So we're all sad about Skyrim's famous bucket heists and how they're not replicable in Starfield. Sure, there've been replacements in the form of shuffling credit sticks into laundry baskets, but none of these methods use something as common as the humble bucket to work their magic.
Well, move over—there's a new physics interaction in town. What's more, it lets you kill and loot any non-essential NPC without the game even recognising your brutality, and it can be achieved with anything heavy, and a bit of patience.
I have --Qwerty of the Starfield subreddit to thank for this little discovery. They snagged themselves an Akila security uniform scot-free by battering an officer to death with what appeared to be a PC tower, the most traditional weapon of our kind. According to the comments, you could do this in full view of just about anyone, and they wouldn't so much as flinch. Still, I thought, that can't be how that works, so I decided to do a test run myself.
What you're watching here is the culmination of around 10 minutes of effort. Admittedly, my aim wasn't great. Best I can tell, physics objects won't deal damage to NPCs as long as you're holding them, but if you let go at top speed, it's all good. As soon as the object leaves your Bethesda-style telekinetic grip, the Starfield universe no longer blames you for what it murders.
More absurd is how looting things from NPCs slain this way doesn't even count as stealing. The game just let me bludgeon a UC Officer to death in the middle of the street with exercise equipment, and everyone just went on their merry way. Business as usual.
It is, unfortunately, a total pain to pull off—the damage looks like it scales with the weight of the object (I tried to slap him around with a suitcase to no avail). I only had a 10 mass dumbell to hand, so this took a while. I even quicksaved about halfway through and smacked him with my axe to confirm that I had indeed been damaging him.
But yes, this absolutely works for now. As long as you have something heavy, a lot of patience, and a good arm, you can kill any Starfield NPC and loot their stuff scot-free. Legal loophole or terrifying commentary on space-age capitalism? You decide.