Starfield is Bethesda’s first open-world game in a while, and there’s a lot to do out there in space. There are quite a few character customization options right from the get-go, and plenty of RPG elements to decide your character’s path, including certain things that may be morally, legally, or ethically questionable, at best. One of these things is the ability to smuggle and sell certain items in the game. After all, why bother making someone new and unique when you can live out your inner Han Solo?
Locating and Identifying Contraband
Contraband items can be found in many places in Starfield, mostly in laboratories and enemy bases. Unlike items you outright steal from their owners–designated by a red icon beside their name in your inventory–contraband items will have a yellow icon. These items can be anything; illegal drugs, heretic texts, stolen artwork, AI components, and even literal harvested organs.
This is the tricky part of selling contraband in Starfield. In most cases, whenever you travel to a new system in your ship, you’ll be automatically scanned by security. If they find contraband on you, you’ll be automatically arrested. You’ve got a quick chance to avoid this while they scan you by jumping away to another system, but doing so will result in a bounty being placed on you, as will resisting arrest.
So, where do you sell this stuff? Well, luckily, despite all their posturing as a reputable organization, the Trade Authority will always have a trader in any system owned by either the United Colonies or Freestar.
Smuggling For A Living
If you want to really embrace the smuggler’s lifestyle, you can join the Crimson Raiders, whose technicians can set you up with a shielded cargo bay that grants you a decent chance at bypassing those annoying security scans. You can also install a nifty little device on your ship called a Scan Jammer, which basically does exactly what you think it does, bumping up your chances of bypassing the scans by a whole 50%, in addition to the shielded cargo bay bonus.
Other Tips: It’s also recommended that you find an unclaimed planet or moon and establish a base there to store your illicit goods when you’re not able to sell them. Oh, and there’s also a whole skill path devoted to smuggling. That might be somewhat relevant.