Starfield Research Module Interaction

Starfield Crafting System Preview

Table of Contents


In June Bethesda Studios dropped a 15 minute gameplay reveal trailer for its new, upcoming AAA game called Starfield. Expected to release next year in early 2023, the setting of the game’s story takes place in the year 2330 – a distant, but still imaginable future where humanity has developed settlements on other planets. This space exploration game will have many of the typical Bethesda game hallmarks – a robust main story and side quests, elaborate character creation, and an extraordinary amount of exploration. Let’s take a look at this Starfield Crafting System Preview.


Crafting has also always been an integral part of any Bethesda title, granting the player the ability to use collected resources to create powerful weapons or to even build and furnish homes. How will these crafting systems appear in Starfield and what impact might they have on gameplay? This is Deltia from and in this Starfield game preview I’ll be taking a closer look at all of the potential crafting details the gameplay reveal trailer had to offer.

Collecting Resources

The first step before you can craft anything is to acquire the materials required! You’ll need a wide variety of materials in order to craft medicines, supplies, and weapons – and likely they will also help you to build or power your outposts and ships. Excess materials could be sold to generate income, to further your expeditions into deeper space.

One of the first shots of gameplay in the trailer shows the player character collecting iron off of the rock face of the moon environment using a laser extractor that the UI calls a Cutter. The shape of the iron is highlighted when the player views it and the UI on screen shows the identification of what the material is. The iron is automatically collected and added into the player inventory after a short animation where the laser does its work.

It is reasonable to assume that this is how it will work for other kinds of resource harvesting, whether the material be mineral, metal, flora or fauna. When the player detects and scans the Dust Root flora above, you can see that the UI on the left hand side lists all the available materials which can be discovered on Krete:

  • Resources 5/8
  • Fauna 0/0
  • Flora: 0/2

Presumably, the Dust Root has not yet registered as Flora in the UI yet because the scan (seen on the right) is only at 13%. Another element of note is the notation of there being zero fauna. Just a handful of seconds later in the video the player character comes across some chitlin/insect looking creatures which crawl out of the way, followed quickly by the sight of some much larger crab-like creatures which also retreat. This despite the fact that the above UI suggested that there was no fauna on this moon. Although initially that might suggest that there would be no animals to be found on the surface, that is clearly not the case. Nor does the player UI scan pick out or highlight either of these creatures. Based on these factors, it can be deduced that these particular animals do not ‘count’ in the sense that they cannot be harvested for any usable materials.

As suggested in the gameplay reveal trailer, different materials will likely be found only on certain planets or in certain environments and you’ll have to keep searching and exploring new planets with your starship in order to find exactly what you need.



An additional element to the crafting in Starfield is the ability to run research projects. From what we can see, it appears that Research will be a necessity before you can craft additional, improved items. There are five main areas of research, which can have simultaneous projects being worked on at once. These are:

  • Pharmacology
  • Food and Drink
  • Outpost Development
  • Equipment
  • Weaponry

From the Research UI, you’ll be able to see the list of five main categories, along with the number of available projects for each and what, if any, research projects are currently in progress. While the gameplay reveal only shows a list of likely early game research and crafting possibilities the addition of a robust researching component to the crafting system could open up a lot of exciting opportunities!

While this is just speculation, it’s possible that while exploring in game you could collect not just crafting materials but also research projects! Imagine being able to research and reverse-engineer some found alien tech or ‘borrow’ the design specifications of some new weapons mod from an intergalactic corporation you just happened to visit along the way for a side quest.

Weapons and Mods

No crafting system in a Bethesda title would be complete without the ability to craft and modify your combat weapons! We get a bit of a deeper peek into the weapons research and crafting system in the gameplay reveal, which lists the various components of the gun weapon. Each of these pieces can be researched and then improved upon again to higher levels with additional research.

What we see in this particular screenshot does not show a selection of any additional types of weaponry other than this single pistol type of weapon. While it’s possible that the system is built so that this single weapon can be fully modded into other types with research, there is also a chance that this view of the Weaponry Research UI is either simplified for the trailer or it’s just early in the game and this type of gun is all that is available to the player so far.


The UI also suggests that for some higher level weapons or modifications, certain skills will be required in order to use the equipment. So be sure your character has the necessary abilities, otherwise researching and crafting the component would be a waste of useful resources!


Unlike Skyrim housing, which was mostly an aesthetic addition to the game, the outposts in Starfield are clearly meant to serve larger functions – much more like the Settlements do in the Fallout series.Outposts will likely serve as safe bases and landing sites, where the player and crew can rest, repair and refuel before traveling out into space again. The addition of new outposts on other planets and moons could also serve as a way to enable the player to travel further into space, so that a network of outposts stretching to the outer limits of the universe could keep the player within a reasonable safe range of refueling or rescue.

“These act as a home away from home, for survival and resource generation.”

Todd Howard, Game Director

There is a quick shot of the Outpost UI as a few building structures are being put into place. This is clearly a brand new outpost being put into place as the lower right of the UI shows a count of:

  • Cargo: 0
  • Crew: 0
  • Power: 30
  • Production: 0/min

On the right-hand side of the screen is a clear list of structures, with numerous modules that would provide your outpost with a variety of different functions. There are Outpost Airlocks, which are likely meant to serve as a gateway/transition space between the outside world and the interior living space of the outpost itself. My theory is that the various ‘Hab’ structures lists is short for ‘habitat’ – so a basic Four Wall Hab might be regular living space, while the Science Lab could be space dedicated to research. Hallways would obviously be meant to connect the larger living and workspaces to one another and Watchtowers would presumably allow you or crewmembers to keep an eye out for threats – whether those were from the surface or from space.


The smaller block of UI in the upper left-hand corner clearly shows what each structure will cost you in terms of materials. For the small Science Hab you’ll need just 6 Aluminum and 2 Iron, along with an ‘Operating Cost’ that determines the amount of power that module will use. It’s surprising to see that the Science Hab does not have a listed operating cost, given that you would expect that it would contain certain technology and equipment for running experiments or research. It’s possible, however, that building the structure just gets you the enclosure – that you will have to then go deeper into the outpost crafting system to create and build the furnishings and equipment which will allow the space to function as intended.

Starship Building

From what the gameplay reveal has shown us so far, it appears that starship building does not work in the same way as crafting and does not make use of crafting resources you collect on your travels. The UI for starship building only appears to allow the purchase of starship components already created by outside corporate companies.

Starfield Spaceship Building
Starfield Starship Building

It is still possible, however, that this system may go deeper than we see in the gameplay reveal. While the larger, exterior modules of a starship are available for purchase, perhaps smaller, interior modifications will become available through the crafting system?

To Collect and Craft

There are still a lot of details yet to be revealed about how the research and crafting systems will work in Starfield but the gameplay trailer gave us enough of a glimpse to whet our appetites for more! Advancement in the game will clearly encourage the player to do a lot of gathering as they explore the many, many planets the universe has to offer. As a player, you’ll need to make choices about what to prioritize in your research, especially early in the game – do you want to have the latest and most powerful available weaponry? Or would you rather use your materials to build and outpost on a distant moon?


These choices will be different for everyone, and is another way that Bethesda Studios emboldens gamers to play how they want! Keep your eyes peeled – I’ll be doing more deep dives into Starfield and covering the game on  I’d encourage you to subscribe for the newsletter if you want the latest posts and guides when the game launches. I’ll also be streaming the game on  Until next time, thanks for reading!

Looking for more about Starfield?

Starfield Character Creation Explained (click)
Starfield Exploration (click)
Starfield – How Long is the Game? (click)
Starfield Gameplay Breakdown (click)

I’ll be doing more deep dives into Starfield and covering the game on  I’d encourage you to hit the subscribe for the newsletter if you want the latest posts and guides when the game launches.  I’ll also be streaming the game on  Until next time, thanks for reading!