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Starfield lockpicking explained guide

Become a hacking expert with Starfield lockpicking by finding out how to lockpick using Digipicks, opening the door for mountains of loot in Bethesda’s RPG.

Starfield lockpicking guide: A masculine character looking towards the camera, with lockpick icons and a padlock icon above either shoulder.

How do you lockpick in Starfield? Lockpicking in Starfield is known as digipicking, requiring a special device known as a digipick to hack into the security system. Whether you’ve played previous Bethesda games or not, Starfield lockpicking is harder than it looks. So, here’s everything you need to know to be a Starfield digipicking expert and hack into anything.

Lockpicking is one of the Starfield skills accessible to everyone, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Luckily, your skills can be improved through upgrades and specific choices during Starfield character creation can even give you a head start. Digipicking is not a skill you want to miss out on either, as you’ll frequently find opportunities to use it while exploring the Starfield planets in search of the best Starfield weapons and Starfield Legendaries.

How to lockpick in Starfield

To lockpick in Starfield, you must have at least one Digipick and meet the required Security skill rank to initiate the lockpicking mini-game involving matching the key layouts with the gaps in the concentric rings.

To begin the lockpicking and hacking mini-game, simply interact with an object – such as a chest or door – marked as locked with security. This will then open the Digipick interface, revealing a central set of rings with gaps and several security keys you will need to slot in one by one.

Starfield lockpicking: An example showing how to lockpick in Starfield with annotations.

To successfully hack, you must match the keys with the slots on the rings by selecting the keys and rotating them to slot them in the correct order. You cannot use the same key twice. Completing a ring will reveal the next ring you will need to match. Thankfully, you have a limited number of rewinds to undo actions if you realize you’ve made a mistake.

Starfield lockpicking: The Digipick hacking interface.

Once you have successfully cleared all rings, the lock will open and you will have completed the lockpicking mini-game. However, failing to unlock a lock or exiting the mini-game early will consume a Digipick, so be careful not to run out of this valuable resource.

Thankfully, there is an auto-attempt hack function that will reveal the correct key to use for the current ring. However, auto-attempts are a limited currency earned by successfully hacking other locks that you can then store to use later. This will mostly come in handy if you’ve got the hang of low-level hacking and racked up several auto-attempts to then use on any high-level locks you encounter, as multiple auto-attempt points can be stored at once depending on your Security skill rank.

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Starfield lockpick difficulties

The Starfield lock difficulties are as follows:

  • Novice locks – no hacking skill required
  • Advanced locks – Security rank 1 required
  • Expert locks – Security rank 2 required
  • Master locks – Security rank 3 required

While any character can start lockpicking right away, they will be restricted to Novice locks, similar to Skyrim and Fallout 4. However, as you progress through the game, higher-level locks housing better gear will become more frequent, so it’s worth investing in your Security skill if you want access to these locked items. After all, Security is one of the best Starfield skills for a reason.

Starfield lockpicking: The Cyber Runner background in the character creation screen.

How to improve your lockpicking skill in Starfield

There are a variety of ways to improve your lockpicking ability in Starfield:

  • Unlock and upgrade the Security skill
  • Have plenty of Digipicks
  • Be methodical and plan ahead
  • Practice with the Digipick system

The most immediate way to improve your lockpicking abilities, especially for higher level locks, is to invest in the Security skill in the Tech tree. This will grant access to higher level locks and increase the number of auto-attempts you can store at any given time. Even better though is that some of the best Starfield backgrounds come with a free level in the Security skill to give you a head start, such as Bouncer, Cyber Runner, and Cyberneticist. As such, these Backgrounds can save you a skill point later down the road if you want to max out the Security skill and unlock Master locks.

Starfield lockpicking: A locked container, showing how to start hacking.

Besides this though, hacking and lockpicking in Starfield will undoubtedly take time to master. With how forward-thinking you have to be, it will take you several attempts to recognise the correct pattern and solve the puzzle. However, the more you do it, the better you will get. Inevitably though, you’ll lose a few Starfield Digipicks along the way, but there’s always more to find.

It’s worth noting that, for better or worse, the Starfield lockpicking mini-game is procedurally generated, meaning you can exit the puzzle and try again with a different (hopefully easier) lock. Again though, you will lose a Digipick in the process, so make sure you pick up every one you come across.

And that’s all you need to know about Starfield lockpicking and hacking, including how to lockpick using the Digipick system, and how to get Digipicks. Now, get back out there and earn enough loot to fill up your Starfield companions’ inventories and Starfield houses to the brim.

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.