Starfield players call for changes to “terrible” smuggling mechanic

Joseph Pascoulis
starfield character looking at loot

In Starfield, players can pick up contraband and smuggle the items into different systems across the galaxy, but players feel it could be better.

In Bethesda’s Starfield, you can take on an abundance of identities, from a planet-surveying scientist to an intergalactic Sheriff with the Freestar Rangers.

You can also become a space pirate and join the Crimson Fleet, taking a more lawless approach to your playthrough. While playing Starfield, whether you’re a space pirate or not, you will find contraband items while looting.

It’s up to you whether or not you take this contraband and attempt to smuggle it into various cities across the galaxy. However, you will be scanned by the authorities when entering systems, so there’s a high chance you’ll be caught unless you have a shielded cargo section on your ship.

It’s a lot of hassle, and some players feel there should be more options and rewards when it comes to smuggling, as at the moment, players like Reddit user JayTeaBee1997 feel as though there isn’t much point in smuggling:

“I wanted to get rich from smuggling in this game but this feature seems extremely broken and irrelevant.”

Ultimately, the OP feels as if there should be more selling options for contraband, as at the moment, the only place worth selling contraband is The Den. You will not be scanned when entering its system and you won’t get more money for selling it in major cities where the risk of being caught is higher.

This gives less significance to the shielded cargo ship upgrade, as you can just sell your contraband “at The Den every time.” They feel that there should be “fences in the major cities that would buy contraband for a significant increase in price for you SMUGGLING it into the city.”

Further, others feel there should be more options when it comes to busting smugglers and obtaining contraband, as Reddit user likable_error feels there should be an option to turn in contraband to the authorities.

The OP explained, “I feel there should be an option, once you’ve aligned yourself with the UC Vanguard or Freestar Rangers, to turn in the collected contraband for a small finders fee,” which they feel would give players an incentive to actively seek contraband out, even if they are role-playing a lawful character.

They suggest that when you are being scanned with contraband on your ship, if you are part of the UC Vanguard or whatever authority of the system you are entering, there should be an option to hand it over, instead of just being caught and arrested.

We’ll have to wait and see if the devs decide to change the mechanic in any way, as they do seem dedicated to supporting the game long-term. Further, perhaps a mod will be released with more options for smugglers to satisfy these players.

For more on Starfield, be sure to also check out how you can get all of your confiscated items and contraband back after being arrested in Starfield.