Video Games

Can You Kill Every NPC in Starfield?

A Starfield NPC standing tall. But can you kill all Starfield's NPCs?

Starfield sports a large universe, with over 1,000 planets. You won’t find people roaming around every single one, nor will every system have its own space station but there an awful lot of non-players to encounter. That, in turn, might have you wondering, can you kill every NPC in Starfield? I have the answer.

Here’s How Starfield Handles You Go Going on a Murder Rampage

Okay, that’s not question you’d ask out loud, but let’s face it, plenty of people are thinking it. The Obsidian-developed and Bethesda-published Fallout: New Vegas let you slaughter every single person in the world, so does Starfield let you do the same? The answer is no, you can’t kill every NPC in the galaxy.

Some NPCs, quest essential ones in particular, can’t be killed. Instead, as in several of Bethesda’s other 3D action-RPGs, they end up kneeling on the ground, taking a minute or two to recover from their horrifying wounds. At one point, I found myself aboard a colony ship, created before the advent of faster-than-light travel. Because I am just the worst, after hearing the captain’s plea for assistance, I decided to just murder everyone on board.

What actually happened, after a couple of reloads, was that I was able to kill some of the guards but the captain was quest-essential and thus unkillable. So, after a minute or two, she got up and started punching me. She must have had a Deadpool-level healing factor to recover from that, but that’s the way Starfield works. Elsewhere, I encountered an NPC who didn’t even respond to being shot, though that may have been a bug of some description.

A prone Starfield NPC. But can you kill all Starfield's NPCs?

Should You Kill NPCs in Starfield?

To paraphrase Jeff Goldblum, some players are so preoccupied with whether they can kill everyone, they don’t stop to think if they should. You can kill many, many NPCs in Starfield, particularly if you’re actively flying around blasting spaceships. No, you can’t kill quest-essential NPCs but trying to blast them to pieces will have other allied NPCs descending on you.

Murdering killable NPCs can also put a bounty on your head. I decided to blast my way through a freighter, axe and pistol at the ready and ended up with a bounty of about 33,000 credits. That’s only 440 salami sandwiches because, in Starfield, life is cheap. But when I subsequently landed on New Atlantis and got spotted by a guard, I didn’t have that kind of money. So, deciding not to go to jail, I ended up embroiled in a firefight which left me running back to my spaceship. The authorities can also catch up with you in space, too.

So, I wouldn’t recommend you start killing innocent NPCs until the main quest and any (non Crimson Fleet) side-quests you want to tackle because you’ll have a bounty on your head. If you want to keep slaughtering NPCs, there are three ways to go about it.  You can put aside enough money to pay off fines, keep away from heavily patrolled areas or only kill people with certain faction’s territories.

That last one is a bit sneaky. There are several factions in Starfield, some of which you can join. But if you only kill NPCs who belong to the United Colonies or are in their space, then head into another faction’s space you should be okay because each faction has its own bounty record. It’s worked for me, playing my piracy save. But the moment you head into UC space to fulfill a quest, you can expect trouble.

So, you can’t kill all NPCs in Starfield and if you do start murdering a lot of friendly NPCs you should expect to have to deal with the consequences.

If you’re searching about whether you can kill every NPC in Starfield, you may be interested in the Adoring Fan, the game’s most annoying character. Here’s our guide to recruiting the Adoring Fan, which is certainly one potential step on the road to killing him.

KEEP READING: A Starfield Easter Egg Is Trying to Reach You About Your Ship’s Extended Warranty

About the author

Chris McMullen
Freelance contributor at The Escapist. I've returned to writing about games after a couple of career changes, with my recent stint lasting five-plus years. I hope, through my writing work, to settle the karmic debt I incurred by persuading my parents to buy a Mega CD. Aside from writing for The Escapist, I also cover news and more for GameSpew. I've also been published at other sites including VG247, Space, and more. My tastes run to horror, the post-apocalyptic, and beyond, though I'll tackle most things that aren't exclusively sports-based.