Become a real pirate in Starfield and hijack enemy ships for big profits — just don’t let your companions see you do it. Yes, you can embark on a piracy adventure in the latest game from Bethesda, and stealing ships doesn’t have to be hard. With one specific skill, you’ll be able to blast ships out of space and board them, taking out the crew to steal the ship for yourself. And you’ll be able to keep multiple spaceships docked at the same time, so if you want a light fighter or a massive cruiser full of cargo, you can create your own fleet. Learn how to board ships and take them for yourself below.
How To Board Enemy Ships
NOTE: Because piracy and murder are viewed negatively by most of the main companions, make sure they stay behind on your ship when you board. Getting into a fight with an ‘innocent’ ship will not anger them, but aiding in killing the crews will. Make sure they are out of your party or they’ll leave permanently.
Most ships can be boarded. There are two ways to board — you can persuade and board by using a Hail, or you can Board after destroying a ship’s engines. Boarding can be done to collect bounties, for mission objectives, or for general piracy activities. You can steal entire ships for yourself or rob the cargo for a big payday.
- How To Board: When in combat with a ship, larger ships that can be boarded will stall out when you’ve destroyed their engines. To target engines, you’ll need to unlock the Targeting Control Systems skill. You can unlock this personally or with a Crew member.
- Shooting a ship will also damage their systems without aiming. The [GRV] system, which allows a ship to fast-travel to different solar systems, is the first system you will usually break. Dealing damage quickly will disable this function, forcing ships to fight you instead of escaping.
You can also quietly sneak up on a ship by cutting power to weapons and only maintaining a small amount of power in engines. By sneaking close, you can then rapidly power-up your weapons to deal damage before a ship knows what hits it.
- After dealing enough damage to disable a ship’s engines completely, it will float dead in the field. Target and hold [X] to dock. After docking, select Board [X] — the crew will fight back, so be prepared.
Wipe out everyone on board and then use the cockpit to steal the ship. It is now yours for the keeping. A stolen ship is considered unregistered. To keep it permanently and modify it, you’ll need to register the ship. After registering the ship, you’ll be able to sell at any Ship Services kiosk or NPC.
Alternatively, you can Persuade or Intimidate some ships to surrender and allow you to board or give you their cargo. To do this, target the ship and select [Hail] from the prompts that appear. This allows you to speak with the ship captain. Not all ships will respond. In those cases, violence is the best policy. Just remember, if you want to become a true pirate, you’ll need to unlock the Targeting Control Systems skill and aim for the engines!