Starfield: How to Make Credits

There’s an entire universe to explore, but you won’t get far without funding! Here’s our Starfield: How to Make Credits quickly guide.

Starfield UC Distribution Vendor

Welcome to the boundless cosmos of Starfield, where adventure and opportunity await around every celestial corner. As you embark on your journey through the stars, one thing becomes clear: credits are the lifeblood of your aspirations. Whether you seek the latest starship upgrades, exotic equipment, or simply want to amass a cosmic fortune, this guide is your compass to navigating the vast economic galaxy of Starfield.

Making Credits Quickly in Starfield

When you’re first starting out in Starfield, it’s easy to be distracted by the mysterious main story, recruiting companions and boundless exploration offered by this wide open, universe-spanning RPG. Acquiring credits (Starfield’s in-game currency) can seem less important than a lot of other things you’re introduced to at the beginning of the game. However, it becomes wildly important later on. At a certain point in the game your progress in the main story can become hampered by your starship’s ability to make high level grav jumps across the universe. Without this key feature, you can’t explore the outer star systems or reach these later game quest points.

Here are the best ways of Making Credits Quickly in Starfield:

  • Loot everything. Bring along a companion who can help you carry all that loot. Sell the loot to Vendors.
  • Upgrade the Commerce skill
  • Use Stealth and learn how to efficiently pickpocket, steal, and break locks.
  • Engage in Piracy and Smuggling
  • Construct outposts which can passively extract resources and manufacture goods

Acquiring and Selling Loot

Starfield Selling from Ship Inventory

Collecting objects, weapons, armor pieces, crafting resources and other stray valuables you come across as you travel to various planets and cities in the Settled Systems is the most basic and easy way to start making money in Starfield. The concept is a standard in most open world RPGs, and the basics are simple: Loot as much as you can, carry it all back to an in-game vendor, sell, and profit.

Weight restrictions to ‘free-for-all’ looting play a major part in Starfield, just as they have in other Bethesda games. So you’re going to want to prioritize high value/low weight items the most. In the early game these often include weapons, which you can typically loot from dead enemies after a combat encounter. Armor, on the other hand, typically has a much higher mass and sells for less. If you have the carry capacity then go ahead and grab it, but it’s not first priority.

Additionally, you can easily double your carry capacity by bringing a companion along with you. This will help keep you from becoming encumbered as quickly while loading up on loot. In Starfield, becoming encumbered means that your O2 will deplete and build-up up C02, which will cause damage. You can counteract this by standing still for a while before continuing. Additionally, you can use a Jet Pack Boost to mitigate some of this O2 loss by boosting around vs. sprinting and draining your 02.

Getting to a Vendor

Once you get back to your starship, you can off load the loot from your pockets and into the ship’s cargo hold and storage containers. This will free you up to grab even more items to sell, should the opportunity arrive. Furthermore, an incredibly handy feature included in the game is the ability to sell to vendors straight from your ship. So, instead of having to walk back and forth with more than one load of items, you can simply sell nearly everything all in one trip.

Here three of the best vendor locations in the early game of Starfield:

Keep in mind that generally, vendors will only purchase the same types of items they sell. So you want to make sure to sell weapons to a weapon vendor rather than the general trader. Otherwise, you will have 20 maelstrom guns to sell and no one on that planet and in the city to buy them.

Upgrade the Commerce Skill

Starfield Commerce Skill

You can find the Commerce skill within the Social skill category. In the early game portions of Starfield as you start to level up and have the entire skill trees to choose from, it may seem like extra skill points may be hard to come by. But Commerce is worth the investment, due to it’s compounding percentages. You’ll not only get that much more for all of your loot when you sell to all types of vendors, but also be able to then turn around and purchase that much more when you’re stocking up on crafting materials and supplies.

Stealth and Thieving

Starfield Security Skill

If your character is the morally grey type, then dabbling in a bit of pickpocketing, lock breaking and general stealing is a great way to pad out your credit coffers.

The lockpicking mechanic in Starfield has been given a much more appropriate futuristic twist. In order to become more effective at ‘digipicking’ and to enable your character to open higher level of locks, you’ll need to invest some skill points into the Security skill, which can be found in the Tech skill tree.

In order to pick a lock you’ll need an item called a Digipick. If you have one in your inventory when you find a locked crate, the game will automatically open up the Digipicking UI. Digipicking in Starfield can be considered its own little mini puzzle game and will take a bit of trial and error. The idea is you have to match up the small gaps you see in the center rings, with the segments you see underneath the ‘Digipicks’ text box on the right hand side of your screen.

Generally thieving is more straight forward – make sure there is no one watching and you can pick up just about anything that isn’t nailed down. Keep a sharp eye out for Credit Sticks, which are small and can be left lying around anywhere. If you spend a point in the Theft skill in the Social skill tree you will unlock the ability to pickpocket general NPCs. Remember to drop into stealth and pick the right moment – if you’re detected you could be in some trouble!

Piracy and Smuggling

Starfield Contraband
Marked Contraband Loot
Starfield Contraband on Ship
Discovered Contraband
Starfield Confiscate Contraband
Confiscate Contraband

Contraband in Starfield are items that are illegal to possess or trade in the Settled Systems. These items can vary from drugs and weapons to stolen goods and technology. You can find contraband in Starfield by exploring the game world, completing quests, even purchasing it directly from illegal vendors. You’ll know that an item qualifies as contraband when you see the yellow icon next to the item in the UI.

Dealing in contraband is a risky business because any time you travel through space your cargohold may be scanned for contraband. If you are caught, you can flee with your grav drive in space. However, this will drive up your bounty and if you travel to another system run by that faction (usually the United Colonies) you run the risk of getting into a confrontation. If you continue to run, you will be eventually be attacked on sight as a known criminal. However, if you find the right vendor you can sell these items for a lot of credits.

Self-Service Bounty Clearance Terminal in Starfield
Self-Service Bounty Clearance Terminal in Starfield

Another helpful tip you can use to avoid severe smuggling consequences is to build a Self-Service Bounty Clearance Terminal in Starfield at your outpost. Using this you can clear the bounty and avoid confrontations if you get caught.

Let Your Outposts Do The Work

Starfield Outpost Management Skill

Building outposts in Starfield is an incredibly robust system and will take sometime to build up, but the investment can be very lucrative in the long run. Outposts can also offer additional storage space, which is critical as you collect more loot as well as resources and crafting materials.

There are two helpful outpost skills:

  • Outpost Management – Social skill line
  • Outpost Engineering – Science skill line

As you level up the Outpost Management skill you’ll acquire the ability to construct robots at your outposts. Some of those robots can be used for security and defense, but others can be used to manufacture and produce valuable components. Depending on what you choose to manufacture and your own needs, anything produced in surplus can be sold to vendors for a tidy profit.

Leveling up the Outpost Engineering skill will unlock new modules to research and then construct. This will likely include modules such as Extractors, which drill, digging into the earth for precious resources. And a Hydroponics Hub, which is an interior garden or greenhouse that produces medicine, herbs, crops, food, and air. These modules will passively generate crafting resources which you can use to further expand your outposts and upgrade your weapons, or choose to sell for additional credits.


In the universe of Starfield, the pursuit of credits is a dynamic and ever-evolving adventure. With this comprehensive guide, you’re equipped to blaze your own trail, mastering the art of credit generation across the cosmic expanse. Whether you choose to be a daring space pirate, a savvy trader, a skilled miner, or a combination of these roles, remember that your journey is unique, and your credits will shape the legacy you leave among the stars. May your path be prosperous and your discoveries boundless. Safe travels, and may the credits flow in your favor!

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