How do you build outposts in Starfield? Forget global domination, Starfield outpost building is the answer to dominating the entire galaxy. Not only do these bases let you call a variety of places home, they’re also fantastic for resource gathering, researching new equipment, and more. Thankfully, they’re not too difficult to build either, with intuitive controls no matter whether you’re playing the game on Xbox or PC.
Here, we’ll run you through various aspects of Starfield outpost building that we’ve ran into in our Starfield review, including how to actually build Starfield outposts, getting your Starfield crew into them, how to extract resources, and more to aid you in creating these crucially important structures. Most importantly though, you’re going to want to set up shop in one of the best Starfield outpost locations, as these serve to make your outpost that much better with only a little extra work.
How to build Starfield outposts
To begin building Starfield outposts, you’ll need to set up an Outpost Beacon. This is done by pressing LB/F followed by X/R on an Xbox controller and PC respectively. Bases in Starfield are actually called outposts, so if you’re scouring the build menus and feeling a bit stumped, this is why.
Now your initial Outpost Beacon is down, you can then get onto true outpost building escapades. This involves placing down various different modules, all with their own purpose. These include Extractors for resource mining, power generators, structures for living, and more. You could spend hours upon hours building bases if you wish, as long as you have the initial resources to create what you need (as if you needed another reason to pump more time into the game exploring all the Starfield planets!).
This is all done via the same build menu with different tabs housing all the components available to you. Naturally, the more you level up and the more resources you have, there will be more modules for you to use. You’ll usually find that these are in the form of upgraded variants of the base versions, which can really up the ante if you’re looking to make complex webs of inter system resource transport, for example. It’s worth checking out the Outpost Engineering skill – one of the best Starfield skills – if you’re looking to dig deep into outpost building, as this unlocks advanced outpost modules.
If you’re on a planet with harsh conditions, we’d recommend building at least one Hab with an Airlock. These are available right off the bat and allow you, quite literally, some breathing room from the outside. They’re also perfect for placing down different stations for you and your crew to use for researching, crafting, and more.
This is where Bethesda has seemingly taken a leaf out of The Sims’ book, as there are plenty of decorations you can throw into these more livable areas. These can all interlock as well, allowing for different Habs to have different purposes and fully tailored decoration, kind of like having a modular bungalow!
It’s not all about aesthetics though, as there are six main stats you’ll have to consider when you’re flexing your outpost building muscles:
- Build limit – building budget remaining
- Cargo – storage space
- Crew – the number of active crew members
- Needed PWR (power) – electricity deficit
- Total PWR (power) – total electricity produced
- Production – resources generated per minute
If you want to have a successful outpost, then you’ll need to manage these stats accordingly. For example, you won’t be able to produce and mine resources if there’s not enough power. Likewise, there’s nowhere for all this loot to go if you don’t have enough cargo storage in your base. All this has to be done within the confines of a build limit as well, though this is quite generous.
These are similar to the Fallout 4 settlement stats, which require you to provide for inhabitants and keep up with energy demands. However, since there’s no settlers to care for in your outposts, these demands are a little less invasive. This gives you the freedom to build a base purely for aesthetic purposes, to harvest all the resources you can, or even a mix of both.
How to assign crew to outposts in Starfield
Once you’ve got your Starfield base going, you’ll probably want to assign a crew. To do this, you have to have already built a Crew Station. Then you simply need to open the Crew Roster within the Ship section of the menu and assign a crew member to an outpost. If they have a current assignment, this new one will overwrite it.
The number of Starfield crew members is limited though, just like your ship, so you’ll need to pick carefully. Enhancing the Outpost Management skill will increase the amount of crew members you have at an outpost, so if you’re going for some complex base building, you’ll want to pump some points into it. This could take you quite some time though, so don’t expect to have a bustling base right away.
When you’ve got your crew assigned to your outpost, this will enable you to utilize their skills to boost things such as resource gain from plants, enhanced chem crafting, and much more. Obviously, the crew member must have skills that benefit those areas, so skills such as Botany and Geology are fantastic. Likewise, there’s no point assigning a crew member adept in ship piloting to your outpost.
If you don’t have many allies when you’re assigning crew, we’d recommend heading to various cities such as New Atlantis where you can pick up some new bodies. Look in various buildings for named characters, as you could strike up a new allegiance nice and fast.
Best Starfield outpost crew members
The best Starfield outpost crew members are:
- Supervisor Lin
- Andromeda Kepler
- Rafael Aguerro
Picking the best crew for the job is not easy, but it’s one of the most important things to consider when you’re building an outpost. Luckily for you, we’ve done the hard work!
Supervisor Lin and Heller are the best place to start, as both can be recruited during Back to Vectera, one of the earlier main Starfield missions. Supervisor Lin comes with three levels in Outpost Management, while Heller has three points in Outpost Engineering. Combined, Lin and Heller are the perfect duo to kick start your outpost building journey.
Andromeda Kepler is another crew member to consider when building your outpost, with two points in Outpost Engineering. If you’re looking to recruit Kepler, head to The Broken Spear in Cydonia on Mars, where you’ll find her lurking in the bar area.
Another great pick for your base is Rafael Aguerro. This crew member comes with one point in both Outpost Engineering and Outpost Management. You can recruit Rafael Aguerro by saving him during Entangled, though it’s possible to miss out on this crew member. Check out our guide on whether you should save Patel or Rafael in Starfield to learn more.
Aside from these named crew members, we recommend filling your outposts with specialist crew members. Sure, these generally have weaker skills than their unique, named counterparts, but they can offer some useful skills that will benefit your outposts while also being cheap to hire.
How to extract resources from outposts in Starfield
If you want to extract resources with your outpost base, you will need to put down an outpost in the vicinity of resources. Then, you can place an extractor down for the material of your choosing. These need to be powered using the appropriate tech for the planet and linked to storage such as a chest.
To find resources to extract, begin by scanning the planet from the Starmap. This will reveal which resources can be found on the planet. Once you’ve done that, toggle the resource view of the planet and pick a good landing spot where there are several different resources available nearby.
Then, land on the planet and activate your scanning to see the location of nearby resources. Set up your outpost, place the relevant extractors, and you’re good to go.
When you do all of the above, this will create a resource extraction process that is somewhat automatic. It will dig up the resources from the ground and place them into the linked chest ready for you to collect when you’re able and ready. If you don’t link the extractor to a chest, then the resources will soon pile up in the extractor and it will switch off.
We’ve just talked about the most basic resource extraction process but this can obviously be expanded dramatically to include various extractors all mining for different elements. Additionally, if you hook up a plethora of chests to these extractors, you won’t need to go back and empty them as often, which means you could almost have an infinite resource mine if you create enough chests.
Moreover, you can go one step further and look into cargo links, which allow for automatic transfer of the resources that are being gathered over to other outpost locations. This is extremely handy when you’re building certain structures on certain planets, as well as simply being a convenience if you transfer these resources closer to your main base of operations.
You’ll gain XP for extracting resources too, and if you’ve taken a look at our Starfield XP farm guide, you’ll know that this can be exploited to level up extremely fast. So, not only will you be filling your pockets with valuable minerals, you’ll gain XP and subsequently skill points which can be further reinvested into your outpost skills or the best Starfield builds.
Best Starfield outpost modules to build
The best modules to build for your base are critical to enhance its usefulness. In our opinion, the top selections are an extractor, industrial workbench, round hab, airlock, storage containers, and power systems.
All of these are needed to take advantage of resource mining in conjunction with getting your crew on the outpost. Not only will you get XP, you can just sell all these resources you gain to various vendors across the systems, netting you some serious credits ready to spend on Starfield ships and upgrades.
Let’s not get it mistaken, if you really get into it, you can go wild with base building. You can create fortresses with weapons, a literal home away from home with decorations aplenty, or even lavish mansions. The galaxy is truly your oyster, so there are plenty of exciting modules beyond our best module picks if you’ve an eye for architecture. However, we’re all about functionality and gains when it comes to outpost building, all the rest comes in time!
Why is Starfield outpost building important?
Starfield base building is so important because it unlocks much more of the game than before. You can get resources automatically, craft a plethora of gear, and research new equipment, all while gaining XP in the process. These resources can then be spent upgrading your collection of Starfield armor and guns. Even the best Starfield weapons need upgrading from time to time. Alternatively, you could sell these materials to delve deep into Starfield ship customization. In short, outpost building opens a lot of doors for you if you’re willing to put in a little legwork.
You also have the opportunity to give your spare crew a home and give them something to do. Those with useful skills in this area will net you positive outcomes, such as gaining additional resources for free. If you’ve got more crew members than you can count, why not build them a hope and put them to work?
If you’d just like to flex your creative muscles by building the most impressive outpost you can, then you’re free to do so. As players have shown, you can get pretty creative with outposts – even going so far as to create a Waffle House in Florida in Starfield.
On the flip side, you could potentially complete a playthrough and not even dabble in base building, which just goes to show that you can truly craft your own experience with Starfield. If you’d prefer to simply run around planets and pick up resources yourself with a mining laser you can. This will leave you a little light in the pockets, but if you’re just all about exploration and completing missions, it is a path you can choose.
Overall, Starfield base building is an aspect of the game that we believe you should definitely sink your teeth into. Get creative with it and make some pretty huge outposts in various systems as you can really take advantage of the resource gains and any XP that comes along with it.
Well, that covers everything there is to know about Starfield outpost building so you’re on track to build the best base you can, potentially even rivaling the Starfield cities crafted by Bethesda. Hopefully you and your Starfield companions will have a place to call home in no time.
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.