Written by - Codiak
Updated: September 10, 2023
Posted: September 9, 2023
One of my favorite features in Starfield is the ability to build and customize a spaceship. Not only are ships required for hauling all that loot you pick up, but they’re also essential to fend off pirates, and with the right tweaking, can be setup as a pseudo base for crafting and outfitting yourself and the team. Not every ship is perfect, but there are a good number of free ships you can acquire just by knowing where to look, so let’s dive in and expand your armada.
I have to start with one of the best early ships you can get in Starfield, the Razorleaf. This is awarded at the end of the Mantis questline. It’s easily one of the best ships in the early game with decent stats all-around and a small, shielded cargo bay, perfect for storing some contraband. To jump start this quest you’ll need to keep an eye out for the slate called ‘Secret Outpost!’ this will automatically start the quest.
We actually have a full article and video up on the channel breaking down the entire process of clearing the quest, claiming the unique legendary armor, and unlocking the ship already on the channel so check that out and don’t pass up this incredible reward.
Another ship on our list of freebies is the Wanderwell. Fair warning this thing isn’t great, slightly better than the starting ship, but it’s free which means it’s worth picking up. To get this you need to have the Kid Stuff trait, this is the one where you’ll have in-game parents.
Through your main story progression you can check in with them to scoop up some decent free loot. In the early game they’ll visit Constellation and your dad will give you a unique weapon, Sir Livingston’s Pistol.
In the mid game you’ll get a note to go see your mom. Head back to the apartment in the tower and after talking to her you’ll receive Gran Grans spacesuit and helmet.
Finally, in the late game Noel will hand you another message from dad that says you need to get home asap. Go back to the tower and he’ll tell you he won the biggest game of poker of his life. The prize being, a new ship, the Wanderwell.
This thing is right on theme and pretty much the minivan of ships. The best things going for it are the long grav drive range, perfect for those long trips with the kids, and the multiple weapon racks and cases where you can store all your guns.
Other than that the ship is pretty lackluster, but hey, it’s free, and from your parents, so be grateful you little punk.
If you’re looking for an absolute stud of a spaceship then I highly recommend you get yourself the Star Eagle. It’s the closest thing you’ll find to an X-Wing in Starfield, and it comes with the firepower to boot. Functionally I think this ship rocks from a combat perspective. It boasts above-average stats across the board, an arsenal that can take down pretty much any opposing ships, the ability to hold a lot of crew and a large cargo capacity, everything you could possibly want at any point during your progression.
My only real gripe with the ship is that on the inside there’s not a lot of function. There’s a ton of space for crew, and a cool detention type HAB, but outside of that the ship is largely about its other capabilities. Keep in mind you can customize these ships once you unlock them, so things can be adjusted.
To unlock the Star Eagle you need to become a fully fledged member of the Freestar Collective Rangers, an elite force within FC Space. The quest line itself starts in Akila City, right outside GalBank you meet the sheriff dealing with a stand off. Manage to get through that quest and you’ll be asked to check in with another ranger at The Rock, kickstarting the entire questline. The quest chain will take you all over Freestar space, and there is a healthy dose of fighting involved, but the payoff is well worth it. In my opinion this ship is well worth the effort to pick up.
The next ship on our list might very well be one of the best free pickups in the game. We’re not talking about some dinky freighter or glass cannon fighter, players can actually pick up a Kepler R spaceship if you play your cards right.
Far along into your main quest progression, relatively close to the last few missions, Walter will request to speak to you. This will kick start a side quest called Overdesigned. At this point track the quest and follow it until you reach your destination and an NPC named Jules. She’ll tell you that Stroud-Eckland wants to create a new ship, but that the R&D Department doesn’t agree on the approach.
From here you need to make a few key decisions and follow along closely or you’ll end up with a lesser ship. The first question is whether or not you want a small budget or larger budget. Obviously bigger is better so choose the second option, the higher budget. Once you do that talk to the R&D team and make sure they understand your decision.
Your next step is to complete two tasks from the mission board. Make sure to select any ‘Destroy’ quests that are available. Completing has a higher chance of giving us the end result we’re looking for, a class-C ship.
Once you complete the missions, return to Jules and she’ll tell you the team is still not on the same page. At this point you’ll have 2 dialogue options:
Obviously being the corporate entity that it is we select the team building option, because nothing is more valuable in the workforce than forced interactions with your workers.
In all seriousness choose that option because it’s the end of the rainbow, and you’ll be rewarded for your efforts and smart decision making with a Class-C Kepler R spaceship.
Now, fair warning you need Rank 4 Piloting in order to fly any class-c ships, so work on that before doing the quest if you want to pilot it immediately. You’ll need to destroy a whole host of enemy ships in combat, and those very same mission board quests you completed before are perfect for advancing your progression there.
The base Kepler-R can sustain 6 crew members, hold a staggering 3550 cargo, has a jump range of 30 light years, a beefy 805 shield and some relatively potent laser and ballistic weapons. It’s easily one of the biggest ships in the game and that’s before any modifications you might want to make.
On the inside the ship is just as impressive, albeit it slightly lacking for a vessel this size. In terms of interactable you’ve got a Med Bay which features both a research station and pharmaceutical station. There’s also a mess with a convenient cooking station, as well as one large chest you can store some extra gear in.
I’ll be honest I was hoping for an armory of some sort, but that’s ok because you can always customize the ship with the shipbuilder system. Even still, it’s a damn impressive ship and it’s entirely free.
Before you proceed, note that the final ship we’ll be discussing is a part of the New Game Plus end game.
Once you complete the game and choose to step into NG+ you’ll be rewarded with the Starborn Guardian, your very own alien ship tailor-made for a Starborn.
This is actually kind of mid, but there are a few really awesome aspects of the Starborn Guardian worth pointing out. For one it can store a decent amount of cargo. As someone that constantly struggled with storage throughout the entire game this was a huge sigh of relief. You can store a whole heck of a lot inside the Guardian without it being a clunky freighter, so I think that’s going to appeal to some people.
The ship also features some really interesting combat mechanics. For starters it’s outfit with 2 types of custom attacks. These deal a decent amount of damage and are unlike anything else in the game. The pilot of the Guardian can also tap into the ship’s Thruster capabilities, which are on other ships, but don’t perform nearly as well as the Guardian. This allows you to quickly rotate or reposition while mid-flight which is perfect for dogfighting. You can, with little to no effort, get behind enemies or get out of range of their attacks. To add onto this when you boost with the Guardian you briefly turn invisible, breaking any missile locks and rapidly propelling you through space.
The ship also has one final unique feature, a massive grav jump distance, which allows you to really move around the entirety of the settled systems with ease. It’s more about convenience than anything else, but having a ship that can jump practically anywhere *is really nice.
It’s a fun ship to noodle around with but it does have a major downside, the lack of anything exciting on the inside. It’s an alien ship, and as such doesn’t have that warm and cozy feeling of something a human would build. You won’t find storage chests, weapon racks, or any crafting stations because the Guardian was really designed for one thing, traveling to the far reaches of space, and blasting enemies into stardust.