Starfield Ship Classes guide: Class A, B, and C Ships explained

Your ship is a huge part of your character’s identity in Starfield - as important as your armor, weaponry, or even whatever backstory you’ve decided to concoct for yourself. But to truly make the most of your ship, you’ll need to understand Ship Classes - which this guide will help you to do.

Ship Classes in Starfield explained

As you might imagine, the concept of your ship class in Starfield is related to the power level of the ship in question. Rather than named maritime-style classes like ‘Juggernaut’ or ‘Skipper’ or the like, which is common in many space-based universes, Starfield keeps it deceptively simple, with just three lettered classes: A, B, and C.

The question, then, becomes what these letters mean - as it isn’t as clear-cut as you might think.

Basically, your Starfield Ship Class is determined by what type of Reactor you fit to your ship. This then has an impact on the actual modules and parts you can use to create your ship when you get to ship building.

You'll be able to see the class of a ship in the ship selection menu accessed at launch pads and ship vendors - it'll be in the top-left of the second section of the ship overview, next to the Reactor Power.
You'll be able to see the class of a ship in the ship selection menu accessed at launch pads and ship vendors - it'll be in the top-left of the second section of the ship overview, next to the Reactor Power.

The ship classes ‘rank up’, where Class A is home to the most basic, lower-power reactors, Class B is slightly more powerful, and Class C reactors are top-of-the-range. A ship equipped with a Class A reactor can only use Class A ship parts and modules, while a ship with a Class B module counts as a B-rank vessel, and can use A or B classed parts and modules. Finally, a Class C ship can use A, B, or C parts.

To reiterate, it’s important to remember that you can only use parts that match or are below your ship’s class, where A is the lowest class and C is the highest. Put C-class weapons on an A-class ship just because they’re more powerful, for instance, and they won’t work.

A-class ships aren't weak - they're just smaller and more nimble.

Because larger ships will require larger engines that have hungrier power requirements, it follows that generally speaking, you can build smaller ships with Class A, medium-sized ships with Class B, and larger ships with Class C. If you want to pack a ship out with all of the ship habs to get all the crafting benches, for instance, it’ll likely need to be heavier, and thus a Class B or C.

There’s nothing to stop you building a modest Class C ship, however - you just might not need all that power that its reactor is putting out.

There is no best ship class in Starfield, as the classes are made relatively equally. You have a decision to make about what sort of ship you’d rather pilot - a tanky beast that’s perhaps slower to move and a larger target but able to shrug off hits with loads of ship cargo inventory space, or a smaller, agile space fighter type of ship? The choice is yours.

It’s worth noting, however, that you’ll need to invest in your skill tree if you plan to pilot higher class ships. 

How to Build & Pilot Class B and C ships

To pilot Class B and Class C ships, you'll need to invest in the piloting skill.

As noted above, the larger classes of ship with more powerful reactors theoretically require a greater level of skill to safely control - and so as such, your Starfield adventurer will need to be sufficiently skilled in order to be allowed to build or pilot them.

There are a range of Class B and C ships that can be obtained as a reward for quests, as well as A-Rank ships like the powerful Star Eagle - one of the best pre-built ships in the game, or even the Mantis quest reward the Razorback. This proves that the best ships need not necessarily be Class B or C. But even if you earn a Class Bor C ship via quests, you won’t be able to pilot them without the proper qualifications.

In order to actively set a Class B or Class C ship as your Home Ship and make it the one you fly around, you’ll need to hit up the Starfield Skill Tree and pump points into the ‘Piloting’ skill. Specifically, you’ll need to have that skill at Level 3 to Pilot B-Class ships, and Level 4 to Pilot C-class ships.

It’s worth noting that while you can add crew who have piloting as one of their crew skills, this won’t help you to pilot higher class ships - it just adds maneuverability when that crew member is active.

To build Class B and C ships, you may also need to travel between the various Ship Manufacturer Shipyards to find the relevant parts - and have a high enough rank in the Starship Design skill to equip the relevant class parts.