Starfield space travel explained: How to travel, type of planets, and more

A thorough guide on Starfield
A thorough guide on Starfield's space travel (Image via Bethesda)

The long-awaited Starfield RPG by Bethesda is now available, and it promises endless exploration of the galaxy. The game takes a fresh approach to space travel, and fans will not be disappointed with the innovative methods of exploration of the substantial number of planets in the game. This article will cover Starfield's planets and space travel mechanics.


How to travel in space in Starfield

Interstellar travel within Starfield is mostly done by fast travel (Image via Bethesda)
Interstellar travel within Starfield is mostly done by fast travel (Image via Bethesda)

In Starfield, you will spend most of your time hovering through the infinite voids above, engaging in a plethora of daring dogfights, mining expeditions, and planet exploration missions. Meanwhile, interstellar travel is expedited through the convenient and sleek Starmap system.

  1. Jump further along your starry path with the help of your GRV drive, which dictates the distance you're able to travel. Take a peek at the Starmap menu to get a sense of how much of your energy will be depleted by each jump.
  2. By moving a cursor onto a star within the Starmap, you can pick a spot to explore. This allows you to zoom in and discover what planets, star stations, or curiosities are available.
  3. In the top-left corner of each system, you'll see a handy color-coded difficulty level indicator. Don't let being under-leveled stop you from heading there, but be prepared for a tougher fight from the aggressors.
  4. Kick in your GRV drive and bide your time until it activates if you're already in orbit. However, if you're fast-traveling from a planet's surface, a loading screen will zip you straight there following the activation of your jump to a certain locale.
  5. Hold down X or R on the keyboard to jump, but only to Star Systems you've already explored. Unfamiliar systems require individual jumps.

How to go to a planet

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When it comes to traveling between planets in Starfield, choosing a location and taking the leap may appear uncomplicated, but the process is a bit more convoluted.

  1. Open up your Starmap to begin.

  2. Hold down X on either your controller or keyboard after selecting your desired destination system or planet.
  3. You'll find yourself soaring past the planet of your choice.
  4. Select the planet on your map once more, and you'll have the option of scanning it and selecting a specific landing site for your travels.
  5. To land on the planet, hold down the button prompt, which is the same method you used to travel there. Once you engage the landing animation, you'll soar downward and settle onto the planet's surface.

Following that, you're prompted to either manually get up and exit or automatically leave your ship. You can use the scanning device to increase your character's knowledge of the said planet.

Each of the planets you encounter is essentially an enormous, explorable space. However, your range of motion is constrained by a limit on how far you can move away from your spacecraft. There's no need to worry, though, as that distance is pretty substantial, and every procedurally generated region where you touch down has an abundance of fascinating things to discover.


Can you land on all the planets in Starfield? Types of planets explained

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With more than 100 star systems, Starfield is home to over 1,000 planets, each of which can be explored. While some planets offer more opportunities for exploration, even those without central landmarks or settlements are fair game.

However, don't expect all 1,000 planets to be booming with activity. Many of the smaller ones are procedurally generated, meaning their terrain and offerings are somewhat limited.

When you find yourself in a Starfield system, you'll have the chance to inspect the planets up close by entering planet view. It gives you access to pivotal information about each planet, such as its gravity, composition, temperature, atmosphere, and whether or not it houses any living beings, flora, or water sources.

Types of planets

Starfield is home to over 1,000 explorable planets (Image via Bethesda)
Starfield is home to over 1,000 explorable planets (Image via Bethesda)

Based on their surface, the following are some planet types that have been identified:

  • Ice Giant

  • Ice
  • Gas Giant
  • Rock
  • Barren

Click to land on planets and discover their secrets, such as the surface type, available resources, temperature, gravity, and more. From there, you can view completed quests and the percentage of the surface you have surveyed.