How to Manage Full Cargo Capacity in Starfield

How to Manage Full Cargo Capacity in Starfield
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As you explore planets and space stations in Starfield, you’ll likely end up with a full cargo hold sooner rather than later. With limited carry weight capacity, inventory management is key.

Here’s how to make the most of your cargo space and deal with the pesky “over encumbered” notification in Starfield.

Understanding Cargo Capacity

Your cargo capacity is determined by your starship or player character. You can view it in your stats menu. As you upgrade ships and suit, your cargo limits will increase. There are also temporary boosts available.

Here are the key factors:

  • Ship Cargo Hold – Each starship has a set cargo capacity that ranges from small shuttles to large freighters. Upgrade to grow.
  • Player Inventory – Your character also has personal inventory slots that contribute. Wear gear to expand.
  • Perks & Consumables – Some suit mods and temporary boosts can temporarily raise capacity.

Managing this capacity properly is crucial to hauling valuable loot, crafting materials, artifacts, and other items in Starfield. Exceeding it makes you over encumbered, slowing movement.

Tips to Manage Full Cargo

Here are some top tips to stop getting that pesky “over capacity” warning and manage your limited cargo space in Starfield:

1. Upgrade Ships Strategically

Focus cargo upgrades on your main craft or dedicated hauler ships. The higher tier ships have vastly more cargo room for looting and mining trips.

Prioritize cargo capacity unlocks before speed/weapons when upgrading. Engine boost and combat upgrades won’t help a stuffed hold.

2. Use Cargo Transfer Companions

Hire companions with the Quartermaster perk, which boosts their personal inventory and transfer rate. Park them as floating storage on your ship when mining or clearing dungeons. Swap items to them if you get full.

This mobile bank lets you loot more before having to sell/drop items. Just pay their salary!

3. Install Cargo Mods

Craft or purchase ship and suit mods that raise carry weight limits. The expanded cargo perk is perfect for haulers. The pack mule suit mod adds personal inventory too.

Mix both types to get compounding effects. But they can be expensive to craft or find.

4. Use Storage Containers

Build storage containers on board your main ships and at owned settlements. Offload excess crafting materials, artifacts, loot drops, etc frequently.

With containers, you create granular sorting and global access banks for materials and valuable finds. Much easier than selling randomly when over capacity.

5. Salvage or Sell First

When your cargo fills up, take a pause to clear space. Salvage any junk gear or items first via the integrate menu. This salvages into basic crafting components.

Then sell non-essential items to get under capacity again. This way you liberate inventory room and earn credits.

Prioritize keeping rare crafting materials, artifacts, special loot items, and equipment upgrades. Ditch ammo, basic materials, or vendor trash first.

6. Avoid Tiny Ships as Primary

The smallest fighters and shuttles offer almost no cargo room for looted items and materials. While zippy, using them as main ships will have you bumping cargo limits constantly.

Bigger haulers, transports, or freighters may be slower, but allow actually collecting and keeping valuable items you find rather than selling them prematurely.

7. Use Companion Inventories

Your crew members can hold items too, use them! Send crafting components or other loot to them directly. This saves cargo space for rarer items you collect. It keeps things organized too.

Just beware if they die or leave your crew before offloading their gear. Those items can be lost if you don’t transfer back!

8. Learn What’s Valuable

As you progress, you’ll learn what items and materials warrant keeping vs selling. Rare crafting materials are crucial for high end upgrades, while basic metals can often be harvested anywhere.

Artifacts also tend to fetch much higher prices to collectors and museums. Prioritize scarce, useful, or in-demand items in your limited cargo bays.

9. Get Picky When Full

Have a refining process when your cargo bay fills up while exploring. First salvage any junk or mundane items via integrate menu. Then sell the most basic materials and loot items to vendors.

Keep the rarest crafting materials, upgrade gear pieces, artifacts, and special collectibles when you run low on space.

Having this hierarchy prevents losing valuable rare items and components you can’t easily replace.

Strategies to Increase Cargo Space

If bumping up against max cargo is a constant issue, here are some structural ways to greatly expand carrying capacity:

Purchase a Freighter Ship

The largest class of ships in Starfield are true beasts of burden called freighters. They offer vastly more cargo hold room to accumulate resources and items than regular starships.

Yes they are slower and hard to maneuver. But the massive capacity makes them ideal mobile storage to ferry across star systems. Park extra ships stored internally too!

Use Crew/Settlement Transport Ships

Once you establish larger space stations or settlements on planets, you gain access to storage inventory there including special transport shuttles.

Order these shuttles to follow you and use them as ad hoc cargo mules. They link that settlement/station inventory access to you galatically.

Build Storage Infrastructure

As part of expanding a space station or settlement, invest in infrastructure like dedicated storage depots, cargo containers, resource silos. These vastly expand total cargo capacity for that location and storage access points.

Basically this creates warehouses you can access from many planets/systems once connected via the frontier economy and infrastructure system. Invest wisely though, as construction takes real time and resources.

Install Freighter Platforms

Take advantage of freighter platforms that can installed on ships. These platforms enable parking and storing multiple smaller vessels internally in a larger freighter mothership.

Essentially you get to take your fleet with you minus the crew paychecks and fuel costs! Use internally stored ships themselves as storage containers.

Dealing With Early Game Cargo Limits

In the early portion of Starfield, you will be very constrained by starter ship cargo capacity. Here are some tips to surviving the first 10 hours until you expand your fleet and options:

  • Trash Junk Often – Frequently use the integrate command to scrap basic items into components so vendor trips are fewer and yield more money per item sold. Hoover up everything then process junk down.
  • Fill Companion Gear Too – Make use of every inventory slot including companions. Assign them junk and crafting materials to alleviate overages
  • Sell Non-Essentials First – Learn what basic items vendors stock infinitely so you know what’s reasonable to always sell when overburdened vs rare items to keep.
  • Make Frequent Drop Offs – Rather than try to explore for hours stuffed to the gills, return to stations and settlements more often to bank crafted items and valuable materials. This empties you out for the next run.
  • Use Planetary Storage Early – Try placing storage containers on owned settlements early to act as planetary warehouses for materials and crafting projects as you expand across the stars.

So in summary, master Starfield cargo management not through inventory tetris, but expanding infrastructure. Use specialized storage vessels, offshore materials to invested depots, leverage mobile companion inventories, and often clear space by scrapping junk and selling non-essentials. The ability to haul vast quantities across the stars will be key!

FAQ About Starfield Cargo Management

How much can you carry in Starfield?

Carry weight is determined by suit inventory slots plus installed ship cargo capacity. This generally ranges from 50-500kg starting out. End game ships and suits can reach well beyond 2500+ kg.

What happens when cargo is full in Starfield?

Once you exceed current cargo or carry capacity limits, your player character becomes over encumbered. This prevents sprinting and slows movement to a slow walk. Ship speed can also be impacted until lightening the overloaded hold.

Is there unlimited storage in Starfield?

No single storage option is unlimited, but combining massive freighters (500k+ kg), transport containers, storage infrastructure, and internal ships garaged on platforms can provide effectively unlimited consolidated material storage and access points.

Can you upgrade cargo space in Starfield?

Yes, through the ship upgrade system as well as installing various storage expansions at owned settlements. Special cargo pods and warehouse modules play a major role once resource networks and freighter platforms are established.

Where can I store items in Starfield safely?

Invested settlements with storage containers, warehouses, and harbors are the safest global storage across space stations, planets, and systems. Items persist there permanently unless deliberately deleted. Storage items on personal ships or containers can be lost if they are destroyed in battle however.

What gear raises carry weight limit in Starfield?

Special exosuit modifications like the Pack Mule leg mod directly raise personal inventory capacity. The Quartermaster companion skill also boosts their carry weight when assigned materials and items. Finally mid-tier ships often specialize in expanded cargo hold capabilities too.

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