Starfield Piracy Guide: How to Board Ships and Steal Cargo

Every thing you need to know about boarding ships and stealing cargo in Starfield.

by Christian Bognar
Starfield Space Combat
Image: Attack of the Fanboy

Starfield allows players to play however they like. Whether you want to join factions, follow the main story, or become a Space Pirate — you can do it. One of the most fun activities in the game is boarding enemy ships and stealing their cargo. Welcome to the definitive piracy guide, as it will walk you through how to board ships and steal cargo to become the ultimate Space Pirate.

How to Board Ships and Steal Cargo in Starfield

To board ships in Starfield, you must first destroy its engines without destroying the ship. The best way to do this is to unlock the Targeting Control System perk in the Tech section of the skill tree, which will allow you to lock onto engines and shoot directly toward them. This system is similar to the VATS system from the Fallout games, where time will slow down to make aiming easier.

Once you destroy the engines, you will want to get within 500 meters of the ship. When you reach the mandatory distance, the option to dock the ship will become available (A for Xbox and E for PC). Once you are docked, board the ship and be prepared to fight everyone inside.

Related: Where to Buy Ship Parts in Starfield

Once inside, enemies will be hostile, so you’ll have to take everyone out in a gunfight. After killing everyone on board, you can steal their cargo by heading to the Cargo Hold, which is typically near the ship’s cockpit. Also, if you want to steal the ship as your own, sit in the pilot’s chair and bring it to the nearest Spaceport. Doing so will automatically add the ship to your inventory for future use.

I recommend stealing all ships you plan on robbing, considering you can sell ships for a hefty price at any Ship Technician. It’s one of the most efficient ways to quickly get a bunch of credits. You’ll first need to register the ship at the Ship Technician, which will cost some credits but not too much.

- This article was updated on September 3rd, 2023

About The Author

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Christian has been a writer of Attack of the Fanboy for about a year and has covered Shadows of Rose, Wild Hearts, Redfall, Remnant 2, and more; his favorite genre is Survival Horror. He has a business degree but felt the need to take his love for video games to the gaming community. Outside of writing, you can find him listening to all types of podcasts, especially Always Sunny Podcast and Morbid True Crime.