Starfield First Contact best choice and how to prepare the ship for the Grav Drive explained

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What fate will you decide for the ECS Constant?

First Contact is a Starfield side quest which sees you deciding the fate of the ECS Constant; a ship that has spent 200 years travelling through the stars only to discover human civilisation is already thriving.

The problem, however, is that the planet the ECS Constant crew want to settle on has been turned into a holiday planet. It’s a problem which can be solved in a number of ways, but which is the best choice for First Contact in Starfield?

Do you help the crew come to a settlement deal, prepare the ship for a Grav Drive so they can continue their journey or take more drastic action?

We explore the First Contact best choice and rewards in our First Contact walkthrough for Starfield below, covering how to make the settlement deal, prepare the ship with a Grav Drive or overload the reactor.

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How to start First Contact in Starfield

To start the First Contact quest in Starfield you need to travel to the Porrima star system. How long this will take you depends on your ship, but don’t be surprised if it involves undertaking a number of grav jumps.

Where to find the Porrima star system in Starfield. | Image credit: Bethesda/Eurogamer

You’ll receive a call from Chief Sugiyama upon entering the Porrima system which marks the start of First Contact. Now you need to land on Paradiso and talk to him in the main security office. Though, if you’d prefer, you can always try hailing the mystery ship.

Image credit: Bethesda/Eurogamer

To find Sugiyama in Paradiso, land on Porrima II before heading into the building directly opposite your ship. Inside you’ll find him in the office directly to your right. When talking to Sugiyama make sure you ask him about the distress call he sent out and agree to be discreet.

Image credit: Bethesda/Eurogamer

After talking to Sugiyama, head back to your ship, return to space and try hailing the mysterious ship. Your attempts to get in contact with the ship will fail, so, instead, you will need to dock and head on board.

Once aboard the ship, head along the corridor and talk to Captain Diana Brackenridge. She’ll explain that the ship has been on a 200 year journey from Earth and is attempting to colonise Porrima II completely unaware of the fact that it is now a holiday planet. Since they’re having trouble communicating with the planet below, Brackenridge would like you to act as a negotiator between them and the citizens of Porrima II.

Image credit: Bethesda/Eurogamer

After a short conversation, she’ll ask you to join her on the bridge. Once there talk to Brackenridge where the conversation will once again be about you undertaking the role of negotiator.

Now that you’ve agreed to undertake the role, it’s time to return to Paradiso and talk to Oliver Campbell. To find Campbell, you need to head further into the Paradiso complex; following your mission marker until you find the right building and, once there, taking the elevator to the Executive Floor.

Image credit: Bethesda/Eurogamer

Before you can enter the boardroom, however, you’ll need to have a short conversation with Keavy Andreas to gain access to the room.

First Contact best choice in Starfield

There are three choices you can make in the First Contact quest of Starfield:

  • Purchase a Grav Drive for the ECS Constant.
  • Come to a settlement deal.
  • Blow up the ECS Constant.

It’s important to note that blowing up the ECS Constant is an optional objective, so, if you have a change of heart, you can always pick one of the other options. Well, right up to the moment where you commerce the blowing up. Can’t really undo that…

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You can always destroy the ESC Constant… | Image credit: Bethesda/Eurogamer

Out of all three choices purchasing a Grav Drive for the ECS Constant is the best First Contact choice due to it being the most moral choice. If you decide to make a settlement deal the ship’s crew will become indentured servants on Paradiso (not good) and, if you blow it up, they’ll be dead (really not good). You’re free, of course, to pick one of the less than kind options, but, if you’re doing a moral run, then purchasing the Grav Drive is a must.

It’s important to note that purchasing the Grav Drive does require either 40,000 or 25,000 Credits, so you’ll need to ensure you have the funds to complete this route.

Thankfully, there’s an easy way to lower the price of the Grav Drive and the rewards you earn from this choice will help you recoup the Credits you’ve lost. There’s also the added bonus that, if you’re trying to romance a companion, they will like you taking this option.

Image credit: Bethesda/Eurogamer

Prepare the ship for Grav Drive choice in First Contact of Starfield explained

If you want to purchase the Grav Drive for the ECS Constant in the First Contact quest for Starfield, you need to first select ‘I think I’ve made up my mind.’ and then ‘I’ll buy the Grav Drive and convince them to settle elsewhere.’

Image credit: Bethesda/Eurogamer

We recommend putting at least one Skill Point into the Persuasion Skill if you haven’t done so already. This is because you’ll have the chance to lower the price of the Grav Drive down from 40,000 Credits to 25,000 if you successfully complete a Persuasion check.

Either way, make sure you have the required Credits – 40,000 or 25,000 if you plan to persuade – ready for this part of First Contact.

It’s also important to note that this is the option your companion will like the best, so if you’re romancing someone, like Andreja, then at least have them accompany you during this part of First Contact.

Image credit: Bethesda/Eurogamer

After talking with Oliver, it’s time to visit Hopetech in Hopetown on Polvo in the Valo system. Depending on the ship you’re flying, this may take a number of grav jumps to reach.

Image credit: Bethesda/Eurogamer

Upon reaching Hopetown, head inside Hopetech and follow your quest marker until you find Bennu St. James. We recommend saving before talking to him if you plan on persuading him to lower the price of the Grav Drive in case it doesn’t go the way you want it to.

Image credit: Bethesda/Eurogamer

When talking to James first ask for a favour and then say Oliver Campbell sent you. You’ll then be given the option to either pay the 40,000 Credits or persuade James to lower the price.

You only need to get four Persuasion marks to successfully lower the price and we were able to clear it with one choice by selecting ‘+ 4 Surely the profit you’d make doesn’t compare to the freedom you’d be giving these people.’

Image credit: Bethesda/Eurogamer

By successfully persuading James, he’ll lower the price to 25,000 Credits and, since this is the best price you’re going to get, you better take it. Now it’s time to return to the colony ship orbiting Porrima II, so you can talk to Amin Kazemi in Engineering.

Tell Kazemi you’re there to help him prep the ship for the new Grav Drive and he’ll tell you there are three things he needs you to do to get the ship ready.

Image credit: Bethesda/Eurogamer

How to prepare the ship for the Grav Drive

When undertaking these preparations, it’s important to ensure you exit the computers properly as, if you don’t, you can easily undo the action you’ve just completed. You’ll need to hold down ‘B’ if you’re playing on Xbox and ‘TAB’ or ‘ESC’ if you’re playing on PC.

First, you need to go to the Engineering Control Computer Alpha on the left-hand side of the room. There select ‘Turbopump – Port’ followed by ‘Cryogenic Radiator – Auxiliary.’

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Image credit: Bethesda/Eurogamer

Next, go to Engineering Control Computer Beta on the right-hand side of the room. Here you need to select ‘Plasma Run-Off Inhibitor’ and then ‘5%’. Make sure you scroll to the very bottom of the list to find the ‘5%’ option.

Image credit: Bethesda/Eurogamer

Finally, head to the Engineering Control Computer Gamma opposite the door to Engineering. On there select ‘Magnetic Flange Pipe Enclosures’ followed by ‘Decouple’ and then ‘Auxiliary Module Assembly.’

Image credit: Bethesda/Eurogamer

If you’ve followed these instructions correctly, then you’ll receive a new prompt telling you to speak to Captain Brackenridge. If this doesn’t appear, then repeat the actions listed above and make sure to properly exit the computers without undoing your work.

When you’ve found the captain, tell her the Grav Drive is installed and First Contact will be completed. Leave the ship and, if you feel like it, hail them for a quick chat.

Image credit: Bethesda/Eurogamer

Settlement deal choice in First Contact quest of Starfield explained

If you choose to help the settlers stay on Paradiso in First Contact, then you first need to select ‘I think I’ve made up my mind.’ followed by ‘I’ll convince them to take the settlement deal.’

Image credit: Bethesda/Eurogamer

If you haven’t done so already, we recommend putting at least one Skill Point into Persuasion before completing this section of First Contact. Doing so will make it easier to pass a Persuasion mini-game which will speed up the process of gathering the resources required for this quest.

After this Oliver Campbell will give you a list of resources you need to collect before the settlers can, well, settle. You will need to collect:

  • 10 Lithium
  • 80 Iron
  • 20 Sealant
  • 40 Fiber

First, however, you need to return to Brackenridge on the ECS Constant. We recommend saving before talking to Brackenridge as you’ll have the chance to persuade her into sharing the ship’s resources with you, which, if done successfully, will decrease the amount you need to gather yourself.

Are you going to turn around? | Image credit: Bethesda/Eurogamer

Before you can do this though, explain to Brackenridge that her crew will be allowed to live on the planet if they agree to work off the debt. She’ll be fine with this idea and now you’ll have the chance to persuade her into sharing their resources.

You only need four Persuasion marks to successfully convince Brackenridge to share the resources. Here are the options which worked for us:

  • +2 Are you sure you don’t have anything to spare? I’m doing this all for you.
  • +3 I’m not asking for a lot, just what little you can spare.

Image credit: Bethesda/Eurogamer

If you successfully pass the Persuasion mini-game, Brackenridge will tell you to speak with Diasuke Levitz who can be found in the mess hall. Tell him you’re there to collect the resources and he’ll give you:

  • 6 Lithium
  • 50 Iron
  • 12 Sealant
  • 15 Fiber

Image credit: Bethesda/Eurogamer

Now you just need to collect or purchase the remaining resources (or all of them if you failed or didn’t do the Persuasion mini-game). We brought the majority of the remaining resources at the UC Distribution Center and Jemison Mercantile on New Atlantis.

Image credit: Bethesda/Eurogamer

Once you have all of the resources, return to Brackenridge and tell her you have everything. She’ll also ask you to give her and some of her crew a ride down to the planet. Time to jump back in your ship and head to Paradiso!

Now all you need to do is follow Brackenridge until the objective to talk to her pops up. Do so and First Contact will be complete.

During our playthrough, we also discovered that the resources you’re asked to gather remained in our inventory upon First Contacts completion. At the time of writing, we’re unsure whether this is a bug or not.

Image credit: Bethesda/Eurogamer

How to overload reactor in First Contact quest of Starfield

If you decide to blow up the ship – sorry, make it go away – in First Contact, you’ll first need to select the ‘I think I’ve made up my mind.’ option followed by ‘Hypothetically, what could make a ship like that go away?’ when talking to Oliver Campbell.

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Image credit: Bethesda/Eurogamer

This will cause the optional objective ‘Overload the Reactor’ to appear. Due to this, you’re not locked in to blowing up the ship meaning you’re free to have a change of heart.

Keep in mind that to successfully blow up the ship you need to have unlocked the Pickpocketing ability and be able to lockpick Advanced Level locks. We also recommend having at least one Skill Point in Stealth so you have the Detection Bar as this will make pickpocketing easier.

It’s important to note that, if you have a companion with you, they may dislike blowing up the ship. (Cos of all the murder you’re planning on doing.) Remember to leave them behind if you take this route.

If you really want to do some murdering though, it’s time to head back to the colony ship. Once aboard head to Engineering where you’ll find Amin Kazemi.

Now you need to pickpocket the ECS Constant Reactor Terminal key off of Kazemi. Make sure no-one can see you (again having at least one Skill Point in Stealth will help with this) and, when the time comes, nab the card.

Image credit: Bethesda/Eurogamer

Reactor key in hand, head over to the Reactor Computer where, after selecting ‘Reactor Computer’ a couple of times, you need to choose the option ‘EMERGENCY REACTOR OVERDRIVE.’

Image credit: Bethesda/Eurogamer

The ship won’t blow up straight away though – first you need to confirm the overdrive at the captain’s terminal. This means revisiting the bridge where you’ll find the Captain’s Computer and, to access this, you must be able to pick Advanced Level locks.

Once you have access to the computer select ‘Urgent Actions’ and then ‘Confirm Request.’ Start running the moment you exit the computer as you’ll have a few precious seconds before all of the security officers on the ship become hostile.

Image credit: Bethesda/Eurogamer

You can watch the colony ship explore upon undocking your ship before returning to Oliver Campbell. When talking to him make sure you don’t ask to double your payment or else you won’t receive any payment at all.

Starfield First Contact rewards

The rewards you receive from the First Contact quest in Starfield differ depending on how you decide to deal with the ECS Constant. So, if you’re having trouble deciding what to do with the ship, you can always make your choice based around these rewards.

No matter which choice you make you’ll always earn 300 XP.

If you choose to purchase the Grav Drive, you’ll receive:

  • x15 .45 Caliber ACP
  • Suppressed XM-2311
  • x2 Antique Earth Baseballs
  • Antique Earth Basketball
  • x3 Antique Earth Hockey Stick
  • x2 Antique Earth Soccer Ball
  • Antique Piggy Bank

Image credit: Bethesda/Eurogamer

By taking the settlement deal choice, you’ll receive the following rewards:

  • x15 .45 Caliber ACP
  • Modified XM-2311
  • x2 Antique Earth Baseballs
  • Antique Earth Basketball
  • x3 Antique Earth Hockey Stick
  • x2 Antique Earth Soccer Ball
  • Antique Piggy Bank

You may also keep the resources you had to gather during this route, but, at the time of writing, we’re unsure whether this is a bug or not.

If you decide to ‘make the ship go away’ (murder, you did a lot of murder) you’ll be rewarded with:

  • 6500 Credits
  • Unlimited (kind of) use of Paradiso

Just make sure you don’t try to double your payment if you blow up the ship, because, if you do, you’ll get nothing.

Image credit: Bethesda/Eurogamer

It’s easy to see that helping the ECS Constant – be it by purchasing the Grav Drive or coming to deal – offers far better rewards than killing everyone.

Good luck completing First Contact – we hope you can live with your choice!

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Madhuri Shetty
Manoj Gadtaula

Manoj Gadtaula is a young Indian man from Mangalore who is constantly on the lookout for new things and loves to explore. Madhuri has a great passion for helping others and motivating people. She researched the careers, biographies, lifestyles, and net worths of celebrities..

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