It’s only natural to want the best starting weapons, armor, and ship when starting Starfield. Luckily, if you play through this specific side mission early, you’ll walk away with weapons, armor, and a ship that you don’t need to upgrade for a while because they are that good. Here is the best way to get the best early weapons, armor, and ships in Starfield.
Related: Before you go diving headfirst into this side mission, I highly recommend you learn the best ways to get Med Packs — you’ll need as many as you can get your hands on.
Where to find the best early weapons and armor in Starfield
This guide contains spoilers for a really cool side mission in Starfield, so if you want to avoid those, suffice it to say the side mission that gets you great early weapons, armor, and a great ship for free is called Razorleaf.
This mission is called Mantis and it’s a side mission you get right after you pick up an audio log called “Secret Outpost!” I found this audio log on one of the dead space pirates in the settlement right after Barrett gives you the ship. However, others have found the “Secret Outpost!” audio log much later, so keep your eyes open and loot dead enemies.
I don’t recommend completing the Mantis side mission right away. This mission has hard enemies that are at level 14 and 20. I was at level nine when I completed the Mantis mission, but I died many times in the process. That said, maybe wait until you are at least level eight or nine, or even higher than that, to attempt the Mantis side mission.
To get to the Mantis side mission, you need to grav jump several star systems away. Make sure to have the side mission equipped so you know where you’re going.
While you can’t do this directly, you can jump from the nearest star system to the next nearest star system. Upgrading your grav drive and increasing your ship’s fuel allows you to grav jump further, but that can be avoided entirely by what I like to call “leapfrogging.”
Once you’ve leapfrogged to the right solar system and landed on the right planet, you’ll immediately start killing space thugs. Make your way into the facility and defeat every enemy. There’s no talking your way out of this — you just need to go slow and pick off each enemy one by one.
Be sure to loot the enemies you defeat because they have really great weapons. On these enemies’ corpses is primarily where you’ll find the best early weapons in Starfield. Be sure to have the best starter skills in Starfield to open locks and be successful in combat.
How to get a free ship early in Starfield
Once you’ve made your way through the facility and there are no more space thugs, you’ll meet Livvy. You can spare or kill Livvy, but either way, you won’t get the next puzzle’s answer from him which is annoying.
The next room has letters on the group and turrets in the back. Though you can proceed through this section with the right answer to the puzzle, I couldn’t find the answer anywhere so I just sprinted to the end and pressed the button on the left to open the door. You can hack the computer in the next room to help you with the robots ahead, but I didn’t have a high enough Security skill.
If this next section is too hard for you, there’s no shame in temporarily lowering the difficulty. I would definitely rather lower the difficulty to get past a hard part than have to leave and come back later which means I’d be missing out on the best early weapons and armor and a free ship.
The robots ahead are level 20. Keep your distance, heal often, and keep firing. Eventually, you’ll kill them all and be able to continue.
Now that you’re in the final area, take comfort in knowing that there are no more enemies. You did it! Now, to get a free ship, go into the cave and interact with the console that raises the ship up. When you leave this place, you can take that ship for free.
Before taking the elevator up, go into the room in the back. Here, you’ll see armor on a display rack. Take it because this is some of the best early armor in the game.
With the Mantis side mission complete, you’ll leave with a lot more XP than you came in with, the best early weapons and armor, and a new free ship that is a really good one. The ship is called Razorleaf which is a dope name.