Starfield Pickpocketing Tips: How To Not Get Caught

Ever wonder what will happen if you get caught while Pickpocketing in Starfield and how to avoid this?

In Starfield, sometimes you are low on Credits or health packs or even need a key to some inaccessible place. There is one solution to all these problems: Pickpocketing. The pickpocketing mechanic in Starfield lets you steal food, keys, and even holstered weapons from NPCs without them noticing.

This mechanic is different from looting, as you take away items from unaware NPCs. Using this mechanic, you can steal whatever you want and leave the enemy vulnerable. But all this is not as easy as it sounds because of the Justice in Settled Systems.

You can be sentenced or put a bounty on if caught. Mastering the pickpocketing skill in Starfield decreases the chances of that happening.

How to Pickpocket in Starfield

If you look at the Social category of your Skill tree, you will find the Theft Skill in the first row with a symbol that looks like a hand stealing a diamond. You will need 1 Skill Point to unlock it. However, there is also a way to get this skill without spending your Skill Point.

If you choose to have the Cyber Runner or Gangster background during character creation, you will get it as default. But it would be best to unlock the pickpocketing in Starfield for all other backgrounds by spending a point.

Once you have the right skills, you can pickpocket NPCs by sneaking up on them. Look into their inventory, choose what you want, and then steal them.


Once you are close enough, press E to peek at their inventory and decide which item you will steal in Starfield.

Pickpocketing different items

While looking into an NPC’s inventory, watch for the color icon next to it. The color is going to tell your success chances with pickpocketing the particular item, and different colored items have different success rates, which are:

Item ColorDifficulty LevelSuccess Chances of Pickpocketing
BlueVery easy99-65%
GrayImpossibleCannot be stolen

Effect of Enemy Awareness on Pickpocketing

A Stealth bar is displayed with your targeted NPC, provided the Stealth Skill is unlocked in Starfield. This lets you know how aware the target is of your presence and how successful you will be based on different colors. They are:

ColorStatusEnemy Awareness
WhiteHiddenUnaware of your presence
OrangeCautionAware of your presence but not your exact location
RedDangerCompletely aware of your presence and will combat in return
GreenDetectedAware of your presence and will get you arrested

Pickpocketing with the Green status is challenging but possible. However, attempting to pickpocket in Starfield with the Orange or Red status is useless. The best way is to be in the white status and do the job quickly.

Pickpocket ranking

All left is to choose the item you want and press A to steal it. This will add it to your inventory. The more you do this successfully, the higher your ranking will go on the Theft Skill Rank tree and the easier it will get for you to pickpocket in Starfield.

Theft Skill RankIncrease in ability to Pickpocket successfully
Rank 1Skill just unlocked
Rank 210%
Rank 330%
Rank 450% (even holstered weapons can be pickpocketed now)

Pickpocketing tips for best stealing chances

Your chances of success at pickpocketing increase as you upgrade your Theft Skill. The Gray items that cannot be stolen are always holstered weapons. You can steal them only after reaching level 4 in the Theft Skill Rank.

Unlocking the Theft skill allows you to start pickpocketing, but that is not enough as another skill goes hand in hand with it, the Stealth Skill, without which pickpocketing is much riskier. This skill lets you know the NPC awareness status while sneaking up on them to pickpocket in Starfield.

The Cyber Runner background has Theft Skills by Default. In addition, Ronin’s background also has the Stealth Skill unlocked from the beginning, but all other classes need to invest a Skill point to attain it.

What happens if you are caught stealing in Starfield?

If you are caught while pickpocketing someone, authorities will arrive immediately. You will have the following options in this situation:

Attack the authorities: If you escape from the scene after taking out a few cops, you will have a negative reputation.

Surrender yourself: After doing so, the authorities will take you into their custody. They will release you after a few days, but you will lose XP.

Pay the fine: You can also pay the fine and avoid going to jail or getting in a gunfight.

Do note that in all of the above options, your reputation becomes worse. The only way to avoid it is to ensure no one catches you stealing in Starfield. Negotiations are complex, with a bad reputation, as everyone will think you are a criminal.

If certain factions catch you while pickpocketing in Starfield, you must also fight them. Even though the Justice system is quite vigilant in Starfield, it is still worth noting that taking a peek into someone’s pocket is not an offense. No one can arrest you unless you go ahead with the pickpocketing.

Muaz is a veteran in Counter-Strike and a sucker for the Souls-Borne genre. He is a guides writer on SegmentNext and continues to write about his favorite video games.