Starfield ship design primer

From cargo capacity and jump range, to mass and mobility, there's a lot to think about when coming up with your very own Starfield ship design

Starfield ship design: a long spaceship with cargo pods flies through space

Want to know about Starfield ship design? One of the more surprising reveals to come out of the extended gameplay footage that aired during the Xbox and Bethesda showcase was that not only can you fly space ships, but you can customise and build your own vessels as well. We may not know the exact Starfield release date, but from the gameplay released so far we know (and can infer) a surprising amount regarding ship building.

Starfield ship design seems to use a highly visual editor, with a ship model rendered in 3D that allows you to ‘snap’ parts on and off depending on what you want. During the presentation, Todd Howard mentions that you can “completely customise the look and layout”, and says that there are plenty of different types of modules from different manufacturers – all for a price, of course.

It’s also implied you may need certain Starfield skills to be able to purchase or equip certain modules, so it’s possible you’ll need to specialise your character if you want to really kit your ship out with the latest bling. Even if you can’t equip the parts you want, you’ll at least be able to make it look pretty with different colour schemes and other cosmetic tweaks. Here’s a guide to everything we know about Starfield ship design.

Starfield ship design stats

We’ve tried to guess what some of the HUD elements are referring to, but we’ve marked these as [unconfirmed] to signal that it’s our best guess. While we don’t know the full details on what each stat does, the footage from the showcase reveals the following stats as being important to ship design in Starfield:

  • Laser [unconfirmed]
  • Ballistic [unconfirmed]
  • Missile [unconfirmed]
  • Hull
  • Shield
  • Cargo
  • Crew
  • Jump Range
  • Mobility
  • Top Speed
  • Mass

We also see other stats mentioned elsewhere on the ship design screen, such as ‘reactor’ and ‘equip power’. These seem to denote how much power you can have available for equipping parts with specific functions, and in the top left you can see another stats panel that shows what looks like power distribution across different elements of the ship. ‘W0, W1, and W3’ we think relate to weapons, while the rest are more obvious:

  • ENG – Engine
  • SHD – Shield
  • GRV – Gravity

The Starfeild ship design menu lets you choose and change from a variety of modules

Starfied ship design modules

In almost any game where you get to design a starship, the main parts you need to bring a build together will be split into different types of modules. During the showcase we had four confirmed:

  • Habs – We think these are habitats or living spaces
  • Landers – Make it easier to land on rugged terrain
  • Reactors – Determines how much power your ship can generate
  • Shields – Protection against weapons and potentially environmental effects

We can also infer the presence of others, such as cockpits, engines, cargo modules, and possibly things like fuel tanks. You can also see a part called ‘Deimos Cowling Fore’ which only seems to provide the spaceship with extra health, suggesting there will be structural categories for things like external armour, possibly internal as well.

Ship cosmetic customisation in the Starfield ship design menu

Starfield ship design manufacturers

As well as different module types, there are also named manufacturers for modules, even ones within the same category. It’s possible different companies specialise in different types of parts, or perhaps parts for different classes of ships.

You may also be able to gain some kind of rank or reputation with each corporation (or perhaps another Starfield faction that’s affiliated with the maker) in order to get access to cheaper or better ship parts, although it could just be flavour. We’ll find out either way soon enough, so in the meantime here’s a list of the Starfield manufacturers we’ve spotted so far:

  • Nova Galactic
  • Reladyne
  • Nautilus
  • Horizon Defense
  • Xiang
  • Taiyo Astroneering
  • Stroud Eklund
  • Deimos

That’s everything we know about Starfield. We imagine there will be much more information between now and release, so stay tuned. For more Starfield speculation, read up on what we know about Starfield backgrounds, Starfield cities, and all the Starfield guns we’ve seen.