Bethesda’s Starfield: You Are Not Authorized to Fly This Ship Error | How to Fix

Starfield how to fix not authorized error

You’re all set to embark on an interstellar adventure in Bethesda’s Starfield. You’ve successfully secured or perhaps stealthily infiltrated a spacecraft and made your way to the cockpit. Unfortunately, you are suddenly greeted by an exasperating message: “You are not authorized to pilot this ship.” Frustration sets in, leaving you wondering how to overcome this obstacle. Fear not, this guide will explain how to fix the error in Bethesda’s Starfield.

What is ‘You Are Not Authorized to Fly This Ship’ Error in Starfield?

Piloting spaceships in Starfield is undeniably one of the features players are excited for.

  • However, it’s common to encounter the dreaded message stating that you lack the authorization to pilot a particular vessel.
  • Why does this happen? The good news is that it’s not shrouded in mystery, there’s a straightforward explanation and an easy fix.

In Starfield, the “You are not authorized to fly this ship” message essentially boils down to one thing, your Piloting skill level. You’ll come across this error when attempting to pilot a Class B or C ship without having unlocked Ranks 3 and 4 of the Piloting skill.

How to Fix the Issue

Starfield how to fix not authorized error
Screengrab courtesy of Gamers Heroes via YouTube

If you’ve set your sights on flying a more advanced spaceship, it’s time to upgrade your piloting skills. The Piloting skill comprises four ranks, and it’s not just about skill points, you’ll also need to complete skill challenges. Here’s a breakdown of what’s required for each rank:

Piloting Rank 1

For piloting rank 1, there are no challenges you need to overcome.

  • Reward: Ability to utilize ship thrusters.

Piloting Rank 2

To achieve Piloting rank 2, you need to eliminate 5 enemy ships.

  • Reward: Improved turn rate and maneuverability.

Piloting Rank 3

To achieve Piloting rank 3, you need to eliminate 15 enemy ships.

  • Reward: Unlock Class B piloting.

Piloting Rank 4

To achieve Piloting rank 4, you need to eliminate 30 enemy ships.

  • Reward: Unlock Class C piloting.

By achieving ranks one and two, you gain the ability to pilot Class A spaceships. Upon reaching rank three, you gain access to Class B vessels. Achieving rank four grants you the privilege of piloting Class C ships

Once you’ve accomplished this feat, that frustrating “You are not authorized to fly this ship” error will be fixed. It’s undoubtedly one of the most worthwhile skills to develop in the game.

Getting the Ranks

Starfield how to fix not authorized error
Screengrab courtesy of Gamers Heroes via YouTube

Thankfully, attaining each rank is far from an impossible challenge. 

  • You can easily accomplish it by taking on missions from the mission boards in Sol and New Atlantis, particularly those that involve destroying enemy ships. 
  • Just remember to allocate your skill points each time you complete a challenge, as ship kills don’t carry over to the next one.

Finding Co-Pilots

Starfield Amelia Earhart
Image courtesy of Bethesda

If you’d rather not take on the challenge alone, fret not. You can delegate the task to a companion with piloting skills, such as the enigmatic Amelia Earhart companion. Simply open the menu, navigate to the character submenu, click on the ship tab at the bottom, and assign her to the spaceship of your choice.


Don’t let the “You are not authorized to fly this ship” error in Starfield deter you from your cosmic adventures. With a bit of skill leveling and a trusty co-pilot, you’ll soon be soaring through the stars in the ship of your dreams.

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