Starfield Friends Like These | Start with Ambassador Radcliff or Ambassador Bal’mor?

Killer robots or blackmail. Which will it be, Captain?

by Thomas Cunliffe
Ambassador Radcliff and Bal'mor in Starfield
Screenshot: Attack of the Fanboy

With the threat of the monstrous Terromorphs looming more than ever, it’s up to the player to convince House Va’ruun and the Freestar Collective to hand over their Archival Codes. During the Friends Like These quest in Starfield, you’re given a choice between starting with Ambassador Radcliff or Ambassador Bal’mor — so, which one should you choose? Read on to find out.

Should You Speak to Ambassador Radcliff or Ambassador Bal’mor First in Starfield?

Screenshot: Attack of the Fanboy

When speaking to Deputy Elisabeth Macintyre for the first time, she’ll ask whether you want to know about “Ambassador Radcliff of the Freestar Collective” or “Ambassador Bal’mor of House Va’ruun.” To save you multiple trips, choose both dialogue options. Both ambassadors are in close proximity, and enquiring access to both embassies they’re stationed in is much faster.

Choosing to visit Ambassador Radcliff or Ambassador Bal’mor first has no consequence on the story, and you won’t miss out on any rewards by talking to one over the other.

Ambassador Radcliff is headstrong and won’t relinquish the Freestar’s Archival code without a bit of blackmail — or magnificent persuasion tactics. Bal’mor, on the other hand, is happy to give up his code if you can get past his legion of killer robots. Nothing is ever simple for a Vanguard Captain, am I right?

Related: How to Get Legendary Weapons and Armor in Starfield

How to Get Ambassador Radcliff’s Archival Code

Screenshot: Attack of the Fanboy

Ambassador Radcliff is not a great fan of the UC, to say the least. Unless your persuasion is at a high enough Skill Level to sway her decision, we will have to resort to good ‘ol blackmail.

Once your failed negotiations have concluded with Radcliff, approach Cameron Long in the opposite room and talk some smack about his boss. You can either lie or bribe Cameron with 8,000 credits. My character has an aversion to lying, so I (stupidly) decided to go with the credit option.

Cameron will give you the Freestar Utility Access Key, which you need to use on the door in the meeting room. Make sure no guards see you, as you’ll spend a few days in jail and get XP deducted — like I did. Don’t make my mistake; invest at least one Skill Point into Stealth. It’s instrumental throughout the entirety of Starfield.

Crawl through the vent, enter Radcliff’s quarters, and activate the listening device hidden in your plant pot. Return to her office and confront her to grab the Freestar’s Archival Code.

How to Get Ambassador Bal’mor’s Archival Code

Screenshot: Attack of the Fanboy

In the House of Va’runn Embassy, you’re up against killer robots and security turrets. They aren’t difficult to fight, but make sure to bring a weapon or two and stock up on plenty of ammo.

The waypoints will guide you through the floral maze that is the Va’ruun Embassy, leading you to the power breakers you need to switch off throughout. Eventually, you’ll reach the dutiful hermit Ambassador Bal’mor. He asks for nothing but your kindness and a promise in return for House Va’ruun’s Archival code.

With both codes in hand, return to Deputy Elisabeth Macintyre and continue your quest to save the universe and acquire UC citizenship. Don’t forget to drop by New Atlantis’ Trade Authority kiosk while you’re there.

This guide was written while playing Starfield on Xbox Series X.

- This article was updated on September 2nd, 2023

About The Author

Thomas has been a freelance writer since 2021 and considers himself a connoisseur of all things Nintendo, Blizzard, and Marvel. Since amassing 145,000+ followers on a Facebook page about Diddy Kong with a backward hat in 2015, Thomas has become a trusted voice in the gaming community across publications such as AOTF, PC Invasion, and Gfinity. His greatest achievements include catching every Pokémon, completing every quest in World of Warcraft (yes, all of them), and naming his dog 'Mass Effect 3.' Thomas is extraordinarily passionate about the video game industry and its community. He enjoys writing about various topics, including popular games like Destiny 2, Fortnite, and WoW, and exploring the latest AAA and indie titles.