Why you should play Starfield's campaign before doing side quests - Polygon
Embark on a cosmic quest in Starfield with our curated list of captivating side quests. From thrilling journeys to thought-provoking narratives, these hidden gems offer epic rewards. Let us guide you on how to kickstart each quest and discover what makes them stand out. No spoilers, just remarkable journeys!

We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post.

In the boundless expanse of Starfield, we’ve embarked on a cosmic quest to curate a list of the 6 most captivating side quests that this spacefaring universe has to offer. These hidden gems, often tucked away in the far reaches of the galaxy, might elude the casual explorer, but their rewards are worth the effort – whether it’s an enthralling narrative, a cutting-edge spacecraft, formidable weaponry, a valuable crew member, or a substantial influx of credits.

Unlike the ever-shifting nature of much of Starfield’s content, these handpicked missions remain fixed in their locations. Simply set your course to the right coordinates, and you’ll be ready to embark on these remarkable journeys. We’ll not only guide you on how to kickstart each quest but also provide insight into what makes them stand out. Rest assured; we’ll be mindful of spoilers.

Let’s get started!

1. Mantis Side Quest – Early Exploration and Epic Rewards

Character standing on top of a ship in Starfield.
Credit: IGN

The Mantis side quest offers early adventurers a thrilling journey filled with excitement and lucrative rewards. Discover how to embark on this adventure and secure yourself a legendary starship and other valuable loot.

Unearthing the Secret Outpost

Your quest commences with the discovery of a critical clue – the “Secret Outpost!” note, found in the possession of random Spacers. Check your inventory to see if you already possess this note and read it to unveil the path to your next destination.

Pursuing the Elusive Mantis on Denebola I-B

Follow the trail to Denebola I-B within the Denebola system, where Spacers are fervently attempting to breach the Lair of the Mantis. This mysterious vigilante has remained hidden for an extended period, making your quest all the more intriguing.

Facing Formidable Foes for Legendary Rewards

Prepare for battle as you take on a series of level 25 adversaries within the Mantis’s lair. Your tenacity will be rewarded with a legendary spacesuit and the coveted Razorleaf starship, recognized as one of the finest free vessels in Starfield.

The Razorleaf Starship

The Razorleaf starship not only boasts formidable power but also features Shielded Cargo capabilities. This unique feature enables you to discreetly transport contraband into secure cities and planets without attracting unwanted attention.

2. First Contact – An Engaging Tale Awaits

Starfield character from the first contct mission.
Credit: GameSpot

First Contact may not offer prestigious rewards, but it boasts a captivating narrative that’s sure to immerse you in the Starfield universe. Dive into this intriguing story and decide the fate of those you encounter.

Initiating the Encounter

To initiate the First Contact quest, navigate your spacecraft into the orbit of Porrima II, located in the Porrima system. As you approach, you’ll receive a communication from the resort’s security chief, who wishes to discuss an enigmatic Unidentified Ship hovering in orbit.

A Mysterious Encounter

Upon attempting to establish contact with the unidentified ship, it becomes apparent that their communications system is malfunctioning. Whether or not you engage with the security chief’s dialogue, you have the option to board the vessel, embarking on a journey filled with unexpected twists and turns.

Uncovering the Backstory

As you delve deeper into the quest, you’ll unravel the captivating backstory of the group aboard the Unidentified Ship. This narrative is a thought-provoking exploration of how different factions respond to a community in need based on their vested interests.

The Power of Choice

First Contact grants you significant agency, allowing you to shape the outcome of the situation. Will you extend a helping hand, or will you choose a less altruistic path? Your decisions will influence the course of the quest and its ultimate resolution.

3. Juno’s Gambit – The Ethics of Sentient AI in a Sci-Fi World

Starfield Gameplay
Credit: Bethesda Game Studios

In the boundless expanse of the sci-fi universe, Juno’s Gambit challenges players to grapple with the ethical complexities surrounding Sentient AI. Explore this thought-provoking quest, which, while elusive in its initiation, is a must-encounter for those contemplating the moral dilemmas of artificial intelligence.

Triggering the Quest

Juno’s Gambit is not your typical quest; it manifests randomly as you journey through the game. Discovering it can be a bit of a challenge, but crowdsourced insights suggest that this quest may activate when you are in the Tau Ceti system, orbiting Tau Ceti III, or within the Khayyam System above Khayyam II. Be prepared to hop between these celestial bodies or reload saved game files to trigger the quest, although patience may be required.

Eclipse Starship vs. Unarmed Cruiser

Once the quest initiates, you’ll find yourself confronting a solitary Eclipse starship menacing an unarmed cruiser. Your task is clear – eliminate the threat and board the cruiser. Inside, you’ll encounter two operatives from Ryujin Industries engrossed in a discussion about how to handle a peculiar talking screen in the room.

Unveiling the Layers

Though not an extended quest, Juno’s Gambit offers a deep dive into its narrative, especially if you take the time to explore the optional data logs scattered around the room. These logs provide valuable backstory and enrich your understanding of the situation at hand.

4. Tourists Go Home – Embrace Your Inner Space Monster

Starfield Character in a costume
Credit: Bethesda Game Studios

Prepare to unleash your inner space monster in the whimsical side-quest, “Tourists Go Home.” If you’ve ever fancied donning a miscellaneous space creature costume and giving astronauts a good scare, this mission is tailor-made for you.

Location Spotlight

Venture into the Sol System and make your way to Saturn’s moon, Titan, where the quaint settlement of New Homestead awaits. Amidst the tranquil colony, you’ll find a community that’s accustomed to tourism, but their local doctor has a unique request.

A Stressful Situation

The colony’s doctor is feeling the pressure from the constant influx of tourists and their demands. If you offer your assistance, she’ll provide you with a ludicrous Tardigrade outfit, a disguise designed to terrify the visiting tourists. Your mission? Scare away these groups of visitors to help alleviate the doctor’s stress.

Earning Permanent Monster Status

Complete this comical quest not just once, but three times, and you’ll earn the privilege of keeping the Tardigrade outfit permanently. Now, equipped with this outlandish attire, you’re free to spread terror and amusement across settled systems far and wide. Get ready to scare people in the most unexpected places!

5. Space Frog From Outer Space – A Short and Sweet Quest

Starfield Space Frog From Outer Space
Credit: Bethesda Game Studios

Embark on a delightful journey with the “Space Frog From Outer Space” quest. This charmingly simple mission offers a cute decoration for your outposts, making it a must-try for those seeking a touch of whimsy in the Sol System.

Martian Encounter

Head to the bustling city of Cydonia on Mars within the Sol System to kickstart this heartwarming quest. Here, you’ll encounter a young girl at the entrance to the Luxe Condominiums who has a unique request for you.

Space Frog Drawings

The young girl will enlist your help in placing six Space Frog drawings around Cydonia. Follow the quest markers to position each drawing in its designated spot, spreading the charm of Space Frog throughout the city.

Heartfelt Reward

Upon successfully completing the task, return to the young girl to receive your reward – a generous payout of 12 credits and, most importantly, a delightful outpost decoration featuring Space Frog. Sometimes, it’s not about the money, but the joy of helping Space Frog find its place in the universe.

6. The Colander – An Unofficial Enigma

Starfield The Colander Mission
Credit: Bethesda Game Studios

Prepare for an unconventional quest as we delve into “The Colander,” a side mission that defies the typical quest structure. Brace yourself for an eerie and suspenseful journey as you venture into the enigmatic Schrodinger System in Starfield.

The Mysterious Cruiser

Intrigue beckons as you navigate to the Schrodinger System, with the cruiser known as “The Colander” ominously drifting before you. Unlike random derelict ships, this one maintains a constant orbit around Schrodinger III, offering a unique and predictable encounter.

A Haunting Atmosphere

Upon boarding “The Colander,” you’ll immediately sense that something is amiss. The ship’s atmosphere is charged with tension, the crew is conspicuously absent, and even the lights remain stubbornly darkened.

Unveiling the Mystery

Revel in the suspense as you painstakingly work your way through the ship, navigating a labyrinth of hatches and service tunnels. The true nature of “The Colander” awaits discovery, and we won’t reveal more to preserve the thrill of the unknown.


How do I trigger the “Juno’s Gambit” quest in Starfield?

“Juno’s Gambit” can be initiated randomly as you explore the game. However, players have reported success in triggering the quest when in the Tau Ceti system, orbiting Tau Ceti III, or in the Khayyam System above Khayyam II.

Where can I find the Tardigrade outfit in the “Tourists Go Home” quest?

In the “Tourists Go Home” quest, you’ll receive the Tardigrade outfit from the local doctor in the rustic colony of New Homestead on Saturn’s moon, Titan.

How many Space Frog drawings do I need to place in the “Space Frog From Outer Space” quest?

To complete the “Space Frog From Outer Space” quest, you must place six Space Frog drawings around Cydonia in the Sol System.

Can I replay “The Colander” side mission in Starfield?

Unfortunately, “The Colander” is not a repeatable side mission. It offers a unique and suspenseful experience that can be encountered only once during your exploration of the Schrodinger System.

Final Words

As we conclude our exploration of these intriguing Starfield side quests, it’s clear that the game offers a diverse array of adventures. Each quest has its own unique charm. From thought-provoking ethical dilemmas in “Juno’s Gambit” to the whimsical thrill of scaring tourists in “Tourists Go Home,” and the suspenseful enigma of “The Colander,” Starfield delivers a rich tapestry of experiences.

Whether you seek valuable rewards, captivating narratives, or simply a moment of levity in the vastness of space, Starfield has something for every cosmic explorer.

Leave a Comment