There's a helpful hack in Starfield that makes popping locks a lot easier, but you'll need superior lockpicking skills if you want to take advantage of it.
Lockpicking in Starfield works differently from other Bethesda games. Here, each lock contains layers of rings with gaps that must be filled using Digipicks. You need to be clever about the order in which you use these, though, or you could find yourself with none that match the required patterns of holes in a later layer, preventing you from completing the puzzle.
Thankfully, there's a way to make sure you're using Digipicks at the right time. Over on Twitter, Starfield player @TheMissAtomic has pointed out that "a digipick key will turn blue if it corresponds to that level," whereas if it doesn't, it will be white. "However, some keys will work on multiple levels," the player adds, "so be mindful of where you put it, wouldn't want to waste a digipick!"
Did you know that a digipick key will turn blue if it corresponds to that level? Or white if it does not However, some keys will work on multiple levels, so be mindful of where you put it, wouldn't want to waste a digipick! #Starfield pic.twitter.com/1cPmSSX1opSeptember 10, 2023
As the visual cue is so subtle, it's something that can be easily go unnoticed, but as another player points out in the comments, it will only happen if you've upgraded your lockpicking skill. This comes under Security, which is part of Starfield's Tech Skill Tree, and must be at least Rank 2 if you want those rings to turn blue.
Hopefully, this hack means that you won't burn through your supply of Digipicks, but if you do find that you're running low, they can be purchased from vendors for just 35 Credits.
For more on busting locks and Digipicks, check our Starfield lockpicking guide.