energy Weapon Systems
- Missile Weapon Systems
- Particle Beam Weapon Systems
The Ballistic, Energy, Missle, and Particle Beam weapon system perks are extremely helpful as they increase your ship’s overall damage output, regardless of the ship you’re flying. It’s a good way to make it much easier to take out engines, despite what the ship has for defenses. Finally, the Piloting perk is one you want to level up as quickly as possible, increasing the stronger ships and opening up more choices. This means you won’t work hard to take out a ship only to find out you can’t fly it when you reach the captain’s chair.
The Best Weapons to Steal Ships in Starfield
When it comes to using specific weapons when stealing ships in Starfield, some of the best ones I’ve found are the EMP weapons. These are the weapon systems that bypass shields, which means even if a ship’s shields are up, you can start targeting the Engines as soon as your ship gets a lock and begins knocking it out. Outside of those, the weapons will need to wait until the shields have been eliminated and you’ve taken those out. Any Missiles and Ballistics do heavy damage, but you’ll need to wait until the shields are down.