Starfield: How the Research Laboratory Works | GAME3A

Starfield: How the Research Laboratory Works

The worlds of Starfield are extremely perilous, and you must always keep your wits about you in the research laboratory to upgrade your equipment and ...

Claire Jackson Sept 06, 2023
Starfield: How the Research Laboratory Works

The worlds of Starfield are extremely perilous, and you must always keep your wits about you in the research laboratory to upgrade your equipment and spacesuit. One never knows when they might encounter the ruthless Crimson Fleet, treacherous planetary surface conditions, or dare we say, a bloodthirsty Terrormorph.

Therefore, on your space adventures, you should collect every resource and material you can find, allowing you to fully utilize the research laboratory and learn new crafting blueprints ranging from outpost structures to weapon modifications and everything in between.

What Does The Research Lab Do?

Starfield How The Research Lab Works

Before you can craft an item, whether it's optics and lasers for your weapons or preparing a meatloaf at a cooking station, you must unlock how to make it in the research laboratory.

The research laboratory offers five research categories:

  • Pharmacology
  • Food And Drink
  • Outpost Development
  • Equipment
  • Weaponry

Each category has a range of research projects. The available research projects are displayed in the main menu of each research laboratory.

You need to improve your skills to be able to perform higher-level projects. At the beginning of the game, you can research all level-1 projects (provided you have the available resources).

How To Use The Research Lab

Starfield How The Research Lab

To complete a research project, you need to deposit resources and materials into the research laboratory. Each deposited item will be consumed in the process.

As an example, if you want to learn how to cook a meatloaf, you would need to complete the "Old Earth Cuisine Level 1" project, for which you would have to deposit the following items into the research laboratory:

  • Bread
  • Red Meat
  • Cheese

Once you have completed a project, you can craft each individual item at the corresponding crafting stations. In this case, you can craft the meatloaf at the cooking station.

Advanced research projects require more materials and deposits to unlock.

Research Progress Overflow Explained

Starfield How The Research

When you deposit resources into a project, you may experience a "breakthrough" in research that rewards you with additional bonus materials. In the case of a research overflow, you might even complete a research project if you're lucky.

Due to research overflow, it's a good idea to deposit materials that you have plenty of, as they can potentially be used to supplement any materials that you may be lacking for the project.

How To Improve Research Lab Efficiency

Starfield How The

Starfield wouldn't be a Bethesda RPG without an extensive skill tree. There are a variety of skills and certifications that can be unlocked to improve your character's abilities and skills, and the research laboratory is no exception.

The skill "Research Methods" is a beginner-level skill in the Science field that reduces the cost and quantity of resources required to complete a research project.

The skill "Research Methods" has four ranks, each increasing the effectiveness of the skill with every rank. However, you must complete the challenge of each rank before you can acquire it with a skill point.

Unique Research Projects

Starfield How

Not all research projects are automatically displayed in the research laboratory. Some projects are locked behind specific skills.

The skill "Special Projects," found in the "Master of Science" skill tree, allows you to research experimental projects and craft rare, exotic, and unique items.

The skill "Culinary Arts," found in the "Beginner Social Skills" skill tree, allows you to cook and research unique food and beverage recipes.

You should carefully consider the background you choose for your character, as it may grant you faster access to unique research projects than usual.

Where To Find Research Labs?


Research laboratories can be found all across the galaxy! In fact, you will never be far from a research laboratory as you will have one on board your ship. Furthermore, you will encounter countless research laboratories in major settlements like the bustling city of New Atlantis and facilities you find on remote planets.

The Constellation Lodge is a fantastic place to establish a preliminary base as your room includes a safe with infinite storage space. As Walter Stroud mentions, the lodge has every type of workstation you may need, including a research laboratory.