Today I’m teaching you how to become a master lock picker! Basically, how to use digipicks in Starfield. Since these are digital locks, I guess it’s more like hacking, but you get the idea!
If you are a fellow loot goblin, like me, you love loot and you’re gonna do whatever it takes to get it. This means you need to learn how to use digipicks efficiently. Well, you’re in the right place. BTW, if you’re reading this on Thursday Aug 31st, there’s a good chance I’m streaming Starfield over on Twitch. Just click that purple bar over there —> and say hi! I have an early review copy of Starfield and I’ll be starting a fresh playthrough at 12pm ET (when this article goes live).
Alright, let’s first talk about DIGIPICKS. This is what you’re going to be using to crack into all those safes and lockboxes. You want to loot as many of these as possible because they don’t weigh anything in your inventory. You can pretty much find them anywhere, so keep your eyes peeled.
The other thing I wanted to show you is the SECURITY skill in the TECH tree. This skill allows you to hack higher difficulty locks. Rank 1 allows you to hack up to advanced locks with 2 auto attempts that can be banked. Rank 2 you can attempt to hack expert locks and 3 auto attempts can be banked. Rings also now turn blue when the pick can be slotted which is REALLY REALLY good. I would highly recommend getting SECURITY to Rank 2 at the very least if you plan on picking locks. At Rank 3 you can attempt master level locks and 4 auto attempts. Rank 4 allows you to expend a digipick to eliminate keys that aren’t required to solve the puzzle. So basically a phone-a-friend!
Now in order to increase your rank in SECURITY you need to complete the challenge, which is to pick locks and you also need a skill point to put in there as well.
The other way you can level up the SECURITY skill is to pick a background that already has one point in it when you start out. These backgrounds are bouncer, cyber runner, cyberneticist, and industrialist. They’re all solid choices and I think having Rank 1 SECURITY is a huge benefit at the start of the game, especially if you like loot like I do. You’re going to want this skill during the first mission, before you level up and are able to put a point into it yourself, because there are quite a few locks to pick.
So when you first enter the lockpick UI, you’ll see a bunch of rings with notches. The higher the level of security, the more rings and notches you’ll see. If you have Rank 2 SECURITY, like I do in this example, you’ll see blue and white rings. These are going to help us narrow down our keys, which are the smaller rings to the right of the lock.
Each key can only be used once, and you may not need every key to pick the lock. So you need to be careful you’re not using a key too early, eliminating it from the pool of keys and then it turns out you needed it for a ring further in. The blue rings help with this because they will show you which rings that key fits. So if it’s blue on the outer ring, and then white for all the other rings, you can only use it for the first ring.
As you level up your SECURITY skill you’ll also gain “auto slot” charges that will show you exactly where the key needs to be placed. So if you’re hacking a master level lock, these can be very helpful to get you in there quicker and with less digipicks. Also, since it doesn’t show this in the UI, you can use LB and RB (on controller) to scroll through the keys.
My strategy is to use the KEY that has the most teeth on it. That way I can fill in the rest of the notches with easier keys. As the lock security goes up to expert and master, you’ll have more keys to choose from, which is when the blue rings from Rank 2 SECURITY really come in handy. You want to AVOID backing keys out of a ring because you’ll lose digipicks when you do this. Digipicks are fairly easy to find around the world, but not so plentiful that you want to be wasting them.
There is a bit of a learning curve but once you start to notice patterns and upgrade your SECURITY skill, you’ll be impressing your companions in no time.