Starfield’s Best Side Quests: The Best Loot and Stories You Shouldn’t Miss

We’ve scoured the galaxy far and wide in order to put together this helpful list of the 8 Best Side Quests that we’ve found in Starfield so far: These Starfield Side Quests (or Side Missions) can be easy to miss, so make sure you seek them out for a cool reward: Either a good story or a good ship, weapon, a crew member, or just lotsa credits.

Note that while much of Starfield is randomly generated, what we’ll point you to here is not – you should be able to start these quests by simply going to the right place. The missions we’ve selected either reward you with something great or involve interesting characters and storylines that you might miss if you don’t know where to look. We’ll tell you how to start each quest as well as what makes them so noteworthy, but we’ll try to keep spoilers to a minimum so that you can enjoy the surprises that they have in store for you when you play them for yourself.


The Mantis side quest is one you’re likely to find early on in your travels, but it’s also one that gives you a great ship and some other loot — and it’s a lot of fun! The quest begins by looting the “Secret Outpost!” note from any random Spacer who happens to be carrying it. Check your inventory to see if you have it already and read it to get the next step. You’ll be directed to go to Denebola I-B in the Denebola system, where Spacers are trying to crack into the Lair of the Mantis, a vigilante who hasn’t been seen in some time. Completing this quest is a really good way to get a legendary spacesuit and starship, but just be aware that you’ll need to fight a number of level 25 enemies to get these rewards.

The legendary ship you get, the Razorleaf, one of the best free ships in Starfield, is powerful and comes complete with Shielded Cargo, which provides you a way to smuggle contraband into secured cities and planets without being arrested. If you want any help for this quest, we have a guide that can help you solve the puzzles and combat scenarios that you’ll find throughout the lair.

First Contact

Though light on prestige rewards, First Contact has an excellent story. You can start First Contact by flying into orbit above Porrima II in the Porrima system. As you arrive, you’ll be contacted by the security chief of the nearby resort who wants to discuss the large Unidentified Ship floating in orbit. If you hail the ship, it seems their communications system is busted. Whether you talk to the security chief or not, you can then board the vessel, and you’ll find a group with a surprisingly interesting backstory.

What follows is a fascinating exploration of what different groups of people will do for a community in need depending on their vested interests. You’re also given plenty of agency to decide the outcome of the situation. Do you want to be helpful? Or… less than helpful? You can earn valuable old-world artifacts, plus a silenced old-world pistol for helping the colony ship, or an unlimited Hotel Paradiso resort pass for helping the resort. The choice is yours.

Juno’s Gambit

What good is a sci-fi setting if you don’t start thinking about the ethics of Sentient AI? Juno’s Gambit is one of the hardest quests to start, if only because it occurs randomly throughout the game. This one can be a bit hard to trigger: Crowdsourcing responses indicate that this quest can appear when you’re in the Tau Ceti system when in orbit above Tau Ceti III, or it can also begin in the Khayyam System above Khayyam II. You can bounce between these planets or reload save files and reattempt your arrival at these planets to try to prompt the quest, although this can still take some time.

You’ll come across a single Eclipse starship targeting an unarmed cruiser. Take it out and board the cruiser to find 2 operatives from Ryujin Industries talking about how to deal with the talking screen in the middle of the room. This isn’t a long quest, but it is a fascinating one, and it comes complete with a decent amount of backstory if you read the optional data logs around the room. You also gain an additional way to resolve the situation if you are already an employee of Ryujin Industries before you board the ship, so consider heading to Neon and completing the Back to the Grind mission in order to experience everything that this quest has to offer.

Tourists Go Home

Have you ever wanted to scare astronauts by dressing up as some miscellaneous space monster in the middle of a settled colony? Then this is the side-quest for you! In the Sol System on Saturn’s moon of Titan, you can find the rustic colony of New Homestead. There’s a community here that enjoys some tourism, but the local doctor finds the visitors quite stressful. If you offer to help, she’ll give you this ridiculous Tardigrade outfit to wear and encourage you to scare groups of tourists so that they leave the colony. Do the quest three times and she’ll let you keep the outfit permanently! Now you can scare people anywhere in the settled systems!

Space Frog From Outer Space

This quest is short, simple, and it rewards you with a cute new decoration that you can use in any of your outposts. In the Sol System on Mars, in the city of Cydonia, you can meet a young girl inside the entrance to the Luxe Condominiums. She’ll ask you to put up 6 of these Space Frog drawings for her around Cydonia. Follow the quest markers to place each one and return to her to receive a whopping 12 credits, plus your brand new outpost decoration. The credits are nice Renee, but I didn’t do it for the money… I did it for Space Frog.

The Audition

If you want to see what life on the streets of Neon is really like, you can gain a pretty good idea of that by joining the Strikers Gang. In the Volii System, on Volii Alpha, you’ll find the city of Neon. From Neon Core, head to the less glamorous Ebbside. Now look for Madame Sauvage’s Place, a bar with a big yellow sign out front. You’ll know your close when you can hear the thumping club music and esoteric voiceover. Speak with Andrea inside, and after some initial resistance she’ll eventually introduce you to the leader of the gang.

What follows is an escalating chain of missions that have you going against the rival gang on Neon’s streets, The Disciples. You’ll earn the Striker Maskwear apparel outfit, and you can get to know each of the Strikers a bit better as you go along. There are opportunities for stealth in these missions, but if loud and violent is more your style, you’ll still be able to progress just fine.

The Colander

Now this side quest… technically isn’t even an official Side Mission. When you fly into the Schrodinger System (use our Starfield map to find it) you’ll see a nearby cruiser drifting in front of you called The Colander. Unlike a lot of random derelict ship discoveries, you can always find this one orbiting Schrodinger III. Once aboard the ship, you’ll find that something’s not quite right. The atmosphere is tense, the crew are all missing and you can’t even turn on the lights.

The beauty of this mission is in the suspense, so we’re reluctant to tell you much more about what you’ll find here, but just know that you’ll need to work your way through the ship by opening hatches and accessing service tunnels. And uh… make sure you bring a really big gun with you when you board… Just in case.

Operation Starseed

We’ve saved one of the best for last. Much like the Colander mission before, the joy of this quest is in the discovery, so we’re going to keep spoilers to a minimum and just suggest that you make this quest a priority. If you want to experience this questline without any idea of what you’ll find, here are the directions. Out in the isolated system of Charybdis, on Charybdis III, you’ll find a small settlement called the Crucible. That’s all you need to get started, but to discuss this further we need to talk a bit about the quest…

Once you’ve landed at the Crucible, you’ll find an entire colony that has its own factions, ethical quandaries, and… recognisable figures.

As none of these people can leave, they ask you to investigate “The Facility” where clones and robots mysteriously originate from. What unfolds is a tale of tragedy as you see how and why this social experiment came to be, in what might be one of Starfield’s most Fallout-reminiscent quests. As far as rewards go, you can find some decent equipment as loot along the way, but the best reward that this quest offers you is the chance to recruit one of these special figures as a permanent member of your crew. If you’ve felt that your expedition team was missing some of that Old-Earth-charm, then definitely don’t miss completing Operation Starseed.

Those are 8 of the best side quests we’ve found during our time with the game, and we are still on the hunt for more! If you’ve found any cool loot or stories that we haven’t, please share in the comments. Who knows, maybe there will be enough for another round-up video.