How to Transfer Cargo to Ship in Starfield

How to Transfer Cargo to Your Ship in Starfield
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Starfield is the highly anticipated new space RPG from Bethesda Game Studios. As you explore the Settled Systems, you’ll likely want to collect resources, materials, and other cargo to craft upgrades for your gear or to sell at trading posts and outposts throughout space.

But how do you actually transfer all that cargo into your ship’s inventory? This guide will explain the cargo transfer process step-by-step.

Cargo Capacity: Transfer Cargo to Ship in Starfield

Every spaceship in Starfield comes with a set cargo capacity that limits how many items you can store onboard. Cargo capacity is measured in SCU (Standard Cargo Units). Certain very small items may take up a fraction of 1 SCU, while large/bulky resources and materials can take up 10+ SCU.

You can view your current cargo vs capacity levels in the ship status displays. Trying to overload your cargo hold will result in excess items being automatically dropped on the ground rather than loaded in. So pay close attention to those capacity limits!

Comparison of Starfield Spaceship Default Cargo Capacities

SpaceshipCargo Capacity
Light Fighter5 SCU
Interceptor15 SCU
Long-Range Fighter20 SCU
Heavy Fighter25 SCU
Long-Range Heavy Fighter30 SCU
Exploration Ship40 SCU

Table shows default capacities, upgrades may increase limits

As you can see, fighter-type spaceships tend to have very small cargo holds, while exploration vessels capable of long voyages have larger capacities.

If you want to maximize the amount of loot you can haul, go with a ship geared more toward transport over combat performance. Or install cargo capacity upgrade modules if available.

Manually Transferring Cargo into Ship

Actually getting your cargo into your ship’s hold is a straightforward process. But there are some key tips to streamline the transfer that the game itself never explains. Here are the step-by-step instructions:

1. Park Your Ship Nearby

First, land your ship somewhere very close to the items you want to load in. This is important because you (the player) have to physically walk back and forth carrying things into the ship. If the ship is a long distance away, this can become very tedious!

Try to locate flat, open ground that allows you to land near the materials to minimize walking distance.

2. Open Cargo Ramp

While outside standing near your landed ship, open up the exterior cargo loading ramp.

  • On keyboard hit the R key
  • On controller hold down the D-pad right button

You’ll see the ramp lower down to the ground. If it gets stuck or only partially opens, try repositioning the ship on flatter ground.

3. Pick Up Item

Now walk over to the item you want to load up and interact with it directly. This will make your character pick it up with both hands.

Slowly walk it over to your ship’s cargo ramp. Heavier items will slow down your movement speed while carrying them.

4. Transfer to Ship Inventory

When you reach the cargo ramp, a prompt will appear allowing you to transfer that item into your ship’s cargo hold inventory.

  • On keyboard hit the F key
  • On controller press the A button

If you have room for more cargo, your character will then place the item inside the ship. If your hold is full, the item will be dropped at the end of the ramp instead.

5. Repeat Process

Now simply walk back and repeat the process to keep transferring more items in!

Try to carry higher SCU value items first so you don’t end up wasting trips on small stuff that fills up remaining space.

When your ship’s cargo limit is reached, the ramp will automatically close and seal itself.

Alternate Transfer Method via Containers

An alternative way to load lots of small items quickly is to first transfer them into empty Storage Containers. This consolidates many tiny pieces into bigger bundles.

For example, instead of individually carrying in 50 units of Iron Ore, put them into containers first. Each container then only takes 1 trip instead of 50!

This works best when you have lots of tiny resources/materials to transfer that would otherwise require dozens of repetitive carry trips.

Utilizing Storage Containers

To leverage containers for faster cargo loading:

  • Craft several Empty Storage Containers
  • Manually place each container near the landed ship
  • Transfer desired items into the containers via menu
  • Rather than picking up each one by one
  • Once a container has desired items, pick it up and carry into the ship
  • Single container transfers full stacks in one walk!

With some planning, containers can greatly speed up cargo loading. Just don’t forget to transfer contents back out once aboard your ship!

Containers do take up precious cargo space. But they make more sense than exhausting the player with hundreds of repetitious material transfers.

What Items Can Be Transferred?

Essentially any item classified as a material, resource, or gear can be carried and transferred into your ship’s cargo inventory. This includes (but is not limited to):

  • Crafting materials of all types
  • Harvested food/plant resources
  • Raw industrial/precious metals and ores
  • Processed alloys, polymers, fibers
  • Colony construction materials
  • Weapon and armor pieces
  • Consumable items like fuel, medical supplies
  • Storage Containers (empty or full)

Notable exceptions that cannot be transferred:

  • Equipped weapons and gear
  • Ammunition clips, need to be reloaded manually
  • Anything classified only as “junk” (can be scrapped for materials)

So if you can physically pick up an item, you should then be able to carry it aboard your ship. This allows the cargo hold to function as a mobile extension of your inventory storage during expeditions.

Just remember – installed upgrades that increase player inventory size do NOT affect cargo capacity. They are completely separate inventories.

Storing Cargo Safely Aboard Ship

Your spaceship’s cargo hold keeps everything neatly arranged, stacked, and locked down during flight. But that only helps so much if you crash land or come under attack!

Make sure to periodically transfer your most valuable cargo into safe smuggling compartments aboard larger ships. Or plan cargo runs in fleets with multiple smaller vessels working together.

Never haul extremely rare/expensive cargo in unshielded fighters at risk of being one-shot by pirates. The last thing you want is losing hours of grinding because a random missile blew up your only source of Quantanium ore.

Use common sense when moving cargo between planets and ensure your ship and route choice safely match the value of items aboard. What good is scoring an epic haul if you can’t live to reach the buyer?

Selling Your Cargo for Profit

Now that you’ve loaded up everything you can carry, it’s time to cash in! There are a few options for unloading all that precious cargo:

  • Space Stations – Most stations have trading terminals that will buy goods directly. Prices vary between systems based on economy.
  • Planet Outposts – Surface outposts focused on trade often offer the best sale prices for cargo like metals, fuels, and alloys that their industry relies on.
  • Black Markets – Harder to find criminal outposts pay premiums for contraband goods but require smuggler docking access to avoid security patrols.
  • Other Ships – Transfer cargo directly to other players’ ships in exchange for currency payments. Risky but results in best value.

Dedicated cargo haulers may want to equip trading algorithms on their ship computer to help locate the most lucrative buy/sell order prices across the Settled Systems. This allows you to maximize profits from commodity trading runs.

Just don’t get greedy out in unpatrolled frontier systems using risky P2P trades! Losing your cargo or your ship is not worth a tiny bit more credits per item.

Master Cargo Hauling in Starfield

And that covers everything you need to know about picking up and transferring cargo into your spaceship while exploring Starfield!

With these tips you’ll be hauling maximum quantities of valuables across the galaxies to get rich in no time. Just remember to balance greed with safety precautions when carrying rare or expensive items.

Safe journeys through the Settled Systems, and may fortune smile upon the profitability of your cargo runs! Let us know if you have any other questions.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Cargo Transfer to Starfield

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about transferring cargo in Starfield:

Why can’t I transfer more cargo into my ship?

Most likely your cargo hold has reached maximum capacity. You cannot load more items until making space by selling/removing some existing cargo. Upgrade to a ship with larger hold if needed.

How can I tell if a resource can be picked up and loaded?

Interact with the item and if your character picks it up with both hands, that means you can then carry it into your ship’s cargo inventory.

What’s the fastest way to load many tiny items?

First transfer small items into Storage Containers to consolidate them, then move the containers aboard. This avoids dozens of slow walking trips for small materials.

Where is transferred cargo stored aboard the ship?

All carried cargo gets transferred into the main Cargo tab of your ship’s inventory menu, separate from personal player storage inventory.

Can I access cargo while ship is flying?

Yes! You can open the ship inventory at any time to transfer items in/out of cargo during flight. Allows crafting materials to always be accessible.

What happens if my ship is destroyed with cargo aboard?

Unfortunately any items stored in the ship’s cargo hold will be permanently lost if the ship explodes. Store most valuable goods in smuggling holds or haul with cargo insurance!

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