Starfield, Bethesda’s newest RPG, is, well…a big game. It’s filled with quests to complete and aliens to shoot. It’s also jam-packed with items to grab, sell, and manipulate. And it’s very easy to pick up too much junk and suddenly find yourself overencumbered, unable to fast-travel or sprint as much as usual. That’s no fun! But you can avoid this annoying situation.
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I’ve played about 55 hours of Starfield so far, and for most of that time, I’ve not been overencumbered. In fact, I’m usually carrying under 100kg of weight at any given time. What’s my secret? Well, after years of playing Bethesda games, I’ve gotten pretty good at managing all the weapons, health items, and junk you collect as you adventure through the studio’s massive open-world RPGs. So let me help you stop being overencumbered with these tips and tricks!
Stop grabbing everything
Look, okay, I know this is very obvious and all that, but…yeah, stop grabbing everything! I get it. This is a Bethesda game and one of the joys of these RPGs is how everything can be grabbed, manipulated, stored, and sold. Every plastic cup and dart and sandwich. But you don’t need to grab it all.
You might be thinking “I’ll sell this all for credits!” Well, sure, but you won’t get that much for that junk. And there are better ways to make credits in this game, like doing quests and selling high-value items like rare suits, guns, and very lightweight objects that are worth hundreds of credits. So yeah, stop. Put that cup down. Walk away. Leave it. Leave it! I’m watching.
Level up your carrying capacity
Certain stats are always useful in a Bethesda open-world RPG. Having extra health and the ability to lockpick anything, for example, are as handy in Starfield as they were in Skyrim.
Similarly, leveling up the skill that lets you carry more stuff without becoming overencumbered is very useful. I also recommend grabbing this early so you can start grinding away at its requirements to unlock higher levels. Trust me, this will save you time in the long run.
Make a habit out of checking for heavy items
You can sort your entire inventory by weight and you should do this regularly, as you’ll often find some random spacesuit or other item taking up a large chunk of your carrying capacity. Take care of these items and don’t let them clutter up your character. While looking at your heaviest bits of junk, you might also find one of the most likely culprits for why you are overencumbered: ship parts.
Screenshot: Bethesda / Kotaku
Don’t hold on to ship parts
Ship parts! These items are very useful, letting you repair your ship during combat. However, they are also very heavy, weighing 10kg each. It’s very easy to collect a stack of these and not realize it until you pick up a gun and become overencumbered.
Making matters worse, these heavy items are found not in your resources or misc. tab, but instead buried with your aid items, like food and health kits. This makes them easy to miss when dropping off resources to your ship. I’d love a future update to move these to resources by default. Until then, double-check whenever you feel too heavy to make sure you aren’t carrying around a bunch of these bulky items. And, one last thing: You can store these on your ship and still use them, no need to carry them around!
Pick a few weapons and sell the rest
There are a lot of weapons in Starfield, from laser rifles to old Earth shotguns and more. It’s a smorgasbord of killing options. But while I recommend you try everything at least once early on in Starfield, after the opening hours you should settle on three or four weapons and sell or store the rest.
This has a lot of benefits. You can focus your skills more, carry less ammo, and not have to manage an armory everywhere you go. But also, it means you’ll not be bogged down by 12 weapons all using up your precious carrying capacity! And that’s—hey, I told you to put down that plastic cup! Stop! Just because we’re on a new tip doesn’t mean I stopped watching!
Use your ship’s cargo bay to store resources/valuables
After you’ve been out on a planet exploring, mining, or completing quests, you should take a moment to drop off excess items in your ship’s cargo hold. Thankfully, Bethesda added a hotkey that lets you send all your resources—like minerals, metals, etc.—right to your ship with one button press.
But don’t just store resources in your ship’s cargo containers. You can store rare suits or guns you want to sell later in there too, as well as other items that are taking up space. And if your ship starts to run out of space, well, first, maybe stop grabbing everything. But also, invest in adding some more storage to your ship, which you can do at any spaceport with an NPC starship technician. Oh, and don’t forget: You can upgrade your ship’s storage capacity via the Payloads perk.
Screenshot: Bethesda / Kotaku
Look for spacesuits that have extra storage
During my third night of playing Starfield, I stumbled upon a legendary suit that let me carry 40 extra kilograms on my character. While you might not find one as good as this, keep an eye out for spacesuits that provide extra storage.
Spread the weight around to companions
If you travel with a companion, don’t forget to use them like a pack mule. They can carry quite a bit, which can help out a lot in big space dungeons filled with good loot. Just talk to your companion and ask to trade, then shove all the plastic cups and crappy guns into their inventory so you can sell it all later.
And, if all else fails, use chems or booze to temporarily boost your capacity
Perhaps you’ve done everything above and yet still find yourself carrying too much junk. Well, that’s why I recommend keeping some whiskey or other chems on hand, as using them can increase your carrying capacity.
Keep in mind that these are just temporary solutions and won’t last forever. But they can, in a pinch, help you stop being overencumbered just long enough to fast-travel and sell all your junk.