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Having too much choice can be a scary thing. What if I choose the wrong option? What if I do the quests in the wrong order? There's a lot to do in Starfield—far too much to cover in one article, in fact.
Even if you've been playing the game since launch, there's a chance you've missed some very cool quests—mainline, sideline, and otherwise. If you're locked up in choice paralysis, this list will give you something concrete to work with.
We've played tons of Starfield—over 100 hours at this point—and while we can't promise that you'll have fun (because that's subjective), these are meaty quests that take you all over the galaxy and will give you tons of stuff to do.
There will be some minor quest spoilers in here, though we won't give away major story beats.
Among the Stars
Yes, you should engage with the main quest—at least for a while. Fallout 3 and Cyberpunk 2077 taught us that if you engage with the main questline, you'll hit a point where you cut yourself off from other questlines permanently due to the way the game ends. As a result, many gamers put the main quest on the backburner, ready to do anything and everything to avoid engaging with it.
Here's the thing: This main questline, in addition to being the path to Starfield's cool and creative New Game+ system (once you do complete it), also introduces you to one of the game's major mechanics—Space Powers.
The explorers' organization Constellation will send you all over the galaxy finding green hunks of… something (Metal? Rock? We're not sure). Eventually, you'll be tasked with hunting down mysterious, long-abandoned temples. Each temple you find will reward you with a new power. You can make every enemy in your vicinity float in zero gravity for a few seconds, slow down time, or knock everyone over with the Starfield equivalent of Skyrim's “Fus Ro Dah.”
Many of these are indispensable in battle and are absolutely worth picking up. You can still do crimes and save planets later. This questline won't suddenly surprise you by ending the game, so don't be afraid to dive in and become a space wizard.
The Lair of the Mantis
If you're holding out for a hero, look to The Mantis. Pretty early into Starfield, you'll pick up a tablet titled "Secret Outpost!" off of a Spacer's corpse. The tablet will add a questline to your log. Pick up a few levels and some satisfying weapons, and then head for this mission.
You'll go through a fun, silly storyline that takes you deep into a cavern, and there you'll find some very cool sights to see, as well as a set of armor and a ship that will last you quite a ways into the game—all for the low, low price of shooting a bunch of Spacers. We don't want to spoil the real twists here, but this is a fun piece of Starfield lore to track down.
Supra Et Ultra
Join the army, they said. See the galaxy, they said.
This questline pays out in spades if you take it to the end. Head to the main MAST building and talk to the UC recruiter there named Commander Tuala. First, you'll have to walk through a museum and then pass a flight simulator test. Protip: You can play this flight simulator as much as you want, and there are some in-game cheats that you can use to get further into the simulator. This is a great way to satisfy leveling requirements that require you to destroy a certain number of ships—without ever putting your life in danger.
Once you pass the test, however, Tuala will send you on what looks at first like a dumb errand to a sparsely populated planet. When you get there, though, you'll quickly notice that something is very wrong, and you'll be off on one of the game's meatiest questlines. This Aliens-inspired questline takes you deeper into the lore of Starfield than almost any other quest, and it can last you quite a while.
Even better, though, are the rewards. In addition to a great storyline, you'll get tons of cash as well as New Atlantis citizenship, complete with your own high-rise condominium to decorate. Even if you don't care about decoration, though, this questline is still worth doing just for the story—rewards aside. You'll still get well over 60,000 credits and plenty of experience, too, but that's just a bonus.
The game's main companions—Sarah, Barrett, Andreja, and Sam—all have companion quests that you can trigger by raising their affinity (acting in ways they like) and talking to them and exhausting their dialogue options.
You don't have to romance characters to get their companion quests, either. For example, I romanced Andreja and befriended Sarah, and got to do both of their companion quests. Andreja's quest delves into her devotion to the Great Serpent and the cult-religion-people of House Va'ruun. While the lore behind House Va'ruun is either a little undercooked or very well hidden, this is an interesting storyline about Andreja's experience leaving the House behind and exploring her own faith.
Sarah, meanwhile, has a troubled history with the UC Vanguard, and once she trusts you enough, she'll ask you to tie up some loose ends that will take you into her history. They aren't as consequential or rewarding as some of these other questlines, but the companion quests are still each fun by their own merits—and give some much-needed life to companions that can otherwise feel a little wooden.
Some enemies are too evasive, too secretive to run at headfirst. You have to outthink them. The Crimson Fleet is Starfield's pirate faction. They have extremely cool red armor and live on a space station that has tons of shops very close to each other.
As you progress the questline that begins with Supra Et Ultra, you'll pick up a questline called Deep Cover. This will introduce you to UC SysDef, a subset of the Vanguard that you've just joined that is focused on taking down the Crimson Fleet. If you accept this mission, you'll join the pirates as a mole, eventually forcing you to choose whether to stick with your new pirate buddies or betray them to SysDef.
This is a pretty long string of quests that will have you doing stealth, visiting new systems, and exploring multiple extensive dungeons before you make that decision. In the process, you'll meet some fun characters and make plenty of cash. The reward, though, is ample. If you stick with the pirates, you'll get a ship that might last you the entire rest of the game. If you decided to be a narc, though, you'll still get some good stuff, including enough cash to make your eyes roll back.
When Starfield first hit, there were news stories talking about how Bethesda had thought about connecting Starfield to its hit Fallout games. That ultimately didn't happen, but the First Contact questline feels a bit like finding a Vault-Tec Vault floating out amongst the stars. In the Porrima system, you'll receive a distress call from a planet called Paradiso, asking you to contact a mysterious ship hovering in orbit. The inhabitants of this ship have been living in it for… well, a very long time.
The rewards on this mission aren't incredible—a few thousand credits and a pretty good (but not great) pistol—but it's a fun idea that feels different from so many of the other quests in Starfield. You also won't have to pull out your gun even once. Well, unless you really want to.
If you pop by the Altair system, you'll get a distress call from a research station besieged by Spacers, Starfield's equivalent to Fallout's Raiders. This isn't a sneaking mission, Snake. You have no choice but to go in guns blazing, but this is a fun mission that lets you really get into Starfield combat. You'll face Spacers both indoors and out, and have plenty of opportunities to engage with the game's (poorly conveyed) cover system.
It's not the most story-heavy mission, but you get to talk to some fun, well-written characters. The reward at the end is the Peacekeeper, a great rifle that has the potential to last you quite a while into the game. Depending on how you handle yourself, you can run into some of the characters from this quest later on in a chance encounter.
Tourists Go Home
When you visit the Sol system—the home system of the very different-looking Earth—make sure to stop by Saturn's moon, Titan. You should be able to find a quest called Brownout pretty easily by talking to Joyce in New Homestead. Take care of that quest, and then talk to Giuliana at the clinic.
Listen, the civilian clothes in Starfield kind of suck. There are very few outfits in this game that most people will see and think, "I can't wait to dress my character in that outfit." The outfit you'll get in this quest, though, is the exception. You just have to scare off some tourists a few times, and it's all yours. Just look at it. And then, after you get this outfit, go to Neon, apply for a job at Ryujin, and walk into the interview in this outfit. You're sure to be noticed!
This is a quest you'll encounter much later into your Starfield adventure, most likely. The Charybdis system is far enough away from other systems that you'll need a beefed-up spacecraft to get to it in the first place.
But this is the game's other Fallout moment: a distant space settlement that was obviously some weirdo's idea of a fun experiment. The twist here is so funny and weird that I don't dare spoil it, but you'll talk to some very memorable figures and walk away with a legendary pilot as a companion.