How to Upgrade Equipment & Weapons – Starfield

One of the best parts of Bethesda games is upgrading your weapons and equipment. It makes your character feel like they’re yours and unique. In Starfield, you have to jump through some hoops before you can start doing this. However, once you understand the system, you’ll be modifying your weapons and gear in no time!

First, we will list out the steps to mod / upgrade process, then get into each step’s details:

  1. Use research materials to research modifications at a research lab.
  2. Use either the spacesuit workbench or weapons workbench to apply respective mods (materials needed).
  3. Level up and choose specialized upgrading skills.
  4. Return to workbenches to further research and apply new mods.

To get started, you will need to know about three workbenches: Research Lab, Weapons Workbench, and Spacesuit Workbench. Research Lab is the one you will have to visit first, then the other two are where you will actually be doing the upgrading.

If you’ve started the main story, there is a nifty room in the basement of the lodge with all of these benches located in one spot. You can access it after becoming a full-fledged Constellation member.

starfield upgrading guide lodge work room direcrtions

The first bench we will need, and probably the most overlooked one, is the ‘Research Lab’. This is the place you have to research modifications in order to apply them to your gear at other benches. You can’t just research right away, though — you must have the right research materials in order to acquire the specs.

Finding these research materials isn’t too hard: just look around in containers while out exploring, and mine mineral deposits while scanning planets.

These two benches are exactly what you would expect; you use them to apply the researched mods to your killing objects and space gear. Upgrades are quite expansive, possibly altering nearly every characteristic of your equipment and weapons. Unfortunately, there are some caveats to how much you can mod at the beginning. Every piece of gear can have some basic modification put on it, but more sophisticated mods will require a specific skill rank.

You will notice when you are first upgrading that a lot of the modifications are locked behind skills. You can see these skills in your level-up screen – they are right next to each other, under the ‘Science‘ category.

There’s one to improve the efficiency of researching and unlock its ranks (‘Research Methods,’ first row), and two more to unlock the mods for weapons and equipment (‘Spacesuit Design’, ‘Weapon Engineering’, second row). The second row skills will have to be unlocked by investing skill points into the Science category.

Were you able to mod your weapons to perfection? Was there a certain equipment modification that helped a ton? Tell us about them in the comments!

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Kelson H.
Kelson H.

Kelson is a spud head from out west. He is most happy when holding a milky tea with too much honey and playing a sprawling role playing game or reading a fantasy novel. His video game tastes vary but his main genres are looter shooters, RPGs, and real time strategy games.

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7 months ago

Thanks! Super helpful