How to Steal Ships in Starfield (Land, Space, Space Combat)

Anastasios Antoniadis

How to Steal Ships in Starfield Land Space Space Combat

Stealing ships in Starfield is one of the most entertaining activities, while it can also grant you some amazing ships if you look for the right ones (for instance, the Spacer Vulture, which is the latest ship I have stolen, is as good as the Razorleaf in some areas, although it lacks mobility). I don’t consider selling stolen ships the best way to make Credits in Starfield, as registering them is very expensive, but it is definitely an option.

With that in mind, let’s see how you can steal enemy ships the easy way and the more challenging way.

How to Steal Landed Ships

Steal landed Ship Locked door
Image Credit: Bethesda/Meta Game Guides
  • Requirement #1: You must not have reached the maximum number of ships you can own
  • Requirement #2: Your Piloting skill Rank must be high enough to match the ship’s reactor Class
  • Requirement #3: Sometimes landed ships have their ladder doors locked, especially when you find no enemies around. In such cases, there is an extra requirement. Your Security skill Rank must allow you to pick that lock. This depends on the door’s security level. In the above images, I had to pick a lock of Advanced Security Level to steal an abandoned ship.

The easy way to steal ships is to find them landed on launching pads. You only have to enter the ship, exterminate every crew member inside it, and then sit in its Pilot Seat and fly it. That’s it, the ship is now yours!

How to Steal Ships in Space (Non-Hostile)

  • Requirement #1: You must not have reached the maximum number of ships you can own
  • Requirement #2: Your Piloting skill Rank must be high enough to match the ship’s reactor Class

This method is also easy. You must target the ship and get within 500 meters of it to Dock with it (Hold down “R” on PC or “X” on Xbox). Once you dock, board the ship, exterminate every crew member, and sit in the Pilot Seat.

How to Steal Ships in Space (Hostile – Space Combat)

  • Requirement #1: You must not have reached the maximum number of ships you can own
  • Requirement #2: Your Piloting skill Rank must be high enough to match the ship’s reactor Class
  • Requirement #3: At least one Rank in Targeting Control Systems. You can’t immobilize a ship without it.
  • (Optional): Having a “Suppressor” Weapon on your ship would be ideal, especially those with high EM DMG and minimal Hull DMG. EM DMG is the damage you deal to a ship’s systems, while Hull DMG reduces the ship’s Hull (HP). Using the right Suppressor (avoid EMP-200 and EMP-80, as they also deal Hull DMG), ensures that you will disable the ship’s engine before you destroy it.
NameManufacturerClassRangeFire RateHull DMGShield DMGEM DMGMax PowerHullMassValueRequirement
EMP-1000 SUPPRESSORBallistic Solutions Inc.C8008115448611020None
EMP-200 SUPPRESSORBallistic Solutions Inc.A80023654242228975Starship Design (Rank 3)
EMP-80 SUPPRESSORBallistic Solutions Inc.A8001365244114417None
EMP-500 SUPPRESSORBallistic Solutions Inc.B8005114545443320None
FIREBOLT 4000 SUPPRESSORLight ScytheB8005114735313775Starship Design (Rank 2)
FULMINATOR 8000 SUPPRESSORLight ScytheC800811583862968None
NULLIFIER 1750 SUPPRESSORLight ScytheA8002114832237145Starship Design (Rank 3)
SPARK 750 SUPPRESSORLight ScytheA10001113031112635None

With these requirements in mind, let’s see how you can steal a ship:

Note: The images below are from my fight against The Warlock (a ship you can’t steal). I’m going to replace them with better ones, as there key parts of the sequence missing, e.g., the locking on the targeting loading step.

  1. Make sure you have targeted the ship. Keep pressing “E” on PC or “A” on Xbox until your target is the ship you want to steal. Target the Enemy Ship
  2. Ensure you keep eye contact with the ship and it’s within the range of the Target Locking mechanism as it starts the “Lock On” process.
  3. Ensure you use your Laser Weapons during this time, as they deal the most Shield damage. You want to bring the enemy ship’s shield to 0% before you use the targeting mode.
  4. Once the locking bar reaches 100% and the ship’s shield is 0%, enable the Targeting Mode by pressing “R” on your PC or “X” on your Xbox controller. Enable Targeting Mode
  5. The Targeting Mode is a special mode, only available if you have unlocked the Targeting Controls Systems skill.
    • It slows down time and allows you to target specific systems of the enemy ship, its Weapons, Shield Generator, Engine, or Grav Drive, as long as the enemy ship’s shield is depleted (otherwise, you keep damaging the shield).
    • Additionally, the enemy ship can’t dodge your shots when in Targeting Mode (I think).
    • Once you enter Targeting Mode, press “A” or “D” on your PC or use your controller’s left stick to switch between systems until you target the engines (ENG).
    • Optional: Use your Suppressor weapon to disable the enemy ship’s Weapons first (ideally the Lasers if you are still shielded) to avoid minimize the damage you receive (if your Targeting Controls System Rank is high enough, you will have enough time to disable every weapon).
    • Now, use your Suppressor weapon, or the weapon that deals the most EM DMG, to damage the engines. Keep watching the power bars on the screen; once they all disappear, the engines will be disabled, and the enemy ship will be immobilized and at your mercy. Destroy Warlock's Engines to Board It
    • You may have to enter Targeting Mode more than once, so repeat the above steps until the ship’s engines are disabled.
  6. Get within 500 meters of the enemy ship and hold down “R” on PC or “X” on Xbox to dock with it. You can see in the above image that I’m 345 meters away from the target, and the “Dock” option has appeared. Dock with the Stolen Ship
  7. Board the enemy ship.
  8. Kill every enemy crew member. Use your Scanner and track the red dots’ directions to find them all.
  9. Sit at the Pilot Seat. If your Piloting skill is high enough and the ship is stealable, you can steal it.

Are All Ships in Starfield Stealable?

Starborn Guardian Inaccessible
Image Credit: Bethesda/Meta Game Guides

No, there are plenty of ships in Starfield that are not stealable. Some examples are Governor Hust’s Ship, The Warlock, and the Starborn Guardian (sadly). As you can see, you can’t even enter the Starborn Guardian, as the door is inaccessible. There is a glitch that allows you to steal it, but I’m not sure if it’s patched yet.

What Happens After You Steal a Ship?

Once you land or Grav Jump using your new ship, it will become your Home Ship and your previous ship will join your fleet. If you don’t want that to happen, just Stand Up from the pilot seat and leave the ship as it is. You will then find the stolen ship in your fleet and you can view at a Ship Services Technician. If you accidentally land or fast-travel with your new ship, you can change your Home Ship by visiting a Ship Services Technician.

Can I Sell a Stolen (Commandeered) Ship?

Yes, but you must first register it at a Ship Services Technician by pressing the “Register” option as you view it from the “I’d like to view and modify my ships” dialogue option. Then you must return to the dialogue options, select the “Let me see what ships you have for sale.” dialogue option and pick the “Sell” option at the bottom right of the screen to view all the ships in your fleet. Switch between ships until you find the one you want to sell and press the “Sell” option to sell it. The whole interface needs some rework for sure.

Anastasios Antoniadis
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