There are a lot of planets and star systems to explore in Starfield, Bethesda’s latest sci-fi open-world RPG. To get around the black cosmos, though, you’re going to need a pretty good ship, and while you’re gifted one at the start of the campaign, there’s one that’s better in almost every way.
Read More: Someone’s Already Beat Starfield In Less Than 3 Hours
Out on September 6 (unless you purchased one of the special editions to get into the cockpit early), Starfield is Bethesda’s first new IP in 25 years and, as the studio puts it, its most ambitious game to date. Boasting hundreds of planets and star systems to pillage around and skirmish in, it’s very easy to find yourself cast adrift in the space sea, especially if your starship isn’t capable of grav-jumping between multiple galaxies at once. The Frontier, the first vessel a member of exploration faction Constellation gives you about 20 minutes into the main story, is a fine rocket. It’s got solid defensive and offensive stats while also affording you plenty of cargo space to transport all the junk you’ll collect while charting the stars. The Frontier, like every ship in Starfield, can be improved, but first you’ll have to bang your head against the wall to figure out the game’s rather complex ship-building mechanics.
But despite all the upgrades available and other ships for you to shell out your hard-earned credits on, the best one is The Razorleaf, a legendary ship you can get early on if you’re up for the challenge.
How to get Starfield’s Razorleaf ship
To get The Razorleaf, you’ll need to start the second mainline quest, The Old Neighborhood. This will take you on a tutorial-like mission to find a contact who has info about an Artifact, the hunks of space nodes that serve as the main thrust to Starfield’s galaxy-reaching plot. You’ll head to Mars and Venus before wrapping up the quest, but while in Venus, your companion Sarah Morgan will have you scan a satellite for clues, pointing you to the Nova Galactic Staryard that’s just suspended, hovering, in space. Once you dock at the space station, a firefight between two warring factions will be underway. Blast these dudes dead. What you’re looking for, as you search their corpses, is the “Secret Outpost!” note, which can be found on most of the Spacer enemies on the Nova Galactic Staryard. Snatching that and reading it will trigger The Mantis side quest. Now, it’s time to grav-jump.
Your next destination is the Denebola I-B moon that orbits the planet of the same name within the eponymous star system. This outpost is swarming with goons whose levels range from eight to 30, so be warned, especially if you’re tackling this right after starting Starfield’s campaign, which will put you at about level four. Clear out all the enemies you find—Spacers, robots, turrets, etc.—while gathering intel on the Mantis, a legendary spacefarer who struck fear in the hearts of star explorers the galaxy over. This is a challenging area to shoot through. Not only do the Spacers triple and quadruple your level, but there’s also a lot of them in tight corridors who make great use of cover and tactics, so make sure you’ve got lots of ammo and meds to survive the fight. Otherwise, though, it’s a pretty straightforward mission: kill everyone there, descend the outpost, and collect your loot. There is one puzzle that requires you to spell out a word (which isn’t that hard to guess if you’ve been acquiring intel), but after that and another shootout with some robots, both The Mantis’ legendary armor and the spaceship Razorleaf will be yours for the picking.
The Razorleaf and Mantis armor perks
The Razorleaf is an exceptional ship! While it doesn’t have as many shields as The Frontier, the rocket excels at both dogfights and storage. It’s faster and lighter than The Frontier, sports better weaponry off the rip, and features more fuel and health to get you around space and keep you there for much longer. On top of these perks, the best benefit you get from flying The Razorleaf is the legacy its cockpit holds. See, a long time ago, The Mantis was a feared spacefarer, someone whom the Spacers were deathly afraid of. So much so that any Spacer who came into contact with The Mantis and their Razorleaf would immediately tuck tail and grav-jump away. That holds true once you get the ship and, if you selected the Wanted character trait while building your character, which makes bounty hunters semi-regularly come after you, you’ll hear Spacers on comms stutter as they realize they’re boosting towards the infamous Razorleaf. Cowards. With the solid guns tacked onto the vessel, you can turn some of the early game’s ace pilots into mere scraps of space debris floating listlessly forever. Oh, one more thing: The Razorleaf also comes equipped with a Shielded Cargo Hold so you can smuggle contraband without detection, which is important since some of the game’s planets, such as Akila and New Atlantis, will scan your vessel before clearing you for landing.
On top of the phenomenal ship, you can also collect the legendary Mantis gear during the side quest. This is another solid set of equipment for the early game as all three pieces—the helmet, pack, and spacesuit—have great stats and come with a variety of traits. It appears there’s some randomization between the variants, so although the suit itself—which is white with a mantis-looking head—remains the same, the traits may vary, from setting enemies on fire, reducing item weight, increasing carrying capacity, and auto-healing when your health dips below a certain point.
Read More: 17 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Playing Starfield
I spent the entire Labor Day weekend hunting The Mantis and Razorleaf, and lemme tell you, I died more times than I can count. It didn’t help that I wasn’t as prepared for the firefights as I should’ve been; I grav-jumped to a few different planets several times to find enough ammo and meds to ensure I lived long enough to collect the fruits of my labor. But The Razorleaf was well worth the perilous journey as the ship and I have charted across Starfield’s many star systems several times over already. I’m about mid-game now and got my eyes on another ship, but The Razorleaf will remain in my collection whenever I need to paralyze my foes in the cosmos.
See you, Space Cowboy.