As you adventure across the planets in Starfield, you’re bound to come across some contraband. These items can be fairly hidden, in locked caches or tucked away in the back room. You can spot them by the yellow mark in the lower right hand corner and their high selling price. However, if you want to sell them for some credits, you need to find a trade authority representative ready for some shady dealings. You can find trade authority offices in most major cities, but you need to be careful hauling contraband around in your ship. If you fly into a major port, they will scan you and then ultimately confiscate your loot unless you have shielded cargo space. And even then, there will be a percent chance that they’ll still detect the loot.
So here are some ways to locate and buy shielded cargo to bypass scanners and sell your contraband. And a spaceport you can sell to directly, without having to worry about a ship scan.
The first and easiest place to sell your contraband is The Den. This spaceport provides an easy way to gain access to a Trade Authority office without worrying about passing a scan prior to landing. It’s also a great place for repairing your ship or registering stolen ones! To visit The Den, you’ll need to first find the Wolf system. This system is right next to Alpha Centauri so it shouldn’t take too many grav jumps. Once you arrive, the Trade Authority is the first kiosk to the left. All you have to do to sell your contraband is talk to him. Keep in mind that all vendors in Starfield have a set amount of credits to buy your loot. If they run out, you won’t get any credits if you sell. However, you can always take a seat and wait for their stock to reset. I’ve heard anywhere from 36 to 48 hours.
Mantis Side Quest
One place to get a FREE ship with shielded cargo space is the side quest called MANTIS. I’m sure you’ve heard of this one by now, but you should come across an audio log called “secret outpost.” If you need a guide on how to complete the Mantis quest, Chadly‘s got you covered with his Mantis side quest walkthrough. When you complete this side quest you’ll be rewarded with the Razorleaf, a ship that has 160 shielded cargo space.
Next on the list is another side quest area, but there’s no need to actually complete the side quest. All you need to do is travel to the Red Mile, located in the Porrima system, travel to Porrima III and you’ll see the landing zone. Once you’ve landed, make your way inside and go past Mei Devine until you see this guy in his office. Once you chat with him for a minute you’ll be able to browse his ships. He sells one ship with shielded cargo space or you can try the ship builder to add some shielded cargo to your existing ship. Just remember that this doesn’t guarantee your contraband won’t be detected, so make sure to save your game before you get scanned if you don’t want to lose it.
The Crimson Fleet
The last option for shielded cargo space is to join the Crimson Fleet, but this can be easier said than done. You’ll need to get caught by the United Colonies and taken to UC SysDef who will send you on an involved side mission to infiltrate The Crimson Fleet. It’s your choice whether you want to stay undercover or actually become a pirate. Either way, you’ll eventually get access to The Key, the Crimson Fleet’s headquarters. But make sure you follow the mission and don’t try to go there early because their ships will attack on sight. Once you unlock The Key, you’ll find the local ship technician named Jasmine. She’ll be able to offer you a few ships with shielded cargo space, as well as additions to modify your current ship.
The last thing I want to mention is the PAYLOADS skill in the tech tree. I’ve seen the tool-tip in game that claims this skill will make guard ships less likely to detect contraband, however the skill itself doesn’t mention anything about contraband. If this works like the tool-tip claims, you’re less likely to get caught while flying around to different planets, not when you’re being scanned by a main town. This would help with random detection from guard ships flying within a planet’s atmosphere. I believe this is because you’re less likely to be detected when the shielded cargo makes up a smaller percentage of your total ship cargo. For example, if you have 160 shielded cargo space, but 1600 total you have 10% shielded. But if your total was 640, you’d have 25% shielded. So invest into this skill if you see fit, but it won’t help you get to a town to sell your contraband.
Hopefully these methods can help you sell your contraband and make bank in Starfield!