How to Dock Your Ship in Starfield

Managing your ship in Starfield involves a lot more interactivity than just space combat and hull maintenance. So many starships fly throughout the Settled Systems where being alone seems highly unlikely in certain areas. But every now and then, you’re going to need to dock your ship onto a spacecraft for one reason or another. From engaging in pirate behavior or conducting transactions and business with the United Colonies and Freestar Collective, every pilot should know how to dock their starship.

Starfield - How to Dock Your Ship

It’s a simple procedure, with the game’s mechanics automatically connecting your ship and another together via a little transitional cutscene. However, the pilot must initiate the procedure. Flying close and waiting for something to happen won’t fly here. With this in mind, we’ll show you how you can dock your ship in Starfield. Whether you’re peacefully hailing a starstation or invading another’s ship in space, you’ll learn how to dock and board in no time.

How to Dock Ship

There are two primary methods for docking your ship in Starfield, and both concern different scenarios altogether. Players can either dock their ships by hailing and talking or destroying another ship’s engines with specific targeting due to some sort of disagreement.

We have the hail-and-board route where you safely communicate with another’s starship to gain permission for boarding. They’ll respond to your request, and you then can proceed with the docking procedure once the prompt appears. You must be within range for your ship to properly dock, too. To hail, use E on PC and the A button on Xbox, with the boarding option set to R on PC and X on Xbox.

The other method mainly regards boarding enemy ships and then potentially stealing them for your benefit. This is accomplished with the advantageous Targeting Control Systems skill under the Tech Skill tree. Its skill tier is at 1 for the Novice rank, which means that you can acquire this skill early on in Starfield. With it, your ship enables its targeting systems to help you aim and fire at specific ship parts.

Expert Tip

Space is a tough place to practice wiping away enemy ships. It’s also a little rough to advance a character when they may have a bounty on their heads and eventually find themselves defenseless in space. Therefore, talk with John Tuala at the MAST headquarters on New Atlantis to gain access to the UC Vanguard pilot simulator for combat. This will help sharpen your piloting skills to complement the increase of XP and ranks for the aforementioned Targeting Control Systems skill, which requires you to destroy enemy ships for advancement.

The Almagest Casino is a space station floating around Nesoi.

What you’ll want to do is take down the enemy’s shield to deal significant damage to their engines. Depleting the engines will disable the enemy spacecraft, giving you an opportunity and board them. Don’t get too ahead of yourself, though. An accidental critical hit can lead to the enemy ship being obliterated, leaving only some loot for you to look through and obtain.

Of course, only the last enemy standing (or flying, in this case) can be boarded if you find yourself fighting against more than one foe in space. For obvious reasons, your character won’t be able to proceed with the docking procedure when other enemies continue to fire at your ship. Therefore, try and leave the best for last to give yourself a better chance of surviving; there’s even a nice chance of finding some contraband within an enemy ship as well.

Upon docking your ship, you’re then given the choice to either undock your ship, board the enemy ship, or exit your seat. Do what you must to prepare for any violent interference. Your companion will most likely watch your six, though multiple enemies can trigger some glitchy spawning for your friend to come into contact with. Also, look through the many corners of an enemy ship. You might walk away with just contraband in your inventory to sell to the Trade Authority for extra credits.

Starfield Board Ships

From there, you’re free to either leave the ship or steal, with the latter granting you near-complete ownership of the new ride. Just be sure to register it with any Ship Services Technician, who is usually stationed near one of the Trade Authority kiosks in major cities and spaceports. They can also help you with switching ships if you need to pilot something else in Starfield.