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Where to Sell Contraband in Starfield

Matt Chard

The more that you explore the star systems in Starfield, the more you find out what you can do. At some point in your journey, you’ll come across illicit goods also known as contraband. These goods sell for a lot of credits, but you can’t just sell them to anyone, and you could be arrested if you have them on you when you dock at a planet. Read below to find out what contraband is, and where you can sell it.

The Red Mile is just one of the many places you can sell your contraband with no security scans.

What is Contraband

As stated above, contraband is a valuable item that also happens to be illegal to possess. These items are denoted with a yellow icon next to their name and usually have an unusually high value to them. Although it can be tricky to sell them, it’s worth it in the long run. Contraband can be found almost anywhere through the star systems, although you’ll have better luck finding some in derelict buildings and ships. Another good place to find contraband is at one of the many space pirates headquarters such as "Crimson Fleet" iconCrimson Fleet, Space Pirates, or the Ecliptic mercenary group just to name a few.

You'll know you have contraband as it'll have the yellow icon next to the name.

Best Places to Sell Contraband

There are many places to sell contraband in Starfield with some being more difficult to access than others. All "Trade Authority" iconTrade Authority shops will purchase your illicit goods, but most of them require you to get scanned before you can get to the shop, although there are some which don’t require this such as the one in "The Den" iconThe Den Space Station that is situated in The "Wolf System" iconWolf System.

Ask Sati in The Red Mile if you can buy a drink, and she'll let you sell your contraband to her no questions asked.

If you’re carrying contraband when you get scanned at the planetary security check, and you get caught, you’ll get arrested unless you have enough credits on you to bribe security. This is usually expensive, and not worth doing as the bribe itself will most likely cost more than the goods you’re trying to sell. Another option is to attack the security who found your goods, but this will have you looking over your shoulder for the rest of the game, so this isn’t really a good idea unless it’s the type of playthrough you want. Finally, if you accept getting arrested, you’ll pay a small fine, and all your contraband, items/weapons/armor, etc. will be taken from you. Not great, but better than the alternatives.

So, what is the best place to sell contraband you may ask? There’s a shop (Bartender Sati) in the Red Mile which is situated on "Porrima III" iconPorrima III in the Porrima system. She will purchase all your goods, no questions asked, but she will have a limited amount of credits. Although this isn’t great, you can “reset” the amount of credits she has by waiting on a chair or going to sleep. What’s even better about this place is that there are no scans whatsoever, so you can simply dock, enter the Red Mile, and sell your goods with no hassle. Another great place to sell your goods is The Den Space Station which is situated on The Wolf system as it also doesn’t require a scan.

(1 of 2) The Key in the Kryx system is a fantastic place to sell your contraband. Here you have the Trade Authority.

The Key in the Kryx system is a fantastic place to sell your contraband. Here you have the Trade Authority. (left), And here you have the depot. Also, docking at the planet won't have a scan. (right)

Best Way to Smuggle Contraband

If you’re going to be smuggling contraband a lot, and why wouldn’t you? It’s lucrative. Then you may want to think of investing some credits first before you get into it full-time because you won’t want to have to travel star systems out of the way every time you sell them. So, you’ll want to get your hands on a ship that has a Shielded Cargo Hold and Scan Jammer which unfortunately are not easy to come by.

Shielded Cargo Hold and Scan Jammer Location

What you want to do first is either purchase/steal a ship that has a Shielded Cargo Hold and Scan Jammer, or purchase them from a rare parts dealer who’s not easy to find. Fortunately, you can steal a ship from one of the pirates; Crimson Fleet is probably the easiest to get hold of. What you want to do is find one of their ships, shoot at it until it’s stopped, get close to it, and dock. Once you’re on their ship, kill everyone, and the ship will be yours. A good place to find a Crimson Fleet ship is around the Kryx system as their headquarters are situated there.

It doesn’t have to be the Crimson Fleet though as most pirate factions will have ships that have a Shielded Cargo Hold and/or a Scan Jammer due to the nature of their business. But, if you’re patient though, you can get ships as a quest reward with the earliest being the Mantis quest.

What Do the Shielded Cargo Hold and Scan Jammer Do and How to Use Them?

The Shielded Cargo Hold helps you hide illicit goods when receiving a planetary security scan. This works similarly to real life. If your Shielded Cargo Hold is jam-packed with contraband, you’ll most likely get caught, but if you only have about 25% of the hold filled up with it then your chances improve. If you’ve seen the movies, you’ll notice how they will hide the goods under all the legitimate stuff, so if it is checked, they’ll be less likely to get seized, and it’s the same here. The Scan Jammer on the other hand does exactly what it says on the tin. It’ll jam the signal when you’re getting scanned, although it’s not foolproof. To give you a better chance of not getting caught, upgrade some of your skills pertaining to it.

How to Complete the Deception Challenges

The Deception Skill will benefit any smuggler in the galaxy.

Upgrading the "Deception" iconDeception skill will give you up to 50% of being more difficult to scan with contraband. At Rank 1, it’ll only give you 10%, but by Rank 4, you’ll have 50% which when combined with the above methods should make you a competent smuggler. Before you can begin leveling this skill though, you’ll need 4 points in the Social category. Once you’ve put a skill point in Deception, you’ll need to complete a challenge for every rank after which are as follows:

  • Rank 2: Convince 5 ships to surrender.
  • Rank 3: Convince 10 ships to surrender.
  • Rank 4: Convince 20 ships to surrender.

If you’re serious about a life of crime, leveling the Deception skill is a must. We recommend putting four points into "Commerce" iconCommerce or "Theft" iconTheft, or even a mix of both for the first set of Social skills as this will go hand in hand with smuggling.


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Guide Information

  • Platforms,
    PC, XB X|S
  • Genre
    Action Adventure, Action RPG, Shooter
  • Guide Release
    30 August 2023
  • Last Updated
    4 October 2023
    Version History
  • Guide Author

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Starfield is an action role-playing game from Bethesda Game Studios set in a futuristic interpretation of space exploration and colonization. Earth has long been abandoned, but there are plenty of other planets in different star systems where humans have ventured and settled. You have the freedom to create your own character with a unique background, but the main story will take you through a series of adventures as you uncover more information about mysterious artifacts which create gravitational anomalies. Along the way, you can build and customize your own space ship, establish your own outpost, befriend and romance new companions, and more. As a Bethesda game, you can also expect to see a lot of creative mods which have the potential to change your experience of the base game, or take it in an entirely new direction.

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