If you’re looking to get up to some space pirating, here’s how to board and steal enemy ships in Starfield!

In Bethesda’s new space RPG, players are encouraged to play the way they want to. And if you want to steal a few ships, who’s to say that’s wrong?

Unfortunately, Starfield doesn’t really explain how to board and steal enemy ships too well through its in-game tutorial systems. With that in mind, here’s everything you need to know about stealing a ship to add to your fleet.

How to Board an Enemy Ship in Starfield

To board an enemy ship in Starfield, you need to target and damage its engines in ship-to-ship combat with the Targeting system. Then, get within 500 meters of the ship and hold R (PC) / X (Xbox) to board.

You’ll need to unlock the Targeting Control System Skill to at least level 1 to get the ability to target specific parts of an enemy vessel.

Targeting Control Systems Skill in Starfield

Then, follow these steps to disable and board an enemy ship in Starfield:

  • When aiming your cursor at an enemy ship that’s close enough to you, you’ll see a lock-on system begin to engage.
Locking on to Enemy Ship in Starfield
  • When the system locks on, you can press R (PC) / X (Xbox) to activate targeting.
  • Then, tab over to ENG (Engines) and fire until the ship’s engines shut down. Once the ENG icons turn red, the engines are disabled.
    • Bear in mind that this still damages the enemy ship’s hull. If the ship doesn’t have enough health, you won’t just shut down the engines but the entire enemy vessel will also explode!
Targeting System Damaging Engines in Starfield
  • Now that the enemy ship can’t move, get within 500m and you’ll be able to hold R / X to dock with it.
    • Just be careful when approaching! Even stationary enemies can still use their weapons systems, unless you’ve already damaged them.
Docking at an Enemy Ship Starfield

It’s also possible to board enemy ships that you see on the ground by entering them on foot, just like you would enter your own ship!

How to Steal Enemy Ships in Starfield

To steal an enemy ship in Starfield, you must board the vessel and eliminate the NPCs within. Then, get in the cockpit and fly the ship to a major port to Register it as your own!

Dead Space Pirate in Starfield

You’ll then become the ‘rightful’ owner of the ship and you can choose to modify it or keep it as your Home Ship. To Register, take apart, or sell the ship, simply talk to any Ship Services Technician (usually found right next to landing pads in major cities).

Stealing a Ship in Starfield

Unfortunately for those looking to make a quick buck, Registering a new ship will often cost almost as much as the profits you’ll get for selling it!

Don’t worry about your old ship which you left in space though, as you can immediately summon it by swapping ships via the Ship Services Technician.

Starfield Ship Services Technician

It’s also worth checking your new ship’s inventory before coming in for landing! Pirates often have contraband on them, which can get you in trouble with the local authorities.

Managing Editor
Max has a wealth of experience in the industry and is a lover of all things video games, situated in Manchester, United Kingdom.