Starfield crafting & research explained: How to make weapon mods, gear upgrades & items

Starfield crafting & research explained: How to make weapon mods, gear upgrades & items
Images via Bethesda

Written by 

Tarran Stockton


9th Sep 2023 16:56

It's vital for players to understand how the crafting and research process works in Starfield, as it unlocks lots of new possibilities for progression with weapon mods, gear upgrades, and more. 

As a role-playing game in a multitude of ways, you can expect all the typical ways to progress, ranging from levelling up and gaining new skills in Starfield, to finding or crafting new gear to equip and improve your stats. So if you want to know how to maximise the usefulness of your gear with upgrades and mods, keep reading for a full breakdown of how crafting and research works in Starfield. 

How crafting and research works in Starfield

a room with a Research Station and crafting stations in Starfield
Click to enlarge

Crafting and research are two sides of the same system in Starfield, with the former defining what you build, and the latter defining what you can build

In the game, you can craft weapon mods, space suit upgrades, medicine, food, and outpost structures. 

Some of these things can be crafted from the start of the game, but for other stuff, you will need to begin researching them at a Research Station to unlock the crafting recipes. There are five areas of research in Starfield:

  • Equipment
  • Food and Drink
  • Outpost Development
  • Pharmacology
  • Weaponry

For example, you can research the Helmet Mods One project in the Equipment category, which then unlocks new helmet mods that can be crafted at a Spacesuit Upgrade bench.

How to research in Starfield

an image of how to research in Starfield
Click to enlarge

To begin researching new projects, you will need to ensure you have the corresponding skill. Each category has a relevant skill that unlocks higher-tier projects. These are:

  • Chemistry (Pharmacology)
  • Astronomy (Food and Drink)
  • Outpost Engineering (Outpost Development)
  • Spacesuit Design (Equipment)
  • Weapon Engineering (Weaponry)

To complete a research project, you will need to select it from a Research Station, and then input the listed ingredients. If all the ingredients are entered, the research project will then finish, and the new crafting recipes that you can use will then be available at the relevant station. 

How to craft in Starfield

an image showing how to craft in Starfield
Click to enlarge

Crafting in Starfield requires you to use the relevant station, so if you want to make a weapon mod, interact with a Weapon Workbench. 

Staying with the same example of a weapon, select the gun you want to modify and then choose a component such as the barrel. You can then pick a specific mod to install and see the required ingredients for the crafting recipe on the right side of the screen.

Crafting works essentially the same for everything else: Medicine or stims are made at a Pharmaceutical Lab, food is crafted at a Cooking Station, and spacesuit upgrades can be done at a Spacesuit Upgrade bench.

The only thing you can craft that doesn't require you to visit a specific station is outpost modules, as these are crafted when you enter the outpost menu when exploring a planet. 

So, that's all for our coverage of crafting and research in Starfield, and now you know how the mechanics work in the game to make weapon mods and other upgrades.

For more Starfield guides, stick with GGRecon. Alternatively, take a look at how to pick up and throw items in Starfield, or how to recruit crew for your ship in Starfield.

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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