How to pick locks in Starfield

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A miniature spy figure skillfully picking a lock on a desk, with a large clock in the background.
September 28, 2023: Learn how lockpicking works in Starfield with our guide.

Like just about any Bethesda game to come before it, Starfield isn’t about to let you walk away with valuable loot easily. Like you would in a hotel, NPCs in this open-world adventure keep their treasured possessions safe and secure. But they don’t know that this Starfield lockpicking guide is about to make getting into their personal belongings trivial.

Whether it’s The Elder Scrolls or Fallout, Bethesda has proven time and again that a good lockpicking minigame is a great way to break up a long action sequence. Starfield is set to offer the same, with the arguably unimportant addition being included in the very first gameplay trailer - almost like the developers know its their signature stamp. Here’s how it works.

For more on Starfield, check out how to crouch in the game. We've also got a look at our list of all cities and weapons in the game.

Starfield Lockpicking guide - Lock hacking and all skills

Revealed in the very first gameplay trailer was a quick look at how Starfield Lockpicking will work. As expected, it’s a minigame mechanic that’s less of a puzzle and more an exercise in attention.

With this one, you need to rotate and match up enough Digipicks (lock picks) to fill in the gaps in a lock’s tumbler. Once the breaks in the circle are filled with appropriately angled Digipicks, the lock will open, revealing the contents of the container it was attached to.

The lock picking minigame in Starfield.
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Locks have varying degrees of difficulty, namely: Novice, Advanced, Expert, or Master. In past Bethesda games, most notably the Elder Scrolls series, a specific Lockpicking skill would broaden the hot, cold, and freezing tells that would slowly guide you toward the sweet spot of unlocking a door or chest with a lockpick, minimising the number of picks you’d break trying to find it.

Compared to other Bethesda games, Starfield has a higher lockpicking difficulty because it has more than one level on each lock to squeeze Digipicks into. You'll also likely get less Digipicks will one or two nibs, meaning the solution to using the correctly shaped option becomes much more fiendish to uncover.


You’ll be able to brute-force your way through almost any lock with enough trial and error assuming you have enough Digipicks to keep going, but unlockable skills, better Digipicks, or a simple experience system could make it easier to solve the harder puzzles. We’ll note any of these down as they become apparent.

Want to learn a few more Starfield tricks? Did you know you can board an enemy ship like a pirate or coast guard? Beyond that, here’s how else to get more ships in Starfield. And for community stories to read while you’re away from your crew, here’s how many sandwiches a spaceship is worth in-game, and which ship comes with a rage-quit button. The community has been pouring over footage to find the strangest little details.

For more articles like this, take a look at our Guides and Starfield page.