Starfield Continues the Age Old Bethesda Tradition of Bucket Theft

Are you going to be turning some people into bucket heads in Starfield?

by Gordon Bicker
Image: Bethesda Softworks

Starfield is always ready to take your breath away with discoveries to be made but some players would much rather be occupied by buckets… yes, buckets. And not just any buckets, oh no, the kind of buckets that assist in crime. Yes, you heard that right, the bucket method for theft has left Tamriel behind and entered space instead in Starfield, albeit in a new way.

Placing buckets over people’s heads in Bethesda games originated from The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, at which point players started to work out that if a bucket was placed over an NPC’s head, you could steal pretty much anything you wanted under their very noses. Starfield players already have kickstarted this tradition again and have been sharing on social media humorous photos of characters being outfitted with their glamorous new bucket: it’s in fashion for the Fall season, don’t you know?

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Even in Fallout 4, players were still able to use the bucket head thieving strategy so it is very likely that BGS decided to keep it in that game as a possibility for the players to still use. After all, there is an endless amount of fun to be had in my opinion with making sure your position for the bucket is just right before dropping it onto an NPC, to then make your closing move on grabbing some goods from a store.

If you’re curious about how the original bucket theft method actually happened then it was mentioned in a brilliant NoClip video about the History of the studio where staff were interviewed. Jeff Gardiner from BGS stated in the video that the cause of it all was that the “system for the AI was a pit (line drawn from the center of the head) to what the AI was looking at” and essentially the bucket of course stopped the line of sight.

While some people are busy getting stuck outside a door on the UC Vigilance, you could instead be eyeing up buckets preparing to make your name known as the galactic bucket thief — truly the real purpose of your time in Starfield. However, you won’t be doing this through the normal method unfortunately, since NPCs can see through any object on their head. That didn’t stop a Reddit user from working out another way, though.

Related: When is the Point of No Return in Starfield?

For the new method, you can use an object (such as a bin) to essentially drag items out of view of a character and since you aren’t technically interacting with whatever you are dragging, it doesn’t count as theft. So you can happily cart things around like you’re on a shopping trip to take them out of view and snatch them up — certainly a devious but effective thieving method.

As long as you have the carrying capacity for any stolen goods you would like without being over-encumbered, you’ll be able to make an easy escape too. Even though you can’t just place buckets on character’s heads in Starfield now and call it a day for stealing, it is amazing there is yet another way to use objects to your advantage in the game.

- This article was updated on September 4th, 2023

About The Author

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Gordon is a contributing writer for Attack of the Fanboy, a Games Design (BA) Honours student, and a Video Game Ambassador. He has been writing at AOTF for over a year and a half, with four years of games writing experience for outlets like Green Man Gaming. When he's not busy, he'll no doubt be experiencing games, writing poetry, playing guitar, adventuring, or happily starting a new Skyrim playthrough! As an avid Final Fantasy XIV player, he also hopes that you'll gain a warm feeling from his community stories. Gordon has reported on Fallout 4 and Destiny 2, whose favorite genres include action RPGs, MMORPG's and First Person Shooters but is always experimenting with many other types of games.