How to board enemy ships - Starfield

Learn how to board enemy ships, take their loot, and take them as your own.

Bethesda Softworks

As you explore outer space in Starfield, you’ll come across countless ships, both friendly and hostile. While the game lets you loot the cargo hold of a ship after destroying it, perhaps that’s not enough for you. Maybe you want to physically climb aboard the ship and loot the individual people on it, take their sandwiches, guns, and maybe the ship itself. Well, you can — and we’ll show you how.

How to board enemy ships - Starfield

A player firing a weapon on the ship.

Source: Bethesda Softworks

To board an enemy ship in Starfield, you need to destroy their engine. To do so, you need to unlock the Targeting Control Systems ability in the Tech Skill Tree. It only requires one Skill Point and is available from the start of the game. This ability lets you target specific parts of a ship. Blast the engine until it’s completely destroyed. The ship will be rendered immobile, and you can dock your ship onto the enemy ship by getting close and pressing X (Xbox controller) or SPACE (Keyboard).

Once you dock on an enemy ship, you can hop out of the cockpit and climb your ladder down or up to reach the other vessel. Be wary as a hostile ship will feature at least a few crew members, and they won’t be very happy with you. Clear the ship of enemies and chalk up another victory for yourself.

We recommend that you take your time when boarding an enemy ship. They’re often filled with workstations and a whole bunch of loot. Check tables, containers, and the bodies of dead crewmates to score some loot that you wouldn’t have received if you simply blew their ship up. Raider ships may even contain contraband, which is highly illegal but equally valuable if you’re able to successfully smuggle it.

You can even take enemy ships as your own by hopping into the cockpit and flying off with it. That said, higher class ships will require you to have upgraded the Piloting skill in the Tech skill tree in order for you to fly them.

That’s how you can board ships in Starfield. It’s an alternate way to end a dogfight and a great way to score some extra credits and loot. You can find more tips like this in our Starfield Strategy Guide.

News Editor

Donovan is a young journalist from Maryland, who likes to game. His oldest gaming memory is playing Pajama Sam on his mom's desktop during weekends. Pokémon Emerald, Halo 2, and the original Star Wars Battlefront 2 were some of the most influential titles in awakening his love for video games. After interning for Shacknews throughout college, Donovan graduated from Bowie State University in 2020 with a major in broadcast journalism and joined the team full-time. He is a huge Scream nerd and film fanatic that will talk with you about movies and games all day. You can follow him on twitter @Donimals_

Hello, Meet Lola