You love them or you hate them: Minigames in RPGs, where we hack computers or pick locks. Starfield also doesn’t do without these supposed gameplay looseners – picking locks thus plays an important role in Bethesda’s latest work of art.
What’s going on? In Starfield, we don’t just shoot enemies or click through endless amounts of dialog lines, but also spend our time picking locks. We’ll explain exactly how that works in this guide.
Picking locks in Starfield – Easier than it looks at first glance
How does lock picking work in Starfield? Already during the tutorial of Bethesda’s RPG you will come across your first locked chest, which you can only open by picking its lock. To accomplish this, you’ll have to complete a short mini-game.
You’ll see several rings with small cutouts on the screen, representing the lock itself, as well as the so-called digipicks on the right side. These are lock picks that you can use to open the lock.
The goal of the mini-game is now to use the lock picks in such a way that you can open each ring of the lock. If you use a lockpick whose pins fit into the openings of the ring, these openings will open.
You have to use the lock picks in such a way that you can close all the openings of the lock. But be careful: each lock pick can be used only once. After that it disappears. So you have to think carefully about which lockpick you want to use in which place, so that you can close all the rings of the lock.
By the way, it is quite intentional that a lockpick closes only a few openings in a ring, but not all of them. The solution to the puzzle is to rotate the rings and combine the lock picks.
In practice, the whole thing looks like this:
By the way, every time you fail to pick a lock, you lose a Digipick. However, such a key is also consumed when you manage to open the lock or when you want to undo a step. So make sure that you always have a supply of digipicks with you so that you never face locked boxes.
How do automatic attempts work? To make picking locks in Starfield a little easier, you have the option of letting the game help you. To achieve this, however, you need to invest points in the security skill. The higher your security rank, the more help you will get.
These are so-called automatic attempts: The game tells you the next correct key for each attempt. You won’t be able to solve the entire puzzle, but the whole process is much easier with more difficult locks.
Advanced, Expert and Master – The difficulty levels in lock picking
What types of locks are there in Starfield? Basically, you can encounter four different difficulty levels of locks in the game: Novice, Advanced, Expert and Master. However, to be able to pick these types of locks, you must meet certain requirements:
- Novice: no requirements
- Advanced: requires security rank 1
- Expert: requires security rank 2
- Master: requires security rank 3
Depending on the background you selected for your character during character creation, you will already have unlocked the first security rank at the start of the game. You can then directly start picking advanced locks.
The higher the rank of the lock, the more difficult the associated puzzles will be. Higher ranks have more rings and more keys, so you’ll have to invest more brainpower to succeed.
Lock picking in Starfield – Tips to make your life easier
What else is there to consider when picking locks in Starfield? Even though there is no way to pick locks in Starfield completely automatically, we have put together a number of tips for you that you should take to heart:
- Puzzles change: if you return to a castle at a later time, you’ll be presented with a new mini-game.
- Take your time: Since there is no time limit when picking locks, you can take your time to decide which lockpick fits best in which place.
- Think carefully: You can (and should) go through the entire lock in your head before investing the first lockpick that fits – because some lockpicks fit in more than one place.
- Improve your security skill: If you want to spend a lot of time picking locks in Starfield, invest in the security skill early (see above).
- Hoard Digipicks: While you can find digipicks in many places in the game, you shouldn’t waste them trying to open simple locks with automatic aids.
Bypass lock picking – a mod makes it possible
Okay, we wrote above that there is no way to bypass the lock picking mini-game in Starfield – but that’s not entirely true. Because you can help yourself out with a mod, in case the puzzles get on your nerves at some point in the latter course of the game.
Which mod bypasses lock picking? One mod that lets you bypass lock picking almost completely is called “Easy Digipick (Lockpick)”. This mod makes you skip the mini-game. However, you still need to have the necessary security skills to bypass the locks on higher difficulty levels.
How do I install the mod? You can download the mod “Easy Digipick” for free on the Nexusmods platform. Then install the mod using the Vortex mod manager, or unzip the file into the base directory where you installed Starfield.
Then download the Starfield Custom .ini file and extract it to the “Documents\My Games\Starfield” folder.
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