Starfield guide: everything you need to succeed in space (2024)

Starfield guide: everything you need to succeed in space (1)

Jump To:

  • Starting out
  • Systems and Tips
  • Crew and Companions
  • Combat and Crafting
  • Quests, Choices, Collectibles

Bethesda's new RPG is finally here, and as promised, it's huge. This Starfield guide will acquaint you with Starfield's various quirks and complexities so you can make informed decisions as you take your first steps in space or grapple with main quest decisions and romance choices. Some parts of Starfield feel like returning to Skyrim or Fallout, but others are wholly new and different, and we've got the run down on how things like traits, research, and crafting work.

For our verdict on Starfield, check out our Starfield review as well. The short version: Starfield may not be the best of Bethesda's major RPGs, but it's definitely the biggest, and we'll probably be hanging out in space for years to come. Find everything you need to know about charting the stars below.

Starting out

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Can you play?

Before you actually get started in Starfield, here are all the details you need to know about whether you can play. Get details on performance, unlock times, and all the other gritty bits before you commit.

Starfield release time: Here's the full breakdown on when you can actually play Starfield based on your timezone and the version you bought.
Starfield early access: This isn't your usual "early access" game in progress, it's a headstart for special editions.
How buggy is Starfield?: We all know how Bethesda games can be. Here's how the game runs at launch for seven of the PC Gamer staff on their own rigs.
Starfield on Steam Deck: Our experiences and settings recommendations for playing Starfield on your Steam Deck.

Lore studies

Starfield is Bethesda's first new original setting since the very first Elder Scrolls game. To get yourself oriented in their new universe, catch up on the lore you need to know about the people and places we're visiting.

Starfield cities: These are all the major hubs you'll visit.
Starfield factions: As always in a Bethesda RPG, there are distinct groups with their own objectives.
How big is Starfield?: It's space, so it's pretty big.

character building

As you may remember from the Fallout games, character creation fatures a lot of individual details to worry about. Check these guides to all the individual parts you'll want to choose as you begin playing.

Starfield backgrounds: Your chosen background will give you certain advantages like immediate skill unlocks or other perks.
Starfield traits: As in Fallout, these traits will change your gameplay style for better and worse, so choose wisely.
Starfield skills: Your big list of every skill you can unlock and what it does.
Best starting skills: If that big list is giving you choice paralysis, start here with the first five skills we think you should unlock ASAP.

Systems and Tips

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How to...

After you've made your character and gotten your boots on the ground, here's what you'll be doing next. Bethesda has done a new take on some old systems like lockpicking, persuasion, and skill upgrades.Starfield tips: Here's what you should know about Starfield before you get too deep into space.
Best free ships: Don't miss out on a free ride and complete these quests for bigger, better ships.
Starfield weapon tiers: Here's how weapon rarity and stats work in Starfield so you know you're carrying the best.
How to make money: Collect credits fast with these tips on what to keep and sell.
Starfield persuasion: When guns aren't the answer, make sure you're prepared for some charismatic diplomacy instead.
Starfield lockpicking: Not exactly lockpicking or hacking, Starfield has you use digipicks to break into certain locked doors and containers.
Starfield scanning: Learn how to get the lay of the land by scanning your surroundings on each planet you encounter.
How to wait in Starfield: For when you just need to pass the time.
How to change appearance: If your space face no longer suits you, here's how to get a new look.
How to use the boost pack: If you're struggling to use your jetpack, make sure you're prepared for flight first.
How to sell ships: Here's how to offload your spare or stolen ships.
How to sell contraband: If your cargo hold is crammed with smuggled goods, here's how to offload it all before the space cops find you.
Where to sell items: Shops are harder to spot than you'd think.
Hide your spacesuit: Don't walk around town like a tourist, take that space suit off.
Rank up skills in Starfield: Learn how to upgrade all your skills.
Starfield randomization: Space is huge and not always bespoke. Here's which parts of Starfield are set in stone for all players and which are randomized per playthrough.

Where is...

Space is a big place. Don't get lost out there looking for your next destination. Here are out guides to finding certain towns, outposts, and other points of interest.

The Den location: Find your way to one of the best places for unloading stolen goods.
Starfield Casino location: Here's where you'll find the Almagest and win the jackpot.
Paradiso resort location: Take a quick spacecation by heading to the resort planet.
Hopetown location: Home of Ron Hope, here's how to get to this outpost and its ship parts factory.
Stroud-Eklund Staryard location: Stock up on luxury ship parts.

System fixes

If there's a graphics feature or fix that you're looking for in Starfield, chances are that modders are already on the case. Right after launch players began fixing and adding common requests for Starfield.

Change FOV in Starfield: There's no default FOV slider in Starfield but there's already a mod to add one if you want to change your view.
How to use DLSS in Starfield: Another common complaint is that Starfield uses AMD's FSR supersampling tech. There's a mod to replace it with Nvidia's DLSS if you prefer.

What's next?

If you make short work of Starfield's main story, your next stop will be a second playthrough, or perhaps cheats and (eventually) mods. Here's how to get started, no matter what your second adventure entails.

Starfield New Game+: Story spoilers here, for those curious about how Starfield's NG+ works.
Starfield console commands: Bethesda's classic cheats are back for those who want to go godmode or just take great screenshots.
Starfield mods: Right at launch, Starfield modders are already hard at work with traditional fixes and all the old gag mods.

Crew and Companions

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Crew and You

You won't want to go it alone in space, so make sure you know who you can recruit. Starfield has a main set of companions, mercs for hire, and don't forget there are romance questlines, too.

Starfield companions: A list of your main Constellation crew members and some other hireable crew you can meet out on your travels.
How to assign crew in Starfield: You'll want to match your crew's skills to their jobs by assigning them to your ship or outposts.
Recruit no-name mercenaries: If you need even more operational support, you can recruit some generic crew too.
Starfield Adoring Fan location: For an entirely different "no-name" crew member, you can recruit Oblivion's old gag pal the adoring fan.
How to recruit Amelia Amelia Earhart: Add a historic figure to your crew by completing a quest.
Starfield romance options: Here's who you can pursue for a more personal relationship on your crew.

Combat and Crafting

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Combat class

Space is dangerous, so don't go unprepared. Starfield's terrestrial combat is pretty familiar to those who've played Fallout, though we'll go over some specifics to be aware of, but there's ship combat to be prepared for as well.

Starfield ship combat: How to win space battles and board enemy ships to live out your piracy dreams.
How to repair your ship: After getting into outer space scuffles you will need to repair your ship if you want to survive the next fight.

Crafting clues

As you begin gathering resources on all the planets you visit, you'll start using Starfield's crafting and customizing systems to turn your ship, outposts, and gear into your perfect accessories. Here's everything you should know about crafting systems.

Starfield outpost building: Here's how to get started building your own terrestrial base wherever you please in Starfield.
Starfield ship building: How to start customizing your craft with the ship builder
Starfield crafting and research: If you want better guns and equipment, you'll need to invest in researching how to craft them all.
How to create a cargo link: Once you've started raking in resources, you'll need to transfer materials between outposts with a handy cargo link pad.
High-Tensile Spidroin: Here's where to find this rare crafting resource by collecting it yourself.

Quests, Choices, Collectibles

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Quest questions

Once you get well on your way in Starfield, you'll start making important decisions and solving puzzles along the way. Get help here for any confusing quests or decisions that have you biting your nails.

Join the Crimson Fleet: How to join the space pirates club so you can check out their base.
Starfield Sabotage quest: All your options for completing the Ryujin Industries questline.
Juno's Gambit quest: How to decide on a side in this random encounter with a rogue AI.
Starfield first contact: A classic Fallout-style quest where you'll mediate between two opposing groups.
Alternating Currents: Choose to help MAST or the Trade Authority in this quick quest.
No Sudden Moves: How to get the Artifact from Petrov.
Aceles or microbes: Choosing a solution for the final UC Vanguard quest.
High Price to Pay: A main mission critical decision, figure out whether to stay at the Lodge or go to The Eye.
Pilgrim's Final Writing light puzzle: After High Price to Pay, you'll need to solve a puzzle to unearth some new clues.
Side with the Hunter or Emissary: Spoilers for Starfield's ending here, and how to make your biggest choice.

Ship requisitions

There are all sorts of ships to add to your arsenal in Starfield, so let us point you to some of the best rides you can fly.

MANTIS puzzle solution: Don't miss this sidequest that rewards a free ship and legendary spacesuit.
Star Eagle spaceship: Complete the Freestar Rangers questline to get this rad ship.
Starfield Narwhal ship: Where to buy this great cargo and combat ship.

Collectible clues

Just like in Fallout and Skyrim, Starfield has plenty of smaller items for you to find. Here we'll direct you to all the collectibles you need, big and small.

Starfield skill book locations: Remember Fallout's skill magazines? Collect these for permanent boosts to your various skills.
Starfield temple locations: Unlock special space powers by hunting down these elusive temples.
Starfield Earth landmarks: Collect the snowglobes at important Earth surface sites.
Apollo landing site: If you fancy visiting a bit of history.

The biggest gaming news, reviews and hardware deals

Keep up to date with the most important stories and the best deals, as picked by the PC Gamer team.

Starfield guide: everything you need to succeed in space (7)

Lauren Morton

Associate Editor

Lauren started writing for PC Gamer as a freelancer in 2017 while chasing the Dark Souls fashion police and accepted her role as Associate Editor in 2021, now serving as the self-appointed chief cozy games enjoyer. She originally started her career in game development and is still fascinated by how games tick in the modding and speedrunning scenes. She likes long books, longer RPGs, has strong feelings about farmlife sims, and can't stop playing co-op crafting games.

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