How to Manage Encumbrance in Starfield (Inventory Tips)

Running Out of Breath Are We?

Abdul Muqsit
Abdul Muqsit
7 Min Read

We all know just how much stuff there is to pick and hoard in a Bethesda RPG, and Starfield is no exception. From the moment you start exploring, you’ll be able to pick up almost everything. With all that stuff rolling around in your pockets, how do you deal with Encumbrance in Starfield? Let’s find out!

You can manage Encumbrance in Starfield by giving extra stuff to your companions, investing in the Payloads skill, eating foods that boost your overall weight-carrying capacity for a while, using the Captain’s Locker, and keeping an eye on your mass volume.

Let’s talk about all of the useful inventory management tips needed to help you not get encumbered in Starfield. We’ll brief you on some hidden game mechanics as well. So let’s begin without further dilly dally.

How Does Encumbrance Work in Starfield?

Encumbered Message
Encumbered Message Appearing in the Top Right Corner.

When you keep hoarding stuff in your inventory without a care in the world, it’ll start accumulating mass weight. Eventually, you’ll exceed your maximum mass-carrying capacity.

When that happens, a message will appear in the top right corner of your screen:

"Running While Encumbered Will Quickly Drain Your Oxygen!"

And sure enough, that’s what it does. When you run around while being encumbered, your oxygen starts to deplete at a rapid rate. Your oxygen gauge is located in the bottom left of your screen.

Once your oxygen depletes, CO2 buildup will start. If you still don’t stop to rest; eventually, the gauge will fill with CO2, and you will start taking damage. Your screen will start blacking out as well.

To prevent this unpleasant situation from occurring, follow the given inventory management tips to stay organized in Starfield and keep your Encumbrance in check!


Keep an Eye on your Mass Limit Guage

Keep an Eye on Your Mass Weight
Your total Mass capacity is displayed here.

Make a habit of checking your overall Mass capacity after every mission or exploration run. If it is nearing the limit, you can take some time to filter out the garbage and reduce the weight.

You can keep the extra stuff in your lockers or storage areas. People who hate clutter should be okay with how much their character can carry around since they’ll keep things organized anyway.

But you’ll be pleased to know that Encumbrance and overall Mass limit can be improved by investing in the Weight Lifting skill.


Let Your Companions Carry The Baggage

Store in Companion Inventory
Select “Let’s Trade”.

Besides aiding you in combat, your companions can do much more for you, such as carrying extra items in your inventory. To hand over a few items to your friends, interact with them, and select the Let’s Trade option.

Choosing that option will take you into their inventory. From there, you can navigate to your inventory and select all of the items you want to transfer.

Remember that the companion also has a weight limit they can’t cross. So be kind as you lean on them for support. Another thing to note is that:

To use the resources you have transferred to your companion’s inventory, you’ll first have to move them back to your or ship’s inventory.


Store Extra Stuff in the Captain’s Locker

Store in Captain's Locker
Captain’s Locker, just behind the cockpit.

Another great way of stowing away unneeded materials is to keep them in your cargo hold or captain’s Locker inside your ship. Stay out of combat and return to your ship to access your Locker and storage.

Keep in mind that your Locker and storage also have mass limitations. You’ll have to upgrade your ship’s cargo hold to store more stuff.

But it’s not that easy. If you equip a bigger cargo hold, you’ll need other upgrades as well to support the heavy cargo hold. This would be a rather permanent and expensive solution.


Eat Foods That Boost Carry Capacity

UC Battlemeal Multipack
UC Battlemeal Multipack – Increases Carry Capacity for 8 minutes.

Let’s say you are escaping a bandit camp after looting some much-needed good stuff and cannot afford to dispose of any items. You can eat special food items in such scenarios to boost specific stats.

You can eat the UC Battlemeal Multipack to increase your carry capacity by 8 points for the next 8 minutes and not get encumbered.

This tactic can help let you escape enemies and safely reach your ship. After that, you can rearrange items and materials in your cargo hold.


The Payload Skill

Payloads Skill
Invest in the Payloads skill to Increase Cargo Hold’s capacity.

You can improve your ship’s current cargo hold by investing in the Payloads skill. This skill is found in the 2nd Tier of the Tech Skill Tree. At Rank 4, your cargo hold can store 50% more items.

This can be very useful if the player doesn’t have enough credits to buy a bigger cargo hold at the moment.


Sell the Extra Stuff

Sell Extra Items and Weapons to earn Credits.

Once you’ve figured out what is extra and what is not, simply go to any vendor kiosk and start trading. You can easily sell weapons, armor, and other materials for some good value and get Credits in return.

Credits are king. You’ll need credits for almost everything in Starfield. Building ships, houses, outposts, buying weapons, suits, food, lockpicks, literally everything requires Credits. You can never have enough of them.

So, do the smart thing. Don’t throw away items. Instead, trade them for monies!


Those were some basic inventory management tips you can use in Starfield to keep your Encumbrance in check.

We are just getting started with your in-depth Starfield coverage. Be sure to hang around and be a part of all kinds of fun outer space shenanigans.

Check out our guide on How to Disable TAA in the game and many other informative pieces by clicking on the Starfield Category on WIG!

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As an enthusiastic gamer, wanderer, and anime consumer, I find that a good day is one spent discussing and writing about games, but an even better day is spent playing them.
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