Starfield’s star map can be equal parts confusing and frustrating, especially for a new pilot who’s eager to explore the Settled Systems and beyond. Unlike Bethesda’s previous titles, “fast travel” in Starfield requires a resource called HE-3 that powers your ship. Your ship can only go so far in a single jump, so you’ll have to make pit stops in solar systems along your desired route before you reach your destination unless you add more HE-3 tanks to your ship.
What is HE-3 in Starfield?
HE-3, or Helium-3, is a stable isotope of Helium that has two protons and one neutron. In Starfield, it’s the main source of power for a ship’s Grav Drive, the tool that allows faster-than-light travel. Basically, it’s gas for your ship that lets you fast travel. Bethesda just chose Helium-3 to give a scientific-sounding explanation for Starfield’s interstellar shenanigans.
How to Add HE-3 Tanks to Your Starfield Ship
Every ship in Starfield already comes with HE-3 tanks (otherwise they wouldn’t be able to warp anywhere), but their initial Helium-3 capacity is usually pitiful unless you find a higher-class ship. You can’t fly anything above an A-Class vessel without the proper skills though, so everyone’s stuck with lame spaceships for the first few hours of the game.
To add more HE-3 tanks to your ship or upgrade your existing Helium-3 tanks with increased capacity, you need to find a Ship Services Technician. There’s one at every major Spaceport in Starfield, including New Atlantis, Akila City, Neon, and more. They’re usually standing right next to your landing pad when you arrive, typically next to a brightly lit Trade Authority kiosk.
Speak to a Ship Services Technician to access the ship builder. Ask to modify your ships and then make sure you press the button that specifically says “Ship Builder,” otherwise you’ll just get the standard upgrade menu. Once in the ship builder, you can find additional HE-3 tanks under the Fuel Tanks section.
They only cost a few thousand Credits each, so add one or two to your ship if you have the spare cash. As long as they fit on your ship without any problems and your ship passes the flight check, you’re set! Some HE-3 tanks attach to the side, top, or bottom of your ship. Experiment with different manufacturers to suit your needs, and don’t be afraid to visit different settlements to browse different ship parts.
Related: Does Starfield Have a Level Cap?
The ship vendor with the widest selection of parts is located in Hopetown on Polvo in the Valo system. Hopetech is known for its ship manufacturing, so why not visit them at the source? You can find the Valo system a short distance up and to the right from Sol and Alpha Centauri on the starmap.
With additional Helium-3 tanks, you’ll now be able to jump further with your existing Grav Drive and won’t need to make as many stops to reach your desired destination. Now remember, there isn’t a single Grav Drive in the world that can get you across the entire galaxy in one jump though.
You’re going to have to make pit stops no matter what, so it might be a good idea to save your Credits for better gear instead of taping more HE-3 tanks to your rust bucket of a ship so early in the game. Your ship might not even be able to handle many more Helium-3 tanks since your engine can only handle so much mass without the proper upgrades.