The best Starfield quests, from corporate espionage to Alien-inspired horror

Starfield First Contact
(Image credit: Bethesda)

Starfield has an infinite supply of quests, so it's been keeping us busy lately, seeing us cosying up to all the factions, teaming up with pirates, meeting historical celebrities and doing job interviews at ethically questionable corporations. But not all quests are born equal, so we've put our heads together to gather up our favourites. Take a gander below to find out which adventures you really don't want to miss.  

Ryujin Industries 

(Image credit: Bethesda)

Fraser Brown, Online Editor: After doling out justice as a space cowboy in the Freestar Rangers, I was looking for a change of pace, which made Ryujin Industries' call for new staff in its office in Neon perfectly timed. After hours of being a good boy, I was ready to help make a shady corporation some cash. Bethesda packs a lot into this quest chain, where you start out getting coffee for the office before swiftly becoming a super spy, weeding out moles, infiltrating rival companies and testing mind control tech. 

Chatting about it in PC Gamer's Slack, I described it as Poundland Deus Ex, and I stand by that description despite still really enjoying the quests. Starfield's stealth system and enemy AI aren't its strong suits, but I nonetheless had a blast impersonating people, sneaking through vents and robbing R&D departments. I ran through the whole thing in one evening because it had me happily dangling on its hook. The rewards are nice, too, since you not only get a lot of credits, you also get to keep the mind control tech, which unsurprisingly comes in extremely handy. 

UC Vanguard: Grunt Work 

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Robin Valentine, Senior Editor: My expectations couldn't have been lower when I signed up with the UC Vanguard. If you don't think they're the boring space cops of Starfield before you go through their museum of United Colonies history, you certainly will by the time you get out. Given a simple supply run for my first mission, I expected to be having dull firefights with Crimson Fleet pirates within the hour. How wrong I was. (Mild spoilers ahead.)

Instead, that first outing turns almost immediately into an Alien-like horror setpiece, a genuinely tense and scary confrontation with one of Starfield's mysterious "Terrormorphs". Scrambling around the base trying to set up automated turrets to give me a fighting chance, I'm struck by how wildly different the encounter is than anything I've played in Starfield so far, and how much more confident Bethesda feels with a simple man vs monster story than it does in the game's many awkward factional conflicts. 

As the questline continues, it starts to feel more Roland Emmerich than Ridley Scott, but it's definitely the most fun I've had with Starfield so far.

Operation Starseed 

(Image credit: Bethesda)

Chris Livingston, Senior Editor: The less I reveal about this quest the better, because it's by far the most inventive and hilarious adventure I've had in Starfield. Answer a distress call from a robot in the Charybdis system and discover a remote, experimental outpost with such a bonkers concept that it would feel right at home inside a Vault-Tec vault. In this slowly decaying colony, three societies have formed and you'll need to decide which of their competing philosophies to align with while unraveling how, exactly, such a ridiculous place ever came to be.

What else can I say without spoiling it? Nothing, really, except that once I was done with the quest, which took me the better part of an entire afternoon, I walked away with a new crew member for my spaceship that made me more excited than anything I'd experienced in Starfield so far. Just note that this is a pretty high-level quest—Charybdis is a level 65 system—so concentrate on the main and faction quest before you jump on this one.

Tourists Go Home 

(Image credit: Bethesda)

Jody Macgregor, Weekend/AU Editor: The silliest sidequest in Starfield starts on Saturn's moon, Titan, where the settlers of New Homestead complain endlessly about tourists. The local doctor, Giuliana Lokota, has come up with a solution for the scourge of people visiting their museum and eating at their overpriced restaurants: dress up as a monster and scare them away.

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So, in between unearthing artifacts and committing corporate espionage, I went full Scooby-Doo. I put on a costume a doctor bought from someone making an independent movie and I ran around on the surface of Titan scaring tourists. What Doctor Lokota doesn't tell you is that the costume isn't of a xenomorph or evil clown or something. It's a tardigrade, one of the adorable little water bears science nerds love.

Though Doctor Lokota takes the costume back at the end of the job, she promises to let you keep it if you return and chase tourists around again. I haven't had the opportunity yet, but I'm far more invested in coming back some day to act out the next scene from Night of the Killer Tardigrade than I am in any of Starfield's factions.

The Crimson Fleet 

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Sean Martin, Guides Writer: Starfield is the kind of game that makes me want to rebel. I'm not sure if it's the goody two shoes companions or its often stifling space realism and associated systems; what I do know is that rampant piracy and playing an evil character has brought me joy in an often bland galaxy. After racking up a 300,000 credit bounty by attacking traders and UC ships, I inevitably found myself in the clinker being asked to infiltrate the Crimson Fleet pirate organisation. 

What follows is my favourite questline in the game, as you juggle allegiances, play characters against each other, and just generally have a swashbuckling ol' time chasing a legendary space pirate treasure. Starfield sadly doesn't make much room for evil characters—there isn't even an evil main companion—but walking into the Crimson Fleet's space station felt similar to wandering into Paradise Falls in Fallout 3; so this is where all the bastards are! Admittedly, I was never going to reform my pirate ways, so getting told off by my SysDef handler for causing maximum collateral damage will never not be hilarious to me. Still, if you're straining at Starfield's seams and want to break bad, the Crimson Fleet quest is definitely the way to go.

Failure To Communicate 

(Image credit: Bethesda)

Morgan Park, Staff Writer: I haven't yet found many of the cool quests my colleagues are sharing, but I was touched by a quest I picked up when first traveling to the Olympus system. My ship picked up a distress beacon from a L.I.S.T. colonizer on a nearby planet. The system isn't under Freestar or UC protection, so the farmer is hoping to band together with his cross-planet neighbours to help drive out a band of Spacers. You become his bodyguard/errand boy as you try to unite the disparate farmers under a common goal, all the while blowing lots of Spacers out of the sky. It's the rare quest that mostly takes place on your ship, which was a nice change of pace, and I enjoyed having a reason to touch ground on multiple planets in a system.

First Contact 

(Image credit: Bethesda)

Fraser Brown, Online Editor: Like a lot of Starfield quests, First Contact is one with a great premise that's undermined by some less-than-stellar writing, but my encounter with a mysterious ship orbiting Porrima II remains one of the most memorable adventures in Bethesda's RPG, so I'm gonna stick it in here anyway. 

When you arrive in the system, you'll get a call from the holiday settlement of Paradiso. The folks running this luxury tourist destination are a wee bit worried about the presence of a gigantic ship orbiting the planet, especially since it's proven impossible to communicate with. That means you'll need to board it and find out what's going on. It turns out the ship is full of the descendants of Earthlings who left their homeworld 200 years ago, with the goal to set up shop on Porrima II. But in that time, humanity has explored the stars and people are already living there. 

You'll play the role of negotiator, helping to decide what happens to the people living in this huge ark. The quest sets up a lot of tension between the Paradiso executive board and the travellers, even though you can solve pretty much everything through the Speech skill and by gathering a bunch of resources. Still, I absolutely recommend checking it out. Like Operation Starseed, which Chris wrote about above, it's got a real Fallout vibe, evoking some of Bethesda's all-time great quests. 

Fraser Brown
Online Editor

Fraser is the UK online editor and has actually met The Internet in person. With over a decade of experience, he's been around the block a few times, serving as a freelancer, news editor and prolific reviewer. Strategy games have been a 30-year-long obsession, from tiny RTSs to sprawling political sims, and he never turns down the chance to rave about Total War or Crusader Kings. He's also been known to set up shop in the latest MMO and likes to wind down with an endlessly deep, systemic RPG. These days, when he's not editing, he can usually be found writing features that are 1,000 words too long or talking about his dog. 

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