best side quests to do first in starfield
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Top 10 Best Side Quests to do First in Starfield

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There are a lot of quests and missions to do in Starfield. It’s a huge galaxy, after all. But maybe you’re not ready to take off for your first big adventure just yet. That’s totally fair! Luckily, you’ve got plenty of options. Whether it’s focusing on the finer things in life or helping out the little guys around the galaxy, here are 10 of the best side quests to do first in Starfield.

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Back to the Grind — Get a Job at Ryujin Industries

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Starting fresh in a new galaxy can be a little intimidating, and the first day of a new job is nobody’s favorite. Lucky for you, Ryujin Industries is always hiring, and they get the less pleasant jobs out of the way right off the bat. You might be applying for a legitimate job, but they’re not going to treat you like a legitimate employee at first.

All you’ve got to do is apply for the job at one of the Kiosks around New Atlantis, and once you turn it in, you’ll have to make your way to Neon in the Volii system. Head to Ryujin Tower for an interview with Imogene before finally being sent on your first assignment: a coffee run. While maybe not the most prestigious, this will be the first in a line of work that’ll bring you pretty close to the top of the whole corporation.

Distilling Confidence — Bring Nyssa Her Ingredients

starfield best side quests to do first nyssa
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As you make your way through the security checkpoint for the Spaceport on New Atlantis, you can overhear a UC security guard talking about a woman at the bar who needs to stop asking them to find something for her. You can take that lead all the way up the street to the Viewport, where you can find Nyssa, the bartender who’s in a bit of a pickle.

If you talk to her, she’ll let you know that she was expecting a shipment for an ingredient to use in a drink she’s experimenting with. Unfortunately, it got confiscated and she needs some help in getting it back. Luckily, it’s early enough in the game where you can help out without much trouble, and you can get practice in some persuasion tactics. If you get it back to her, she’ll gladly reward you and give you a sample of her new concoction.

A Tree Grows in New Atlantis — Help Kelton Channel His Inner Lorax

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As you wander the MAST district, you might find a couple of guards talking about some scientist who’s off talking to a tree, who might need a helping hand. If you decide to seek him out, you’ll find the scientist Kelton who could use a research assistant to help him gather some data. Should you choose to help him, he’ll have you find a bunch of his sensors scattered around New Atlantis.

You’ll have to jump through a couple extra hoops for one of them, but after you get it you can bring them back to Kelton. Once you get them back to him, you’ll have to wait until he’s ready with the data, but you can talk to him again after a few in-game hours. This side mission actually branches off a few more times after the initial help you give Kelton, making it great for learning just how back-and-forth the game’s quests can be.

In Memoriam — Help Sarah Come to Terms With Her Past

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While you can only truly romance an unfortunate few people in Starfield, it’s nice to have a companion who you can confide in throughout your journey. Sarah Morgan is one of the first people who you’re locked in with as a companion, and if you continue to be there for her, she’ll eventually open up the In Memoriam quest for you to complete with her.

Upon completion of the quest, you’ll be rewarded with the opportunity to properly romance Sarah and cement everything you’ve been through together. You’ll gain experience with New Atlantis as a city and get some solid backstory for the game through Sarah’s interactions, but you’ll also be putting her at ease regarding her not-so-pretty past. Just bear with it, there’s a couple of strange bugs that might need a quick workaround.

Start-Up Stopped — Help Jane Get Her Ship Back

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As you make your way through Cydonia’s residential district on Mars, you can find yourself walking into a small shop called Jane’s Goods. Jane runs the place, but needs help getting back her ship that went missing. She doesn’t know why the pilot is taking so long, so she asks if you can lend her a hand.

To find her ship, you’ve just got to go to the space around Triton and hail the Berry Mule, to which you’ll find it’s been taken over by Ecliptic mercenaries. As is your choice, you can fight your way through them, or you can talk your way out and save the ship and the pilot Erick, or just Erick. Either way, helping small businesses is a great way to get your interstellar feet wet.

Red Tape Blues — Help Trevor Subvert Corporate Authority

Trevor in Starfield Red Tape Blues Quest
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Just as you get through the security gate of Cydonia, you can overhear a man named Trevor turning a couple of prospective miners down for some work. However, if you talk to him, that’s exactly what he’ll have for you, just not exactly on the books. He needs some help fudging his quota, and he could use your help to do so.

It turns out, he needs equipment to be allocated to him and his crew, so you’ll need to not only mine a little extra ore for Trevor, but you’ll also have to make your way up to the administrative office to give yourself a job as the person who approves the requests. It seems shady, but trust me, nobody’s doing their job enough to even notice that you’ve done anything wrong. Help out Trevor here, and you’ll end up with a shockingly deep rabbit hole filled with bureaucracy and lies, but you can really help out in the end.

Mantis — Uncover the Lair of a Centuries-Old Legend

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If you’re looking for your first real taste of combat, then find whatever Spacers you can while you wander the galaxy and take them out. Occasionally, you’ll find someone carrying Spacer Communication I, which will start the Mantis quest because it talks about a secret base of someone named the Mantis. While its possible to do this mission much later in the game, it’s a great early-game find because you’ll be come out of it with some really useful rewards that you’ll thank yourself for getting later.

You can follow the lore through the base to get to a point where you’ve actually got to solve a clever little word puzzle, which is a fascinating change of pace from the other missions in the game. Use the slates and audio recordings around the base to help you make your way through, but prepare to find plenty of enemies blocking your path. Don’t forget to empty your pockets before going in, because there’s gonna be a lot to loot.

Runaway — Help Rivkah Reconnect With Her Father

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Regardless of how much technological advancement there is in the galaxy, family drama is always going to be a problem for some people. This proves incredibly true for Rivkah, one of the miners on Cydonia. She’s got a really bad cough, but her estranged father is the head of Reliant Medical and she doesn’t want to risk him finding her through her medical records.

You’ll have to make your way to Neon to speak with him, but first you have to make sure that you can get on his good side. You’ll need to get your hands on an incredibly rare bottle of Red Harvest Reserve whiskey, which you can find if you’re exceptionally lucky or if you pay the right price to the right guy. This mission is great for getting used to the speech mechanics of the game without the same stakes as the main quests, but it still gets you moving and grooving onto some different worlds.

Space Frog From Outer Space — Post Pictures For Renee

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There’s nothing better to contrast the bleak lawlessness of space than the innocence of children, and no child is more innocent than Renee Shelby on Cydonia. She’s bored, but all she wants is for people not to be sad all the time. Her idea for changing this is as simple as posting up a couple of drawings around the city’s hub to bring a little light into people’s lives underground.

All you’ve got to do to help is just run around Cydonia and post six pictures on various walls, and once you see what she drew, you’ll wish the world for Renee. Trust me, if you’re looking to spread joy and positivity around Mars, helping Renee will be the best choice you could possibly make.

Heart of Mars — Go Out & Practice Your Mining

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If you’ve never had much experience with the construction worker/miner type, you might not know just the kind of jokes they play on each other and how they go down. Talking to Laylah in Cydonia will open the door for her to tell you about the Heart of Mars, which is this rumored treasure that many miners pursue only to meet a grizzly fate. Sound like a job for an explorer such as yourself?

Well, if you go to the “cursed” cave where Laylah says the Heart of Mars resides, you won’t find much in the way of resistance, but you’ll find a long walk and a slightly larger-than-normal chunk of ore which looks enough like a treasure to bring back and report to Laylah. Do so, and she’ll actually be shocked to see you found anything because it was supposed to be a practical joke. Still, you get to keep and sell the lump of ore that you did manage to find.

There you have it, 10 of the best side missions for you to do first in Starfield. They’re all pretty simple and serve to get you into the swing of things, but they’re good ones for just showing you around a few locations. If you’re looking for some guides as to how to complete these and some other quests, be sure to keep checking back here.

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Nick Rivera
Nick Rivera graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 2021 studying Digital Media and started as a Freelance Writer with Twinfinite in early 2023. Nick plays anything from Halo to Stardew Valley to Peggle, but is a sucker for a magnetic story.