How Starfield crafting and research works and what you can make

Bethesda are fitting a robust Starfield crafting and research system within the game that will give you plenty of control over how things play out. Using it you can unlock mods and gear, outpost expansions, improve your weapons and suit, and generally develop and advance the tools you need to survive space exploration.

The way it works overall in Starfield is that you’ll run research projects to unlock all these vital advancements before you can craft them. You’ll need resources to ‘pay’ for this work, collected from all the things like Iron and other metals you can gather in the world. So if you want to improve your suit for example – we’ve seen at least two different types of jetpack in the gameplay for example – you’ll need to unlock the relevant research in the Research Laboratory, pay up the resources to complete it and, when it’s done, craft the final result. Let’s take a deeper look, then, at everything we know about Starfield crafting and research. 

Starfield research areas

Starfield crafting and research

(Image credit: Bethesda)
  • Pharmacology
  • Food and Drink
  • Outpost Development
  • Equipment
  • Weaponry

Starfield research is split between the five main categories above that govern various activities and items in the game. These unlock a range of gear, enhancements and mods you can use to improve you character, as well their weapons and facilities. 

For example, Pharmacology research can improve medical gear and unlock performance enhancers. Upgrading your Outpost development can increase things like resource extraction, while Equipment advances can make things like your helmet better with mods. Weaponry works in a similar way – unlocking mods and attachments to improve your guns (more on that below).

Starfield Crafting 

Starfield crafting and research

(Image credit: Bethesda)

Starfield crafting will obviously be vital to improving your gear to gain an edge, and will be one of the primary uses for the resources you gather. In the example above you can see that a Barrel Mod for a weapon will cost the following resources: 

  • Iron (20)
  • Nickel (20)
  • Sealant (10)

The various Research Projects you can put resources into have a percentage completion, and a resource requirement, so there’s a time and a cost involved in accessing anything. There’s also a Research Tree that unlocks either a new level or variant for anything you do research. For example you can see the Barrel Mod 1 unlocks the Barrel mod 2  but whether that’s a better version of the previous mod, or different type of mod isn’t clear. Having some pros and cons to choose between would make sense in an RPG though, letting you pick and tune things according to playstyle. 

Starfield crafting

(Image credit: Bethesda)

In an example of how you can change a weapon with crafted mods, Bethesda showed off this pistol. On the left is a basic model while on the right is the enhanced version sporting an improved iron sight, muzzle, laser sight and extended magazine. 

It already looks like a deep system, especially given how much it governs – weapons, gear, medical supplies and building. Starfield ship customization appears to be absent here, which makes sense considering that we know, ship components are bought – not built. That might mean that system is governed by cold hard cash, which only makes it more important you have the best gear to improve your earning potential.

Starfield on PS4 or PS5 | Starfield backgrounds and starting skills | Starfield skills | Starfield traits 

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