10 More Things I Wish I Knew When I Started ‘Starfield’

It is not a normal situation when I find that I have 130 hours into a game before it’s even officially launched, but between my review copy, the early access period and my general obsession with Starfield, here we are on release day.

I already wrote one of these Starfield tips articles back when early access started, but since then, I’ve learned even more, and there’s more to share with new players who are just starting out today. Here are 10 things I wish I knew when I started Starfield.

1. The Secret Lodge Starter Armor Set

In the basement of the lodge, in one of the side rooms, there is a set of unique armor that is going to be better than anything you get at the start of the game for a good long while. While it’s behind a Master lock, you can look through the crack in the door (you need to be looking at the gap dead on) and you can grab the entire suit this way without even opening the door.

2. The Secret Lodge Infinite Storage Chest

Also in the basement of the Lodge is a tiny little chest that operates as infinite storage for everything you could possibly want to put in it, which is not how storage works anywhere else in the game, including on ships or in bases, which all have limits. While it may not be the most convenient place, it’s an infinite black hole of storage, and that’s good enough.

3. The Oxygen Skill Isn’t Broken, Just Annoying

While I do recommend investing in the Oxygen skill at the start, many players seem to think it’s broken and not counting the times they run out of oxygen, which is how you move up ranks. The final rank requires you to do this 100 times. This took me…120 hours to get to the final rank. It’s not broken, it’s just bad. The problem is that the “depleted oxygen” stat does not count until you don’t just expend oxygen, but get deep into the CO2 red, like 75% or so. Only then will it count, and you have to deal with the CO2 cooldown time as a result.

4. How To Find The Best Planets

Many players complain that they only find dead, lifeless planets or moons. Not unexpected given that Bethesda already said that only 10% of planets will have life. You can find those easily, you just have to read carefully. While you can see some green and blue from afar, in the left box you are looking for A) high oxygen atmosphere B) temperate temperature C) flora and fauna. Not that you can’t find cool stuff outside of this, but these will be some of the most rich, beautiful planets and moons, and good places to build bases.

5. Steal Incredible Pirate Ships

I’ve been through three playthroughs now, and the two best ships I’ve ever gotten have not been the 300-500K I’ve spent at Ship Services, but two pirate flagships I stole for free. While yes, you can kill pirate ship engines and board them in space, the easier, better way is to just keep an eye out for when they land on the surface, which can happen literally anywhere. Trek over to the ship; if it’s a pirate ship, you can probably board it. You kill the crew and then can take off in it, but you need to make sure your Piloting skill is at B or C. If not, Sam Coe will increase that if he’s your companion. Bring the ship to port and get arrested. Yeah, you’ll get arrested because there will be contraband on the ship. It doesn’t matter, pay the tiny fine, go to ship services, pay to register it. The end. You just saved yourself probably 350-450K. And if you’re a pirate yourself, do this with any ship that lands. You can scan ships from afar to see what class they are as well.

6. The Two Essential Ship Skills

Ship combat is terrible at the beginning of this game. You absolutely need to invest points in A) Engine Systems and B) Targeting. Targeting will make combat miles easier with bonuses to lock on, slo-mo firing. Engine systems will give you a boost, then dramatically extend it, then later, give you the ability to break enemy target lock just by using it.

7. How Companion Skill Buffs Work

I alluded to this earlier, but the way companions work is essentially never explained in the game. If you go to Crew on the ship screen, you will see a list of your companions and crewmates with skill icons. If you have a point invested in any skill they have, their own skills will transfer to you. For instance, if you have one point in Rifle Certification, having Sam Coe as a companion will take you to rank 4 without you spending any more points. This also works in aggregate with your ship. Crew members will add ranks to all ship skills they have all at once, bolstering weapons, shields, payload capacity, even engineering. So that’s why you want to form a cohesive crew.

8. What To Actually Spend Credits On

I would essentially buy nothing in this game except two things: Ships and Ship Upgrades. Ammo gets expensive incredibly fast and you will blow through it at a pace that will not be cost effective. You will have to farm it in the wild (I would recommend using melee on lower level enemies to do this). Buying apartments is neat cosmetically, not useful. But ships? If you cannot steal a great one like I said, you can save up for some of the higher-end 300-500K ones in the long term. You can look for good weapons or big cargo bays, but you will eventually also need ones with the ability to jump 25 to 30 light years to reach some of the most distant systems. On top of this, buying better weapons for your ships—any ship—is essential, and those can run you anywhere from 5K to 50K at the high end, but it’s worth it, and you’re not going to loot those anywhere.

9. Do Not Pick Up Most Weapons And Armor To Sell

I know this may be contrary to most Fallout philosophies, but it’s going to suck if you do this, trust me. You have so little carrying capacity in this game, especially to start, that grabbing everything you see is a terrible idea. I would not keep anything you’re not actively using below purple rarity, and even then, I’m just not sure it’s worth it, as the vendor system in the game is bad as they run out of credits fast. I’ve never sold a single thing in my playthrough, and I have 800,000 credits right now just from playing normally. This is a giant pain that will not help you.

10. Build Your Own Mission Boards To Farm XP And Gear

When you find that cool planet you like, the first thing you build is a beacon. The second thing you should build is a mission board. While there are mission boards for specific factions around, this will build a more generalized mission board with just two types of missions, ground combat to kill enemies and their lead, or space combat to kill ships in certain systems. Good ways to level a zillion skills and without the need to manually hunt down space fights or planet locations. Have done loads and loads of these missions.

That’s all I got for now, remember to read the first article and I’ll maybe have 10 more here down the road.

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Pick up my sci-fi novels the Herokiller series and The Earthborn Trilogy.

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