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How Starfield base building works

Much like with settlements in Fallout 4, Bethesda has stocked its upcoming RPG with a suite of Starfield base building tools so you settle down on any planet

Starfield base building: A female spacefarer using a workbench in a space base

Starfield base building is one mechanic, among plenty others, that was confirmed as part of the 20-minute Starfield reveal at the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase 2022. The lengthy gameplay tour detailed a ton of features, from characters and cities to Starfield guns and exploration, but for the homebodies out there, the base building is the most appealing aspect.

With over 1,000 Starfield planets confirmed, the ability to set up shop on – presumably – any of them is a slightly daunting endeavour; that’s a lot of Starfield base building to do. It’s a clear evolution of the settlements system in Fallout 4, too – while there were designated locations to transform into fortified homesteads across the Commonwealth, Starfield looks set to follow in the footsteps of Fallout 76 by requiring you to place an Outpost Beacon before expanding your base around that.

There’s plenty more to glean from the gameplay reveal though, so we’ve combed through the footage frame-by-frame to learn about everything to do with base building in Starfield.

Starfield base building: Placing an Outpost Beacon in Build Mode on rocky terrain.

How to build a base in Starfield

As mentioned above, placing an Outpost Beacon is the first step. When scanning the environment for a suitable location, your HUD will display the potential for resources, fauna, and flora too, so you can weigh up the viability of your chosen spot. After all, there’s no point creating a base in a rocky, barren wasteland when you’re in dire need of specific plants, minerals, or even wildlife.

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When the Outpost Beacon is built, you can enter Modify Mode to take a birds eye view of your base-in-progress and place down structures, prefabs, and the like. There’s a limit to how high you can build, along with how far you can expand past your Outpost Beacon, though at this stage it’s unclear whether that is something that can be upgraded or modified.

In addition to providing a place of refuge from the horrors of some planets, your Starfield base also serves the purpose of producing materials. When in Build Mode, your cargo, crew, and power are quantified in the bottom-right corner of your HUD, along with your production rate per minute. Much like in Fallout 4, you can send friendly NPCs back to your base to assist with production, and presumably help defend it too – although we’ve not yet got confirmation on whether your base can be attacked or not.

Starfield base building: Using the top-down view to place and modify structures.

Starfield base building structures, prefabs, and materials

While we only have limited information right now, we do know some of the prefabs and structures that can be placed down in your base. Here’s the list we’re currently working with:

  • Outpost Airlock
  • Four Wall Hab
  • Hydroponic Hab A
  • Science Hab Small
  • Military Hab
  • Hydroponic Hab Round
  • Small Hex Hab
  • Hallway – Industrial
  • Watchtower

Along with a material cost, a number of the above buildings also require power to operate. Here are the confirmed building resources we know of so far:

  • Iron
  • Aluminium
  • Sealant
  • Nickel

We’ve hardly scratched the surface with the Starfield base building prospects, but unfortunately that’s as much as we know right now. Next, why not read up on our Starfield companions guide to see which friendly faces may join you through this space opera?