Red Tape Runaround is a side quest in Starfield that has some of the most interesting choices for players to make. It starts out with a simple request for a package and can end in bloodshed, blackmail, or a messy arrest.
There are several ways to complete this quest, but only one will net players the most Credits. However, there’s also the morally correct path, which differs greatly from the most optimal method for getting through it. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to help all players make the best decision.
How to Start Red Tape Runaround in Starfield
To start Red Tape Runaround in Starfield, players first need to visit Trevor in Cydonia on Mars. He’ll give them the Red Tape Blues quest, which leads into Red Tape Runaround once completed. By this point in the story, players will be an executive assistant in Cydonia and need to get a mining equipment request approved.
When players come to approve Trevor’s request, there’s a problem. Brennan needs a package picking up from Governor Hurst. When players visit Hurst, he says he won’t release the package until players help him with a little problem.
Hurst wants players to retrieve his ship from where it’s become stranded in orbit around a nearby world. When players arrive, they have a couple of options.
Should You Destroy Hurst’s Ship or Persuade the Pirates and Come Aboard in Starfield
Hurst’s ship is full of Crimson Fleet pirates. Their friends left them because they didn’t realize the ship couldn’t fly. Players must pass a persuasion check to board the ship, or they can shoot and destroy it.
If players destroy the ship now, they can return to Hurst, claim the package, and get on with the rest of the quest. It’s also possible to board the ship and kill all the pirates inside, but it’s a tough fight. If players lie the pirates and board, they can earn a lot more Credits from this quest.
A third option is available to those players who have joined the Crimson Fleet, allowing them to board the ship without the need to pass a persuasion check.
How to Find All the Evidence on Hurst’s Ship in Starfield
Once players have boarded Hurst’s ship, a few options for progressing Red Tape Runaround in Starfield present themselves. First, if players successfully persuade the pirated to let them aboard, they can now chat to the pirate leader.
Through a persuasion check, it’s possible to get the pirate leader to hand over the evidence he has on Hurst, which will allow players to blackmail him. Players who don’t pass this check can pickpocket the pirate leader. We’re members of the Crimson Fleet, so this didn’t cause the pirates to attack us, but added a bounty of 500 Credits with that faction to our name.
The pirate leader will also hand over the evidence if players give him 1 Ship Part. After collecting the evidence, the pirates will Grav Jump away, meaning the ship is gone. This isn’t the outcome Hurst desires, so it’s best to avoid it unless players want to help the Crimson Fleet.
Reading the note that the pirate leader has will open up a new optional objective to hand over the evidence to CDR Woodward back on Cydonia. That’s a choice players can make later, though.
The second piece of evidence on Hurst’s ship is a body. Players need to descend both ladders and find the back room where the body is hidden. There’s a note on it that can be collected to register the evidence.
After collecting the evidence, players still have a choice as to how to deal with the situation. There are three possible outcomes, and they all have varying impacts on the outcome of Red Tape Reclamation.
Should You Destroy Hurst’s Ship, Blackmail Hurst, or Hand Over the Evidence to Woodward in Starfield
If players destroy Hurst’s ship after collecting the evidence, then they won’t benefit from any extra Credits. The evidence is useless in this case, though players can lie to Hurst and tell him they destroyed the ship, even if they didn’t. They can also tell him that the pirates escaped with the ship, which he’ll accept but won’t be happy about.
If players blackmail Hurst with the evidence they’ve found, they’ll be able to extort a good chunk of additional Credits from the governor. This might be the most beneficial outcome to players financially, but it’s not the good ending for this quest.
Finally, players can turn in the evidence they’ve found to CDR Woodward. He’s effectively the chief of police in Cydonia, located in the security office. Players can find him by taking the first left as they enter the city of Cydonia, through the security wing, and out into Woodward’s office.
After speaking to Woodward and turning over the evidence, players can request that the security team doesn’t arrest Hurst until after they’ve grabbed their package. This is essential for completing the quest, so it’s worth asking. While this choice doesn’t net players as many Credits, it’s the right thing to do to ensure the future of Cydonia is in less corrupt hands.
Whichever outcome players choose to go with, they’ll be able to return to Brennan with the package. This allows him to hand over the password for his computer so players can approve Trevor’s request for mining equipment.
It’s important to do this, or the quest won’t be completed. We approved every other request in the computer and still have our job, so it seems like Brennan isn’t paying attention to anything that’s happening.