Starfield Lockpicking can be an intimidating mechanic in Starfield for those new to the game. Master locks in particular seem daunting, with some players reporting spend 30 minutes or more trying to pick a single lock! However, with the right strategy you can pick master locks quickly and easily. In this Starfield lockpicking guide, we’ll walk you through an efficient process to speed up your lockpicking success.
Lockpicking is a key skill in Starfield that allows you to access locked doors, containers, and chests throughout the game world. While the rewards may not always seem worth the effort, many players still find the lockpicking mini-game enjoyable and want to develop their skills to pick higher tier locks faster. Completing master locks can take a long time if you don’t have an optimized approach. Follow the strategies below to significantly cut down your lockpick times and breeze through master locks with ease.
Starfield Lockpicking Guide: Selecting the Right Picks
When you hover over each pick in your inventory during lockpicking, some of the lock rings will turn blue. This indicates that the pick can fit into those specific rings. Picks that don’t cause any rings to turn blue won’t fit into the lock at all.
Start by identifying which picks only fit into one ring, as indicated by just a single ring turning blue. Use these single-ring picks first, as they give you information about which notch that specific pick fits into. Insert the pick and turn it until you align that ring.
Next, look for picks that fit two rings, using the already aligned ring as a guide. For example, if you aligned the third ring with a single-ring pick, and then see another pick that turns the third and fifth rings blue, you’ll know that second pick fits into the third and fifth notches.
Solve the lock by using picks that fit the fewest rings first. Picks that light up four or more rings won’t give you helpful information until more rings are solved.
Turning Speed & Reset Rate
Turn picks slowly and steadily to have the best chance of aligning rings. Quickly flicking the pick left and right may cause you to overshoot the sweet spot. Patience is key.
Similarly, avoid resetting the lock excessively. Try to solve it in just a few reset cycles. Resetting too frequently, especially early on, will just waste time. With an optimized picking order using the single-ring pick method, you should really only need to reset once or twice on a master lock.
Perks & Buffs
Certain perks like Savant in the Security skill tree can help make locks easier by adding automatic ring alignments when starting. Buffs like drinks or food that boost Security skill will also simplify locks.
However, with the right technique, these aids aren’t required to speed up lockpicking. Use them as supplements when available, but don’t rely on them. Even without perks or buffs, you can consistently pick master locks in under a minute.
Make sure you’re picking locks in an environment free of distractions. Finding a quiet, private room reduces the chance of getting interrupted by enemies, NPCs, or other environmental hazards.
Lockpicking also requires focus, so being well rested or having consumables that provide an alertness buff can help you concentrate better to find those sweet spots.
Practice, Practice, Practice!
As with any skill, practice makes perfect. The more you pick, the more familiar you’ll become with the lock mechanics. Over time, you’ll instinctively get a feel for which picks to use in which order.
Early on, seek out lower level locks to practice fundamentals. Attempt each lock a few times in a row to build muscle memory. The easy and standard locks prepare you for tackling more complex master locks quickly.
Patience and persistence are key. Stick with it through the early learning curve and soon you’ll be a lockpicking master!
Playing on PC? Equipping a mouse with adjustable DPI settings can help. Lower your mouse DPI while lockpicking for smoother, more controlled movements. High DPI mice may be too twitchy, causing you to over-turn picks.
Gamepads also work well thanks to their analog sticks. Use a light touch and make small, precise adjustments to line up the rings. Whichever input device you use, focus on control rather than speed.
Maximize Your Early Game Focus
Consider prioritizing lockpicking early in the game when you’re still low level. Those beginning Security skill points have more impact compared to later on.
Putting perks in Savant or other lockpicking boosters while locks are still relatively hard makes the mini-game much more manageable. Then later you can always respec your skills if desired.
This ensures you can access lucrative locked chests, doors, and containers throughout the game to accumulate resources. Early investment pays off long-term.
When to Give Up
Master locks can occasionally bug out, scrambling the ring configuration on reset and making the lock unsolvable. If you sense this has happened after several resets, don’t waste more time. Just exit and re-initiate the lockpicking sequence. This will reset the lock rings to their proper order.
Similarly, walk away if you’ve burned too many picks and run out. With the right strategy, you should be able to pick master locks with just a few picks. Don’t bash your head against an uncooperative lock. Live to pick another day.
One Player’s Master Lockpicking Story
A Reddit user recently posted about their lockpicking strategies, saying they’ve seen many players complain about spending 30 minutes or more on master locks. They explained their method of using single-ring picks first, followed by two-ring picks, etc to quickly narrow down which notches those picks fit into.
This method efficiently solves the lock by reducing randomness and unnecessary guessing. They were confused why so many other players were struggling, saying master locks should only take 1-2 minutes to finish with the proper technique.
Other commenters agreed, saying you’d have to “go back to playing with the weird block shapes game from preschool” if it really takes 30 minutes to pick master locks. However, some respondents like nothing-typical pointed out that for people with conditions like ADHD, the memory and focus required can be uniquely challenging.
This just goes to show that techniques which work for some may not work for all. We each have different strengths and weaknesses when it comes to skills like pattern recognition. But ultimately, lockpicking in Starfield boils down to patience, practice, and trying new strategies if one method isn’t working for you.
With the right strategy and mindset, picking master locks in Starfield doesn’t have to be a slow, frustrating process. Use single-ring picks first to narrow down notches, turn carefully and reset sparingly, and take breaks if needed. Optimize your build early, practice on easier locks, and don’t be afraid to walk away occasionally.
Patience and persistence will pay off. Focus on improving a little bit each time and you’ll be breezing through master locks with ease in no time. Just stay calm, follow the clues, and let the picks guide you to unlocking each ring systematically. Happy picking!