Starfield: How to Smuggle Contraband

Starfield contraband scan
Image: Bethesda Softworks

Smuggling contraband in Starfield can be a quick path to making some hefty credits for your space adventuring needs. Luckily, getting your hands on contraband is fairly easy. Getting the items into some planets, however, not so much. Upon attempting to enter some planets with it, you’ll quickly realize that you’ll need a way to get your ill-gotten goods past the roaming guards of the Freestar Collective or the United Colonies.

Where to find contraband in Starfield

While rarer than a lot of other items in Starfield, it’s not hard to find some amount of contraband in your travels. Chances are, if you’ve already been casually playing Starfield, you’ve probably run into some of it. Contraband can be found on various spacer and Crimson Fleet outposts and ships. You can identify it by the yellow marker next to the item’s name.

You’ll run into these ships just by traveling through the various star systems in Starfield. If you’re entering into a hostile outpost or spaceship, chances are the inhabitants are holding contraband somewhere on the ship.

How to smuggle contraband in Starfield

Starfield contraband
Image: Bethesda Softworks

Some of the star systems in Starfield require a contraband scan before you’re allowed to proceed to wherever you plan on going. Upon failing a contraband scan, the authorities will either have you arrested or you’ll have to pay a fine that varies depending on how much contraband and stolen items you have on your ship. There are only a few things you can do to make your contraband go undetected.

1. Get a ship with a Shielded Cargo Hold

A shielded cargo hold will allow you to hide contraband from scans. Keep in mind, though, there is still a chance that your contraband will be detected even if it’s stored in the shielded cargo hold. In order to decrease the chances of your contraband being detected, you’ll need to make sure to not take up too much of the shielded cargo hold’s capacity with it. The less contraband stored in the hold, the better.

You can obtain a shielded cargo hold through either buying a ship that already has one installed, installing one into your ship by speaking to one of the Crimson Fleet’s ship technicians, or hijacking a ship that already has one.

2. Use a Scan Jammer

When used in conjunction with a shielded cargo hold, scan jammers can make contraband scans less effective. It’s still a smart idea to keep as little amount of contraband as possible while using one, as you can still be caught smuggling the goods even with these precautions.

3. Store your contraband elsewhere

If you find contraband and know you want to take it somewhere but don’t know where to go just yet, it’s a good idea to store it on a personal outpost. There are plenty of star systems that don’t make you undergo a contraband scan to enter. Picking a planet in one of these systems and building a quick outpost just to store contraband will prove extremely useful in making sure you can hold onto all of these profitable items without risking going to jail or losing some credits.

Where to sell contraband in Starfield

Starfield Porrima star system
Image: Bethesda Softworks

Unfortunately, you won’t able to sell contraband just anywhere. Most major merchants in major cities will, understandably, not buy the unlawful products. Instead, you’ll need to make your way to the Crimson Fleet faction to sell your contraband. An easy way to get access to the Crimson Fleet is through the Deep Cover mission from New Atlantis or through The Red Mile on Porrima III.