Starfield is out, and it’s already shaping up to be one of the best games of 2023. The massive space roleplaying game from Bethesda Game Studios launches widely on Sept. 6, but people who preordered the Premium Edition of the game can play now thanks to early access.
There’s a lot to Starfield, with more than 1,000 planets to explore and hundreds of missions available. I’ve played more than 30 hours of Starfield, and these are some of the useful tips I wish I had known when I started.
Don’t grab everything: It’s tempting to pick up whatever you find during your adventure in hopes of selling it or using it for later. Just don’t.
For the first few hours, I was constantly picking up items that clogged up my inventory and made me over-encumbered, preventing me from fast-traveling. The stuff I picked up also wouldn’t sell for much anyway. Considering the big purchases in Starfield are spaceships that cost 100,000 to 300,000 credits, that paperweight worth 10 credits isn’t going to help.
Use your companion or ship as a pack mule: If you just have to grab everything not bolted down, have your companion carry some of the junk for you. Talk to them and ask to trade gear. Then load them up with whatever you don’t need on your person. This is a quick way to not be over-encumbered so you can fast-travel. When you get to the ship, check for a display unit that shows the inventory of the ship. This is where you want to unload any resources, since they’ll be available to use wherever you do some crafting.
Make sure to sell: Different cities and colonies have merchants, but to save yourself a walk, look for a yellow kiosk at the respective spaceports. This is a Trade Authority kiosk where you can sell whatever you have. Equipment such as space suits and weapons sell for a good price, but you’ll make most of your credits completing missions.
Learn the shortcuts: There are a lot of menus in Starfield, but the big one is the star map. This is where you plan out your next destination. Instead of going through the multiple menus just to pick out what planet you’re going to for a mission, go to the list of missions and click on the one that’s active. There will be an option to set a course directly to the planet you need to go to instead of going through multiple menus and wasting so much time.
Try to be more persuasive: One of the first skills you can learn is Persuasion. This opens up the “Persuade” dialog option, which leads to a minigame. You’ll have to try to persuade the person you’re talking with to do something they don’t want, like handing over a precious item needed for a mission. This ability saves so much time, money and effort when done right. It becomes easier once it’s leveled up or by using items to improve the chances of succeeding.
Become The Mantis: In one of the early missions, you’ll come across a note dropped by space pirates about a secret treasure. Following the clues will lead you to Denobola I-B and the base for The Mantis. Think Batman but in space. This is a tough mission with high-level enemies, powerful robots and various traps. But the reward is worth it. For completing the mission, you’ll get a set of Mantis armor, some of the most powerful equipment you can find in the game, and the Mantis ship, which can annihilate multiple other ships in a space battle. It also has the bonus of scaring away space pirates who might try to get the jump on you while traveling through the universe.
Kill aliens for crafting material: Crafting in Starfield is vital if you want to make your own outpost, upgrade your space suit, helmet and pack, and develop useful healing items. The materials required for crafting tend to be metals or gas that can be found on different planets and organic materials. Some merchants may have a few resources available, but if you need more organic resources such as fiber, sealant and nutrients, you’ll need to kill some of the alien life found on different planets. Most of these creatures are easy to take down, but there are some monsters out there to be aware of.
Starfield launches on Sept. 6 on PC and Xbox Series X and S consoles, starting at $70 (£70, AU$99). It’s also included in Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass subscription service.