Starfield factions: all the galactic allegiances you'll deal with

Starfield factions - Barrett in his space suit and helmet outside a ship talking to the player
(Image credit: Bethesda)

Just like any of the big Bethesda RPG's, there's a whole array of Starfield factions for players to join up with—or butt heads with, of course. 

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Most of the Starfield factions have intertwining relationships thanks to the big Colony War of 20 years prior, which either exacerbated or strengthened them. Surprisingly, wars tend to have some complicated effects. Now that Starfield has touched down at last, you can find out firsthand.

One of the most important points about faction choice is one we first learned in a Starfield interview about quests: you won't necessarily become the new leader of whichever you choose like in Oblivion or Skyrim. And unlike Fallout 4, when you make choices in Starfield you'll still get to experience the stories for each faction in some way, even if you've sided with their enemies. To help guide you to that choice, everything starts out with the explorer group Constellation where you'll find your footing in the settled systems and meet all the main players.

How many Starfield factions are there?

Similar to other Bethesda games, the way each of Starfield's factions feel about each other (and who you choose to help) will also affect how each feels about you, in turn.

Starfield has five main factions:

  • Constellation
  • United Colonies
  • Freestar Collective
  • Ryujin Industries
  • Crimson Fleet

Which Starfield factions are joinable? 

The Starfield factions we know you can join are the United Colonies, Freestar Collective, Constellation, Ryujin Industries, and the Crimson Fleet pirates. Youre also able to play through all the faction quest lines no matter which one you decide to join, unlike some of the mutually-exclusive factions in Fallout 4.


(Image credit: Bethesda)

Who are they?: The explorer faction tied to the main quest

The first faction you'll join is Constellation, the "last group of space explorers," led by ex-soldier and recruitable companion Sarah Morgan. This is the default group, and will place you in a position to window shop for other factions (or just chill with the Constellation crew). However, Bethesda also explains that "by the time you meet them, Constellation is sort of seen as this mythical group. Most people don't even know they exist anymore." It's a fair guess, then, that your involvement may bring them back into the spotlight.

Sarah Morgan and fellow explorer Barrett are two of the first you'll meet though there are several other members of Constellation you'll work with: Sarah's protégé and scientist Noel, Matteo the theologian, Walter the business mind and financier, former space pirate Vlad, and space cowboy Sam Coe.

United Colonies

(Image credit: Bethesda)

Who are they?: The dominant space utopia hopefuls

This group is an idealized futuristic space republic which Bethesda has called the "most powerful, established military and political faction in the game." During the Colony War twenty years before Starfield takes place, they fought against the Freestar Collective.

The United Colonies finds its home in New Atlantis, the biggest of Starfield cities. A lot of the troops are strapped up with blasters and tactical belts; a fashion style reminiscent of the original Star Wars. The UC also runs the mining city Cydonia on Mars, its largest mining facility. During the time Starfield takes place, the colonies are particularly concerned with the Crimson Fleet pirate threat.

Freestar Collective

(Image credit: Bethesda)

Who are they?: The obligatory space cowboy faction

Starfield's space western vibes are all settled in the Freestar Collective. In the Colony War they fought against the United Colonies, pushing for individualism. Now, they focus on preserving their own wellbeing, calling themselves "peacekeepers" who protect their own people. They hail from Akila City where they're surrounded by the local alien predators, the Ashta. 

During character creation, you can choose the trait "Freestar Collective Settler" which gives access to Freestar-specific dialogue and better faction rewards during quests, but also increases your bounty for crimes against other factions.

Ryujin Industries

(Image credit: Bethesda)

Who are they?: The obligatory cybercorp faction

Ryujin Industries is the space take on a mega-corporation. The fishing outpost turned metropolis on Neon is their hometown. Neon also has a criminal underground and wild nightclubs. Compared with the bright-colored aesthetic of Neon's streets, Ryujin Industries is luxurious but austere with black and red outfits and spacious offices.

Crimson Fleet

(Image credit: Bethesda)

Who are they?: The lawless space bandits and raiders

Yup, these guys are literally Starfield's space pirate faction, so of course they use a Jolly Roger—the very classic skull and crossbones—as their fleet symbol. Their headquarters is a space station called The Key in the Kyrx System. The Crimson Fleet is full of bad dudes who specifically take issue with the United Colonies' dominance in the galaxy. But you'll have the option to fully join them, or work undercover as a space-narc instead. 

Minor factions

Other Starfield factions and groups

Here are some other groups you can encounter out in the settled systems:

  • House of Va’ruun - A cult of space zealots
  • Enlightened - A religious organization
  • The Red Mile - A group of "runners" hailing from Porrima III in the Porrima system
  • Sanctum Universum - Another religion, the church of the Universal
  • Great Serpent worshippers - Also a religious space sect
  • Ecliptic Mercenaries - A group of mercenaries
  • Spacers - Dangerous marauders
Funké Joseph
Contributing Writer

Fūnk-é is a Black, non-binary artist and writer+ who loves covering cyberspace communities and the ever evolving culture of videogames. At PC Gamer, Fūnk-é is an SEO contributor who whips up a slice of nice word pie. They never miss the opportunity to emphatically tell empathetic tales. Their favorite games are Mirror's Edge, Disco Elysium, and League of Legends. They will also crush anyone in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

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