Any good pirate needs to know how to board a ship when the opportunity arises, and even if you have no plans of stealing, it’s still an important mechanic in Starfield. Boarding ships is integral to saving hostages or committing space grand theft auto, and I’m here to help you with both.
Ship Boarding in Starfield Explained
To board a ship in Starfield, you need to disable the engines and then dock your ship once you are within 500 meters of your target. The Target Control Systems skill in the tech tree is integral to boarding any ship you want, so before going out on your own pirate streak, make sure to have that unlocked.
Target Locking is required because you need to be able to accurately disable ship engines if you want to board. Without locking, your shots will essentially just destroy your target. Of course, you can’t board a ship that has been torn to little pieces floating around in the empty void of space. Any time you get a full lock on a ship, select the engines or the Grav Drive and ensure that they can’t escape.
After you take out those pieces of the ship, get within 500 meters and select the target like you normally would to loot. Here, you will have the option to dock by holding the “X” button on a controller or the “R” key on a keyboard. Like any other docking sequence, this attaches you to the port and then you can instantly board the ship.
If you don’t have the targeting systems unlocked, you won’t be able to successfully board most ships in the game unless it’s part of a mission. Hostage missions under the Freestar Rangers, for example, require ships to be boarded. Regardless of the damage you inflict, the enemy ship will be immobilized. This won’t be the case for general exploration.
Now that you have pirating down to a science, make sure you have a ship like the Dragonfire II in Starfield.