- Don’t neglect the importance of buying a spaceship in the early stages of Starfield. It helps with carrying items, exploring the galaxy, and upgrading your gear conveniently.
- Upgrading your starting ship, Frontier, is not sufficient. Consider purchasing a bigger ship with a larger cargo hold for better convenience and efficiency.
- Buying a better ship allows you to engage in exhilarating dogfights, a unique and enjoyable aspect of Starfield, while also covering costs by selling enemy ships. Just make sure you’re qualified to fly it before purchasing.
If you’ve started playing Starfield in early access, you’re likely already encumbered. The restrictive weight limits on your spacesuit pockets are infuriating in the early stages of the game, as you come across so many items and have nowhere to put them. You give some to your companions, drop a couple of rifles, and you’re still walking at a snail’s pace so as to not run out of oxygen.
You’re too early in the game to upgrade your spacesuit, and your skill points will be spent on far more useful things like making your spaceship flyier and your guns gunnier. Earning the ability to pick locks and pockets as well as using a boost pack should be your first ports of call, but after that, you should buy a new spaceship.
You probably know by now that I played Starfield as a space pirate, a member of the Crimson Fleet, and put all my skill points into piloting, dogfighting, and ship building. I don’t recommend you do the same, because these all have very limited uses, but that’s besides the point. You need to buy a ship. I’m not saying this just because I did it and I’m the paragon of Bethesda powergaming, I’m saying it because it’s true. Save up your credits and buy a decent spaceship.
Don’t do what I did. I saw the Shieldbreaker, an incredible spaceship with juiced up stats in every direction. It had lasers and missile launchers, could carry four crew members, and the cargo hold could carry over 2,000kg of stuff. Perfect, I thought, so I saved and saved and then I saved some more. I also put some skill points into bartering for a ten percent discount. Eventually, after dozens of hours of missions, raiding, and looting everything in sight, I bought it. And promptly realised I couldn’t fly it, because it was a B-class ship and I wasn’t qualified. So I had to grind out a couple of levels to put skill points into Piloting, which I had foolishly neglected up until that point.
The ship was worth the wait, and a couple of upgrades helped it become the jewel of the Crimson Fleet. But, it took a lot of time and energy, and I don’t recommend you do the same unless you’re roleplaying a proper pirate captain like me. Buying a smaller ship is a much better idea. Your starting vehicle, a borrowed piece of junk called Frontier that’s reminiscent of Starbug from Red Dwarf, is simply not good enough. It’ll fly you around for the first couple of hours, but an upgrade will help on so many levels, first and foremost carrying stuff.
The start of Starfield is an oxymoron. You need plenty of materials to craft spacesuit upgrades that increase your carry capacity, but you need deeper pockets to carry all those minerals in the first place. You can craft using items from the Frontier, but its measly cargo hold is only about three times the size of your personal inventory. You could upgrade it in the ship builder, but it’s easier to buy a bigger ship for its enormous cargo hold.
This also helps in other ways. It’s easier to explore the galaxy with better engines, and that’s what Starfield’s all about, right? Plus, if you’re gallivanting on the other side of the cosmos, do you really want to have to travel all the way back to The Lodge to use a crafting table or upgrade a weapon? A bigger ship will have more space for modules that put these items below deck, acting as a mobile hub where you can soup up all your gear. It’s more convenient than building a base, and requires fewer resources, allowing you to spend more of them on those crucial barrels, magazines, and thrusters.
The final reason to buy a better ship is so you can get into dogfights. Starfield excels when it eschews Bethesda’s traditional RPG formula, and dogfights are something that don’t fit into either the Elder Scrolls or Fallout series. Taking out opposing ships in midair or targeting their engines to stall them in orbit before launching a boarding raid is immense fun, and one of my favourite ways to spend my time. Sure, you might rack up a bounty or two, but selling off the ships you commandeer can easily cover those costs.
Of course, you could always steal a ship instead of buying one, but I’ve got a couple of warnings. Firstly, defeating a ship that you actually want to pilot across the galaxy is easier said than done. Secondly, the dead bodies of its former crew will litter its decks for the rest of your playthrough, it seems, and I couldn’t find a way to get rid of the decomposing corpses that greeted me every time I boarded.
Buying a ship is the biggest quality of life improvement you can make in the early hours of Starfield, and I recommend anyone do so as soon as they can. Faction missions are an easy way to rack up credits, and you can get paid for doing just about anything if you ask nicely enough. Just make sure you’re qualified to fly before you buy.