Starfield: Shielded Cargo [Definitive Guide]

This article explains how to get and use shielded cargo holds in Starfield. Shielded cargo holds can help you smuggle contraband and avoid detection by scanners.

Shielded cargo in Starfield
Shielded Cargo in Starfield (Credits-Gamesual)

Among the many, one of the secrets is the existence of shielded cargo holds in Starfield, which can hide items from scanners. The utility of shielded cargo holds becomes evident for players seeking to transport contraband across different planets and systems clandestinely. While inherently valuable and rare, these illicit goods bear the weight of risk and legal consequences, posing potential trouble for those apprehended.

This article serves as a comprehensive guide, explaining the acquisition and adept utilization of shielded cargo holds in Starfield. 

Key Takeaways

  • Shielded cargo holds are cargo holds that can hide items from scanners in Starfield.
  • They can help you smuggle contraband items, but they also have risks and limitations.
  • You can buy them from Lon Anderson at the Red Mile in Porrima III.
  • You must store contraband items in them, ensure they do not exceed their capacity, and travel to your destination while avoiding or passing security scans.
  • You can increase your chances of passing security scans using specific skills, perks, items, or methods.

Red Miles in Porrima 3
Red Miles in Porrima 3 (Credits-Gamesual)

What Is A Shielded Cargo

Shielded cargo introduces a unique capability, enabling players to store contraband within their ship, evading detection by scanners. Specialized materials or technology achieve this feat by obstructing or scrambling scanner signals, rendering the contents invisible and unreadable.

Shielded cargo proves invaluable for players inclined toward the clandestine transport of contraband. These illicit items, prized for their rarity and value, serve many purposes, including trade, crafting, modification, and quest-related endeavors. Yet, it’s crucial not to underestimate the perilous nature of contraband, as possessing it carries significant risks and legal repercussions.

Shielded cargo offers a safeguard against such hazards, ensuring the concealment of contraband from prying scanners. Nevertheless, it’s imperative to acknowledge that while effective, shielded cargo is not infallible.

Its efficacy is contingent on capacity, capable of concealing only a limited number of items. Additionally, overly powerful scanners or excessive contraband can thwart its concealment. Lastly, acquiring shielded cargo may present challenges, as it can be costly and elusive.

How To Get Shielded Cargo

To quickly obtain shielded cargo early in the game, head to the Porrima Star System. Then, go to Porrima III and find the Red Mile, known for its acceptable gambling. Locate an office towards the back, where you’ll meet Lon Anderson.

Lon Anderson is a shady character in charge of the Red Mile, dealing in various illegal activities. He also offers ship parts and mods that aid in smuggling contraband. Among his wares are shielded cargo holds, perfect for concealing items from scanners.

Lon Anderson from Red Miles
Shielded Cargo Holds in Red Miles (Credits-Gamesual)

To purchase shielded cargo holds from Lon Anderson. Talk to Lon Anderson and ask him to see the ship parts he sells. Then, open the Ship Builder menu and go to the Cargo modules. There, you’ll find Shielded Cargo modules available for purchase that you can manually add to your ship.

There are various types of Shielded Cargo modules with different capacities and prices. Once you’ve bought a Shielded Cargo module, you must install it on your ship. To do this, open the Ship Builder menu, select the module, and click “Install.”

Installing the Shielded Cargo module will automatically transfer any contraband from the ship’s regular cargo hold to the shielded cargo hold. This ensures that the contraband remains hidden from scanners and cannot be detected.

With this upgrade, you can explore the Settled Systems without worrying about getting caught with contraband.

Here is a list of all the shielded cargo holds available in Red Miles with their respective stats:

ModuleValueShielded Capacity
da Gama 1000 Shielded Cargo Hold1425160
100CM Ballast Shielded Cargo Hold1425160
200CM Ballast Shielded Cargo Hold4512190
Caravel V101 Shielded Cargo Hold2470170
Caravel V102 Shielded Cargo Hold9595240

If you want to know other locations for shielded cargo holds, check this Reddit for more insights.

Shielded Cargo Holds in Red Miles
Shielded Cargo Holds in Red Miles (Credits-Gamesual)

To utilize shielded cargo in Starfield, follow these steps:

  • Place your contraband into your shielded cargo hold. Access your ship’s inventory and move the contraband from your personal inventory or regular cargo hold to the shielded cargo hold.
  • Be sure not to exceed your shielded cargo capacity. The size and number of shielded cargo hold installed on your ship determine this capacity. Check the bottom right corner of your ship’s inventory screen for this information.
  • Ensure there’s no contraband anywhere else on your ship or your person. Scanners will detect any contraband left in your inventory, floating around, or in the ship outside the shielded cargo bay.
  • Head towards your destination planet or station. As you near its orbit, you’ll receive a notification that a scan for contraband is in progress. You’ll also see a percentage indicating the likelihood of concealing your contraband from scanners.
  • If you successfully pass the scan, congratulations! You’ve effectively smuggled your contraband without detection. You can now safely land at your destination and sell or use your illicit items.
  • If you fail the scan, you will be caught with contraband. The consequences will vary based on your location and the nature of your contraband. You might encounter fines, have to surrender your contraband, engage security forces, or make a swift escape from the scene.

Tips & Tricks

Here are straightforward tips and tricks for effectively using shielded cargo in Starfield:

  • Manage Your Contraband Quantity: The more contraband you carry, the harder it is to pass security scans. Keep the amount you transport at any one time to a minimum.
  • Be Mindful of Contraband Type: Different items vary in their level of illegality or danger, affecting your chances of passing scans. Some are riskier than others.
  • Consider Your Destination: The planet or station you’re headed to also plays a role in scan strictness. Some are more lenient, like New Atlantis than stricter locations like Akila.
  • Leverage Skills, Perks, and Items: Certain abilities, advantages, or equipment can bolster your odds of passing scans. For instance, skills like Persuasion, the Hacker skill, or the Auto-Persuade mod can be invaluable.
  • Utilize Skills and Gear for Stealth: Skills like Stealth, items like the Cloaking Device, or a Jammer can decrease your chances of being scanned.
  • Opt for Smarter Routes: Employ a smuggler’s route for covert entry to a planet or station, or consider a stealth ship to elude scanners altogether.

While shielded cargo is a powerful tool for contraband transport, it’s important to remember it isn’t foolproof. Be aware of its limitations and potential risks. Mastering shielded cargo in Starfield grants players a potent tool for smuggling contraband and evading detection.

My Thoughts

In my view, shielded cargo proves invaluable in Starfield for discreetly transporting contraband, although it’s not without its limitations. I’ve discovered that Lon Anderson at the Red Mile in Porrima III is the best choice for obtaining these specialized cargo holds. It’s crucial to be mindful of capacity limits, as I’ve encountered complications during security scans a few times while playing.

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