Starfield: How To Get Shielded Cargo & Sell Contraband



If you’re planning to dabble in the risky yet lucrative world of smuggling, understanding the nuances of shielded cargo in Starfield is paramount. From evading authorities with your precious contraband to making savvy purchases from trustworthy dealers, this guide sheds light on the intricacies of shielded cargo, ensuring you navigate the stars like a pro-space smuggler.

Key Takeaways

  • Starfield allows the covert transportation of goods using shielded cargo.
  • The Red Mile on Porrima III is a primary source for these specialized holds.
  • Lon Anderssen, a dealer at The Red Mile, offers shielded cargo solutions.
  • Shielded cargo helps evade routine cargo scans in settled systems of Starfield.
  • Profit margins increase significantly when transporting undetected contraband.
  • Engaging with the game’s criminal underworld often requires shielded transport.
  • Space pirates are less likely to target ships with undetectable cargo in Starfield.
  • Utilizing Scan Jammers and the Payloads Skill boosts smuggling success in Starfield.
  • Acquiring contraband can occur through looting or story-related events.
  • Successfully smuggling also involves finding trustworthy merchants for profitable sales in Starfield.

What Is Shielded Cargo In Starfield

Shielded cargo
Shielded cargo (picture credits: eXputer)

In Starfield, shielded cargo allows players to covertly transport goods, evading cargo scans. Purchasable at The Red Mile from Lon Anderssen, these specialized cargo holds keep contraband undetected, aiding in smuggling endeavors across the settled systems and ensuring a smoother journey through the stars.

Purchasing The Shielded Cargo Hold In Starfield

Purchasing Shielded Cargo
Purchasing Shielded Cargo (picture credits: eXputer)

 If you’re looking to buy a Shielded Cargo Hold for your smuggling escapades in Starfield, here’s how you can to do it:

  • Location: Set a course for The Red Mile. It’s a notable spot located on the planet Porrima III within the Porrima system.
  • The Dealer: Once you arrive, seek out Lon Anderssen. He’s the go-to merchant for this specialized cargo solution.
  • Making the Purchase: When you chat with Lon, dive into the Ship Builder menu. From there, tap into the Cargo Tab. Keep an eye out for the Cargo-Shielded option.

A Quick Tip: It’s a smart move to drop by The Red Mile early on in your Starfield journey. Secure your Shielded Cargo Hold and then jet off. This way, you get your smuggling advantage without giving away too much of the game’s unfolding story.

Visiting Lon Anderssen

Visiting Lon Anderssen
Visiting Lon Anderssen (picture credits: eXputer)

In the vast universe of Starfield, carrying goods discreetly is crucial. Without the right shielding, your valuable contraband can be detected, and authorities won’t hesitate to slap you with hefty fines. Seek out Lon Anderssen in Starfield, the man who has the exact ship upgrades you need.


red mile
red mile (picture credits: eXputer)

Set your course for The Red Mile, a buzzing establishment on Proxima III of Starfield, nestled in the Proxima system. The place has quite a reputation, managed by the vibrant Mei Devine. When you touch down, you might get caught up in the local drama, witnessing a dispute, or even a thrilling sporting event called ‘running the Red Mile’.

Lon is the key to a hassle-free smuggling experience in Starfield. You’ll find him towards the back of The Red Mile building, typically lounging behind his desk. A bit grumpy, but he knows his ships.

Your Shielded Cargo Options

Razorleaf from mantis mission
Razorleaf from Mantis Mission (picture credits: eXputer)
  1. Trader Railstar – Offers a hefty 160 Shielded Capacity, and will set you back 86686 credits. It’s a worthy investment for those serious about their smuggling business in Starfield.
  2. Razorleaf – Acquire this beauty as a reward from the Mantis mission. It too boasts a shielded cargo capacity, making it an asset for interstellar traders in Starfield.

Why Do You Need Shielded Cargo In Starfield?

Evading Authorities
Evading Authorities (picture credits: eXputer)

The go-to purpose of Shielded Cargo in Starfield is that you get away with contraband that otherwise is not allowed. 

1. Evading Authorities

The settled systems in Starfield come with their own sets of rules. Regular cargo scans are performed on ships entering these systems, searching for illegal goods. A shielded cargo hold allows you to sneak past these scans, ensuring your precious contraband remains undetected.

2. Profit From Contraband

Early in Starfield, players encounter an extremely valuable resource known as Contraband. The profit margins on these goods can be astronomical. However, without the right shielding, you risk detection and loss of potential profits.

3. Navigating The Criminal Underworld

Starfield makes it clear that the criminal underworld thrives throughout the settled systems. Engaging with this shady side of the universe often requires transporting illegal goods. Shielded cargo ensures smooth transactions without alerting space authorities.

4. Fending Off Space Pirates

Space pirates are known to attack ships on the mere chance of nabbing valuable loot in Starfield. By masking your cargo, you decrease the likelihood of being targeted, ensuring a safer journey through space.

5. Mission Requirements

Certain missions and side-quests in Starfield might require players to transport specific items discreetly. Having a shielded cargo hold ensures you can complete these missions without any hitches.

6. Side Activities Strategy

Engaging in smuggling can be an integral gameplay strategy for many players. It provides an alternative to the typical ‘good side’ quests and adds layers of complexity and strategy to the gameplay of Starfield, making every journey fraught with tension and excitement.

Best Strategies To Smuggle Contraband In Starfield

Strategies To Smuggle Contraband
Strategies To Smuggle Contraband (picture credits: eXputer)

Navigating the star-studded universe of Starfield is thrilling, but smuggling? That’s where the real adrenaline is. Here’s how to ensure you’re the best smuggler in the galaxy.

1. Always Use Shielded Holds 

Before you even think of jetting off to a new system in Starfield, ensure your contraband is safely tucked away in a shielded cargo hold. These specially designed compartments mask the contents, making them invisible to routine scans.

2. Success Rates

Every shielded cargo hold in Starfield has a base success rate, which indicates how likely it is that your contraband will go undetected. For instance, a basic shielded hold, when carrying a minimal amount of contraband, displays a 59% success rate. That means there’s a more than half chance you’ll sail through those pesky scans undetected. But, as we all know, space smugglers like better odds.

3. Equip A Scan Jammer

These nifty gadgets are the ace up a smuggler’s sleeve in Starfield. While rare, a Scan Jammer significantly boosts your chances of evading detection. But a word of caution – they’re so rare that it’s often easier to find and commandeer a ship already equipped with one than to buy a jammer outright.

4. Level Up with The Payloads Skill

In Starfield, skills aren’t just for combat or diplomacy. The Payloads skill, when leveled up, directly increases your chance of successfully smuggling contraband past security. So, invest some time in honing this skill.

Contraband System In Starfield

Collecting contraband
Collecting contraband (picture credits: eXputer)

Before you can smuggle, you need something to smuggle, right? In Starfield, contraband isn’t just lying around. You can acquire these illicit goods in a couple of ways.

  • Looting: As you explore the vast universe, you’ll come across opportunities to loot ships, outposts, or fallen enemies. Keep an eye out, and you might just find some valuable contraband!
  • Story-Related Situations: Sometimes, the narrative will naturally lead you to contraband. Engage in the storyline, make certain choices, and you might just end up with some rare items to smuggle.

Dodging Scans

dodging scans
dodging scans (picture credits: eXputer)

Just as in real life, not all goods are welcome everywhere in Starfield. Each time your ship enters a settled system, it’s subjected to a scan for illegal items, particularly contraband. Now, this isn’t a simple pass-or-fail situation. Instead, a myriad of mechanics come into play that determine if your cargo is detected. This means you’ll need a combination of the right equipment, skills, and sometimes sheer luck to successfully sneak past those prying scanner eyes.

Finding A Merchant To Sell Contraband & Profit

Selling contraband
Selling contraband (picture credits: eXputer)

You’ve got contraband, and you’ve successfully avoided detection. Time to get rich, right? Not so fast. The next step is finding a merchant shady enough to buy your illicit goods. But, it’s more than just a simple transaction:

  • Finding the Right Merchant: Not all merchants deal in contraband. You’ll need to navigate the cosmos, seeking those rare vendors who aren’t afraid to bend (or break) the rules.
  • Proving Your Trustworthiness: Some of these merchants don’t just take anyone’s word. They might require you to prove yourself by completing a mission or task. This ensures that you’re not only reliable but also discreet.

In the expansive cosmos of Starfield, mastering shielded cargo is crucial for any aspiring smuggler. From making strategic purchases at The Red Mile to understanding contraband intricacies, this guide equips players for smooth space trading. As you embark on your adventures, ensure your cargo remains a secret, and profit boldly amongst the stars.


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