How to Smuggle and Sell Contraband in Starfield

If you’re reading this, then chances are you’ve done a shady thing or two in Starfield and found yourself with some contraband. While that illegal stuff will surely fetch you a lot of credits, it naturally can’t be brought to any star system because of how well they’re protected. So, if you find yourself with some contraband you need to sell in Starfield but don’t know how to smuggle it, we are here to help. So keep reading as we break down how you can smuggle and sell contraband in Starfield.

Where Do You Sell Contraband in Starfield

If you have read our guide on how to sell weapons, items, and gear in Starfield, you might have seen those handy blue kiosks that lead you to various vendors. Now, unfortunately, only select people buy contraband from players in Starfield. Fortunately, you can easily sell your contraband to the Trade Authority in the game.

This ever-present commerce company will take contraband off your hands and even pay you handsomely. Here are the steps you need to follow to sell contraband to the Trade Authority in Starfield:

  • First, look for a yellow kiosk at a spaceport. These are easily present across every major settlement. The first one the player encounters is in the city of New Atlantis.
  • However, if you’re looking for a full store, you will need to head over to Cydonia on Maris in the Sol System.
  • Once there, look for items flagged with a small yellow marker in your inventory and sell them off to earn some credits.
Trade authority kiosk

Where to Sell Contraband Without Being Scanned

While you can sell contraband to the Trade Authority in New Atlantis, your ship will be scanned and flagged if you’re carrying illegal stuff, landing you in trouble. While we will show you how to circumvent that later in the guide, this section is for those who do not want to work that hard. There exist a few stations where the player isn’t scanned upon entry, thereby, making it a haven to sell and smuggle contraband.

One such vendor we found during our playthrough is in The Den space station, present in the Wolf System in Starfield. The Den orbits the planet of Chthonia. Even though the system is controlled by UC security, I was not scanned upon my approach and could safely bring along my contraband to the station. Once there, it’s a matter of walking up to the Trade Authority store and selling my ill-gotten gains.

How to Smuggle Contraband through Controlled Areas

Even though it’s easy to sell contraband to the Den above, you might be a spacefarer hell-bent on smuggling your stuff into New Atlantis. In that case, there are a couple of ways you can go about it. Keep reading to learn what they are:

1. Upgrade Ship to Smuggle Contraband

The first thing you can do is to upgrade your Starfield ship with parts that hide your contraband upon arrival on controlled systems. More specifically, players must buy and equip a Shielded Cargo Hold to hold their contraband and a Scan Jammer to decrease the chances of being scanned. Not many people deal in such illicit stuff, but we found a guy nonetheless.

You can buy the required ship parts from Lon Anderssen on Red Mile on the Porrima III planet. It is a part of the Porrima system, and you will find it in the East of the Alpha Centauri system. Once there, walk over to Lon and ask to upgrade your ship.

You can then go to builder mode and add the “100CM Ballast Shielded Cargo Hold (1500 Credits)” and a “Scan Jammer – Single Frequency (3000 Credits).” Once your ship is equipped with these parts, put the contraband in the cargo hold, and not your inventory. Then, head over to a scanned system, and you should pass right through, provided your hold isn’t overstuffed.

2. Get the Starfield Deception Skill

Even though the above section should safeguard you, you can help your case a bit more when smuggling contraband in Starfield. There is a dedicated “Deception” skill present in the second tier of the social skill tree. Once taken, it will make enemy contraband scanners 10% less effective on the first level and reach as high as 50%.

Combined with the scan jammer, the deception skill will help you smuggle contraband into famous cities in Starfield. Moreover, these skills go well with all the best Starfield backgrounds, so feel free to mix and match without problems.

Smuggle Contraband by Flying Through

After you are done installing the above upgrades and getting the necessary skills, you can easily smuggle contraband into cities. I tested this out by purchasing a few cans of Aurora from Neon City and then stowing it in my ship’s shielded cargo hold. Once I arrived in New Atlantis, my ship was scanned for contraband. However, due to the upgrades, I had a 65% chance of evasion, which paid off.

I reached the city without my contraband being detected and successfully smuggled it in. However, remember to stow it in the cargo hold, as we mentioned. So, the next time you’re unsure about selling and smuggling contraband in Starfield, follow the steps above.

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