Starfield: The 8 Best Side Quests, Ranked | GAME3A

Starfield: The 8 Best Side Quests, Ranked

In any RPG that is worth its salt, one often finds oneself surrounded by a multitude of non-player characters who dispense quests. Starfield is no exc...

Nancy Ing Sept 18, 2023
Starfield: The 8 Best Side Quests, Ranked

In any RPG that is worth its salt, one often finds oneself surrounded by a multitude of non-player characters who dispense quests. Starfield is no exception in this regard. While these deviations from the main quest are often inconsequential or straightforward, they stand out from the crowd. Some of them narrate captivating tales, establish or reflect a transformation in the game's universe, or provide a generous reward. And, of course, others are simply downright entertaining.

With the vastness of the galaxy in Starfield, numerous side narratives are scattered throughout the systems that are not essential to the game's main story. Whether you align yourself with the Crimson Fleet, the United Colonies, or the Freestar Rangers, each faction offers an impressive questline in its own right. However, here are some of the finest standalone missions we have experienced in the inhabited systems.

8 Space Frog From Outer Space

Starfield The 8 Best Side Quests, Ranked

The mining settlement of Cydonia on Mars is hardly the most picturesque city out there. It is old, largely subterranean, and periodically shaken by particle detonations. Venturing into the residential areas of the settlement, one encounters Renee Shelby, a young girl who occupies her time in the underfunded outpost by drawing a character named Space Frog from space.

She will task you with hanging six of her drawings in the facility to bring some much-needed cheer into the life of a miner in a secluded colony. Upon returning to Renee after completing this task, you will receive a remarkable 12 credits, regardless of whether you attempt to extort money from this child or not. Additionally, you gain the far-reaching advantage of being able to place Space Frog posters in your outpost, which is a significant gain, as they are fantastic.

7 Run The Red Mile

Starfield The 8 Best Side Quests,

In the Porrima system, you will find the Crimson Mile, a hotel and casino located on the creatively named Porrima III, which offers a unique form of entertainment. If you are feeling particularly bold or daring, you can take on the Crimson Mile challenge, which involves either defeating a series of formidable creatures or evading them to reach a signal tower at the end of the path.

Upon returning with all of your limbs intact and functional, you will receive a modest credit payment and gain the glory of having completed this notorious challenge. Since the quest is repeatable, you can choose to embark on the Crimson Mile again at any time to achieve further winnings. If you do this frequently enough, you will soon find yourself swimming in credits and very likely driving the casino to ruin.

6 Overdesigned

Starfield The 8 Best Side

This quest is assigned by a member of the Constellation, Walter Stroud, a character similar to Scrooge McDuck, who finances a significant portion of the Constellation's work. Once you have completed several missions with the starship magnate, you will have gained enough trust from him for him to task you with resolving a design dispute within the company. Your task is to get the stalled design team back on track, a challenge made more difficult by the hostility of the designers due to your apparent lack of experience.

Like most of Walter's missions, this one also focuses on diplomacy and persuasion. If you manage to successfully convince the project leader to increase the budget, the Kepler R will come to life. A colossal behemoth of a ship, it strives to incorporate the ideas of each team member. The Kepler R serves as a clear indication that you should never approach a design office again. However, complete the mission, and you will receive one for free, which is, at the very least, an incredibly expensive vessel.

5 Tourists Go Home

Starfield The 8 Best

It is a universally acknowledged truth that tourists are the bane of those who are not currently on vacation. If you visit New Homestead on Titan in the Sol system, you will find no shortage of these vacationers who have come to marvel at one of humanity's first extraterrestrial colonies. While many residents appreciate the economic value of regular visitors, there are some who would rather see them disappear, most notably Dr. Giuliana Lakota.

Should you pay a visit to the esteemed doctor, she will soon make her negative feelings towards tourists evident. She believes they behave so recklessly that she spends most of her time tending to them instead of the settlement's residents. The solution? Naturally, donning a realistic monster costume and giving a few visitors a good scare! Although the mission is straightforward, it can be repeated, earning you a reward in the form of credits each time, along with your own costume when you successfully scare three times.

4 Juno’s Gambit

Starfield The 8

The game world of Starfield offers Bethesda a multitude of opportunities for side quests inspired by classic science fiction. So, who can blame them for creating the side quest "Juno's Gambit," a moral dilemma about the rights of a conscious Artificial Intelligence (AI) to exist? The quest can start in numerous systems as you orbit a planet, where you will notice an Ecliptic spaceship attacking what appears to be a drifting vessel.

If you eliminate the Ecliptic spaceship, you can dock and board the ship, where you will find a massive computer and two employees from Ryujin Industries engaged in a hushed conversation, with a third one lying lifeless behind them. When you speak to the employees about the dilemma, you learn that Juno is an AI created by NASA, which they discovered in space and that it killed a technician when he attempted to install a control board in her. Regardless of the decision you make, you will surely grapple with the consequences. And isn't that precisely what science fiction is all about?

3 Mantis

Starfield The

A side quest titled "Mantis" will appear early on your radar during the second main story mission, "The Old Neighborhood." While you and Sarah Morgan make your way through seemingly endless spacemen, you will come across a note titled "Secret Outpost!" that you will likely set aside as it leads to a star system with a recommended level much higher than your own.

However, if you engage with it early on, you will be greatly rewarded for your perseverance, as it turns out that said secret outpost was indeed the hideout of the legendary vigilante, The Mantis. Survive further waves of spacemen and The Mantis's traps, and you will reach the core of the hideout, an underground base in the style of the Batcave. This place is full of rewards for your hard work, including the legendary vigilante armor and a spaceship named The Razorleaf, which will serve you well for the majority of the game.

2 Groundpounder


An extensive side mission that arises from an inconspicuous random encounter leads you to the Altair system, where you hear a distress call from Freestar Private Mahoney. If you respond to the call, you will land at a research station teeming with spacemen, and the battle begins as soon as you exit your ship.

If you find Private Mahoney, it turns out that a unit of the United Colonies Marines has also responded to the distress call and is unexpectedly busy assisting their rival faction. After rescuing both parties, you meet Lieutenant Torres and Captain Myeong. These cooperating units ask for your help two more times before culminating in a final large-scale battle back at the research base. This extensive mission tells a self-contained story about humanity and compassion between the rival factions of the Colonial War and also offers a wealth of loot, credits, and experience points throughout the mission.

1 First Contact

If you make your way to the Paradiso Resort on Porrima II, you will notice a large, mysterious ship hovering in orbit above the resort. The security of Paradiso Resort asks you to establish contact with the crew of the ship, whether they are humans or other beings. Docking with the ship is a tense affair until you board and discover that the ship is operated by humans but isolated and manned by the descendants of a group that left Earth two centuries ago after their leader correctly predicted a terrible catastrophe would befall humanity.

Then you will be asked to act as a diplomat between the naive inhabitants of Constant and the business savvy executives of Paradiso, facing difficult decisions that could impact both your moral values and your wallet. One thing is certain, though: you will never take your gravity drive for granted again.