Starfield is a game that you can easily pour upwards of a hundred hours into, if not twice that much, and across that long, long stretch, you’re guaranteed to find a ton of excellent content. And though plenty of that is likely going to be of your own making, thanks to the game’s incredible systems-driven sandbox, there’s no shortage of incredible, authored content to find in the space-faring RPG as well. To that end, here, we’re going to talk about what we feel are the fifteen best missions in all of Starfield. To start off, we’ll take a look at a couple of main story missions.
NOTE: There are spoilers ahead for Starfield.
NO SUDDEN MOVES
No Sudden Moves is a quest you’re going to tackle roughly halfway through Starfield’s main story. Tracking down an artifact, you visit the ship of a man who’s part-eccentric collector, part-shady criminal, with your ultimate goal being to get your hands on the artifact. Not only is the setup an intriguing one, especially given that it lets you explore a ship full of oddities and rare objects, the quest also lets you accomplish your objective in a variety of different ways, whether that’s through subterfuge, intimidation, or, of course, outright violence.
HIGH PRICE TO PAY
Perhaps one of the most dramatic missions in the entire game, High Price to Pay is where Starfield’s main story truly shows how high-stakes it is. Some time after being introduced to the Starborn, in this mission, you cross paths with the deadly Hunter in an encounter that ends up costing the life of one of Constellation’s crew. Which of the game’s four main companions dies will depend on a couple of key decisions made by you, as well as your affinity levels with those characters, so there are proper consequences to your actions in this quest.
Let’s move on from the main story and take a look at Starfield’s true stars of the show- the Faction questlines, starting with the UC Vanguard. What starts out as a fairly straightforward induction mission in this questline quickly escalates into a potential galaxy-wide Terrormorph outbreak, leading to a meeting with the leaders of the galaxy, where it’s up to you to convince them to let you access data that’s been locked away for years, on account of it having once been tied deeply to some pretty heinous war crimes. Not only is it an engaging sequence that perfectly displays the intricate politics of the Settled Systems, the quest also culminates in you trying to protect New Atlantis against a surprise attack from Terrormorphs, who, by the way, are also trying to mind-control everyone- including you.
BREAKING THE BANK
Perhaps the single best questline in all of Starfield is the one that has you grappling with the Crimson Fleet as an undercover agent for UC SysDef, and Breaking the Bank ranks as one of the most entertaining missions in that questline. Tasked with infiltrating a luxury cruise liner (with some inside help, of course), you spend the mission navigating through the ship with the ultimate goal of escaping with valuable booty. While you can take a violent approach, it’s much more fun to unravel the stories within stories within stories that populate this quest, and trying to make your way out while spilling as little blood as possible.
EYE OF THE STORM
Much of the Crimson Fleet questline is focus on you and your gang of fellow space pirates trying to track down the legendary lost ship known as the Legacy, and the treasure trove of credits that it holds. In Eye of the Storm, the questline’s penultimate mission, you do just that. After flying your ship through a deadly magnetic storm, you board the ship, explore its dilapidated interiors, learn about the final moments of not just its crew, but the legendary Jasper Kryx himself, and ultimately escape with millions of millions of credits in your back pocket.
Of course, you don’t get to just fly off with the vast quantities of credits you’ve acquired from the Legacy, because in the final mission of the Crimson Fleet questline, you’re faced with a choice- do you side with the Crimson Fleet, or with UC SysDef? Either way, the choice leads to an incredible space battle right outside The Key, the Fleet’s HQ, which is followed by a dramatic face-to-face showdown against whichever group you have chosen to betray.
JOB GONE WRONG
With the Crimson Fleet in our rearview mirror, let’s now take a look at another faction in the Freestar Rangers. Upon first landing in Akila City, it’s not long before you’re introduced to its much more lawless ways as compared to most of the rest of the galaxy. A bank in town has been taken over by criminals, who’re also holding hostages, and it’s up to you to find a way to defuse the situation. Do you try to find a way to sneak in? Do you speak to the robbers and try to negotiate? The choice is yours, and success is by no means guaranteed.
ON THE RUN
As you approach the final leg of the Freestar Rangers questline, in this mission, On the Run, you’re tasked with heading to the Red Mile and hunting down the crime boss Marco Graziani- though that proves to be more complicated than you’d think. You go from dealing with head of a smuggling group to running the Red Mile, a deadly test of endurance and strength, to flying to a different star system and finally having a confrontation with Marco himself, where whether or not he dies is entirely your decision.
Surgical Strike becomes available to you in the Freestar Rangers questline at the same time as On the Run, and tasks you with tracking down another key person of interest in your ongoing investigation into the First. Here, your investigation takes you to the medical space facility known as the Clinic, where you can go about finding out your target’s location in a variety of ways. Following that, after you do learn of her location, you have to go through an abandoned mine littered with drones, bots, and creatures trying to kill you, before once again, in a final confrontation, you get to decide whether your quarry lives or dies.
Let’s look at one final faction quest in Starfield before moving on to some of its shorter, one-off side quests. We’re turning our attention to the Ryujin Industries questline- its very final chapter, in fact, purely because of the fact that the entire mission is exclusively focused on you having conversations with characters and trying to persuade them on some key decisions related to the company and its future. That future can also involve whether or not the company moves ahead with a product that can essentially give people the power of mind control, so the stakes are certainly high. Oh, and you can use that mind control ability yourself in order to influence the board members, if you so please.
Do you want to be space Batman? Well, this is as close as you’re going to get to living out that dream in Starfield. A tip pointing to legendary loot takes you to the lair of a fabled and feared bounty hunter vigilante known as the Mantis. The entire quest sees you going through the Mantis’ elaborate facility and making your way past traps and all manner of dangers, before finally getting your hands on the now-dead bounty hunter’s armour and ship, and taking on the mantle of the Mantis yourself.
You’ll be spending a lot of time in Starfield wondering if you’re ever going to run into any sentient alien life, and First Contact flirts with that idea- before pulling the rug out from under you, and revealing that a mysterious ship that you’ve come into contact with is actually a human generation ship that left Earth hundreds of years ago. Populated with the descendants of its original crew, thanks to its archaic technology, the ship has no way of contacting anyone that crosses paths with it, though it ultimately falls to you to try and broker an agreement between it and the people of the planet it wants to settle down on. It’s a fascinating setup that leads to an equally intriguing short story.
Groundpounder is definitely one of the most action-packed side quests in all of Starfield, and given how fun Starfield’s combat can be, that in and of itself should honestly be enough to help it rank as one of the game’s best missions. But even the narrative context behind it all is extremely interesting. The quest sees soldiers of the UC and the Freestar Collective working as unexpected allies as they come together to fight against a common enemy. It’s a succinct, well-told short story that also helps further flesh out the long-standing enmity between the two factions, and how some people in those factions are able to look past that history in a high-pressure situation.
This is easily one of the best and most unique missions you’ll find in the entire game. Juno’s Gambit is set entirely on a single, small spaceship- but that spaceship, as it turns out, has been taken over by a sentient AI that’s been roaming the stars for years and years. Also on that ship are two people who’re trying to take that AI out of commission. Bit by bit, you learn this AI’s fascinating history and how it came to achieve actual sentience, before deciding whether or not to let it live, what sort of guidance to give it in how it should approach the future, and what should become of the two people who’re on that ship with you.
Here’s another one of many shorter side quests in Starfield that show just how captivating stories can be in BGS games even when they’re told entirely within the space of a single, one-off quest. Not only do you discover a lost colony of clones in Operation Starseed, you then also get to learn about its fascinating history, before the fate of the entire colony is ultimately thrust upon you. Do they flourish, or do you doom all of them to a horrible fate? That weighty decision is entirely on your shoulders.