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Should You Choose Crimson Fleet Or UC SysDef?

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The world of Starfield is brimming with various factions and quest lines that, once the player dives into, can span tens of hours to complete. One such quest line involves the notorious Crimson Fleet space pirates going head-to-head against UC SysDef. The latter is a form of space-faring counterintelligence that utilizes clandestine methods to ensure results.



Related: Starfield: Tips & Tricks For Beginners

But, like many other quests in Starfield, the player will face a significant choice that can alter their gameplay completely. Whether the player should help SysDef attack the Crimson Fleet or not is a choice that will have repercussions, so this guide should help make that decision a little easier.

Updated on September 12, 2023, by Jeff Brooks: This guide has been updated to include more in-text links throughout to help guide readers to relevant and valuable content to enhance their Starfield experience.

Should You Side With SysDef Or The Crimson Fleet?

Despite numerous factions in Starfield, two stand a cut above the rest: the United Colonies and Crimson Fleet. Players will first meet the Crimson Fleet on Kreet, where they’ve taken over the research outpost, and the United Colonies are notable for controlling most of the Settled Systems.

Players will stumble upon a choice while working through the clandestine questline involving infiltrating the Crimson Fleet on behalf of UC SysDef. This choice occurs during “Eye of the Storm,” during which we can no longer play both sides but must make a concrete choice. This choice involves siding with either SysDef to attack the Crimson Fleet or siding with the Crimson Fleet once and for all. After all, the only way out of the Crimson Fleet is death.

What Happens When You Side With SysDef

If players side with SysDef, Eye of the Storm alters course to involve a full-blown attack against The Key to eradicate the Crimson Fleet. It’s an intense space battle involving numerous ships on either side, with plenty of lasers and missiles flying through the black of space. Honestly, it’s one of the more memorable moments in the game!

But that’s not the end of the conflict. Upon boarding The Key, players must tough it out through waves of Crimson Fleet pirates to reach Delgado, where players can either put a bullet in his head or convince him to surrender himself.

By completing this path, players will unlock:

  • 250,000 Credits
  • Constellation companion approval
  • Access to the Vigilance

What Happens When You Side With Crimson Fleet

Alternatively, if the player opts for the Crimson Fleet, the quest changes course in the opposite direction. Players will now defend The Key from an oncoming SysDef attack. The overall strength of the attack varies depending on how much intel the player provides during the quest line, so choosing a side early on does have its benefits.

Overall, the defense is quite tricky. The SysDef forces will vie for numerous defensive laser batteries on The Key. Then, the player and Crimson Fleet can board the Vigilance in a bold counterattack. The goal here is, of course, to track down and take down Commander Ikande. In doing so, the player earns a permanent home among the Crimson Fleet space pirates.

Along with officially joining the pirates, players will receive:

  • 250,000 Credits
  • Safe travel through Crimson Fleet space
  • Access to The Key

Related: Starfield: How To Sell Stolen Ships

How Do These Factions Treat You Afterward?

Starfield Crimson Fleet Board The Key

While a big part in deciding which faction to officially support will come down to the player’s moral code and roleplay prospects, know that choosing the Crimson Fleet is the better option overall from a gameplay perspective.

Both factions offer the same amount of credits, which prove helpful in upgrading or buying a new ship. If companion approval matters, then siding with SysDef provides a nice boost. But, flying freely through Crimson Fleet space without altercation is invaluable. If the player opts to support SysDef, running across any Crimson Fleet in the future means a fight to the death.

Overall, the differences between the two remain relatively small. Players will either receive a long-standing bounty for being pirates or find themselves hunted by pirates for playing the good guy.

Next: Starfield: Best Ships, Ranked



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