Starfield credits and how to make money fast

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Starfield credits are a cornerstone of Bethesda Game Studios’ space-adventure RPG. Like septims and bottlecaps in previous titles from the developer, credits are crucial for navigating the Settled Systems and making purchases or paying off debts.

We’ll go over how Starfield credits work, and the best ways to earn more of them. By the end, you’ll be better prepared than ever to explore the 1000+ Starfield planets like an intrepid explorer of the Starfield Constellation faction. For some early game pointers, check out our Starfield tips and tricks.

What are credits in Starfield?

Credits are the primary currency in Starfield. You’ll need credits for several activities, including:

  • Buying new equipment, new weapons and armour.
  • Buying resources and materials.
  • Buying new starships or starship components.
  • Eating and drinking at different establishments.
  • Hiring Starfield crew members.
  • Repairing equipment and starships.
  • Paying off debts, e.g your mortgage if you chose the Dream Home trait in the Starfield character creator.
  • Bribery.
  • Paying off bounties against you.
Starfield credits: A wealthy looking merchant stands next to an Artifact.

How to make money in starfield

There are plenty of ways to earn credits in Starfield, with some being noticeably better than others. Here are the best ways to earn Starfield credits:

  • Completing missions and quests
  • Selling resources and equipment
  • Completing bounties and mission board quests
  • Smuggling
  • Stealing supplies
  • Pickpocketing NPCs
  • Piracy
  • Outposts
  • Cheats

Once again, this isn’t necessarily an exhaustive list, but these are some of the best ways to get that number in your bank account growing. Let’s go through them one-by-one.

Completing missions and side quests

This is probably the most obvious one, but completing missions is the most straightforward way to make money. Missions almost always offer a reward upon completion, and while some missions offer rare loot or special materials as prizes, the majority, either offer solely monetary compensation, or offer credits in addition to other rewards.

If you’re looking just to make money, this isn’t the top way to make money, but in terms of long-term money-making you can’t get much better than this. It lets you progress the game and the different Starfield factions questlines, gain a fairly high number of credits, and level up in the process.

Not only does questing provide credits through the rewards at the end, but often times, you can make money from what you do during the quest itself. Many quests involve combat, and looting your enemies can prove lucrative in its own right.

Lastly, there are mission boards where you can take on specific quests local to certain planets or star systems. These missions are repeatable quests that have you hunt down targets, ferry passengers between star systems, gather resources, or survey planets.

Starfield credits: A wide, dirty, industrial street is patrolled by corporate agents.

Selling resources and equipment

Like in games with Skyrim and Fallout, you’ll find plenty of vendors across the galaxy willing to take things off your hands, such Jemison Mercantile in New Atlantis. As you progress through the game, selling old or weaker weapons and gear you loot from enemies is an excellent way to turn a quick profit. Places like the Commercial District in New Atlantis have a selection of shops where you can sell your loot for credits.

If you’re going to be selling your items, starting off with a Starfield background like Diplomat will give you starting skills like Commerce to help you make even more money. If you’re not too sure how to sell items though, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered on all the important fundamentals.

Smuggling

On your travels, you’ll come across contraband. These are illegal items that cannot legally be brought onto United Colonies and Freestar Collective planets, with your ship’s cargo being scanned before landing. However, if you can manage to smuggle it in, selling contraband at a Trade Authority shop can be a lucrative prospect, and a great way to make some quick credits. Alternatively, you can sell them on The Key in the Kryx system. Check out how to smuggle and sell contraband to get a better idea of how you can get started smuggling for yourself.

Stealing supplies

The bucket-over-the-shopkeeper’s-head approach is now a tradition and makes a return in Starfield, too. Though it obviously comes with risk, stealing credits from shops, taverns, or homes, or stealing gear and then selling it, is another way to make a little coin. Since it’s easy to repeat once you’ve got the hang of it, you could easily loot a whole host of locales in one night.

Starfield credits: A digipick - likely Starfield's lockpicking system, is opened by a player.

Pickpocketing NPCs

Consider this a more refined version of stealing supplies. Pickpocketing makes a return in Starfield, allowing you to swipe valuables and Starfield credits right off of unsuspecting victims, as long as you’re skilfull and sneaky enough. Upgrading stealth skills and focusing on stealth-related traits will make this easier, and once you max out your Theft skill, you can even steal the guns right from someone’s holster.

Piracy

One of the available factions you can join are the space pirates of the Starfield Crimson Fleet faction, and if you want to live the life of the Fleet, then boarding and stealing ships can be a great way to make money. Once you unlock the Target Control Systems skill, you can disable a ship’s engines and board it, but be aware that you’ll face a fight on the inside. Our how to disable, steal and target ships guide has everything you need to know to get started.

And if you’re commandeering the ships that you come across, make sure you know how to sell ships as well.

Starfield credits: A player blows up a starship in space combat.

Using outposts

You can set up Starfield outposts on many of the planets and moons in the game, and they can be a great way of making some money over the long-term. You can set up modules that can mine for resources while you’re away, as well as setting up some crew members to keep the operation running smoothly. As well as being a great way to fuel the research and crafting of new gear and mods, any additional resources can be sold for a tidy profit. You won’t make money fast, but over an entire playthrough, you’ll make a massive amount.

Cheats

If you don’t want to spend the time collecting credits, and just want the money now, then cheating might be the answer. Console commands are one option, while there is already a fairly well-known infinite money glitch as well. Be aware that if you use certain console commands, it will disable achievements, so if you’re planning to 100% the game, make sure to save before you use any console commands.

That’s everything we have on Starfield credits and how to make money fast in-game. While credits might not be crucial to play the main Starfield story, or to befriend new Starfield companions, just about everything else in the game will be easier once you’re rolling in coin. For more Starfield help, check out where to get Digipicks, the best Starfield reactor, our Starfield quest list, and the best Starfield spacesuits to get as early as possible.

About the Author

Finlay Cattanach

Fin is a Guides and Reviews writer for Videogamer.com. He's worked previously with Startmenu, The Loadout, and more. He plays everything from strategy and sandbox titles to FPS and souls-likes.

Starfield

  • Release Date: 06 September 2023
    • - 06 September 2023 (PC, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S)
  • Platform(s): PC, Xbox Series S, Xbox Series S/X, Xbox Series X
  • Genre(s): Adventure, RPG, Science Fiction, Space