Starfield – Tips to Help You Get Started

Useful Tips for Getting Started

There is a lot of space. The space-themed game Starfield is likewise quite sizable. Of course, full of awe and amazement, but nevertheless enormous and occasionally perplexing. Fortunately, after spending a lot of time with Starfield, we’ve decided that we want to make you feel less confused, so we’ve put up a handbook with all of our finest, most important advice.

General Tips

  • Knowing your menus is important! Like most Bethesda games, you’ll spend quite a bit of time in your menus, whether that be your inventory, your skills, or even the Star Map. Getting acquainted with button shortcuts, the quickest way to get in and out of certain screens, and the quickest way to fast travel where you need to go can save you a lot of frustration in the long run. Get a feel for things early on by going through every single tab at a slow pace and trying to absorb where things are.
  • Encumbrance and carry capacity returns from previous Bethesda games, but in a different manner. When you’re carrying more mass than your current character build allows, moving at your full speed, even without sprinting, will drain your Oxygen. Once your Oxygen drains all the way, you’ll start to build up carbon dioxide, shown by the red bar. Once your carbon dioxide fills up, you’ll start to take damage. You also can’t fast travel while over-encumbered. But you can still move! You’ll replenish oxygen while walking or running slowly. And when not over-encumbered, sprinting and then using your boost pack in low-grav environments will give your O2 extra time to recharge while still maintaining your forward momentum.
  • When in cities like New Atlantis, you may feel out of place still wearing your spacesuit and helmet. Don’t unequip them! When in the menu to equip space suits and helmets, there is a button on the bottom that toggles whether or not your space suit will show while you’re in a settlement, and removes your helmet when you’re in a place with breathable air. The bonuses from your suit and helmet will still be active, as the toggle is cosmetic only!
  • While flying around, keep an eye on your speed gauge on the bottom left side of the center HUD. The number next to SPEED and the white bar going up and down above it shows how fast you’re going. The blue bars that get bigger when you go faster indicate how much noise your ship is making. If you want to avoid detection from pirates or other ne’er do wells (or being a ne’er do well yourself), put less power into your engines to keep your ship as quiet as you can.
  • Another returning Bethesda feature — When selling items to a vendor, check out the top right corner of the screen to see how many credits a vendor has. If you go over the max, you won’t be getting any money from them while selling items– you’ll just be giving them away. You’ll get a popup letting you know that you’re not getting any money in return, but when quickly jamming on the sell button to get through all your junk, it can be easy to miss, so make sure you’re peeping their bank account during the transaction. Their cash will replenish over time, so shop around at different spots when possible.
  • While it initially seems like you use one skill point to unlock a skill, and then subsequent tiers are unlocked through completing the challenges instead of using skill points, you actually need BOTH. Complete the challenge to unlock the ability to purchase the new tier, and then spend a skill point to make that tier active. Once a challenge has been completed to unlock a new tier, the skill’s image will be flashing in the skill tree menu to let you know that you can now spend a skill point to unlock that new tier.
  • When trying to persuade someone, make sure to choose options that fit the conversation you’re having, and don’t just look at the numbers. A lot of the conversations make sense if you understand the character’s motivations, and taking some time to think on your responses can go a long way towards your eventual success. This is a sure way to keep the conversation going and get those pesky people to do what you want without having to pull out your blaster.
  • Starfield is filled with cool looking weapons, detailed interiors, and literally stellar vistas. Thankfully, it’s also launching with a Photo Mode! Not only can you access it by going into the pause menu, but also from pressing the button or key listed at the bottom of your screen when you pull out your scanner! You can hide or pose your character, add filters, and then drop the UI altogether when you’re ready to take the final shot. And fun bonus: when you take shots using the in-game screenshot function, the photos that populate your gallery will show up as your loading screens as a cool way to look back on your adventure!
  • As you explore, you’ll sometimes stumble across usable computers. Access them to read emails that will share additional tidbits of the story or things that may have once occurred in the area you’re exploring. Like Fallout, some computers will actually provide functions like unlocking doors, hacking robots, and other important functions.
  • You have a lot of ground to cover in Starfield’s expansive planets, and the only vehicle available to you is a spaceship. AMPs give you a 35% movement speed boost, so they’re vital if you want to get around more quickly. Stock up for your next resource gathering mission!
  • If you have too many waypoints on your HUD, open the journal and press the corresponding button on the bottom of the screen to swap between just your current quest’s waypoint, and all the available waypoints in the area. Accidentally having this on will clutter up your screen real quick, so check to make sure it’s on the right setting before you go crazy!

Combat Tips

  • Starfield’s many outposts, mines, and facilities are often lined with various types of explosive barrels, canisters, and more. They can deal major AOE damage to nearby enemies and/or drive them from cover so you can easily pick them off.
  • Barrels aren’t the only explosive — aiming for an enemy’s boost pack can sometimes cause it to explode, and send their body hurtling into the sky!
  • Many of the weapons in Starfield share ammo types, so make sure you’re not double or triple dipping when creating your loadout. It can be a real bummer to suddenly run out of ammo for multiple guns at the same time, so try and keep a variety of weapons with different ammo types handy. The good news is ammo is one of the few things with no weight value, so hoard it all!
  • Wondering what the GRV setting is at the far right side of your ship’s power distribution matrix? Allocating more power to your Grav Drive will reduce the amount of time it takes for Inter-system jumps to activate. If you’re in a hectic firefight, and trying to get out of there fast, pump up the grav drive’s power to make a speedy exit.
  • Different weapon types can have different effects depending on the enemy. Ballistics work well on unarmored opponents and creatures, while lasers and particle beams can melt shields and robots. There are also EM type weapons that are primarily used for resolving a fight in a non-lethal manner, as attacks will fill up a blue bar that knocks out the opponent if it fills with EM damage.
  • Generally, it’s good to keep a small variety of weapons you like in your pack without going overboard and weighing you down too much, but it may also be worth making sure you have varied effects from rare or epics you find. Having one gun deal more damage against robots and another that deals more in space can help you prepare for any situation.
  • Since this isn’t Fallout, VATS doesn’t exist, but you can get the next best thing for your ship. Invest a Skill Point in Targeting Systems to unlock the ability to fire upon specific modules of an enemy ship, and you can quickly disable their weapons in a hectic battle, or destroy their engines and leave them vulnerable to boarding.

Exploration Tips

  • When exploring buildings, keep an eye out for first aid and pharmaceutical kits spread around on walls or desks. These will often contain helpful first aid items such as Med Packs for straight healing, Heart +, which improves your Fortitude and pain tolerance, and Synapse Alpha, which enhances your reasoning, reflexes, and improved problem-solving skills. Med Packs can also help you get back to your ship without succumbing to CO2 poisoning while you try to drag all the cups from the last outpost back with you… don’t do that.
  • Safes can be found in most points of interest, and you can find them in labs, under beds, and by computer desks. Since they are often locked, they usually have a good amount of randomized loot, including weapons and gear with special effects!
  • While sprinting in Low Gravity, use jumps and boosts to conserve/regenerate O2. You’ll even get to keep your momentum while jumping and boosting forward.
  • Certain planets have points of interest visible when orbiting that you can choose to land at, while other points will only show up after landing in a random spot. If a planet or moon has an ellipsis (three dots) on it, that means it will have an explorable destination you can directly set a course for. Certain planets have unique locations like cities that all players can find, while others are completely random.
  • Buildings and stores throughout the Settled Systems are often unassuming, and it can sometimes be hard to distinguish between an accessible and inaccessible building. So, we recommend simply trying to enter as many doorways as possible. Furthermore, many stores will often stock items outside of their unique goods, so try speaking to all vendors as there’s a chance they could be selling what you need.
  • While most loot is randomized, you can find specific skill books — magazines that will give you passive bonuses the first time you read them. They can be found in many places, so always keep a look out for them.
  • If you’re having trouble figuring out what you can loot in a dim room, pull out your scanner. This will highlight any interactive object, allowing you to spot things you may not notice at first glance.
Helena Stamatina
About Helena Stamatina 2712 Articles
My first game was Naughty Dog’s Crash Bandicoot (PlayStation) back in 1996. And since then gaming has been my main hobby. I turned my passion for gaming into a job by starting my first geek blog in 2009. When I’m not working on the site, I play mostly on my PlayStation. But I also love outdoor activities and especially skiing.

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