Starfield: Should you align with the hunter or the messenger?
Throughout the main storyline of Starfield, it becomes evident that the artifacts are significantly more perilous than initially acknowledged by the C...
Throughout the main storyline of Starfield, it becomes evident that the artifacts are significantly more perilous than initially acknowledged by the Constellation. The confrontation with the Starborn beings becomes a crucial component of the central narrative, with two specific Starborn individuals assuming pivotal roles in subsequent tasks.
Upon reaching the conclusion of the "Unearthed" quest, a pivotal choice must be made. The Hunter and the Messenger prompt you to align yourself with one side. The selection of a faction will determine the unfolding of the remainder of the main storyline and the outcome you will obtain. In this guide, we will introduce each faction you can choose, elucidate the consequences of each decision, and provide our thoughts on which choice is the most favorable.
Choosing A Side
After completing the "Unearthed" quest on Earth, the Hunter and the Messenger will summon you for a meeting directly in front of the ruins of NASA. Both of them will present their perspectives on the artifacts and the unity as a whole, demanding that you choose a side.
You have three options:
The Emissary is right.
You align yourself with the Messenger. You must engage in combat against the Hunter and claim his artifact as your own.
The Hunter is right.
You team up with the hunter. You have to fight against the messenger and claim his artifact.
You're both wrong.
Both the messenger and the hunter become hostile. You have to fight against both of them and claim their artifacts.
This decision affects the difficulty of the quest "Revelations" and has an impact on the ending. Those you choose will fight alongside you in the final mission, while the Starborn, whom you argued against, becomes the boss. You can defeat the messenger, the hunter, or both through persuasion checks if your social skills are at a sufficiently high level, thus preventing bloodshed. Alternatively, you can kill them to obtain their unique armor and weapons. Further specific details are listed below.
The collapsible sections below contain spoilers regarding the consequences of each choice, including all possible ending variations.
Siding With The Emissary
If you choose the messenger, you will fight against the hunter in the quest "Revelations." The messenger will assist you in reaching the final artifact and fight alongside you. Once you defeat the hunter, the messenger will explain how to build the Armillarium and reach the unity. They will stay on your ship until you finish your game session, although they are not a recruitable companion or crew member.
Entering the unity will reveal that the messenger has chosen to stay in your universe and lead others to the unity whom the messenger deems worthy. Since the current messenger remains behind, your NG+ (New Game Plus) messenger could be a different character depending on your actions. If you save all members of the constellation in your NG+ playthrough, the messenger will be the same as in your previous playthrough. However, if you fail to warn the constellation before the attack, the person who dies in "A High Price" will instead become the messenger.
Siding With The Hunter
If you choose the hunter, you will fight against the messenger in the quest "Revelations." You will also gain access to the quest "End of Infinity," where the hunter asks you to kill Guardian Aquilus. Complete this quest and defeat the messenger either in combat or through persuasion checks to obtain the final artifact. Once you have all the artifacts, the hunter will explain how to create the Armillarium and reach the unity. They will stay on your ship for the remainder of your game session, although they may not be recruitable as a companion or crew member.
Upon entering the unity, it is revealed that the hunter enters with you and gains strength once again. His ruthless demeanor spreads throughout humanity in this universe. Courage becomes the norm, leading people to fight against each other, whether it be for power, for good, or for ill. Even if you chose to kill Guardian Aquilus in your universe, the hunter will still be Aquilus in future NG+ playthroughs.
Siding With No One
If you choose to find the artifacts yourself, you will fight against both the hunter and the messenger in the quest "Revelations." You won't receive any additional assistance. You can either kill the duo or convince them to retreat. This is the only outcome that allows you to obtain the unique weapons of both the hunter and the messenger, so there is an advantage to this option.
Upon entering the unity, it is revealed that this universe can now explore the galaxy without the risk of encountering Starborn. Humanity will discover the secrets of the artifacts and the unity on their own. In your next playthrough, you can choose to align yourself with either the messenger or the hunter. The messenger will remain the same person unless another member of the constellation dies in your NG+ run.
Who Should You Side With?
In a narrative sense, the choice doesn't matter. Due to the structure of Starfield's NG+ system, who you support practically has no impact. If you're concerned about being locked out of quests or companions due to this decision, there's no need to worry. Nothing of that magnitude is affected by this choice. It primarily affects the ending, and each end result is not inherently good or evil. There are merits and flaws in the messenger's vision as well as the hunter's strategy. Choose what feels right to you.
If you want to have the best items, kill both of them. The hunter and the messenger each have a unique weapon that is incredibly powerful, and the only way to obtain both in a single playthrough is to not side with either. Fighting against both of them can be quite challenging and requires a high-level character on higher difficulty levels, but the rewards you receive are worth the effort.