How To Find and Smuggle Contraband in Starfield

Become a space pirate and smuggle contraband

Umer Cheema
Umer Cheema
5 Min Read

Starfield is an absolutely massive game that allows the player to do whatever they want. As such, many players will likely delve into the path of becoming a space pirate. That is why this guide will show you how to find and smuggle contraband in Starfield.

Since there are a lot of security measures in the future, you can’t openly carry forbidden items. If you want to get away from security and sell the contraband for a good price, you’ve come to the right place. With that said, let’s dive right in and get started.

How to Find Contraband

You can find contraband in various areas of the game (sometimes from a main/side quest as well)

There are multiple ways for you to find contraband. The first time I found it was when I was collecting debt for a sidequest but a spaceship landed beside mine. It had enemies around the ship and inside as well.

After clearing them out, I found contraband while looting their ship. Alternatively, you can also find contraband as part of a side quest or even a main one. That’s not all, you can find it in enemy ships or buildings inside a city if you’re lucky enough.

There is no fixed chance of finding it at a given location but you are most likely to come across it while playing the game normally.

How to Smuggle Contraband

The contraband is marked with a yellow symbol.

Now that you’ve got some contraband in your spaceship, it’s time to safely smuggle it. Keep in mind that you will often get scanned when you enter a new star system (especially before entering a large city).

If you have contraband in your ship during the scan, it will get found and the security ships will start attacking you. I know that you might think that you’ll blast your way through all of them and run away.

However, that is almost impossible as there are tons of security ships that deal a lot of damage. To avoid this problem, you need to know the right places and go there to sell the contraband (or you can pay a fine/serve time in jail and have your contraband taken away).

The best place to sell your illegal items is the Trade Authority. While you can find small terminals at almost any spaceport, you can only sell contraband in proper stores. They are rare but you can find one in Cydonia on Mars (you go here on a mission anyways early in the game). You can even find one in New Atlantis.

Upgrading your ship is quite complex at the start but you’ll get the hang of it quickly.

If you want to go through a patrolled area, you should have enough points in your Deception skill. Alternatively, you can upgrade your ship to go through scans undetected. For that, you need to place the contraband in the ship’s cargo hold (not your personal inventory).

If you do not want to risk getting scanned, you should head over to The Den space station located in the Wolf star system. This star system can be found close to the star system where New Atlantis is found (early in the game).

Here, you can find a Trade Authority vendor where you can sell all your contraband. Keep in mind that the vendor might run out of credits if you sell him a lot of stuff.


And there you have it; that’s how you can find and smuggle contraband in Starfield. While this is a risky endeavor, you’ll earn a lot of money relatively quickly thanks to this. If you’re low on cash, give this method a go and try your luck.

Do you like smuggling contraband in Starfield? Or do you prefer playing it safe? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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By day, Umer loves writing about games and talking about them; by night, he is an avid gamer that loves playing League of Legends and RTS games. Being a massive fan of Metal Gear Solid, you'll find Umer always praising the legendary Hideo Kojima.
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