Starfield Tips: Obvious Stuff I Missed at First [No Spoilers]

OK this is going to be SUPER basic stuff but in case anyone is interested; most of this I learned from playing through the first hour or so of Starfield twice. After my first session I re-thought my character’s background and traits so re-rolled and had to do redo the first mission. The 2nd time I went through it at a slower pace and noticed some things.

First is that some loot seems to be randomized. My first time through the first base you visit, I found a cool space suit with a chameleon property whereby if I stood still I’d turn invisible, Predator-style. I didn’t find this during my second trip through. It is POSSIBLE I just missed the safe it was in, but I felt like I was pretty thorough so I think loot is at least partially random. Heck unless it is somehow tied to your backstory/traits?! Oh, things like random books you can find and read seem to be different too.

Second, (some) computers can be accessed. I told you these were obvious things! There’s a lot of log files and backstory on them, and in some cases you can turn on/off devices via them. I skipped them all the first time and missed out on a lot of the creepy-cool things that’ve been going on in that base.

Third, these Slate things are audio logs. More delicious lore for you to enjoy. Another thing I just walked past my first time through:

Fourth, the lock-picking mini-game seems to be randomized, making scum-saving a little less productive. I Quick Saved before picking a lock and kind of blew it, so I reloaded and…the challenge was different. I’m going to assume that after not very long we’ll all be walking around with a few dozen digipicks so this won’t matter so much, but early on they seem a bit precious.

Fifth, there’s a Cargo Bay on your ship and a little locker behind the pilot’s seat and you can stash junk in both of those if, like me, you can’t resist picking up every little thing and soon find yourself encumbered! You can also stash stuff in crates and weapon racks. I don’t think you have any of these on your starter ship but soon enough you’ll no doubt have a bigger, better ship with these hidey-holes to stash gear in. Also remember you can’t fast travel to your ship once encumbered so be sure to dump off your stuff before you hit that point.

So those are just a couple of the things that tripped me up in what was basically the first hour or two of play. If I have any of it wrong, please leave a comment. Likewise if you have any tips leave those too, but only if they’re not spoilers!

[9/2/23 UPDATE:]

1) My pal Dusty Monk pointed out that your companions can be used to carry some of your loot when you get over-encumbered. If I remember right that’s been the case in earlier Bethesda games but I somehow forgot all about it. You talk to them and use Trade Gear I believe (I haven’t actually done this myself yet).

2) You can review the many tutorials the game throws at you early on but opening the system menu and accessing Help.

[9/3/23 UPDATE:]

1)  “Ship Parts” are a consumable item used to repair damage to your ship’s hull. In your early days of Starfield you probably won’t need them (ship combat is pretty easy early on) but if you’re as rabid a looter as I am, you’ll probably pick some up. Thing is, they’re pretty heavy AND they sort into the “AID” category of your inventory, along with med kits, eggs and beer. When you get encumbered you probably won’t think to check the AID category for heavy items since most of it weighs very little, but those ship parts may have accumulated in there and may be weighing you down.

2) Worth noting that if you select “ALL” in your inventory, you can then sort by weight with the heaviest stuff being at the top of the list. And tangentially related, you can sort weapons by ammo type they require. Starfield has at least a dozen ammo types (that’s all I’ve found so far) so this can be really handy when you’re putting together a load-out and don’t want to be carrying several guns that all draw from the same ammo pool.

3) When selling loot keep an eye on the vendor’s credit balance. If they run out of money the game will keep letting you sell stuff to them, and to be fair you will get a warning that you won’t get full value of the item. But what they mean by “not full value” is 0. The vendor keeps taking your stuff and giving you nothing. Just don’t be like me and assume, y’know, this item is worth 500 but the cheap vendor is only going to give you 400 because your Commerce skill isn’t high enough, or something. It’s a mistake you’ll only make once but… now you can just never make it! 🙂

[9/5/23 UPDATE:]

One last tip. This applies at least to the Xbox version and it is related to a minor bug. You can own more than one ship in Starfield and your ‘active’ ship is chosen by marking it as your “Home” ship. In at least one case my “Home” ship was not on the launch pad where it was supposed to be and I spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to ‘summon’ it. Turns out this was a bug and your “Home” ship SHOULD be on the launch pad. The fix was to pick another ship as your “Home” ship, then switch it back to the ship that you really want to use. Toggling back and forth like that sorted things for me. Not sure if this bug happens on PC.

And speaking of Xbox vs PC, the game is cross-save, at least the Game Pass version (I can’t test the Steam version). I’m pretty sure when it comes time for me to seriously build/modify a ship I’ll do that on PC as I find the console ship building interface a bit cumbersome.

Oh and if you’re a crazy person like me and are playing through the game more than once at the same time, on the Load Save screen, you can filter by character name. The UI prompt for this is down at the bottom of the screen. The game creates a lot of auto saves, and an exit save, plus whatever manual saves you make, so filtering by character name is SUPER helpful.