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Here's how to join all Starfield factions

From Ryujin Industries to the Crimson Fleet, we've joined them all

Commander John Tuala speaks to the player in Starfield about joining the United Colonies faction.
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Bethesda Game Studios

Trying to figure out which faction you should join in Starfield? Remember the good old days when you only had to choose between Stormcloaks and Imperials? And then along came Starfield with its five different major factions and oodles of minor factions, and you're just expected to make an informed decision about which faction you should join up with? We forgive you for being a little overwhelmed with the options.

In this Starfield factions guide we hope to make things a bit easier for you. We'll lay out each of the major factions in Bethesda's newly released space epic RPG, what they stand for, and how to join each faction (or maybe all of them at once!).

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All Starfield factions

Here are all the factions you can join in Starfield:

  • Constellation
  • Crimson Fleet
  • Freestar Collective
  • Ryujin Industries
  • United Colonies

There are several more minor factions in the game as well, and we'll discuss them in more detail below. But the above five major factions are the only ones that you can officially join up with in Starfield. And before you ask, yes, you can join more than one Starfield faction at a time.

Noel holds a device and gestures while speaking towards the camera in Starfield.
Image credit: Bethesda Game Studios


The enigmatic faction known as Constellation lies at the heart of Starfield's main story, and as such you'll quickly learn that you have no choice in the matter of whether or not to join them. The good news is that you can join any of the below factions in addition to joining Constellation.

Headed by Sarah Morgan, Constellation is a small organisation of scientists and explorers united by a desire to explore the cosmos and answer the question, "What's out there?". The group used to be much larger back in its golden age nearly 60 years before the events of Starfield. It was the equivalent of NASA, and was well-known across all of humanity. Nowadays, most people don't even realise that Constellation still exists.

What remains of Constellation is based in The Lodge, their headquarters in New Atlantis - a sprawling city which also houses the United Colonies headquarters, as well as The Enlightened and Sanctum Universum religious houses.

How to join Constellation: You join Constellation automatically as part of the first main mission in Starfield. Once you get Barrett's ship and deal with the Crimson Fleet pirates on your tail, you'll head straight to Constellation HQ and become a member.

A human NPC in Starfield looks into the camera, bathed in red light.
Image credit: Bethesda Game Studios

Crimson Fleet

The Crimson Fleet is less of an organisation than an unofficial armada of pirate ships. The modus operandi of the Crimson Fleet is to pillage, loot, and gradually expand their power and intimidating grip over the more lawless regions of the Settled Systems any way they can.

The Crimson Fleet may lack the sheer power of a militarist organisation like the United Colonies, but a collection of roving pirates and marauders is hard to pin down. Indeed, the Crimson Fleet has managed to evade destruction and grow in power despite years of pressure from the Freestar Collective and more recently the United Colonies.

Make no mistake: the Crimson Fleet aren't good guys. Quite the opposite. In most Starfield playthroughs they will end up being a common enemy of the player. However, it is possible to join them if you want to commit to a more evil playthrough of Starfield. But if you want to keep your morality intact, it's also possible to join the Crimson Fleet as a double agent, sabotaging the Fleet's efforts from the inside. Just be aware that once you're a Crimson Fleet member, you're a member for life.

How to join the Crimson Fleet: You can join the Crimson Fleet either by joining the UC Vanguard in New Atlantis, or by letting yourself be taken to jail on a UC-controlled planet. Either of these methods will result in you being offered a job working for UC SysDef as a spy against the Crimson Fleet.

The explorer in Starfield looks at some brown mountains, dusted in what looks like snow, as a ringed planet rises in the sky beyond
Image credit: Bethesda Game Studios

Freestar Collective

The law-bending Freestar Collective is one of the two largest and most dominant governmental entities in Starfield, the other being the United Colonies. The two factions don't exactly get along; in fact, the Freestar Collective and United Colonies waged war with one another for 3 years in what became known as the Colony War 20-odd years before the events of the game begin. Needless to say, tensions between the factions have long outlasted the war.

It's easy to describe the general vibe of the Freestar Collective: they're the space cowboys of Starfield. They're committed to the betterment of their people across the three star systems they control: Cheyenne, Narion, and Volii. But they prefer the spirit rather than the letter of the law. Or perhaps more accurately, they make up their own laws as they like. They are an organisation that prizes itself on individualism and freedom.

The headquarters of the Freestar Collective are located in Akila City, capital of Akila in the Cheyenne star system. They're staunch enemies of the Crimson Fleet, with whom they've clashed several times over the years. Sam Coe, one of your Starfield companions, used to be a member of the Freestar Rangers, an elite force of peacekeepers within the Freestar Collective. He since left the Rangers and joined Constellation.

How to join the Freestar Collective: Head to Akila City in the Cheyenne system, and speak to the marshal outside the Galbank building to help them deal with the robbers inside. Complete this mission and you'll be told to speak to Emma Wilcox in The Rock, the Freestar Collective headquarters, where you can join the faction if you wish.

A man accepts a drink from a woman at a bar in Starfield.
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Bethesda Game Studios

Ryujin Industries

Ryujin Industries are a megacorporation that wouldn't look out of place in Cyberpunk 2077. They've got their fingers in all sorts of different pies, and their main aim is basically just to keep and grow their power and influence at the cost of their rival corporations.

As such, if you end up joining Ryujin Industries, you'll end up doing mostly corporate espionage missions in their name. Get in Ryujin's good books with repeated missions as an employee, and you'll have a steady supply of cash and a rich and powerful ace in your pocket throughout your playthrough.

While they don't have any central headquarters per se, Ryujin Industries conduct most of the work out of Neon, the floating pleasure city on Volii Alpha. Neon is also home to another large corporation, Xenofresh, creators of the city itself. The two corpos maintain a rather tense working relationship, although Ryujin is always looking to be the big dog.

How to join Ryujin Industries: Obtain the "Back to the Grind" side-mission by exploring New Atlantis or Neon until you find a Ryujin Industries kiosk terminal. Then speak to Lane in Ryujin Industries' headquarters in Neon City to start receiving jobs from the megacorp faction.

A large ship drifts in orbit around a planet in Starfield.
Image credit: Bethesda Game Studios

United Colonies

The United Colonies (or UC) is the largest and militarily the most powerful of all the joinable Starfield factions. As opposed to the Freestar Collective's lawlessness and individuality, the United Colonies is a republic confederation that values law and discipline above all else.

The UC's capital is New Atlantis, the largest city in the Settled Systems. They are run by a council known as MAST - the Military, Administrative, and Scientific Triumvirate - whose members you will likely meet during your playthrough, whether or not you decide to join them. Historically, the United Colonies' main rival has always been the Freestar Collective, and both organisations have been butting heads over territorial rights for over 100 years. It was their animosity that formed the basis of the Colony War 20 years before the events of Starfield.

Nowadays though, the United Colonies and the Freestar Collective maintain a fragile peace while they work to dismantle the Crimson Fleet's armada of pirate warships. Joining up with the United Colonies faction will primarily involve infiltrating the ranks of the Crimson Fleet in order to help UC's military to take them down. This makes the United Colonies one of the most popular choices for which faction to join in Starfield.

How to join the United Colonies: Either speak to the Vanguard representative in New Atlantis's MAST building, or let yourself be arrested on New Atlantis or another UC-controlled planet. Either way will allow you induction into the United Colonies faction.

A trio of dancers performing on a central podium in a club in Starfield.
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Bethesda Game Studios

Starfield minor factions

The above major factions are the only officially joinable factions in Starfield, but there also exists a number of minor factions which you will encounter throughout the Settled Systems. And while you can't join up with them, their opinion of you may change depending on your choice of Starfield background and previous choices you've made in your playthrough.

Xenofresh Corporation

Xenofresh is the megacorporation which first built Neon, the pleasure city capital of Volii Alpha which they nowadays reluctantly share with their rivals, Ryujin Industries. Shortly after they first constructed Neon as a simple (albeit massive) fishing platform, Xenofresh discovered a certain type of fish on Volii Alpha with psychotropic properties.

Needless to say, Xenofresh saw dollar signs. They wasted no time in exploiting the unique species of fish and turning it into the popular and illegal party drug known as Aurora. Well, illegal everywhere except on Neon. Which is why Neon has become such a popular destination for travellers.

Ecliptic Mercenaries

Eclipse, or the Ecliptic Mercenaries, are commonly seen throughout your playthrough as human enemies in Starfield. As a faction they hold little military or political influence; they are essentially a group of mercenaries and bounty hunters for hire, which is why you'll come across them in a variety of different situations and star systems.

The Enlightened

The Enlightened is treated as one of the dominant religions in the Settled Systems, although it is in fact an atheistic organisation. Like its main religious rivals, the Sanctum Universum, The Enlightened are based in New Atlantis alongside Constellation and the United Colonies. They place great emphasis on science and the pursuit of knowledge, so it's of little surprise that they're at odds with the Sanctum Universum, which is far more mystical in its religious beliefs.

House Of Va'ruun

The House Of Va'ruun is a religious organisation with a shadowy background. More of a cult than a widespread religion, the House Of Va'ruun believes in a deity-like celestial entity known as "The Great Serpent", and much of their iconography reflects their allegiance to this entity. The House Of Va'ruun is typically seen as a hostile faction, although the Serpent's Embrace trait will get you in their good books from day one.

Sanctum Universum

The Sanctum Universum is the third of the religions on offer in Starfield, and a direct rival of the House of the Enlightened. The Sanctum believes in a God which exists somewhere in the universe and guides humanity forward on the path of discovery and progress. Like their rivals, they are based primarily in the capital city of New Atlantis on Jemison in the Alpha Centauri system.


Spacers are, if it's possible, even more of a cookie-cutter enemy faction than the Ecliptic Mercenaries. These hostile criminals are a law unto themselves. They're not even a true faction - not in the sense that they're in any way unified. It's more of a description. Put simply, it means: these are criminals who will likely attack you on sight.

The Red Mile

The Red Mile aren't really a faction, but I'll add them here in case you were wondering whether they were or not. Located on the planet Porrima III, The Red Mile is actually a bar where the player can go to enter increasingly challenging Ninja Warrior-esque death races on the planet's surface. There they must contend with dangers such as the planet's hostile lizard-y fauna and exploding traps in order to win a payout at the end and the honour of "completing the Red Mile".

Hopefully this guide has given you a better idea of what to expect if you decide to share a bed with any of the above Starfield factions. Speaking of sharing a bed, be sure to check out our guide to the various Starfield romance options while you're here. We've also got a handy list of Starfield console commands and cheats if you want to power up your character. You can also get your playthrough off to the perfect start with our primers on the best Starfield traits, best Starfield skills, and best Starfield builds that we've found so far.

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