What are the best ships in Starfield & how to unlock them

What are the best ships in Starfield & how to unlock them
Images via Bethesda

Written by 

Tarran Stockton & Dani Cross


11th Oct 2023 11:56


Starfield is full of ships to find and unlock, and it needs to be pretty solid if you're looking to explore more difficult systems, so it's important to know which ones are the best to aim for.

The quality of your vessel in Starfield will determine how far away you can travel in a single jump, as well as how well you'll do against other ships in space combat - and being outmatched in ship combat likely won't end too well for you.

Your starting ship in the game is pretty weak, and while you can upgrade it if you prefer, you're also able to buy top-tier ships (after you've obtained some credits, of course). So you can either build your own ship or let the game do all the work for you and find a top-tier one to add to your collection.

So if you want to get your hands on the best methods of travel to explore the Settled Systems in, keep reading for our list of the best ships in Starfield (alongside those all-important steps on how to unlock each of them).

SPOILER WARNING: This guide contains minor spoilers for quests and the end-game of Starfield.

What are the best ships in Starfield?

6 - Wanderwell

The Wanderwell ship, one of the best ships in Starfield
Click to enlarge

Base stats:

  • Fuel - 200
  • Hull - 502
  • Cargo - 800
  • Crew - 2
  • Shield - 455

The Wanderwell is a reward that you receive from your parents if you have the Kid Stuff trait. This trait deducts a small amount of your earnings that is sent to your folks, but in return, they gift you this ship.

The Wanderwell is a decent all-round little ship, and considering it is worth far more than you will be handing up to your parents throughout the game, the trade-off is definitely worth it. You'll get better ships over time though, so this one may not last you as long as the ones higher on the list.

5 - Kepler R

The Kepler-R ship in Starfield
Click to enlarge

Base stats:

  • Fuel - 2800
  • Hull - 999
  • Cargo - 3550
  • Crew - 6
  • Shield - 805

The Kepler R is another ship that you do not need to pay for. To get it you must make some specific decisions during the story. Without spoiling too much, you need to complete the 11th mission of the main quest, called High Price to Pay.

This unlocks the Overdesigned sidequest. This sidequest rewards one of two ships, the Kepler R being the much better option of the two. To get it, you must request a higher budget for the ship and pass a persuasion check, then motivate the other members of Constellation in order to get this ship.

It is an excellent C-class ship with a massive cargo hold and plenty of fuel to get around with. It takes a while to unlock C-class ships though, as you need higher tiers of the Piloting skill in order to fly them.

4 - Shieldbreaker

The Shieldbreaker from Starfield.
Click to enlarge

Base Stats:

  • Fuel - 550
  • Hull - 940
  • Cargo - 280
  • Crew - 5
  • Shield - 610

The Shieldbreaker will likely take you a while to get, as it's one of the most expensive ships in the whole game, coming in at 279,425 credits at a base cost from the New Atlantis vendor. However, its strong base stats leave it needing minimal customisation to turn it into one of Starfield's best ships overall.

3 - Vista III

The Vista ship, one of the best ships in Starfield
Click to enlarge

Base stats:

  • Fuel - 800
  • Hull - 1336
  • Cargo - 3936
  • Crew - 6
  • Shield - 2160

The Vista is an excellent cargo carrier that boasts high defence, making it a great choice for moving sensitive materials from one place to another, and also a brilliant ship for battles where you are likely to take a lot of hits.

This ship can be purchased from Ship Services in Neon for a base cost of 330,000 Credits. If you have lots of credits to spare and don't feel like building your own ship, this chunky ship should serve you pretty well.

 2 - Crimson Fleet Wight

The Crimson Fleet Wight ship in Starfield
Click to enlarge

Base stats:

  • Fuel - 900
  • Hull - 853
  • Cargo - 870
  • Crew - 6
  • Shield - 680

The Crimson Fleet Wight is the top-tier ship that you can purchase from the Crimson Fleet. It has fairly average base stats, but upgrading to the Crimson Fleet Wight III gives you one of the most powerful ships in the entire game.

The Crimson Fleet Wight can be bought on The Key from the Crimson Fleet, starting at 300,000 Credits. It lets you have up to six crew members, and provides strong shields and plenty of fuel to get you where you need to go.

1 - Renegade

The Renegade ship in Starfield
Click to enlarge

Base stats:

  • Fuel - 500
  • Hull - 1400
  • Cargo - 4367
  • Crew - 6
  • Shield - 2104

If you have the money, The Renegade can be one of, if not the most powerful ships in the game. When fully upgraded, this behemoth can carry more cargo than almost any other ship and is nearly untouchable with a massive shield and thick hull.

The base cost of this monster is 450,000 Credits, and that is before you start to upgrade it. If you want the best ship money can buy and to truly own the space lanes, this is the ship for you. It'll take you a long time to get to that point though, so you might want to consider finding out how to earn credits quicker.

Best early-game ship in Starfield


the Razorleaf in Starfield
Click to enlarge

Base Stats:

  • Fuel - 140
  • Hull - 469
  • Cargo - 420
  • Crew - 2
  • Shield - 390

The Razorleaf is our pick for the best ships you can get early on in Starfield. It's a reward for the Mantis quest that you can pick up really early by looting a note from a dead spacer during The Old Neighbourhood mission for Constellation.

Reading the note will mark the planet Denebola I-B, so make your way there and follow the mission into a secret outpost. Once you reach the end, you'll be greeted by the Mantis and allowed to send it up an elevator to claim it as your own ship. The earlier you do this quest the better the Razorleaf is, so we'd recommend completing this quest early instead of saving it for later in the game.

Best ship for travelling

Starborn Guardian

the Starborn Guardian, one of the best ships in Starfield
Click to enlarge

Base Stats:

  • Fuel - 1500
  • Hull - 649
  • Cargo - 950
  • Crew - 5
  • Shield - 630

The Starborn Guardian is a free ship that you can earn when starting New Game Plus in Starfield after finishing all the Constellation missions in the game.

It's got some of the best fuel in the entire game, allowing you to jump up to 30 light-years at a time, and the rest of its stats are more than good enough for a second playthrough - and we'd say it looks pretty unique compared to most other ships in the game too (if you care about your ship's aesthetic).

Best carry capacity ship in Starfield

Silent Runner

the Silent Runner in Starfield
Click to enlarge

Base Stats:

  • Fuel - 30
  • Hull - 1164
  • Cargo - 6080
  • Crew - 5
  • Shield - 975

If you're looking to store tonnes of loot or smuggle and sell contraband in Starfield, look no further than the Silent Runner, which has a massive storage capacity, making it perfect for holding all your resources.

You can purchase it for 390,150 credits from Hopetown in the Hopetech HQ. It's a luxury ship, so you'll want to aim at getting it later in the game. It's also particularly useful for helping build outposts, as you can store necessary resources for a dozen outposts.

Best all-around ship in Starfield

Star Eagle

the Star Eagle, one of the best ships in Starfield
Click to enlarge

Base Stats:

  • Fuel - 140
  • Hull - 948
  • Cargo - 2736
  • Crew - 5
  • Shield - 760

The Star Eagle is one of the most balanced and well-rounded ships in Starfield, and considering how relatively early into your journey you can grab it, it will last you a good while - especially with some upgrades. 

You can earn the Star Eagle by completing the questline for the Freestar Rangers, where it's a reward for The Hammer Falls quest. To start this questline, follow The Empty Nest mission for Constellation until you pick up Deputized; complete that, and then you're good to carry on.

Best defensive ship in Starfield


the Narwhal in Starfield
Click to enlarge

Base stats:

  • Fuel - 650
  • Hull - 2118
  • Cargo - 1760
  • Crew - 7
  • Shield - 995

The Narwhal is the best defensive ship in Starfield, but you'll need to purchase it for 455,400 credits from the Taiyo Astroengineering store in the Ryujin Industries building in Neon. 

Despite the steep cost and late-game period in which you'll likely get it, it's one of the most powerful ships in the game, allowing you to put up a big fight with everyone else and still remain secure thanks to the massive hull and shield stats.

Best combat ship in Starfield

Abyss Trekker

the Abyss Trekker, one of the best ships in Starfield
Click to enlarge

Base Stats:

  • Fuel - 950
  • Hull - 1031
  • Cargo - 340
  • Crew - 6
  • Shield - 850

If you want an absolute powerhouse that can destroy everything in your path, look no further than the Abyss Tracker. Purchased in Paradiso for a whopping 365,525 credits, few ships come close to the firepower this thing can put out, making it a perfect end-game ship in Starfield.

That's our breakdown of the best ships in Starfield, and now you know what spaceships you should focus on acquiring to have the best time exploring the stars.

For more on all things extra-terrestrial, check out our Starfield homepage. Alternatively, check out the best Starfield graphics settings to give your FPS a boost, or the best Outpost locations to set down roots in Starfield.

Tarran Stockton
About the author
Tarran Stockton
Tarran is a Senior Guides Writer at GGRecon. He previously wrote reviews for his college newspaper before studying Media and Communication at university. His favourite genres include role-playing games, strategy games, and boomer shooters - along with anything indie. You can also find him in the pit at local hardcore shows.
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