Starfield: Should you side with UC SysDef or Crimson Fleet?
Starfield: Should you side with the UC SysDef or Crimson Fleet?
Screenshot via Upcomer

Starfield: Should you side with UC SysDef or Crimson Fleet?

Two very different allies to have

During the United Colonies SysDef faction quest line in Starfield, you are required to infiltrate the Crimson Fleet pirate gang. While this is an undercover mission at first, you will eventually get very close to the leaders of the Crimson Fleet and even stumble onto the biggest score of all time. At the end of this quest line, you will have to make the decision to side with UC SysDef or betray them and stay with the Crimson Fleet.

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The choice to side with either faction comes after you have escaped Kryx’s Legacy near Bannoc-IV. When you have the credits from The Legacy ship, you will have to either return to UC SysDef or the Crimson Fleet, and this decides what side you ultimately choose. There is no turning back after returning to either side with Kryx’s Legacy.

Before you make such a tough choice, you will likely want to know what happens when you side with both factions.

Siding with UC SysDef

Starfield: Should you side with the UC Vigilance or Crimson Fleet?
The choice to side with either faction. | Screenshot via Upcomer

First, I’ll explain what happens when you stay true to UC SysDef.

If you return to the UC Vigilance with Kryx’s Legacy, Commander Ikande will commend you for your service and tell you about a plan to attack the Crimson Fleet and The Key ship. This leads you to fly to the Kryx system and attack all of the pirates you have worked with over the course of the quest line. If you gathered enough evidence on the Crimson Fleet, then you will have plenty of backup from UC SysDef.

Eventually, you confront Delgado on board The Key and will need to either kill him or persuade him to go to jail. At the end of the quest line, you are rewarded with 250,000 credits for your part in finding Kryx’s Legacy. However, this means that all of the Crimson Fleet will be hostile toward you and you lose access to The Key.

Siding with the Crimson Fleet

Starfield: Should you side with the UC Vigilance or Crimson Fleet?
Attacking the Vigilance. | Screenshot via Upcomer

On the flip side, if you return to The Key with Kryx’s Legacy, you will have to defend the base from the incoming UC SysDef attack. After defending The Key and disabling the UC Vigilance, you will board the massive ship and confront Commander Ikande after fighting through waves of SysDef soldiers. Once again, you can choose to attack Ikande or persuade him to let the Crimson Fleet take him in.

The end of the quest line rewards you with 250,000 credits and you gain full access to The Key. Surprisingly enough, your betrayal of UC SysDef does not place a bounty on your head with the UC and you can continue doing quests for the faction.

Which side should you pick?

In my opinion, the best option is to side with the Crimson Fleet. You don’t lose any credits in your reward and you get to keep using The Key. This gives you a reliable location to sell stolen goods and contraband as well as other general items. This option also means no faction will be hostile towards you. If you side with UC SysDef, then the Crimson Fleet will be hostile towards you.

Related: Starfield: How to transfer your ship cargo inventory to your Outpost

Access to The Key, the same reward, and the UC not placing a bounty on you are the main reasons I would side with the Crimson Fleet. However, it’s your playthrough, so make the best choice for your character.

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Joey Carr
Joey Carr is a full-time writer for multiple esports and gaming websites. He has 7+ years of experience covering esports and traditional sporting events, including DreamHack Atlanta, Call of Duty Championships 2017, and Super Bowl 53.