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How to Pickpocket in Starfield

Sneak around and liberate characters from their Credits, but don't get caught.

Starfield Pickpocketing Header
Image credit: Eurogamer/Bethesda

Pickpocketing in Starfield is one of the many options you have while exploring the galaxy. Sure, creating an honest character who doesn't commit any crimes is an option, but sometimes if you need Credits, health packs, or just generally want to get up to mischief, a little pickpocketing is the way to do it.

However, there are consequences if you get caught trying to pickpocket in Starfield, so remaining undetected and perfecting your criminal craft is crucial.

Without further ado, we're here to show you how to Pickpocket in Starfield.

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If you’d like more help in your galactic adventures, visit our Starfield guides, tips and tricks page.

How to unlock Pickpocketing in Starfield

To unlock Pickpocketing in Starfield you need to have the Theft skill. There are two ways you can go about getting this skill for your character.

First, you may already have this skill if you've chosen one of the following backgrounds in character creation:

  • Cyber Runner
  • Gangster

If not, then you can always unlock this skill in the 'Social' category using skill points you collect when you level up.

starfield social skills menu theft circled
Image credit: Eurogamer/Bethesda

We also recommend unlocking the Stealth skill too, which you will already have if you've chosen the 'Cyber Runner' or 'Ronin' backgrounds for your character.

Having the Stealth skill will be extremely helpful when it comes to Pickpocketing.

How to Pickpocket in Starfield

Once you have the right skills, to begin Pocketing in Starfield you need to start sneaking up on your target. We recommend targeting characters away from the eyeline of others and characters that are on their own for your first few attempts. Trying to pickpocket while many eyes are on you will make it a lot harder.

Try to stay out of the eyeline of your target and other characters nearby. Also, try to move as slowly as you can to try to avoid any attention falling on you.

starfield sneaking up on target hidden level
Image credit: Eurogamer/Bethesda

While you're sneaking up on your target (if you have the 'Stealth' skill) a bar will appear in the middle of your screen. There are four versions of this bar, and each one will tell you if the character has detected you or not:

  • Hidden (White) - Enemies and characters are unaware of your presence.
  • Detected (Green) - Characters are aware of you, if you commit a crime you'll instantly be caught.
  • Caution (Orange) - Enemies are aware of you but aren't 100% sure where you are.
  • Danger (Red) - Enemies have spotted you, combat has begun and sneaking is practically useless.

To increase your chances of success at pickpocketing, you'll want to stay in the 'Hidden' range, though it is possible to steal within the 'Detected' range too. You can also increase your stealth through skills found in the 'Physical' category.

Now, while 'Hidden', approach your target carefully until an option appears near their name that shows you the control prompt for 'Pickpocket'.

starfield pickpocket prompt circled in terra brew
Image credit: Eurogamer/Bethesda

Doing so will allow you to see their inventory, which is not a punishable crime. You can look at as many people's inventories as you want to without getting into trouble - the crime is only comitted once you decide to take something.

When looking at a character's inventory, you should notice that each item has a different colour next to it and percentage (%). These indicate how easy or hard it will be to take the item without being caught.

The colours are as follows, in order from easiest to impossible items:

  • Blue (Very easy)
  • Green
  • Yellow
  • Red
  • Grey (Impossible)
starfield pickpocket character inventory green items
Green items are easy to take. | Image credit: Eurogamer/Bethesda

Once you've assessed your options, highlight the item you want to take and press the prompted control (A on Xbox consoles) to steal it.

starfield pickpocket steal option highlighted in target inventory
Image credit: Eurogamer/Bethesda

If you're successful, the item will be added to your inventory and you can walk away or you can try to take more items if you're brave. However, if you're caught, you'll be in trouble and could very well end up in jail.

starfield caught pickpocketing uc security new atlantis
UC Security caught us... | Image credit: Eurogamer/Bethesda

Want more information on Starfield? Check out our guides on how to change your appearance and our persuasion explainer so you can learn ways to sometimes talk yourself out of trouble.

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