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How to join the Crimson Fleet in Starfield

Arrr you ready to be a space pirate?

cropped first person view of a crimson fleet pirate pointing gun at player
Image credit: Eurogamer/Bethesda Softworks

The Crimson Fleet is one of the main Factions in Starfield, but joining them isn't as straight forward as it is with others.

This is because The Crimson Fleet are a band of space pirates in Starfield, so you can't exactly sign-up for the job like you do with Ryujin Industries or the UC Vanguard.

Although it sounds like a morally suspect decision to enter their ranks, there's actually two ways to do it, so we've went over both methods in our how to join The Crimson Fleet explainer below. We've also quickly went over the consequences of joining the Crimson Fleet.

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How to join the Crimson Fleet in Starfield

There are two ways to join The Crimson Fleet in Starfield:

  • Get caught stealing, with Contraband, or doing illegal activities in UC space
  • Join the UC Vanguard and get the 'Deep Cover' mission from Commander Tuala

Whatever method you pick, you'll officially be a member of The Crimson Fleet once you talk to Delgado at the end of the 'Rook Meets King' mission. However, you can lose your membership as part of The Crimson Fleet questline (more on this in our 'Consequences' section).

first person view of crimson fleet leader
Image credit: Eurogamer/Bethesda Softworks

Quickest way to join the Crimson Fleet

Getting caught stealing, with Contraband, or doing something illegal in UC-owned places is the quickest way to join The Crimson Fleet, as it takes you to the UC Vigilance ship immediately to meet Commander Ikande, who gives you the 'Rook Meets King' mission needed to go undercover and infiltrate the fleet.

Any stolen goods you have when on you will still be confiscated, so keep this in mind if you're using the method.

first person view talking with commander ikande
Image credit: Eurogamer/Bethesda Softworks

Legal way to join the Crimson Fleet

An alternate way to join The Crimson Fleet in Starfield if you don't want to do anything illegal is to start the UC Vanguard Faction questline, and complete the missions up to 'Grunt Work', where Commander Tuala then informs you that Commander Ikande needs your help.

You'll go through the same process talking with Ikande on the UC Vigilance ship, only this time none of your stolen goods are confiscated and Ikande doesn't comment on your criminal activities.

first person view looking at commander tuala
Image credit: Eurogamer/Bethesda Softworks

To join the UC Vanguard, you first have to help Sargeant Yumi, who is located at the UC Security Office in the spaceport of New Atlantis on the planet of Jemison. He'll tell you about joining the Vanguards, where you can then speak with Commander Tuala in the MAST building on New Atlantis to start your Vanguard journey.

Consequences of joining the Crimson Fleet in Starfield

Once you join The Crimson Fleet, you start to rack-up a bounty with them when you kill Crimson Fleet members. As a lot of side missions and assignments picked up at mission boards involve killing those in the fleet, this can be a little annoying. It's the literal price you have to pay for joining The Crimson Fleet, however, unless you leave the fleet as part of the quest later.

You do, however, get access to a special Crimson Fleet mission board instead, which lets you smuggle and commit piracy to earn extra credits.

menu image of crimson fleet mission board
Image credit: Eurogamer/Bethesda Softworks

The upside of being part of The Crimson Fleet is that you can sell Contraband to many of their vendors on The Key space station for good prices, and you don't get scanned for being here, as it's part of Crimson Fleet space.

At a certain point in The Crimson Fleet faction quest, you will have to pick between SysDef and the Crimson Fleet. If you side with The Crimson Fleet you can continue to be a space pirate and enjoy exploring The Key. If you side with SysDef, your membership is obviously revoked and you can no longer access The Key, but you won't get a bounty for killing Crimson Fleet members anymore.

Additionally, if you side with The Crimson Fleet over SysDef, your Constellation companions - Sarah, Sam, Andreja, and Barrett - will be very unhappy with you. You'll likely get a few 'dislikes', or 'hates' from them unless your affinity is high enough, or you can talk your way out of them being too angry.

Starfield Crimson Fleet questline

Here are all of the Crimson Fleet quests in chronological order:

  • 1. Deep Cover
  • 2. Rook Meets King
  • 3. Echoes of the Past
  • 4. Breaking the Bank
  • 5. The Best There Is
  • 6. Absolute Power
  • 7. Eye of the Storm
  • 8. Legacy's End

It's important to note that you may encounter three optional quests - Burden of Proof, Doctor's Orders and Reclaiming the Past - when progressing through the Crimson Fleet questline.

cropped first person view of a crimson fleet pirate pointing gun at player
Image credit: Eurogamer/Bethesda Softworks

Starfield Crimson Fleet reward

Like the other Starfield Faction questlines, such as Ryujin Industries and UC Vanguard, there are a number of exclusive rewards to be earned by progressing through the Crimson Fleet questline. Before you read on, however, keep in mind that the following section contains spoilers!

Image credit: Bethesda

You'll earn your first reward after completing Rook Meets King and its the Pirate Swashbuckler Gear. This clothing is a type of Apprael, so can be worn under your space suit. It grants you a five percent Critical Damage bonus and is perfect for conducting space pirating.

The next round of exclusive rewards comes as part of Echoes of the Past. You'll be able to add a UC Prison Shuttle to your ship collecting during this quest and, once its complete, you'll get the Keelhauler - a unique pistol.

You can find the final exclusive reward - the Revenant rifle - during the Eye of the Storm mission.

All the best in your Crimson Fleet journeys!

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