How To Get Starfield’s Best Ships For Free, And No, Not Space Hijacking



Alright folks, I have acquired a career in Starfield it seems, and that is stealing ships. It’s my favorite thing to do and I genuinely cannot believe the kinds of ships this tactic has landed me over time. So I’m here to share what I know.

At this point, you probably have heard about the good old space piracy way to steal ships, given that Bethesda was using it as a selling point for Starfield a long time ago. You can knock out a ship’s engines, board it, kill the crew, steal it. Very cool, and yet also…pretty difficult. In a space fight, you will often have to kill all the other ships in the area to board, plus if you do not also shoot out the weapons of the ship you’re attack, it’s going to keep shooting you, even dead in the water. Conversely, it can be easy to accidentally just destroy the ship instead of damaging it enough to board it. Any ship with auto turrets is going to just roast them, so you will need EM cannons (which suck for more general ship combat).

So, I propose an easier solution. Steal spaceships…on the ground. I have gotten two class C pirate flagships this way and one Class C UC megacruiser, all ships that would normally cost 300-500K, and it took me about three minutes to steal each of them.



There are two ways to steal ships from the ground. Sometimes when you invade a base with a landing pad, there will be a ship sitting there, or one that arrives during combat. However, I find this does not happen very often, and I find those ships to often be “inaccessible” and unable to be stolen.

The main way is simply listening for that “boom” in the sky, and finding a ship randomly landing at some random place on a planet or moon. I have no way to prove this, but I believe this happens a lot more often on desolate moons than anywhere else. I’m not sure if that’s because there’s more flat landing space, or because those moons are pretty dead, Bethesda programmed ships to land there more often.

They are usually somewhat far away, but trek over, and there will probably be guys on the ground. Do not engage them. Just run by them, and get into the ship itself. If you kill all those guys, the ship will take off before you can get inside and steal it. If you’re in the cargo bay when this happens, you will die (in a very funny way).

If it’s a pirate ship, the door should be open. If it’s a UC or civilian ship, you will probably have to pick a lock instead.

Then, onboard, it’s back to pure piracy. You kill everyone on board, which allows you to fly the ship and register it as your own. For civilian and UC ships, you will have to either be a full pirate to be okay with all the murder, or you will have to get extremely lucky like I did, and find a ship that is completely empty like my UC one was.

A few things to note with all this:

1) Sometimes ships will be inaccessible or unable to be flown for some reason. I do not know why this is. It’s not usually the case, but it can happen from time to time. It happens less with these “in the wild” ships.

2) To get the most out of this tactic, you will need max Piloting, the ability to drive Class C ships, which will be the big cruisers. I believe if you have Sam Coe as a companion and at least one point into piloting, that should be enough to max it.

3) For pirate ships, they’re going to have contraband on board. It can be hard to find all this and get it off if you don’t want to be scanned and arrested. I have chosen to just…get arrested and pay an 800 credit fine. Who cares. You can also land at one of the shadier ports to avoid scanning, but you’ll have to find the contraband eventually and decide what to do with it. All of these ships you will need to register from usually 20K-50K for them to officially be “yours.”

4) You have a limit of ten ships you can store. Some people don’t know this and think you have to replace your old ship. The ship you leave behind will be fine, it goes to Ship Service. But if you are maxed at 10 ships, you can’t steal until you delete one.

Again, a lot of this is luck. It can be hard to find ships landing, it can be annoying to find some can’t be stolen, and some of the ships will suck. But it is absolutely how I’ve gotten some of the best ships in the entire game, and I have absolutely loved this pursuit since I discovered how easy it was. Enjoy.

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

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