How to disable, board, steal & sell ships in Starfield

How to disable, board, steal & sell ships in Starfield
Images via Bethesda

Written by 

Lloyd Coombes


9th Sep 2023 11:32


A big part of Starfield's allure is that it represents a galaxy to explore, and a core part of that is piloting your ship. If you want to be a true space pirate, however, you'll want to know how to board and steal ships (you can steal some of the best ships too!)

So for a rundown on disabling a ship, boarding it, and claiming it as your own, or to sell it for credits, we've got you covered with all you need to know for your next adventure in the game.

Boarding a ship

Remember V.A.T.S. from Fallout? To get started with boarding an enemy ship in Starfield you'll need to use a similar system dubbed Targeting Control Systems, which you'll find in the Tech area of your Skills page.

This will let you target specific systems within an enemy ship, disabling its engines, shields, or weapons.

Starfield screenshot showing the Targeting Control Systems skill
Click to enlarge

Stealing a ship in Starfield

To steal an enemy ship, you'll first want to disable its engines, locking onto it and selecting the system you want to target. Be sure not to deal too much damage, though - if the ship is destroyed, you won't be able to commandeer it.

  • Once the engines are down, you'll need to fly closer to the ship and look for the "dock" option. This will see your ship sidle up to it and begin the process of cracking it open
  • You can dock with a ship when you're 500m or less away from it

It's worth noting, that you'll need to ensure other ships aren't attacking you before you begin the docking process, lest your ship gets blown to smithereens before you move across.

Once inside, you'll engage in standard, boots-on-the-command deck combat with the enemy crew and can claim the ship once you've sat in the pilot's seat.

How to register & sell a stolen ship

To register a stolen ship, head to any Ship Services kiosk once you've landed and then either select ā€œIā€™d like to view and modify my shipsā€ or ā€œlet me see what ships you have for sale" to get the registration prompt at the bottom of the screen.

Sadly, you can't go around flying stolen ships with reckless abandon, because every stolen ship is flagged as Contraband in the settled systems. So you'll have to do this and pay a sizeable fee to register it before you can sell it.

Once that's done, and your fee paid, the ship is yours and you can sell it within Ship Services.

What does the 'Piracy' Hail option do in Starfield?

Starfield screenshot showing the Deception skill
Click to enlarge

If you've added the Deception skill to your character, you'll be able to hail a ship with a new dialogue option dubbed [Piracy].

You won't be able to steal a ship with this, but you can nab cargo, and the higher your Deception skill, the more opportunities you'll have to get ships to surrender peacefully.

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Now you know how to become the space pirate of the stars, for more Starfield guides, check out our guide on how to change your companion's weapons and armour, lockpicking or the best mods to download.

Lloyd is GGRecon's Editor-in-Chief, having previously worked at Dexerto and Gfinity, and occasionally appears in The Daily Star newspaper. A big fan of loot-based games including Destiny 2 and Diablo 4, when he's not working you'll find him at the gym or trying to play Magic The Gathering.

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