Should you join the United Colonies Vanguard or the Freestar Collective Rangers in Starfield?

Starfield Emma Wilcox Freestar Collective Rangers
Screenshot: PC Invasion

In Starfield, the various factions you can join offer you thrilling missions that advance their respective plots. Two of the easiest factions to find and join are the United Colonies Vanguard and Freestar Collective Rangers organizations. Here is our guide explaining whether you should join the UC Vanguard or Freestar Collective Rangers faction in Starfield.

Starfield: Should you join the UC Vanguard or the Freestar Collective Rangers?

It can be tempting to ignore factions early in your adventure when you have a lot on your plate, but don’t forget about them entirely. There are numerous factions, each with a number of associated missions. Those missions provide context to many of the more noteworthy locations you visit around the galaxy. You’ll receive equipment and other perks while working for both UC Colonies Vanguard and the Freestar Collective Rangers.

Starfield Talking To Tuala About Joining Uc Vanguard

Screenshot: PC Invasion

United Colonies Vanguard

There are a few good reasons to join the United Colonies Vanguard. If you complete your service, you become an official citizen of the United Colonies. This is the only way to secure a home in New Atlantis. After completing your service, you become an official citizen with access to premium real estate. You also receive smaller rewards for completing missions along the way.

Immediately after joining UC Vanguard, you receive some equipment. These include the UC Vanguard Space HelmetUC Vanguard Spacesuit, and UC Vanguard Pilot Pack. Besides acquiring new gear, you gain access to dialogue options reflecting your role. Sometimes, welcome conversations find you.

One random citizen I passed in New Atlantis handed me some credits and thanked me for my service. That generous gift came after I had only completed a mission or two. For more information on how to access such perks, see our guide explaining how to join UC Vanguard.

Freestar Collective Rangers

Starfield Marshal Daniel Blake

Screenshot: PC Invasion

There are also good reasons to join the Freestar Collective Rangers. Pay isn’t really one of them, but a desire for justice is.

On your initial visit to Akila City, meet Marshal Daniel Blake. He’s trying to bring a bank robbery to a peaceful conclusion. After you help him by completing the Job Gone Wrong mission, he suggests you meet with Emma Wilcox at The Rock. It’s the organization’s nearby base of operations, and also a bar. Talk to Emma and express an interest in joining. She instructs you to complete one of four missions available on the mission board in the same room.

Related: How to join the Crimson Fleet in Starfield

Pick the mission you like from the board and complete it to join the Rangers. I registered the Kill the Outlaw Gang Leader on Dionysus mission, which pays 3200 credits upon completion. That mission proved difficult. My target was at level 24 and quite hearty. If you are at a low level, as I was, I suggest choosing Rescue Hostage at Beta Andraste I-C instead. It pays 2000 credits.

Once you complete your mission, talk to Emma again. She’ll lead you to Daniel. You can swear an oath to receive Deadeye, Freestar Deputy Badge, Deputy Hat, and Ranger Deputy Uniform, along with ammo. Emma also joins you as a companion for the next steps in the mission.

Starfield Mission Board At The Rock In Akila City

Screenshot: PC Invasion

Why not join both the Vanguard and the Rangers?

When I first joined UC Vanguard, I wondered about the other factions I might no longer be able to join. I agonized over whether I should join at all, or wait to explore other options before making my decision. This contemplation turns out to have been a waste of time. You can join both UC Vanguard and the Freestar Collective Rangers in a single run through the game. Although historically, they don’t agree with each other, you’re allowed to be a part of both factions.

With this being an option, I don’t see any good reason not to run with it. You’ll access more missions than you would otherwise, and more rewards. I suggest joining both groups. Then make clearing their missions a priority. I haven’t yet seen either series of missions to their conclusion. However, I did complete the Ryujin Industries faction missions. The rewards in that case were more than worthwhile. I even unlocked a high-level skill on the skill tree that I otherwise wouldn’t be able to access yet.

It’s not a bad idea to join as many factions as you can, the better to reap more rewards. Besides earning credits, you also access missions that reward a lot of XP as you clear them. They often take you to new environments where you may find good weapons and resources. Don’t sleep on faction missions.

Starfield is available on Steam and the Microsoft Store.

Jason Venter
About The Author
Jason Venter is a contributing writer for PC Invasion since 2022 who can trace his love for video games back to the Apple IIe port of Mario Bros. in the late 80s. He remains a diehard Nintendo fan to this day and loves JRPGs, adventure games, and platformers in particular, but he still plays games in most genres and on most hardware. After founding indie gaming site HonestGamers in 1998, he served as an editor at Hardcore Gamer Magazine during its entire print run. He has since freelanced for a variety of leading sites including IGN, GameSpot, and Polygon. These days, he spends most of his time writing game guides and entertaining readers with his fantasy novels.