Game Guides

How to Smuggle Contraband and Avoid Getting Arrested in Starfield

Fly under the radar and make some money.

Starfield helmet screenshot

The latest expansive RPG from Bethesda, Starfield, lets players pursue endless opportunities in space. You can be a space cop, a space explorer, a space cowboy, and — of course — a smuggler.

For those who want to live out their Han Solo fantasy in Starfield, selling contraband amongst the stars will become one of your main endeavors, if you can manage it. If you want to get away with selling your not-so-legally acquired goods, there are a few main tips you can follow.

Don’t let a pesky think like the law get in the way of making a profit.


In most of Starfield’s major space stations and docks whenever you land you will be scanned. That includes all of your cargo, and if you happen to have contraband on you then you face arrest. The easiest and most reliable way to get around this is to find a ship with a shielded cargo hold, but for those in the early hours of the game that may be a more difficult task to accomplish.

While you can also invest in Deception or try to throw off scanners with other non-contraband cargo, these are all half-measures that give you a better chance but no sure success in getting past a scanner with your contraband.

There is also the chance of finding a Scan Jammer in the game, but that only ups your chances slightly at a successful docking with contraband. Instead, the most reliable way to sell contraband is to find a station or dock that won’t require you to be scanned before entry. Letting you land without the risk of getting arrested for your space-entrepreneurship.

So where is the best place in Starfield to sell your contraband? Well, you need to find locations with Trade Authority, and when you do find one make sure to actually talk to a vendor instead of a terminal because terminals will not take your contraband. Also, make sure to keep track of how much money vendors have; they won’t be able to infinitely purchase your contraband — they aren’t made of money!

The Den is the most reliable way to sell contraband without getting caught.


The location of the Trade Authority vendor that manages to check the very important box of being on a station that won’t scan you before entering is found in The Wolf System. There is a space station known as The Den, and on that station there is a Trade Authority vendor. This is your best bet for getting away with carrying and selling contraband without getting caught.

As a smuggler, you will likely end up joining the Crimson Fleet, the faction made up of space outlaws and smugglers. In that case, you can freely travel to The Key, which lies in the Kryz system. As the home of the Crimson Fleet, they are not ones to scoff at contraband, and you can freely sell any ill-gotten goods you have at The Key with no risk.

If you do find that your chosen vendor has run out of money, find a bed or chair and choose to pass for 48 hours. The vendor's credits will be replenished and you can continue selling your wares.

Starfield is now available on Xbox Series X|S, PC, and Game Pass.

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