How to wait and skip time in Starfield

Starfield character sitting alone on a bench beside a fountain
(Image credit: Tyler C. / Bethesda Game Studios)

Time is funky when it comes to space in real life, but Starfield keeps it simple. Certain missions in the sci-fi RPG won't be available unless it's a certain time of day. There is a way to wait in Starfield to skip time, whether you're traveling in space or are on a planet.

Like Fallout 4, Starfield only lets you pass time by sitting on furniture or going to sleep in a bed. Turns out, the secret to time travel is just, y'know, sitting around. Chairs, sofas, and other furniture to sit on can be found throughout the game, particularly in major cities. Beds, however, are usually only located in places you own, like your ship or an outpost.

Starfield measures time in two ways: Universal time and local time. Universal time is used while you're in space and local time is used when you're on a planet. Universal time and local time don't line up with each other, so you'll generally want to skip time on the same planet your objective is located on.

How to wait and skip time while sitting in Starfield 

(Image credit: Tyler C / Bethesda Game Studios)

If you need to quickly wait and skip time in Starfield, the easiest way is to sit somewhere. Most cities and ships in the game have places to sit and push the clock forward a few hours.

Here's how to wait and skip time while sitting down in Starfield:

  1. Find a chair in the world and press E to sit on it
  2. While seated, press B to open the wait menu
  3. Set how many hours you want to wait and confirm it by pressing E again

How to wait and skip time while sleeping in Starfield 

(Image credit: Tyler C. / Bethesda Game Studios)

There are times where you need to wait and skip time in Starfield that a bed could be a better option than a chair of some sort. Sleeping in a bed gives you an XP boost and, if you're a serious role-player, might make more sense than spending nine hours sitting in a plaza.

Sleeping also has a chance to heal any afflictions you've suffered, like burns or fractured limbs, but its success will depend on how severe their prognosis is. "Poor" afflictions won't randomly heal until they've improved to "stable," for example, so I wouldn't rely on sleep to cure you over all the medicine in the game.

Here's how to wait and skip time while laying in bed in Starfield:

  • Find a bed (your ship has one) and press E to lay in it
  • In the wait menu, set the number of hours and confirm it by pressing E again
  • When you wake up, you'll gain a 10% boost to XP gains for a limited time

Starfield guide: Our hub of advice
Starfield traits: The full list, with our top picks
Starfield companions: All your recruitable crew
Starfield romance options: Space dating
Starfield console commands: Every cheat you need
Starfield mods: Space is your sandbox

Associate Editor

Tyler has covered games, games culture, and hardware for over a decade before joining PC Gamer as Associate Editor. He's done in-depth reporting on communities and games as well as criticism for sites like Polygon, Wired, and Waypoint. He's interested in the weird and the fascinating when it comes to games, spending time probing for stories and talking to the people involved. Tyler loves sinking into games like Final Fantasy 14, Overwatch, and Dark Souls to see what makes them tick and pluck out the parts worth talking about. His goal is to talk about games the way they are: broken, beautiful, and bizarre.