5 best things to do first in Starfield

Starfield Planet Exploration
Image: Bethesda

Like space itself, Starfield is vast, expansive, and a little overwhelming. With so much to explore, knowing what to do first can be difficult. This article contains five of the best things to do during your first hours in Starfield based on my playthrough and the experience of other PC Invasion writers. From a museum that explains humanity’s triumphant colonization of space to extremely handy keybinds, here’s how to maximise the beginning of your spacefaring journey.

Join the Vanguard and pay a visit to the Orientation Hall.

Orientation Hall 2 Starfield

Screenshot via PC Invasion

During the main campaign, shortly after arriving at New Atlantis, players are tasked with visiting the UC Vanguard to speak to a contact. Here, you can join the Vanguard, unlocking new questlines, loot, bounties, ship parts, and, most importantly, the Orientation Hall.

The Orientation Hall is a museum that guides the player through the rich history of the Starfield universe. Rather than overwhelming you with novel-length walls of text, essential events and factions are explained in engaging, bite-sized chunks.

Orientation Hall Starfield

Screenshot via PC Invasion

I can’t recommend visiting the Orientation Hall enough, even if the Vanguard isn’t your style. Learning the basics of Starfield’s lore vastly improved my immersion and gave far more meaning to decisions later down the line.

Bind weapons to your Quick Menu

Quick Menu Starfield

Screenshot via PC Invasion

Binding weapons and useful items to your Quick Menu is essential for an optimized Starfield experience. You can bind up to 12 items to this menu, allowing you to quickly access any item with the ‘Q’ Key, or the D-Pad if you’re playing on a controller. Out of ammo? Speedily switch to a new weapon. Running low on health? Patch yourself up and get right back into the action.

To bind something to your Quick Menu, open your Inventory, navigate to your desired item, and select ‘Favorite.’ I bound all of my guns and melee weapons, as well as my healing items.

Sell your loot

Trade Authority Kiosk Starfield

Screenshot via PC Invasion

By the moment you land on New Atlantis for the first time, your Inventory should be full of random junk, at least if you pick up everything in sight like I do. Now is a fantastic time to unload any items you don’t need at Trade Authority Kiosks or stores and earn some credits. You can find a kiosk directly outside your ship on New Atlantis.

The more you collect, the higher your Mass meter becomes. Accumulate too much stuff in your Inventory, and you’ll become encumbered, halting your fast travel and slowing you down. Be sure to regularly sell items you don’t need and store non-essentials in your ship.

Related: How to increase player carry capacity in Starfield

Upgrade, Purchase, or Steal a Ship

Starfield Ship Controls Flight Boost System How To Use Combat Weapons Skills Best

Image via Bethesda

To put things bluntly, the ship you start with in Starfield is a hunk of junk — and not the Millenium Falcon kind, either. Space battles are notoriously difficult at the beginning of the game, so upgrade your ship or acquire a new one as soon as possible.

Ships are, however, very expensive. Fortunately, you can steal ships and save yourself a small fortune. Don’t worry about the morality side of it; it’s for a good cause!

Familiarize yourself with the Research Laboratory

Research Lab Starfield

Screenshot via PC Invasion

Speaking of your ship, did you know you have a laboratory onboard? I only discovered this around four hours into Starfield, and I wish I had known about it sooner. The Research Laboratory lets you research a range of gear with resources acquired during your travels, including pharmaceuticals, food, equipment, and weapon mods.

Familiarising yourself with items at the Research Laboratory will help you understand which resources to look out for when exploring new planets. It also highlights which Skills you need to research certain items, so you know exactly what to spend your next Skill Points on.

For more help in your first adventures exploring the stars, check out 7 pro tips I wish I knew before starting Starfield.

Starfield is available on Steam and Game Pass.

Thomas Cunliffe
About The Author
Thomas has been a freelance writer since 2021 and considers himself a connoisseur of all things Nintendo, Blizzard, and Marvel. Since amassing 145,000+ followers on a Facebook page about Diddy Kong with a backward hat in 2015, Thomas has become a trusted voice in the gaming community across publications such as AOTF, PC Invasion, and Gfinity. His greatest achievements include catching every Pokémon, completing every quest in World of Warcraft (yes, all of them), and naming his dog 'Mass Effect 3.' Thomas is extraordinarily passionate about the video game industry and its community. He enjoys writing about various topics, including popular games like Destiny 2, Fortnite, and WoW, and exploring the latest AAA and indie titles.