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How to dock in Starfield

Knowing how to dock in Starfield is vital to boarding ships and space stations, whether you’re completing quests or living life as a pirate.

How to dock in Starfield: A UC Vanguard SysDef officer looking at the camera against a blue-tinted background of a ship docking.

How do you dock in Starfield? In Starfield, you’ve got the ability to dock and board other ships in space, but it’s not exactly up front about how to do it. Nevertheless, once you know how to dock in Starfield and how to board ships, you can do all manner of things, from quests, stealing ships, cargo, and more.

Throughout the Starfield length, you’ll need to know how to dock your ship, whether that be at a space station, a friendly ship, an enemy ship, and even those you intend to plunder if you’re looking to be part of the Starfield Crimson Fleet. That’s not all though, as some of the strongest Starfield ships and best Starfield weapons can be obtained through docking and boarding other ships, as we’ve experienced in our time with the game for our Starfield review.

How to dock in Starfield

To dock in Starfield, you have to target the space station or ship with ‘E’ on PC and ‘A’ Xbox, where you will then be given the opportunity to dock the target, so long as you are within the 500m range. Once docked, you can board the vessel, undock, or get up to explore your own ship before moving ahead.

You’ll need to do this for several Starfield missions throughout the game, such as docking with the Nova Galactic Staryard in the The Old Neighborhood quest and the UC Vigilance in the Deep Cover quest for the Starfield UC Vanguard. Therefore, it’s handy to know if you want to complete these important quests.

Starfield how to dock: The player's ship ready to dock with the UC Vigilance in Deep Cover.

Outside of these quests, there’s also the Starfield Mission Board objectives like Rescue for the Freestar Rangers and Piracy for the Crimson Fleet. While these are only small, repeatable missions, it’s necessary to dock and board other ships to complete them.

Starfield how to board: The player's ship ready to board a vessel.

However, it’s worth noting that docking and boarding enemy vessels that you’re engaged in combat with is slightly more complicated than this. In fact, one of the best Starfield traits, Wanted, will send armed mercenaries after you occasionally. If this occurs in space, you can dock and board them to steal one of the best Starfield ships for free.

To dock with enemy ships in combat, you must first get the Targeting Control Systems ability – one of the best Starfield skills – to destroy the target’s engines. Once destroyed, the enemy ship will be immobilized and you can then proceed to dock and board the ship as normal. If you’re up against a tough enemy, such as armed mercenaries, then having the best Starfield crew members with you will certainly help.

Starfield how to dock: The player selecting to dock with The Key in the Rook Meets King quest.

Similarly, some vessels (and quests) will require you first to hail and announce your intention to board, such as the UC Vigilance. So, then you’ll need to know how to hail in Starfield before you can dock. If you don’t do this, you could see yourself in trouble for having boarded without permission.

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That covers how to dock in Starfield, as well as how to board ships. When you’re ready to head into the docked vessel, be sure to bring one of the Starfield companions along with you and be decked out with the best Starfield builds, complete with an arsenal of Starfield unique weapons. After all, you could be in for a fight depending on the target.

Still looking for more? While a good Starfield wiki can be a handy source of information, our new Starfield Database goes further, offering you daily news, searchable databanks, and even interactive tools.