Starfield: Can you unlock land vehicles or mountable creatures?

Starfield spaceship pilot's chair.
Starfield spaceship pilot's chair. (Image credit: Windows Central)

Anyone who has played Starfield knows that you can travel to a ton of different planets, moons, and space stations within various solar systems. The celestial bodies you land upon are vast, with plenty of things to discover. Sometimes, you might see a location marker on the horizon, and so the idea of using a land vehicle or alien creature as a mode of transportation is especially appealing. But can you actually unlock land vehicles or mountable creatures in Starfield?

We'll go over all there is to know about land vehicles in Starfield and along the way you might see just what helps make Starfield one of the best Xbox games and best PC games out there.

Can I unlock land vehicles in Starfield?

Since the release of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and the use of the horse Epona, it's been pretty standard for 3D action RPGs to provide some sort of means for traversing the land other than walking. Sometimes this need is met with the use of an animal like a horse, and other times it is fulfilled with useful vehicles like the Warthogs in Halo. 

However, Starfield video game director, Todd Howard, already revealed months ago when he was on the Kinda Funny Xcast that there will not be any land vehicles nor will there be any alien creatures to ride at the time of the game's launch.

Upon being asked about whether there were vehicles are creatures to use as a mode of transport, he said, "There is not. You know, we do design it, I think when we've seen this with our other games where we want to design it so it feels good on foot. But we do have the boost pack," he states indicating his back, "you saw some of that in the video, and you have skills for the Boost Pack. So the Boost Pack almost acts like this vehicle. Super fun where you can fly through. And then the low gravity planets are just really really something special in the game."

So there you have it. There are no land vehicles and no mounts in Starfield. With any luck, these means of transportation will get added to the game in a later patch, but don't count on it. My money is on fan-made mods fixing this situation.

Is Starfield annoying without vehicles and mounts?

Starfield: Walking toward a distant formation. (Image credit: Windows Central)

I can personally say after spending over 24 hours playing Starfield that this lack of transportation option is rather annoying. Like many other games, Starfield doesn't allow fast travel unless I've been to a location before, and that only extends to places with location markers. Walking across barren wastelands can take a lot of boring, tedious time. I can't even free-fly my ship over the land and explore a planet that way, which also feels incredibly limiting and unrealistic.

I'd much rather have vehicle transport and mountable alien creatures than the transportation setup that's currently available in Starfield.

As Howard stated, the one way I've discovered to explore faster is via the boost pack or jetpack upgrades, but it takes a lot of time and effort before the boost pack actually becomes useful. Not to mention, it really depends on how much gravity a planet has for how far I can get with boost pack boosting. Sometimes it propels me a decent distance, and other times it's just a slight improvement.

I'd much rather have vehicle transport and mountable alien creatures than the transportation setup that's currently available in Starfield.

Boost pack upgrades

Starfield boost pack gives you a quick jetpack boost. (Image credit: Windows Central)

In order to explore a planet more conveniently and more quickly, you'll need to unlock the Boost Pack in your Skills menu and then upgrade it as much as possible. Here is what you need to do to unlock and upgrade it. 

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Header Cell - Column 0 UnlocksUpgrade requirements
Rank 1You can now utilize boost packs.Unlock with a Skill Point or unlock from start with a compatible Background (like Soldier).
Rank 2Using a boost pack expends less fuel.Boost jump 25 times while in combat and then spend a Skill Point to unlock.
Rank 3Boost pack fuel regenerates more quickly.Boost jump 50 times while in combat.
Rank 4Doubles previous bonuses.Unknown

Starfield travel FAQ

Several strange formations and natural wonders can be found when exploring a planet in Starfield. (Image credit: Windows Central)

These are the most often asked questions when it comes to Starfield land travel. 

Are there land vehicles in Starfield?

No, many players will find it frustrating to learn that there are no land vehicles in Starfield at launch. This can make it very time-consuming and tedious to explore a planet, especially when attempting to run to a distant object or location marker on the horizon. However, using fast travel and updating your jetpack can help you get around more quickly on planets.

Can I ride creatures or animals in Starfield?

No. Starfield Director Todd Howard has stated that the designers focused on exploration by foot rather than modes of transportation when on a planet. As such, you cannot ride any of the alien creatures you find on distant planets. 

Is the boost pack useful for exploration in Starfield?

Yes, you will be able to go faster for longer if you use your jetpack-like boost pack in Starfield. However, you have to first unlock the Boost Pack from the Skills menu and then must upgrade it after that before it really becomes a useful exploration tool. 

Can I free-fly and explore a planet's terrain with my ship?

No. You can free-fly over a planet when in space, however, you cannot hover over a planet's terrain and explore that way. All land exploration must be done on foot and can be aided with the use of the boost pack, a jetpack-like accessory. 

Get used to walking around on foot

It can take a long time to get around on foot in Starfield. (Image credit: Windows Central)

I'm really not happy about the lack of land vehicles and alien creature mounts in Starfield. Being forced to explore vast, barren planets on foot when modes of transportation on other planets is already possible during our lifetime makes the game feel tedious, frustrating, and even unrealistic. With any luck, we'll see an update or at least a fan-made mod remedy the situation in the near future. 

Until then, make sure to unlock your Boost Pack early on and do as much as you can to increase its rank so that you can boost further for longer and not waste as much oxygen when running across these alien planets. 

Rebecca Spear
Editor and Reviewer

Self-professed gaming geek, Rebecca Spear, is one of Windows Central's editors and reviewers with a focus on gaming handhelds, PC gaming, and laptops. When she isn't checking out the latest games on Xbox Game Pass, PC, ROG Ally, or Steam Deck; she can be found digital drawing with a Wacom tablet. She's written thousands of articles with everything from editorials, reviews, previews, features, previews, and hardware reviews over the last few years. If you need information about anything gaming-related, her articles can help you out. She also loves testing game accessories and any new tech on the market. You can follow her @rrspear on X (formerly Twitter).