Starfield doesn't make it difficult to fill your wallet with credits quickly. It's fairly simple: Take on missions, loot everything, and sell it for a steady supply of cash. In practice, however, it gets complicated. Your character's carrying capacity is pretty limited at the start of the game, and many vendors only carry around 5,000 credits on them.
The best way to earn credits in Starfield is to know exactly what is or isn't worth picking up, and where in the galaxy you can reliably sell your stuff. Once you have these figured out, you can basically play the game normally and take breaks to make a bunch of money.
You'll only really be limited by your carrying weight capacity. Consider spending your skill points on things that will increase that to make the early parts of the game much easier. Otherwise, be ready to make regular trips to vendors to empty your pockets.
Method 1: Looting vendor chests
There are plenty of ways to break Starfield and earn thousands of credits in a few minutes. The most effective one is a glitch, where you can slip underneath cities to find chests carrying tons of credits. These chests are tied to vendor NPCs, so you're actually accessing what is effectively their inventory without having to talk to them. You still have to leave and fast-forward time to reset the chests, but technically it's the fastest way to earn credits—if you're willing to bend the rules, that is. Or you could just use console commands to add the credits to your inventory directly.
Method 2: Prioritize valuable loot
If you want to keep things above board, earning credits in Starfield isn't very intrusive to how you're already encouraged to play the game. Completing missions and boarding ships are the best activities for earning credits. Prioritize the main story missions until you've visited a few of the cities and then join a faction, like the Freestar Rangers (Akila City) or the UC Vanguard (New Atlantis), to fill your mission menu.
There's no need to scrape every planet clean of natural resources (it's not worth it), all you need to do is prioritize certain types of items while you explore. Here's a quick list of the most valuable items to loot:
- Contraband (items marked with a yellow icon)
The most valuable items in Starfield also happen to be the heaviest. I highly recommend putting a few skill points in Weight Lifting, points in Payloads, and adding cargo space with Starfield's ship building. Item weight adds up extremely fast and it's a hassle to offload it all onto your companions, so grab these upgrades early in your journey.
Also be on the lookout for spacesuits with the keyword "Mechanized": they add +40 carrying capacity (taking you from around 140 to 180) and it's possible to find them within the first 5 or 10 hours.
The best vendors to make money in Starfield
Surprisingly, offloading your stuff is the hardest part. Starfield vendors, like in every Bethesda game before it, have a set amount of credits they can offer in a given transaction. Once you empty their pockets, you have to wait 48 hours for that money to reset. Valuable spacesuits can sell for thousands of credits each, which can be a problem if the vendor only has 5,000 credits to offer.
If you need to know where to sell items, focus on Starfield's main cities, and look for buildings branded with Trade Authority. Those NPCs have the most credits to offer.
What to spend your Starfield credits on
The best things to spend your money on in Starfield are spaceships, houses, deocations, and weapons. Each of these things have layers of complexity that all require different materials from around the universe. The easiest way to make these manageable is to approach them with tons of money to spend. Think of these things like your endgame; when you're so rich off of looting ships and bases that you have nothing left to do but start building your own stuff.