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Tips for Smuggling in Starsector


Starsector is a rather simple-looking space sim that hides a ton of depth in its decks. Get dropped into the complex mire of heavily armed spacefaring factions all vying for dominance. Take on missions and trade your way to economic power. And you’re going to need that economic backing, because war is constant out in the Sector.

Smuggling in Starsector is a great way to earn some of those credits. There are many items in this game, but not all of them are strictly above board. Sneaking in can be tricky. Many factions make certain items illegal. Check the factions tab in the Intel menu to see what factions make what items illegal. These are prime choices for Smuggling in Starsector. The process of smuggling is pretty simple. Find an in-demand item, then avoid blockades and defense fleets on the way to the system where the items are badly needed. Finding items is as simple as tracking down a major trade station then checking prices. Always hover over an item and press F1 to check the prices you find in station. This will give you a list of the colonies you want to buy and sell with.

How to make easy money with Smuggling in Starsector

Basic Tips for Starsector Smuggling

Here are some helpful tips for new players

  • Always use faster ships, preferable with some OP devoted to Hullmods that make them faster. Unstable Injectors and Auxillary Thrusters are a good start. Your detection radius is based on the 5 easiest to spot ships plus 300, across your fleet. Go small and nimble.
  • Insulated Engine Assembly is a Hullmod that can help with this by making it harder for your ships to be detected. There are other techs that can help with reducing enemy sensor effectiveness as well.
  • When choosing what items to grab for trade or smuggling, press F1 on the commodity.  This will bring up a tooltip that lists the highest demand in nearby systems for that item. If you’re rushing pirate contraband items, this is a great way to pick where to smuggle stuff to.
  • Always have your Transponder off when trying to sneak into a system, or interacting with hostile factions.
  • Buy items for smuggling via the Black Market, this will save Credits in paying tariffs.
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Once you have your items, it’s time to make the run. If you find a system that has a Sensor Array or is heavily patrolled, don’t lose hope. The Sensor Array makes it much easier to spot incoming ships, so you need to be careful when dealing with it.

To get around eagle-eyed enemy fleets, you’re going to exploit the AI. Cause a distraction on one side of the system by doing something to trigger the AI. Tamper with their Sensor Array or Nav Buoy, You could also flip your transponder on, then off, this will cause defense fleets to rush to the last location you were seen. Emergency Burn away and then go for Silent Running to sneak past the responding fleets. Once you’re clear, burn for your target station and drop off the goods.

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