I've finally figured out the answer to Starfield's greatest mystery: why my spaceship's cargo hold is always full of misc items

 A blue slipper
A blue slipper

Of all the mysteries of Starfield's sprawling galaxy, one has nagged at my mind more than any other: why is my cargo hold always full of slippers and blender bases?

When I first noticed the odd surplus of random misc items, I figured I must've missed something along the way. I sold them at a nearby vendor and carried on with my journey. But then, not long after, my hold was full once again, bulging with junk I never remembered picking up.

Was it something to do with looting enemy ships, I wondered—was I picking up all their junk somehow? But that couldn't be it—dead ships show you what items you're grabbing, and it's never a coffee mug or a board game.

I started to think it must be a very odd, very specific bug. Maybe my ship's hold repopulates every time I visit that specific vendor? Could it be my window to infinite credits? But no, that investigation proved fruitless.

Eventually I worked out that my hold spontaneously filling with junk had something to do with modifying my ship—it was when I went to New Atlantis' spaceport for some tinkering that I'd notice the phenomenon. Ah ha! It must be that whenever I delete a module, it automatically sends any junk that was in that module to my cargo hold, right?

But wait… these items weren't in that module, so it can't be that, either.

Why your cargo hold is full of misc items in Starfield

The ship builder interface in Starfield.
The ship builder interface in Starfield.

(Image credit: Bethesda Game Studios)

It turns out the answer is much sillier—and a bit of a nightmare for anyone hoping to decorate their ship with tasteful clutter. The reason why your cargo hold keeps filling up with misc items is because every time you make any modification to your spaceship at all in the ship builder interface, Starfield sends every loose item in your entire ship to the cargo hold.

That's every mug, every board game, every power drill—anything not nailed down. And given that hab modules come with a load of that stuff preset, that ends up being a lot of stuff.

That means your ship's decoration is stripped bare every time, so if you like to arrange the books on your shelf and fill the galley with cooking utensils, or just enjoy a lived-in feel, you basically have to make sure you never modify your ship unless you're feeling ready to do a full redecoration. I dread to think what it's like for that player who filled a room with potatoes.

Another weird wrinkle to this is that even if you sell all the items, and your ship has no junk left on it at all, if you modify your ship again (say by just moving one part and saving) it seems that your hold will once again fill with misc items from... somewhere.   In theory this could be an infinite credits exploit, though it'll be pretty tedious to take advantage of.

One last mystery that nags at me, however, is that it seems like the default clutter of any given hab module eventually repopulates itself (explaining why I never noticed my ship being oddly bare), but I can't figure out what triggers it. I've tried passing time and doing missions and quests, but my ship remains bare. I'll continue my investigations—I refuse to be outfoxed by a load of broken astronaut helmets and digipicks.