While some items (such as drugs from Neon or human organs) are obviously considered contraband, others are far less obvious. For instance, a seemingly simple piece of literature may be considered contraband in some areas. Countless stolen items may pass by without a second look, but certain stolen pieces of property will be flagged as contraband during scans. The wide nature of contraband items means that the best way to check if something is contraband is to look for that little icon. Anything else is just guessing.
Starfield: How to Smuggle Contraband
The easiest way to smuggle contraband in Starfield is to use a Shielded Cargo Hold. As the name suggests, a Shielded Cargo Hold is a special on-board storage space that can block incoming contraband scans.
However, Shielded Cargo Holds are not guaranteed to work. The exact formula for smuggling hasn’t been solved yet, but the basic rules are pretty simple. The more contraband you carry, the more likely you are to get caught. If you fill your Shielded Cargo Hold to max capacity, you are very likely to get caught. If you’re only smuggling a few pieces of contraband, you’re far less likely to get caught.
The basic strategy is to ensure that you always have significantly more Shielded Cargo Space than contraband. So, 50kg of contraband in a 50kg Shielded Cargo space will likely be flagged. 50kg of contraband in 200kg of Shielded Cargo space is much more likely to go unnoticed.
So, one of the best things you can do is simply acquire more Shielded Cargo Space. Larger Shielded Cargo holds are ideal, as is acquiring multiple cargo holds. More on how to do all of that in just a bit.
Alternatively, you can acquire a Scan Jammer. These devices are designed to increase the chances of passing a contraband scan regardless of your current capacity. While they will not help you if you don’t have a Shielded Cargo hold, they will essentially reduce the random percentage that determines whether you pass a scan or not. Again, the more Scan Jammers you have, the better your chances of passing a scan.