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How to switch weapons in Starfield

The quickslot menu is your BFF

An interstellar traveler holds a gun in Starfield. Image: Bethesda Game Studios/Bethesda Softworks via Polygon
Ari Notis (he/him) is a guides editor at Polygon, where he writes, edits, and shepherds service-oriented articles about the biggest games du jour. He previously worked at Kotaku.

Learning how to switch weapons in Starfield means you’re less likely to grind a firefight to a halt because of the Bethesda menu dance (y’know, thumbing through your inventory to swap a sniper for an SMG).

Adding to the ignominy is the knowledge that you’re performing unnecessary labor — because you can equip multiple weapons in Starfield, and if you find something new you want to quickly take for a spin, you can also instantly equip a new weapon too.

How to switch weapons in Starfield

Switching weapons in Starfield means making use of the favorite system and bringing up the quickslot menu with the D-pad.

To switch weapons and have multiple available at once, follow this step-by-step process:

  1. Open your inventory, then hover over the weapon you want to have readily available (or simply switch to).
  2. Press the Y button to “favorite” it. This will pull up the quickslot menu: a four-pronged menu with each cardinal direction containing three slots.
  3. Use the D-pad to select the slot you want your weapon to be in, then press the A button to slot it. (As of this writing, we have not discovered a way to expand the number of slots in your quickslot menu.)
A Starfield pause screen shows the quickslot menu. Image: Bethesda Game Studios/Bethesda Softworks via Polygon

By default, your med pack occupies the first node of the down direction. You can move that around as you see fit, though. You can also add other items, like frag grenades and trip mines, to the quickslot menu. If you’re the type who frequently changes outfits, know that you can add spacesuits, helmets, and other attire as well.

When you’re in the (not-star)field, you can pull up the quickslot menu by pressing the D-pad in any direction, and using it to select which weapon or item you want to wield. Opening the quickslot menu slows down time, but doesn’t freeze it completely. You can still get shot, punched, bitten, stabbed, or otherwise harmed.

How to instantly equip a new weapon

Of course, the fastest way to put something new in your hands is to... pick it up. If you see a weapon on the ground you’d like to equip, simply hold the take button (A by default on Xbox) to automatically equip that weapon. However, this does not add it to your quickslot menu, even if you have empty slots.

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