How to Smuggle Contraband in Starfield

Conducting any kind of space business in Starfield sounds as if it should be a straightforward and improved process for all humans after moving on from Earth. Turns out, business is business, and nothing has changed. Thieves roam the galaxies while authorities overlook the fine people of the Settled Systems, and peace doesn’t seem to be on the horizon anytime soon. Space is a dirty place to be, where you’re able to smuggle contraband for your criminal thrills and extra intake of credits.

Starfield How to Smuggle Contraband

Everyone needs to make a buck, and sometimes we need to get our hands filthy to get some matters in line. That’s why we’re looking forward to sneaking some illegal items through space customs and authorities, for our own purposes in Starfield. If there’s a chance we can import smuggled goods, then why not give it a chance? Therefore, we’re going to show you how you can smuggle contraband and then sell it for the galactic market in Starfield.

How to Smuggle Contraband

In order to sneak through illegal goods in Starfield, your spaceship must be fitted with a shielded cargo hold that will help smuggle contraband marked with yellow icons. When you interact with the shipbuilding feature in the game, switch over to the Cargo tab in the Shipbuilder Control Console. Here, you can view and modify your ships. From this menu, you can then select whichever shielded cargo hold that is available to you.

Regular cargo holds are noticeably cheaper than the shielded ones, but that’s the point. With a shielded cargo hold, your new module will be able to hide contraband from any scanning by the authorities. Thus, allowing you to successfully smuggle contraband to other planets for some sneaky profit.

Just be sure to not have any illegal items on your person. You will get caught and you might have to do some time behind bars in space. Who knows what would happen if any Va’ruun Heretic Writings got into the wrong hands in Starfield?

Evidently, you’ll need to ensure that your ship isn’t missing any components that are essential for space travel. More importantly, you’ll need to be aware of the Grav Jump threshold that you can possibly reach by indulging in too many cargo holds for your ship. This also accounts for the amount of contraband that you’ll carry on you, which will help determine the percentage of the authority’s scan on your ship’s storage.

In addition to the cargo holds, progress through the game until you’ve acquired a Scan Jammer. This will absolutely help with the scanning process, though this item is rarely sold. Therefore, you’ll need to invest in shielded cargo holds until you’ve obtained a jamming device for your ship. You might need to purchase new parts for your ship here.

If detected, you’ll encounter an authoritative warning: “Our scan detected contraband on board. Halt and prepare to be boarded. All illegal and stolen goods will be confiscated.” This is where you might need to prepare for some consequences.

Starfield Ship Storage and Cargo Hold

For a quick note to keep in mind, here are a few shielded cargo holds to look out for whenever you’re ready to engage in some criminal importing and exporting:

  • 100CM Ballast Shielded Cargo Hold – 1,425 Credits
  • 200CM Ballast Shielded Cargo Hold – 4,512 Credits
  • Caravel V101 Shielded Cargo Hold – 2,470 Credits
  • de Gama 1000 Shielded Cargo Hold – 1,425 Credits
  • Caravel V102 Shielded Cargo Hold – 9,595 Credits

Expert Tip

Your smuggling activities may be limited from minimal action to full-blown criminal behaviors. Whether you’re looking to sneak in cases of the Aurora drug or slabs of Harvested Organs, we recommend investing time in the Deception Expert Skill within the Social tree. Across four ranks are advantageous bonuses for enemy contraband scans to be less efficient. Rank 1 is at 10%; Rank 2 is set at 20%; Rank 3 is increased to 30%; Rank 4 offers a 50% rate. To do this, you’ll need to continuously persuade opposing shops to surrender.

How to Sell Contraband

If you’re successful in getting through authority detection without trouble, you can then land at your designated spaceport to start conducting some business. To sell your illegal goods, head over to the neon green Trade Authority merchant stations at the spaceports. These well-known vendors have an incredible reputation for buying and selling just about anything, for good or ill. Your available contraband is stashed in the MISC (miscellaneous) category of the inventory.

They’ll look at your contraband without batting an eye. You can locate the Trade Authority stations in the following areas of Starfield:

  • Akila City
  • Cydonia
  • Neon
  • New Atlantis
  • The Den
  • The Key
Starfield How to Buy and Sell Ship Parts

No need to worry about the Trade Authority ratting out on you. Since they’ve been brought to trial and have been tested for illegal activity, nothing seems to stop them from doing what they do in the trading world. They’re ready to make a purchase, if they have the credits available, of course. In that case, utilize the waiting game, where you can sit and wait for a full 24 hours to quickly respawn the Trade Authority’s inventory and credits.