The Starfield Crimson Fleet questline in full

Starfield crimson fleet questline
(Image credit: Bethesda)

The Starfield Crimson Fleet quest line is a literal double-edged sword as you go undercover for SysDef to take on space pirates. While on this questline any pirates you meet in the world will be allies because they think you're one of them, so remember not to attack them until it's complete. It's up to you whether you complete missions non-lethally, as effectively an undercover cop, or go native and start killing everyone as a true pirate. Eventually, though, you will have to make a final decision that will decide your allegiance for good.

Deep Cover

The Crimson Fleet mission Deep cover can be started in Starfield by either beginning the main United Colonies mission thread, or by being caught smuggling, and sees you infiltrating the pirate organisation. Basically if you wanted to know how to join the Crimson Fleet Pirates in Starfield, this is how. You'll meet with Commander Ikande and the SysDef faction and then set out to Mars to find a Crimson Fleet contact via a corrupt Trade Authority worker.

Rook meets King

This mission will see you meet the Crimson Fleet leader Delgado and all the main characters of the faction. You'll also gain entry to The Key, the Fleet's space station base.

You'll also have to track down a former pirate called Austin Rake, for the fleet, on a ship called the Ragana. You can kill him, or spare him and fake his death - it's entirely up to you. SysDef wants non-lethal resolutions for this and everything you do for them however, and many of the decisions that come after largely align you with them or the fleet. You can complete every mission non-lethally though without the pirates ever being any wiser.

Echoes of the Past

In this quest you'll investigate the Lock, an abandoned prison on the surface of Suvorov to find out more about a lost treasure called Kryx's Legacy. As you explore the location you'll have to deal with the Starfield Mathis choice, where your pirate companion wants to try and take down Delgado, and find a way to reach the Starfield prison cell cache. Eventually you'll get the info you need and escape via a stolen shuttle you can then claim as your own once you know how to steal ships in Starfield.

Breaking the Bank

This is a fairly complex mission where you need to speak to a lot of people on a wealthy ship hosting a charity gala. The ultimate aim is to get a Galbank executive's login credentials and steal a valuable trophy. The catch is that weapon sensors will lock the entire ship down if you fire so much as a single bullet so you need to talk to everyone, using your investigative skills you get what you want. Once you've got everything you'll be able to access the Galbank archives, deal with a mercenary ambush and find more information on Kryx's Legacy.

The Best There Is

This is essentially a heist mission where you'll need to be snuck into a United Colonies navy ship and steal uniforms to pass as a soldier. You'll have to find, and ultimately steal the Comspike, a piece of top secret tech that can help decrypt Kryx's Legacy.

Absolute Power

It's time for another heist now as you travel to Neon and source a passkey for Generdyne from another exec. You'll also need to locate an encryption cipher and potentially implant a virus as an optional objective. Ultimately, you'll break in and steal data on a conduction grid the pirates can use to reach the Legacy.

Eye of the Storm

With both the Comspike and the conduction grid you'll be able to finally reach Kryx's Legacy, a ship lost in an electromagnetic storm. You'll need to board the ship and work your way through it until you can claim the data core. Once you have it you'll have to make a decision about who to give Kryx's legacy to in Starfield - it will decide your allegiance between UC SysDef, or the Crimson Fleet. The final mission will largely playout the same, you'll just be on one side or the other. 

Legacy's End

Depending on whether you choose SysDef or the Crimson Fleet, you'll lead an assault against the remaining side. The steps are largely the same, involving large space battles and an attack to either save or destroy some orbital batteries. Whichever faction leader you go up against will also have enabled a self destruct system you'll need to talk them down from to deactivate. You'll end up with 250,000 credits and access to the faction you chose either way, with the other side becoming an enemy. 

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Leon Hurley
Senior Guides Co-ordinator

I'm GamesRadar's Senior Guides Co-ordinator, which means I run GamesRadar's guides and tips content. I also write reviews, previews and features, largely about horror, action adventure, FPS and open world games. I previously worked on Kotaku, and the Official PlayStation Magazine and website.