How Starfield crafting and research works and what you can make | GamesRadar+
If you're exploring Starfield's universe, crafting and research are key for enhancing your journey. Learn how to craft and unlock more options in this guide.

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If you’re planning to venture into the farthest reaches of Starfield’s universe to confront the unknown, you’ll require top-notch technology. You will also need to refine that technology until it reaches a level of sophistication that would catch NASA’s attention instantly.

Starfield’s comprehensive crafting and research systems serve as your allies in achieving this level of excellence. With the right skills, access to crafting terminals, and a stockpile of valuable resources, you can elevate your spacesuit’s performance, fine-tune your weaponry, establish more advanced outposts, and even elevate your culinary prowess.

So, how do you accomplish all of this? The answer lies in this guide to crafting and research in Starfield. Let’s get right into it!

A Guide to Crafting and Workbenches

Starfield character interacting with the research module.
Research Module Interaction, Credit: Deltias Gaming

Crafting in Starfield is a straightforward process, allowing players to create a variety of items to enhance their interstellar journey. Here’s a breakdown of how crafting works in the game:

Finding the Right Workbench

To craft an item in Starfield, you must locate the appropriate crafting workbench. These workbenches are spread throughout the universe, making them accessible as you explore the cosmos. Fortunately, you won’t have to embark on an arduous quest to find them all. In New Atlantis, a central hub for your adventures, you can discover a basement area that houses all five types of crafting workbenches along with a Research Station.

Types of Crafting Workbenches

There are five distinct types of crafting workbenches available in Starfield:

Spacesuit Workbench: This workbench enables you to craft and apply modifications to your spacesuits, helmets, and packs, enhancing your equipment for space exploration.

Weapon Workbench: Here, you can upgrade your weapons by crafting and applying modifications to various parts, including the barrel, laser, optic, muzzle, grip and stock, magazine and battery, internal components, and skin.

Cooking Station: At the Cooking Station, you can prepare food and beverages to sustain yourself during your journey through the cosmos.

Pharmaceutical Lab: This workbench allows you to craft chems and aid items that can alleviate afflictions and provide beneficial buffs while in the field.

Industrial Workbench: Use the Industrial Workbench to craft fundamental manufactured components, essential for outpost construction. To create more advanced components, you’ll need to establish Resource Extractors at outposts you’ve already built.

Crafting Process

Crafting items follows a uniform process across all of these workbenches. When you select an item to craft, a display on the right side of the screen will list all the necessary components. If you have all the required components in your inventory, you can proceed to craft the item immediately.

Tracking Components

In case you lack some of the necessary components, you can use the Track button to help locate them. Once you activate the tracking feature, a blue magnifying glass icon will appear next to the materials you need, making it easier for you to locate and collect them in the game world.

Unlocking Advanced Crafting in Starfield

Crafting weapons in Starfield
Credit: Eurogamer, Bethesda Softworks

As you embark on your journey through the cosmos in Starfield, you may initially find your crafting options limited. To expand and diversify your crafting capabilities, you’ll need to follow a skill-based progression system. Here’s a breakdown of how to unlock more crafting options:

Skill Advancement: The Key to Crafting Prowess

All of the skills are available in the science skill tree. These are the tiers:

Tier 1: Research Methods

This tier doesn’t directly unlock new mods for research, but it significantly reduces the cost of research projects, making them more accessible.

Tier 2: Spacesuit Design and Weapon Engineering

Spacesuit Design enables you to research additional spacesuits, helmets, and pack modifications, enhancing your spacefaring gear. On the other hand, Weapon Engineering unlocks new research options for weapon modifications, allowing you to upgrade your arsenal.

Tier 3: Chemistry and Outpost Engineering

Chemistry provides access to new Chem research options, expanding your knowledge of chemical compounds. Outpost Engineering enables you to research new modules for outpost construction, enhancing your base-building capabilities.

Research Labs: Where Ideas Become Reality

With your skills advancing, it’s time to delve into the world of research. To unlock new crafting options, complete research projects at Research Labs. This is how to proceed:

Selecting Research Projects

Choose the research project you wish to undertake at Research Lab terminals. These projects are vital for unlocking new crafting possibilities.

Aid Items for Efficiency

Boost your research efficiency by utilizing Aid items. Apply these items to your character before commencing research to expedite the process.

Contributing Resources

To complete a research project, gradually contribute the required resources until all project requirements are met. You can add resources to the project at any Research Lab you come across, including the one on your spaceship.

Embracing Sudden Developments

Periodically, you may encounter Sudden Developments in your research endeavors. While this term might sound unsettling, it’s actually a positive occurrence. Sudden Developments reduce the number of resources needed for a project, making your research efforts more efficient and cost-effective.

By following this skill-based approach to unlocking advanced crafting options in Starfield, you can gradually expand your crafting repertoire and enhance your journey through the vast reaches of the universe. Don’t be daunted by the initial limitations; with dedication and skill development, the cosmos will soon be at your crafting command.

Unlocking Crafting Possibilities: A Detailed Look at Research Categories

Character in the Research Lab in Starfield.
Credit: Eurogamer, Bethesda Softworks

In Starfield, the path to crafting mastery involves not only honing your skills but also delving into the realm of research. There are five distinct research categories that align with the five types of workbenches you’ll encounter during your cosmic adventures:

1. Equipment Research: Expanding Your Gear

Within the Equipment research category, you’ll have the opportunity to explore new spacesuit, helmet, and pack options. These modifications can significantly enhance your equipment, ensuring you’re well-prepared for the challenges of deep space.

2. Weaponry Research: Perfecting Your Arsenal

The Weaponry research category is dedicated to uncovering new weapon mod research projects. These projects allow you to fine-tune and upgrade your weaponry, including barrels, lasers, optics, muzzles, grips, stocks, magazines, batteries, internals, and even weapon skins.

3. Pharmacology Research: Medicinal and Chemical Advancements

You can delve into the world of medical treatments and chems. Research in this area leads to the discovery of new ways to treat afflictions and gain performance-enhancing advantages during your adventures.

4. Food and Drink Research: Sustenance for Your Journey

Food and Drink research category opens up various meal options for your character. Crafting delectable dishes and beverages not only keeps you nourished but can also provide beneficial buffs and effects to aid you in your travels.

5. Outpost Development Research: Building a Strong Foundation

For those inclined towards base-building and outpost construction, the Outpost Development research category offers the chance to unlock new modules. These modules can be used to create more advanced and specialized outposts, enhancing your exploration capabilities.

Expanding Your Research Horizon

Completing a research project isn’t just a one-time achievement; it can open the door to further research possibilities. To navigate your research journey effectively, follow these steps:

1. Explore the Research Projects Screen

Head to the Research Projects screen to access a comprehensive view of your research options. Here, you can browse available projects and plan your path to the technology and modifications you desire.

2. Examine the Research Tree

The Research Tree provides a visual representation of the interconnections between different research projects. It allows you to strategize and choose a route that aligns with your crafting goals.

While this may seem like a multi-step process, in practice, it’s quite manageable. You can conveniently conduct your research and crafting activities at the Lodge on New Atlantis, a central hub for your adventures. For instance, you can swiftly research a valuable chem, craft an improved barrel for your space pistol, and then embark on your next thrilling mission.

In order to craft and research, you need resources but to hold those resources, you need to learn some things. Let’s take a look at them:

Optimizing Storage Solutions for Resources and Equipment

Credit: Bethesda Game Studios

In the expansive universe of Starfield, resource management becomes a crucial aspect of your journey. Properly storing resources, equipment, and valuables ensures you’re well-prepared for the challenges that lie ahead. Here’s a comprehensive guide on the best ways to store your items and resources in Starfield:

1. Ship Weapon Storage: Organize Your Arsenal

One effective way to manage your weapons and free up valuable cargo space is by utilizing ship weapon storage. Similar to cargo hold upgrades, this feature allows you to display and stow away your weapons. By keeping your tools of destruction separate from your primary cargo space, you can maximize your storage efficiency.

Upgrading Your Cargo Hold

As your journey progresses, consider upgrading your ship’s cargo hold through the shipbuilder menu. This will enable you to replace older modules or add additional cargo modules to your ship’s exterior. However, keep in mind that increasing your cargo capacity will also increase your ship’s overall weight, necessitating a more powerful engine for optimal flight performance.

2. Outpost Cargo Holds: Expanding Storage Potential

2 characters standing on a planet in Starfield.
Credit: Bethesda Game Studios

Starfield introduces the concept of Outposts, reminiscent of the settlement system in Fallout 4. You can establish your own Outpost structures by deploying a Beacon on various worlds. These Outposts offer versatile storage solutions and serve as your personal bases in the cosmos.

Resource Requirements

To fully utilize an Outpost’s potential, gather essential materials and power sources. Among the resources needed, Outposts can host cargo holds that rival those of ships, providing ample storage for your items.

Build Limitations

It’s important to note that Outposts have a build limit, restricting the number of structures you can add to their design. Expanding your Outpost to its maximum capacity requires collecting substantial quantities of Lead, Aluminum, and Sealant resources.


While Outposts offer valuable storage space, it’s essential to be mindful of their cargo limitations. As your journey continues, you may accumulate enough resources to construct Outposts with dedicated cargo holds, facilitating better item organization.

3. Strategic Choices: When to Store and When to Sell

As you accumulate items and resources in Starfield, it’s crucial to strike a balance between storage and finances. Consider the following:

  • Evaluate the necessity of storing certain items versus selling them for credits, which can fund other essential projects.
  • Prioritize the creation of Outposts with cargo holds when you have abundant resources to improve storage efficiency.
  • Keep a keen eye on your overall inventory to prevent unnecessary clutter and optimize your journey through the cosmos.


The beauty of Starfield’s crafting and research system lies in the plethora of slots available for customization on the game’s suits and weapons. These customization options empower players to tailor their gear to suit their preferred playstyle and strategy.

As you venture deeper into the cosmos, we’re curious: What are your favorite mods, and how have they enhanced your experience in Starfield? Share your crafting triumphs with fellow space explorers!

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