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A pilot in the cockpit of a Starfield ship
Image via Bethesda

Starfield: Mass and Ship Mass

Don't travel around with the world in your pocket.

When exploring the world of Starfield, you’re likely to come across various systems that take a bit of getting used to. One such mechanic is “Mass.” It’s a mechanic carried over from previous Bethesda titles but there are many changes to it in Starfield. Here’s how Mass works for your character in Starfield, and how it also relates to your ship.

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What is Mass in Starfield?

Mass is the amount of weight that you can carry in Starfield. Each item that you’re holding onto is given a Mass value you can see when hovering over the item. Weapons and armor will always take up more Mass, while items like Ammo take up zero Mass due to how much you’ll need when exploring. This value is affected mainly by the stats on your armor and by the amount of points you have in the Weight Lifting skill under the Physical skill tree. The more points you have invested in Weight Lifting, the more that you can carry.

Mass normally won’t have an effect on you until you become Over-encumbered (when your Mass exceeds the max value listed in your inventory). When this happens, your O2 supply will start depleting when walking as well as jumping and running. You also won’t be able to fast travel in this state, making you walk from place to place.

How Can I Reduce My Mass in Starfield?

If you want to lower your Mass, there are a few things you can do. The obvious choices are to either drop or sell some of the items you have in your inventory. Another great way is to offload some of your precious cargo into either your ship’s Cargo Hold or your companion’s inventory. To do the latter, speak to your active companion and select the option “Let’s trade gear.” You can’t give the companion more than their own Mass value, so be sure to clear their inventory out every once in a while.

What is Ship Mass in Starfield

In Starfield, your ship’s mass is the weight of your ship with all of its attached components. The higher your ship’s mass, the more limited you will be in maneuverability, lowering speed, handling, and jump range. Each ship part has their own mass contributing to your ship’s overall weight and their own relation to mass. For example, engines will have a mass-to-thrust ratio affecting your ship’s Mobility and speed. If you have higher mass than thrust, your ship will be slower and more difficult to handle. For optimal control, you’ll likely want to keep your Mobility around 100.

Other components that are affected by mass are Cargo (heavier cargo holds typically offer more cargo space) and Hull (your ship’s health). Most, if not all, ship components will add to your ship’s Hull, but will also add to your ship’s mass. So the heavier your ship is, the healthier but slower it will be. You’ll want to figure out a way to healthily balance your ship’s mass to make something agile but sturdy.

How to Reduce Ship Mass in Starfield

Obviously, to reduce a ship’s mass, you can remove components. But if you’re having problems with ship mass, then you’re likely having problems with Mobility. As mentioned above, you’ll need to balance your ship’s mass-to-thrust ratio for a more agile ship, meaning if you have a heavier ship, you’ll need to add more thrust. Typically, this means adding on more or better engines.

Pay attention to your ship’s Mobility by messing around with its engines or removing components. A Mobility of around 100 should be good enough for most, but the higher the stat, the better control. If you’re opting to remove components, just make sure you’re also keeping an eye on your ship’s Hull.

If you’re trying to learn more about Starfield, check out our guide on how to power up the Grav Drive in Starfield.

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Shawn Robinson
Shawn is a freelance gaming journalist who's been with Prima Games for a year and a half, writing mainly about FPS games and RPGs. He even brings several years of experience at other sites like The Nerd Stash to the table. While he doesn't bring a fancy degree to the table, he brings immense attention to detail with his guides, reviews, and news, leveraging his decade and a half of gaming knowledge. If he isn't writing about games, he's likely getting zero kills in his favorite FPS or yelling at the game when it was 100% his fault that he died.
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Seth Lowe
Seth has been a writer for Prima Games since 2023. An avid Nintendo lover and a true Pokemon master, surely you'll find him glued to a Game Boy no matter where he is. You can find his previous work at TheGamer.