Smuggling is an easy way to make a ton of money in Starfield, but you won’t be able to sell your cargo for Credits without a Shielded Cargo Hold to help you evade contraband scans in United Colonies or Freestar Collective space. Unlike regular stolen goods, which can be carried in your inventory as you jump from planet to planet without issue, Contraband requires a stealthier approach if you want to avoid jail.
However, since smuggling is illegal in the Settled Systems, normal ship service technicians won’t outfit your ship with a Shielded Cargo Hold. You have to know where to look if you want to break into the criminal underworld. Thankfully, it’s surprisingly easy to find an unscrupulous ship technician who’ll do anything for the right price.
How to Add Shielded Cargo Capacity to Your Starfield Ship
To add a Shielded Cargo Hold to your ship in Starfield, you have to find a ship services technician who’s willing to sell one to you. Since they’re illegal in the Settled Systems, Shielded Cargo Hold and other smuggling equipment like Scan Jammers can only be obtained from shady sources.
Where to Buy Shielded Cargo Holds
Your best bet is Red Mile, a seedy outpost located on Porrima 3 in the Porrima system. There, you’ll find a ship services technician named Lon Anderssen who sells illegal ship parts like Shielded Cargo Holds. Just approach him and enter the ship builder like normal to view all of the parts on offer, both legal and illegal.
Another way to get access to illegal ship parts like Shielded Cargo Holds and Scan Jammers is to join the Crimson Fleet, the deadliest band of pirates in the Settled Systems. You can actually join the Crimson Fleet without being evil, as the Crimson Fleet questline involves going undercover within the organization for UC SysDef. The choices you make from there will determine how things play out, but you don’t have to do anything evil to gain access to the Crimson Fleet’s services.
Jazz is the main ship services technician for the Crimson Fleet, and her shop on the Key space station is home to some of the best ship parts in the galaxy. You can find all sorts of Shielded Cargo Holds and Scan Jammers, including high-grade ones that’ll make you basically undetectable by Contraband scans. They come at a high price though, so stock up on Credits before you go.
How to Get a Free Ship with a Shielded Cargo Hold
The Razorleaf is a free (and fantastic) ship players can get their hands on by completing the Batman-inspired Mantis quest. Not only does it have the unique effect of repelling Spacers, but it also comes equipped with a free Shielded Cargo Hold.
While the hold is a little small, the Razorleaf doesn’t cost a single credit and can go bow-to-bow with the elaborate ships vendors have for sale. You’ll also get a Legendary spacesuit to match, and even a minigun if your lockpicking is up to scratch.
How to Steal Shielded Cargo Holds
Finally, you can get your hands on a heftier Shielded Cargo Hold without paying for one, but it’s a huge headache. You can steal and commandeer ships in Starfield, and some of those ships have a chance to come with Shielded Cargo Holds pre-installed. These are mainly Crimson Fleet or Spacer ships, so try to board and commandeer these vessels instead of blowing them up during combat if you want to add them to your fleet.
There’s no way to transfer the Shielded Cargo Holds from one ship to another, though, so you’ll have to use whichever ship you get stuck with if you want to do some smuggling this way. It’s best to just buy your own from Red Mile or the Crimson Fleet, but this is a less expensive option for players who are just starting out.
This guide was written while playing Starfield on PC and Xbox Series X.
- This article was updated on September 17th, 2023