Whilst it isn't going to replace Factorio anytime soon, Bethesda took a pretty good stab at production lines and automation – and for those left scratching their heads, here's our guide on how to build Starfield outposts with the best locations and extra storage options explained.
If you thought shipbuilding was complicated, you're definitely going to need our help as Bethesda hasn't exactly done the best job of signposting how to go about creating your galactic homestead.
This learning curve might scare you off into hijacking other ships, acting out smuggling contraband or scouring the universe for the best weapons to exact your revenge and we completely understand. But the potential offered by outposts in the way of researching new weapons and gear is not to be sniffed at.
So place your trust in us and try out post-no-outpost life.
How to build outposts in Starfield
To build an outpost in Starfield, press the LB button (on Xbox) or F key (on PC) to open the scanner and then simply press the X button (on Xbox) or R key (on PC) to lay down an Outpost Beacon that will claim the surrounding land as your own.
Next, press tab to see what is available to construct and start placing some structures, such as Resource Extractors. These extractors require a Power Source so you’ll need to build these too if you want any of your structures to work.
However, you need to have enough resources to actually build, with the most common being aluminium and iron. Initially, you won't be able to build outposts on certain planets and moons that have extreme conditions. This needs to be unlocked via the different ranks of Planetary Habitation to open up outpost construction on different kinds of planets.
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It's wise to build turrets too, as hostile fauna and pirates can destroy all of your hard work if left unprotected. Upgrading Planetary Habitation also increases the number of outposts you can build to expand your space empire.
Planetary Habitation (Science)
- Rank One – You can build outposts on planets with extreme temperatures (Deep Freeze and Inferno). Increases the maximum number of outposts you can build by four.
- Rank Two – You can build outposts on planets with extreme pressure. Increases the maximum number of outposts you can build by eight.
- Rank Three – You can build outposts on planets with toxic or corrosive atmospheres. Increases the maximum number of outposts you can build by 12.
- Rank Four– You can build outposts on planets with extreme gravity. Increases the maximum number of outposts you can build by 16.
You can further improve your outpost by putting skill points into other related branches. This will help things like the efficiency of research and resource extraction.
Outpost Management (Science)
- Rank One – Additional cargo links can be placed at outposts.
- Rank Two – Additional robots can be constructed at outposts.
- Rank Three – Additional crew can be assigned at outposts.
- Rank Four – Outpost extractors produce twice as fast.
Outpost Management (Social)
- Rank One – You can construct improved outpost modules and research additional modules at a Research Lab.
- Rank Two – You can research and construct superior outpost modules.
- Rank Three – You can research and construct cutting-edge outpost modules.
- Rank Four – Outpost modules now cost 50% fewer resources to build.
Research Methods (Science)
- Rank One – Resources required to craft items and complete research projects are reduced by 10%.
- Rank Two – Resources required to craft items and complete research projects are reduced by 20%.
- Rank Three – Resources required to craft items and complete research projects are reduced by 40%.
- Rank Four – Sudden developments during research are twice as common. Resources required to craft items and complete research projects are reduced by 60%.
Read more on Starfield:
- Starfield review - our final verdict
- Starfield missions list - how far are you?
- Starfield tips and tricks - how to get started
- Starfield romance - all potential relationships
- Starfield character creation - all your options explained
- Starfield digipick - how to lockpick
- How long is Starfield? The hours you'll need
- Will Starfield ever come to PS5? Developer comments
- Starfield cast - all voice actors
- Starfield companions - who to recruit
- Starfield soundtrack - how to listen
- Starfield FOV - change your point of view
- Starfield FPS - developers explain 30fps
- Starfield PC requirements - specs needed
- Starfield performance - potential fixes
- Starfield factions - all possible groups
Best locations to build outposts in Starfield
The best locations to build outposts in Starfield are planets that feature as many of the resources that you need to get the most from one location. That's easier said than done considering the game has 1,000 planets across 100 solar systems.
To see what resources a planet has, travel close to it, open up the map menu and hit the X button (on Xbox) or R key (on PC) to scan the planet.
This will reveal what resources are available by highlighting the planet with colours that correspond to the resource type. Try and aim for where the colours converge to get a settlement that has access to multiple resources.
A good planet to start is Jemison in the Alpha Centauri star system, as it has a temperate climate - meaning you can build without unlocking anything. Since you will be visiting New Atlantis constantly, naturally this is a logical pick.
Another great beginner planet for outposts is Andraphon, a habitable moon located in the Narion System. It's easy to get to early on with plenty of resources, including Aluminium, Iron, Helium 3, Benzene and Europium.
Also in the Alpha Centauri system is Zamka which has plenty of nickel and copper. It can be found orbiting Olivus with everything from Iron and Nickel to Water and Helium-3 available. It's pretty hostile-free as well.
We're particularly big fans of Codos, a moon of Akila in the Cheyenne System with stunning scenery surroundings. Lots of resources can be found, such as Aluminum, Iron, Water, Beryllium, Chlorine and more. Again it's easy to get to and well worth considering for an outpost.
What can Starfield outposts do? Extra storage and more
As we’ve alluded to, outposts in Starfield can generate resources for you to sell or use. You can also set up research stations to unlock better gear, outpost structures and more.
You can also create more storage if you find yourself struggling with inventory. To do this, set up a Transfer Container and it will instantly grant more storage space than you’ll know what to do with.
How to set up cargo links in Starfield outposts?
Another option is to set up cargo links between outposts to get resources where they need to be. To do this, build a cargo link on every outpost you want to transfer goods between and use the Red Container to place goods you want to be sent away. Items sent to that location will appear in the Green Container.
Another benefit of this is having huge amounts of storage at each of your outposts meaning you stand to make a lot more money by simply having more to sell at any given time.
How to assign crew to outposts in Starfield
Assigning companions and characters can go a long way to improving an outpost considering that each NPC has different stats that will enhance the desired output, be that resource gathering or general research. Two such characters are Lin and Heller, whom you meet during the tutorial.
Heller has a one-star rating in geology and a three-star one for outpost engineering, so he’s great for an outpost more focused on research. Lin, on the other hand, has a one-star rating in demolitions and three stars in outpost management - so she’s a good pick for increasing the efficiency of resource output.
Be sure to check out our companion guide to see all their stats so you know who best to plop in a forgotten corner of space while you’re out gallivanting.
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