How to dock in Starfield

Knowing how to dock in Starfield is essential as without it, you won't be able to board other ships, whether they're pirates or space stations.

How to dock in Starfield: Speaking to Sandra Fullerton.

Want to know how to dock in Starfield? It’s a crucial mechanic for any intergalactic traveller, because in theory if you don’t get the dock just right, the airlock won’t work. Worry not though, because Starfield makes it a whole lot easier to dock compared to a true space sim such as Elite Dangerous, so once you know how, it’s a piece of cake.

Throughout your time in the RPG game, you’ll encounter plenty of factions, both across the 1000+ planets and in outer space. Whether it’s through your own exploration or as part of a quest, you’ll be required to dock with them. Here’s an explainer on how to dock in Starfield.

How to dock in Starfield: Approaching the Deimos Staryard to dock.

How to dock in Starfield explained

The simple answer is in order to dock in Starfield, you must target the place you want to go with E on keyboard (LB on controller), have approval from where you’re trying to dock, then press R on keyboard (X on controller) to dock when you’re close enough. That latter part is where most people are tripping up – you must be close enough to the target before the prompt to dock appears.

This process is explained quite early during the main story, so if you’ve gone gallivanting off at the first opportunity, consider heading off with Sarah Morgan to complete the main mission titled The Old Neighborhood. During this mission, you’ll be tasked with finding Vanguard Moara, and at two separate points – once when you approach the abandoned space station by Luna, Earth’s moon, and again when you board Moara’s ship – you’ll be required to dock, and the game explains how it works.

How to dock in Starfield: Docked on the Deimos Staryard.

However, if you’re trying to dock an enemy ship, the process is slightly different. In combat, you must damage the ship you want to board enough – but not entirely, as otherwise it’ll explode – until the option to dock appears. The sweet spot is when they have around 20% of their health remaining, but remember, you must be close enough. Somewhat similar to how you should weaken a Pokemon before trying to catch it…

The docking process itself is just a brief cutscene, so do not worry about needing to line anything up. Now you know how to dock in Starfield, make sure you do it with one of the best early game ships, as a reward for completing the Starfield Mantis puzzle.

Still looking for more? While a good Starfield wiki can be a handy source of information, our new Starfield Database goes further, offering you daily news, searchable databanks, and even interactive tools.