Starfield: How to Fix “You Are Not Authorized to Pilot This Ship” Error

But I wanna fly my cool space plane!

Starfield screenshot of the Dragonfire II Ship in the ship builder.
Image via Prima Games.

Starfield is almost infamous at this point for having issues you’ll need to overcome, not just with running the game but within the game itself. Just look at the Ship Builder for example, which includes the error “Ship weapon must be assigned to a group”. For anyone who doesn’t already mess with the Ship Builder, what is that even supposed to mean? One other error ironically has to do with ships as well, but is at least a little more straightforward. Here’s how to fix the “You are not authorized to pilot this ship.” error in Starfield.

Why Can’t You Fly Other Ships in Starfield?

The “You are not authorized to pilot this ship” error in Starfield will appear for two different reasons. The first more rarely appears when you try to steal a ship that’s part of something like a key quest that you shouldn’t be able to fly around anyway. The more likely reason though is that the ship is too high of a class for your Piloting skill. This skill is found in the Tech tree of your skill menu and gives the following upgrades at each level:

  • Rank 1: You can now utilize ship thrusters.
  • Rank 2: Increased ship turning rate and maneuverability.
  • Rank 3: Unlock the ability to pilot Class B ships.
  • Rank 4: Unlock the ability to pilot Class C ships.

The ones we’re concerned about here are Rank 3 and Rank 4, which let you pilot those higher-class ships. Once you have both those levels, you’ll be able to pilot any ship that can be piloted in the game.

What is the Difference Between Class A Ships, and Class B/C Ships?

Class A ships, as in the ones you can fly from the minute you begin Starfield, are nimble beasts that are generally slimmer and have more mobility, but lose some power as a result. Class C ships are much slower and bulkier but ultimately can house better stats like stronger weapons, shields, or Grav Drives. Class B ships sit somewhere in between both if you don’t like specializing.

If you’re looking for more help with learning ships, check out our guide on how to build a ship from scratch in Starfield.

About the Author

Shawn Robinson

Shawn is a freelance gaming journalist who's been with Prima Games for a year, 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.