How to fix encumbered in Starfield

Starfield Encumbered Running With Too Much Mass Drains Oxygen
Screenshot by PC Invasion

There is a lot of junk lying about that you can ignore in Starfield. There’s also a lot of stuff you don’t want to leave where you find it. So, you might start carrying it around with you, planning to stow it away somewhere in the near future. However, picking up too much stuff leads you to become overloaded. Here is our guide telling you how to fix being ‘encumbered’ in Starfield.

Starfield: How to fix encumbered

When you become encumbered in Starfield, it affects you negatively and immediately. If you try to run while encumbered, you’ll use up more oxygen. That can lead to damage. You also can’t fast travel around the galaxy, which may mean you have to backtrack a lot (potentially through dangerous territory). It’s quite the hassle, and you’ll want to rectify the problem with all possible haste. Fortunately, there are a few actions you can take. To fix ‘encumbered’ in Starfield, take one of the following actions:

  • Drop unnecessary items
  • Stow items away in storage
  • Change your equipment
  • Sell off excess materials and equipment
  • Learn new skills
  • Consume a relevant item

If you take one or more of the above actions and sufficiently reduce the combined mass of the objects you are carrying, you will regain the freedom to move freely around the galaxy once again.

Starfield Encumbered Drop Items To Shed Weight

Screenshot by PC Invasion

The easiest course of action may simply be to drop items you don’t need. If you have acquired a lot of resources, their combined weight adds up quickly. However, some of the heaviest items are weapons and armor. These are valuable, and can add a ton of weight on you if you have more than you need. You can sell them for credits, or equip them to improve your offensive capabilities. Make sure not to drop anything you can’t afford to lose.

If you have available storage, stow away items you don’t need to carry. This is a good idea before you visit any new caves or plot-related environments. You are likely to find gear and items that quickly add to your mass, leading to the encumbered status. I like to have 40 or 50 kilograms to spare when I start exploring any large area. Remember: anything you have equipped counts against your total mass.

It’s best to sort out exactly what you want to wear before you start exploring. However, keep in mind that your ships only have so much storage available in their cargo bays. The good news is that you can expand the cargo space on your ships. If you’re looking for other storage, try the small case in the Lodge basement, right where all the workbenches are. Although the storage looks small, it actually holds an infinite amount of items. This is the best place to hold resources, since you’ll need resources often for crafting.

Starfield Encumbered Incendiary Mantis Spacesuit

Screenshot by PC Invasion

Change your equipment ahead of any major adventures, and consider stats. As the game progresses, you can modify gear so that it has additional capabilities. Also, some armor comes with encumbrance-reducing capabilities. For instance, the Incindiary Mantis Spacesuit reduces the weight of any resources in your inventory by 25%. The Mechanized Calibrated Va’Ruun Spacesuit adds +40 carry capacity.

If you’re near a shop, consider selling off materials and equipment you don’t need. I try to visit a shop after completing every major scenario. Usually, I have some extra gear with me that I can sell for a few thousand credits, freeing up mass and padding my pockets. You don’t get what weapons are valued at when you sell them. With that said, you can activate and upgrade the Commerce skill to generate more revenue from such transactions.

Consider learning new skills that allow you to carry more mass. The Weight Lifting skill, properly upgraded, allows you to carry an additional 100 kilograms worth of weight. It’s available to master right from the beginning. Considering how often you may find yourself encumbered, consider mastering that skill quickly. Perhaps you even have an unused skill point you can assign right now.

A final fix in a pinch is to use an item. Both Alien Liquor and Bourbon provide temporary boosts (lasting 5m) to how much weight you can carry. These are best used if you’re encumbered, and need to quickly fast travel somewhere.

Starfield is available to purchase on Steam and the Microsoft Store.

Jason Venter
About The Author
Jason Venter is a contributing writer for PC Invasion since 2022 who can trace his love for video games back to the Apple IIe port of Mario Bros. in the late 80s. He remains a diehard Nintendo fan to this day and loves JRPGs, adventure games, and platformers in particular, but he still plays games in most genres and on most hardware. After founding indie gaming site HonestGamers in 1998, he served as an editor at Hardcore Gamer Magazine during its entire print run. He has since freelanced for a variety of leading sites including IGN, GameSpot, and Polygon. These days, he spends most of his time writing game guides and entertaining readers with his fantasy novels.