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Starfield jail system explained

If you’re prepared to do the crime then prepare to do the time in Starfield jail as we take you through the punitive measures of the Settled Systems.

Sarah Morgan sits behind bars in a Starfield jail

Can you go to Starfield jail? Stop! You’ve violated the law! But now what’s going to happen? Bethesda has taken various approaches to crime and punishment in its RPG games over the years, but all bets are off when it comes to a distant future among the stars. We’ve nailed down Starfield’s letter of the law, so you know what to expect when the city guards come knocking.

Starfield offers a galaxy full of possibilities, so it should come as no surprise that some of the less reputable Starfield skills and backgrounds can land you in a Starfield prison. If you’ve been found with smuggled contraband, or been caught pickpocketing and lockpicking by the local space jailers, you can’t expect to get off scot-free – but you might just make it out alive. Here’s what to expect while serving time in Starfield jail, as well as how to avoid it altogether.

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How does the Starfield jail work?

You are sent to a Starfield prison if you commit a crime and refuse to pay a fine or fail to escape arrest.

Starfield developers Will Shen and Emil Pagliarulo confirmed the broad strokes of the jail system during an AMA over on the official Starfield Discord channel. “The Settled Systems is more like Skyrim than Fallout 4’s Commonwealth in that regard,” Emil Pagliarulo went on to explain. “There’s civilization, there’s government, and there are laws. And in a couple cases, we actually explore the themes of crime and punishment in our futuristic universe.”

While the finer points of Starfield’s legal system are still undisclosed, confirmation of a prison system suggests we won’t have to rely on Starfield mods to face the consequences of our crimes, nor can we expect to be shot on sight for stealing a sandwich. It also confirms that, no matter how far we stray from Oblivion’s light, justice still comes down to the two basic principles: pay the court a fine or serve your sentence.

If you’re a long-standing Elder Scrolls fan taking to the stars, be on your guard; the Adoring Fan is out there, just waiting to tag along as your Starfield companion. You might also want to delve into the persuasion system to try and worm your way out of trouble – but if that doesn’t work then load up on the best Starfield armor and guns to fight off those NASA-punk handcuffs.