Starfield Research Guide

The Research Laboratory in Starfield is how you will unlock blueprints, recipes, and other types of upgrades for your weapons, armor, outposts, consumables and more!

Starfield Research Module Gif
Starfield Research Module Gif

Our Starfield Research Guide will provide you with an overview of all the different areas of research you can manage projects in, what projects should be your priority, and how to unlock them.

What Research Categories are there in Starfield?

Research will be a necessity before you can craft additional, improved items. You will run these projects by interacting with the research module in your laboratory. And you can have a laboratory on your starhips and outposts so access is never too far away.

There are five main areas of research, which can have simultaneous projects being worked on at once. These are:

From the Research UI, you’ll be able to see the list of these five main categories. Additionally, it will list the number of available projects for each and what research projects are currently in progress.

Starfield Research Laboratory

While this is just speculation, it’s possible that while exploring in game you could collect not just crafting materials but also research projects! This could allow you to reverse-engineer some found alien tech you discover as part of the main story. Additionally, you could ‘borrow’ the design specifications of some new weapons mod from an intergalactic corporation you infiltrated for a quest.

Pharmacology Research

Pharmacology Research is based entirely around improving your character’s health and stamina. Additionally, certain projects will also help you discover new, more potent medical treatments.

Research projects such a ‘Performance Enhancement’ may hint at a different type of consumable – pharmaceuticals, or drugs. Drugs, both medical and recreational, will play a part in the Starfield story. Even companies such a Xenofresh Corporation, which founded the city of Neon, produce and distribute a psychotropic drug called Aurora.

Pharmaceuticals made in your lab will likely be of a more ‘performance enhancing’ type, improving your strength, speed, defense, or even carry capacity.

Food and Drink Research

Food and Drink Research is much more straightforward. Starfield will offer a variety of different recipes for meals and beverages, such as orange juice, steak, pitas, and even basic toast. These consumables are predominantly used for restoring health. The larger or more complicated the recipe, the more health eating or drinking it will restore.

You can boost your productivity in Food and Drink Research by selecting the Chef background during character creation. The Gastronomy skill you receive with this background gives you access to brand new ingredients. Additionally, you can also craft specialty food and drinks and research additional recipes at a Research Lab.

Starfield Patty Melt Food
Patty Melt Food

Equipment Research

Equipment Research is where you will run projects to upgrade and improve your armor. This will include spacesuits, helmets, and packs.

Spacesuit and helmet mods will likely improve the base defensive stats of a particular suit. However, you’ll find many suits are made for certain types of environments or protect better against certain types of damage. Consequently, spacesuit mods may diversify in the same way – boosting thermal protection for better hot environment protection.

Starfield Navigator Space Helmet
Navigator Space Helmet

Packs is short hand for the jet-packs or booster-packs your characters will wear on his or her back. Mods for these will likely improve boost power, letting rise higher into the atmosphere. Other mods might improve duration, restricting height, but letting you stay airborne for longer.

Choosing the right armor sets and complementary mods will be an important part of your character’s build.

Weaponry Research

Weaponry Research is obviously all about improving the efficiency and power of the weapons you wield. Although Starfield does have some melee weapons players can use in combat, the vast majority of combat will be driven by firearms. Therefore, most if not all of the weapon mods in the game are specifically for use with guns.

Starfield Research Weaponry UI Preview
Starfield Research Weaponry UI Preview

There are at least six different types of weapon mods:

  • Receiver: This mod changes the firing mechanism of your weapon, affecting its accuracy, range, and damage.
  • Internal: This mod changes the internal components of your weapon, affecting its fire rate, recoil, and weight.
  • Optic: This mod changes the scope or sight of your weapon, improving your accuracy and range.
  • Magazine and Battery: This mod changes the magazine or battery of your weapon, increasing its ammo capacity or firing rate.
  • Muzzle: This mod changes the muzzle of your weapon, adding a suppressor, compensator, or other attachment.
  • Stock: while not shown directly, various weapons have included this as a mod which will likely help with recoil

Much like armor, choosing the right weapon and the mods to go with it will be a crucial part of your build. Different enemies will have different weaknesses, and you’ll want to be prepared for any type of encounter.

Outpost Development Research

Outpost Development Research is focused on projects which will improve your outpost’s efficiency and production.

The outposts in Starfield are clearly meant to serve larger functions than just your basic housing with decorations. Outposts will serve as safe bases and landing sites, along with providing additional resource production. There, your character, along with companions and crew can rest, repair and refuel before traveling out into space again.

Research projects for Outpost Development will likely increase resource production, lower power consumption, and unlock new structure modules for you to use in construction.

Starfield Outpost Gif

Looking for more about Starfield?

Starfield launches exclusively on Xbox Series X|S and PC on September 6, 2023. You can play it day one with Xbox Game Pass.

Thank you for reading our Starfield Research Guide! We’ll do more deep dives into Starfield and cover the game. Additionally, you can also watch Deltia streaming the game on Twitch.