Starfield ship customization lets you build spaceships from parts and components, mixing stats, weapons and other functional building blocks for the ideal craft. Players can affect their ship's speed, jump distance, armor and more by picking different spacecraft pieces. The modular system seems to offer up a huge variety of potential builds to make.
So it's not just a cosmetic system here. Instead you'll have to balance resources and budgets to balance and trade off between what you want and what you actually can do in Starfield. To make sure you're ready to build a ship in Starfield, we'll go into all the details you need, and everything we know so far about ship customization right now.
How Starfield ship customization works
Starfield ship customization is modular, letting you piecing together sections and rooms that serve various functions. So different parts will add engines, cockpits, shield, storage and so on. The different components not only let you access more abilities and options but, importantly, alter stats, meaning you'll have to balance your choices.
While the Starfield crafting and research system seems to govern weapons and general gear, ship building involves buying parts from a vendor, according to what's been shown off so far. Choices will mostly likely change between Starfield factions or which Starfield star systems you've accessed - these components and modules we'll look at below have corporate logos emblazoned on them. I wouldn't be surprised if different manufacturers have different characteristics - faster, weaker, better weapons etc.
Starfield's ship building mechanics appear versatile. Letting you craft anything from sleek-looking fighters, to bulky warships, squat cargo carriers and more. It's up to you - if you want to forgo weapons or shields altogether and rely on speed that's a viable, if dangerous, option. Plus, if you're hard up for cash, you can rip out everything but life support and thrusters and see how far you can get in what's left.
However, there is one limitation: certain components require different ranks in a "Starship Design" skill to either buy or use. So your progression in certain Starfield skills will affect your ship crafting.
Starfield ship stats
Starfield ship customization stats cover the following core aspects of ship design as follows:
- Jump Range (Light Years)
- Top Speed
Hull and Shield obviously represent health bars for your ship, Cargo is how much you can store onboard, Jump Range governs how far you can travel between star systems, while Mobility and Top Speed affect flight. Some stats are a little less clear but LAS, BAL and MSL very likely refer to weapon and damage types, specifically Laser, Ballistic and Missile.
Beyond that, there are some slightly more uncertain ones. Some modules, like cockpits and habitats, include Crew stats but we don't know yet if that means they need crew to run, or simply cap the number of people it can take. Mass, on the other hand is part of every module in Starfield. Adding new components raises mass, while lowering Jump Range and Mobility, suggesting that the heavier your ship is, the harder it'll be to fly.
Starfield ship Reactor and Power Distribution
Alongside core stats for each ship, there's also an indicator for "Reactor" along with "Equip Power", representing the amount of energy your ship's reactor is generating along with how much energy is actually being consumed. There's a bar horizontal to it that indicates total energy production, and six vertical indicators above that, labelled thus:
We can make a good estimation of most of these meanings - three varieties of weapons under W0, W1 and W2 (likely Laser, Ballistic and Missile) and how much power they draw, along with the energy drain on Engines and Shields. It's GRV that's a little more obscure - but the descriptive text on the Fuel Tank component tells us that interstellar jumps from system to system are done by the "Grav Drive", which seems pretty likely to be what GRV stands for.
Starfield Ship modules and components
Below we've listed all the types of ship modules and components we've seen used, customized and utilised in the Starfield ship customization system, along with the stat blocks attached to each one. The brief glimpses of the vendor stores indicated a large variety of options for each component, with at least eleven types of landing gear alone.
Pretty self-explanatory, this module is clearly going to be the module from which the ship is operated, as the footage shows the player character sitting in the Cockpit chair before taking off.
Starfield cockpit stats
- Crew Slots
The player in the presentation stacked two different copies of the same engines on the back of their ship, suggesting that "Engine" basically means "giant jet booster for extra fastness". Though notably, when the Engine was added, the ship's Jump Range fell and the Top Speed didn't change at all - what did change was the Mobility. We look forward to finding out if there's separate modules to buy for acceleration, or if this was simply an engine that specialises in handbrake turns.
Starfield engine stats
- Engine Thrust
- Manoeuvring Thrust
- Engine Health
One of the simplest modules we saw, the in-game description tells us that Fuel Tanks specifically store the Helium-3 fuel for the ship's aforementioned Grav Drive, used for the long-distance light speed jumps from system to system, and larger tanks allow for further, more frequent jumps before needing to stop for gas.
Starfield fuels tank stats
- Grav Jump Fuel
"Hab" Habitat Module/Control Stations
"Hab" modules are the connective central pieces around which your ship appears to be built, and at first we thought they were distinct from the larger "Control Station" sections, until the descriptive text for the latter described itself as a "Habitat Module", making it pretty clear that the Station is just a larger, better version of the former. Otherwise, they seem to hold space for crewmembers on your ship.
Starfield Habitat Module stats
- Crew Slots
About as simple as it gets, these components are the landing gear/legs for the ship that allow you to touch down on new worlds. We saw a few of these being tinkered with, some of which had different levels of skill requirements, though it's not clear if they actually function differently from each other or if you're just buying a better health/mass ratio.
Starfield lander stats
Cowls or Cowling for your ship appear so far to be simple bulk without a clear function beyond boosting stats a little, so we presume it's either armor plating for when you don't know what else to cram on the available space on your ship's exterior, or just a bit of cosmetics to smooth out the lines and angles of your ship. Either way, their only stat effects we've seen so far are adding small amounts of Mass and Health.
Starfield cowling stats
The one cannon we saw properly revealed in the showcase was the Mauler 104L, a stout-looking piece of artillery situated on top of the Cockpit. The actual stats associated with the weapon don't seem to indicate its firepower, or it's just inferred by changes to the "BAL" stat along the bottom.
Starfield cannon stats
- Reactor Power Req
For those who like their firepower a little more futuristic, the Dragon 221P MW pulse Lasers we saw on the ship might look like ugly camera lenses, but don't seem to require anything unique over the cannon. In fact, they actually used a little less power, though that may just be down to the stats of the overall weapon and not indicative of a trend.
Starfield laser stats
- Reactor Power Req
Brief glimpses make it seem like Reactors are one of the most expensive parts of the ship, and considering how essential and complex they're clearly going to be, you can see why. The Crew Rating element suggests that NPCs will be required to keep a Reactor in good form, and the unique Repair Rate stat sounds like it'll be able to fix itself (or it just represents how fast your hired goons can do it).
Starfield reactor stats
- Power Generated
- Repair Rate
- Reactor Health
- Crew Rating
Customizing Starfield ship cosmetics and appearance
The Showcase confirmed that players can, at the very least, recolour and paint their ship's hull, with options for colour hue, saturation and brightness on individual modules. So far we haven't seen any options for purely cosmetic self-expression beyond that - so don't get too hopeful for colourful murals on the thrusters or fuzzy dice hanging from the mirror until we have those sorts of things confirmed.
Starfield ship builds
It's clear that from the presentations and descriptions that ships will be built for a purpose - that the "perfect ship" is more situational, and players will have to balance elements like firepower, defence, flight, cargo capacity and jump distance according to what they want to achieve, or try and make an all-rounder craft and let piloting skill make up the slack. Some of the ship builds we were shown included:
- Laser-focused, balanced defence build
- Cargo freighter with high Hull and Mass
- Weaponless, shieldless ship with high Jump Range