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How to make the best society choice for you in Starfield’s Operation Starseed

Which Society should you choose?

Starfield Operation Starfield mission’s Franklin in Crucible Image: Bethesda Game Studios/Bethesda Softworks via Polygon
Jeffrey Parkin (he/him) has been writing video game guides for Polygon for almost seven years. He has learned to love just about every genre of game that exists.

Starfield’s “Operation Starseed” is a Misc(ellaneous) mission you’ll pick up the first time you jump into the Charybdis system. It involves a lost colony of clones and a mysterious experiment.

The “Operation Starseed” mission itself isn’t overly confusing — it follows the same pattern as most missions, so you’ll just be following your HUD marker a bunch. But at the end of it, you’ll be asked to make a life-and-death decision about the lost colony.

Our Starfield “Operation Starseed” quest walkthrough will tell you how to find the Charybdis system, how to complete the “Operation Starseed” mission, who to side with during the mission’s final conflict, and what effect your Operation Starfield choice will have.

How to start the Operation Starseed mission

Starfield Operation Starseed Starmap with the Charybdis system highlighted. Image: Bethesda Game Studios/Bethesda Softworks via Polygon

To get the “Operation Starseed” mission, you’ll first have to reach the Charybdis system. It’s a hike, so you might have to upgrade your ship a bit to get there.

You’ll find Charybdis toward the center of the map, far to the right of the more familiar systems.

Operation Starseed explained

When you arrive in the Charybdis system, you’ll hear an automated message telling you to Go to Crucible on Charybdis III.

Starfield Operation Starseed speaking with Ada Lovelace. Image: Bethesda Game Studios/Bethesda Softworks via Polygon

There, you’ll talk to a robot named Tobias, but he’s really just there to introduce you to Ada Lovelace. After that, you’ll talk to Franklin (Delano Roosevelt), Amanirenas, and Genghis Khan. It’s a whole thing. You’ll also bump into Wyatt Earp and Amelia Earhart.

Each of the leaders heads a faction — called a Society — of clones. The three Societies are:

  • The Renegades, led by Genghis Khan, don’t feel any real connection to their source material and want to escape the Crucible’s Mission to seek their own destiny.
  • The Believers, led by Amanirenas, believe they’re basically reincarnations of their genetic donors and are ready to go take over the Settled Systems.
  • The Pragmatists, led by Franklin, who take a more middle-of-the-road approach and seek to prove themselves capable before integrating into the Settled Systems.

Around this point, Wyatt Earp will call out to you in Crucible. He’ll set you on a quick side quest, the “Secret Lives” mission, where he claims to have information for you about FDR. He doesn’t, though, but he’s got a secret of his own.

Next, you’ll go to the Facility where Crucible’s whole experiment is overseen. The Facility is on the opposite side of the planet from Crucible (its antipode) so you’ll have to fly there. On your way in, you’ll have to clear out some local wildlife. Then you can head inside and find clues about the Facility. (Specifically, you’re looking for Diary Page - Discovering Galathea, Diary Page - Escape, Diary Page - Reborn, Diary Page - Genghis Explosion, Anonymous Last Words, Diary Page - Ada’s Questions, and Ada’s Diary - Heart of the Facility.)

Sadly, you can’t access the computer in the Facility (yet), so it’s time to fly back to Crucible.

How to make the best choice in Operation Starseed

When you return to Crucible with the clues from (and about) the Facility, you’ll have choose which Society to give Facility information. This is, effectively, siding with one of the factions.

Who you side with doesn’t actually impact your game in the long term, so your choice is really about whose worldview you agree with — kind of a nature versus nurture argument. The decision you make will, however, determine who you have to fight in a few minutes. You’ll (likely) have to kill at least one of the leaders you don’t side with, but the leaders are all the same level so one fight isn’t harder than any other.

It really comes down to your own preference. We’ll explain who you’ll have to fight (and why) in the next section.

Starfield Operation Starseed Beagle Navigation Beacon Image: Bethesda Game Studios/Bethesda Softworks via Polygon

Whoever you side with will send you to talk to Ada Lovelace who will point you to the Bel system. When you investigate Bel V, you’ll find a Navigation Beacon that lets you follow the Beagle’s trail to Zelazny I where you’ll find the Beagle in orbit among the asteroids. Dock with it. Your goal is a computer where you’ll download the Security Override Code.

Before you can do anything with it, you’ll have to involve yourself in a fight.

See [leader] about an emergency

Back at Crucible, things have gone sideways. Whoever you sided with will call you to tell you a fight is about to break out and ask you to attend meeting with Crucible leaders.

  • If you sided with the Pragmatists, Genghis Khan will start a war. You can convince Amanirenas to not get involved. If you do, you’ll only have to kill Genghis Khan. Otherwise, you’ll have to kill both Genghis and Amanirenas.
  • If you sided with the Believers, you can convince Franklin not to fight and you can get Genghis to leave Crucible. This is the (most) peaceful option, so long as you don’t think about it too much.
  • If you sided with the Renegades, you can get Franklin to stand down if you convince Genghis not to destroy Crucible. Amanirenas, however, will have to be killed.

Once the shooting is done, you’ll have to see if Ada Lovelace can decrypt Security Override Code. Spoiler: she can.

How to resolve Operation Starseed’s ‘everyone hostile’ bug

There is currently a bug that pops up in the aftermath of the fight. Sometimes, all of the Crucible colonists remain aggressive toward you after the fight. There are two ways around this:

  • Only shoot the leader(s). If you ignore the other clones and only attack the leaders, it seems to avoid this bug.
  • Head back to your ship and sleep for an hour. If you flee the fight and take a quick nap, the other clones will reset.

Deal with the Facility

With the Security Override Code in hand, head back to the Facility. After shooting your way to the Facility Datacore, you’ll lock in your final decision:

  • Reboot and restore current Mission parameters does, basically, nothing. It maintains the status quo. It does not, however, officially side you with one of the leaders. You'll get 3,000 credits.
  • Reboot and choose a new Super-Admin officially sides with one of the leaders and puts them in charge. You’ll be rewarded with 6,000 credits.
  • Initiate Full Project Cleanse kills all of the Crucible clones and gives you 2,000 credits.

Meanwhile, if you’re into smuggling and contraband, there are some harvested organs in the locked room behind you.

If you kept the clones alive, you’ll just have to report back to Crucible. It’ll become a place you stop off and visit (but there’s not a lot to do there).

Starfield recruiting Amelia Earhart to your crew Image: Bethesda Game Studios/Bethesda Softworks via Polygon

You can, however, add Amelia Earhart to your crew now that “Operation Starseed” is complete.