How to unlock the High Price to Pay mission
The main mission “High Price to Pay” in Starfield becomes accessible after complying with Vladimir’s request to steal an Artifact from Captain Petrov during the “No Sudden Moves” mission.
Once you successfully secure the Artifact, it finds a place in your collection at the Lodge. However, before long, you receive unsettling news from Noel: the Eye has fallen under attack by the Hunter, placing every life on the Eye in jeopardy.
To add to the urgency, you’ll receive a transmission from Vladimir, explaining how Starborn is determined to take back the Artifact from you. Time is of the essence, as Vladimir is en route to the Lodge, convinced that the Artifact rightfully belongs to him.
How to complete “High Price to Pay” in Starfield
Upon receiving the distress call from The Eye, engage in a conversation with Noel and the rest of the group to deliberate on your next course of action. This mission offers two distinct approaches for completion.
You face a pivotal choice: either safeguard the Lodge and its occupants from the Hunters or head to the Eye to provide assistance to the Constellation members aboard. Regardless of the path you select, it is certain that a considerable sacrifice will be made in the world of Starfield.
Spoiler alert: By the mission’s conclusion, one of your companions will meet their demise, irrespective of whether you opt to defend the Lodge or the Eye.
Should you opt for the first option, a life on the Eye will be lost. Alternatively, if you choose the second route, a member of the Lodge will tragically perish. Regrettably, there is no way to ensure the survival of everyone aboard both the Lodge and the Eye.
Our recommendation is to make a deliberate choice regarding which companions you wish to save.
Option 1: Defend the Lodge
If you decide to stay and defend the Lodge, a call for help from Walter will be heard. Walter has been attacked by the Hunter on the second floor of the Lodge near the bar.
Head to the second floor where you’ll see that the Hunter has spawned and is strangling Walter. Shoot the Hunter when his health bar shows up.
Don’t try to kill him instead just hold him off until Noel and the Constellation members have escaped the Lodge through the Well.
Escape the Lodge
Beneath the primary staircase, you’ll discover the entrance to the basement. Follow this route to reach the Well, where you’ll encounter Noel on the eastern side, close to the staircase. She imparts crucial information regarding the concealment of the Artifact.
However, while she’s in the midst of explaining, you’ll catch a fleeting glimpse of the Hunter positioned on the staircase above. His sole aim is to secure the Artifact, and he’s prepared to go to any lengths, even if it means taking Noel’s life. This serves as your signal to swiftly exit the area and evade the imminent danger.
Escape to your ship
Making your escape from the Well in the midst of the “High Price to Pay” mission in Starfield can prove to be quite a formidable task. The Hunters are a formidable force in terms of both their sheer numbers and the devastating firepower at their disposal. Your primary objective is to divert their attention and engage them while ensuring the safe evacuation of Noel and the other Constellation members to the awaiting ship.
After they have successfully departed the area, your next task is to navigate to the eastern section of the Well district in search of an Exit point. However, this journey entails traversing through hostile territory, as you’ll need to maneuver past the Hunters and ultimately reach the Exit that leads you to the Spaceport.
Upon departing from the Well, your next objective is to make your way to the awaiting Ship. Once you arrive there, you’ll discover both Sam and Noel inside, eagerly awaiting your return.
However, exercise caution to avoid becoming ensnared in the crossfire, as a Hunter has infiltrated the Spaceport. To reach the eastern section of the spaceport safely, proceed to the pilot’s seat and initiate the takeoff sequence to ensure a smooth departure.
Head to the Eye and check on everyone
Having successfully secured the Lodge and the well-being of its members, you can proceed towards the Eye. Regrettably, by the time you arrive, it becomes evident that one of the individuals aboard the Eye did not survive the ordeal.
The identity of the person lost is determined solely by your level of affinity with them. In our case, it was Sarah, as we had the strongest connection with her.
Talk to Vladimir
You’ll encounter Vladimir within the Scanning Control Room aboard the Eye. Engage in conversation with him, addressing the loss of Sarah or the individual who met their demise.
It’s at this juncture that Vladimir strongly emphasizes the need to safeguard the Artifact from falling into the clutches of the Hunter. You are entrusted with the responsibility of securing it in a secure location, especially considering the likelihood of the Hunters’ return once you’ve collected all the necessary components.
Option 2: Go to The Eye
Opting to leave the Lodge to its own devices, you’ll set a course for the Eye upon receiving Vladimir’s transmission. However, by the time you arrive, the Eye will already have come under attack.
Your first task is to eliminate the invading Hunters, and once that’s accomplished, you’ll need to conduct a thorough search for the Eye’s crew members. Each of them can be located in distinct rooms scattered throughout various sections of the Eye. Your exploration will lead you to each of these areas.
Find everyone in the Eye
Proceed straight and enter Crew Quarters 801. Within, you’ll encounter Andreja, who can be found leaning against the wall up ahead. Engage in conversation with her, during which she’ll detail the events that transpired during your absence from the Eye. It’s important to reassure her that everything is now under control.
After your discussion with Andreja, make your way to the eastern quarter to locate Battern, who is lying on the floor. He’ll explain his inability to assist in this challenging situation.
Once your conversation with Battern concludes, head towards the Scanning Control area and discover Sarah Morgan on the control room floor. Engage in dialogue with her, and nearby, you’ll find Vladimir resting on the scanning section, just to the west of Sarah.
Go to the Lodge
After rescuing everyone in the Eye, you must return to the Lodge. However, your team couldn’t keep the barricades shut resulting in the Starborn getting inside and killing a few crew members. Hence, the remaining members are now scattered around the Lodge.
Find everyone in the Lodge
Venturing to the eastern section of the Lodge, you’ll encounter Cora Coe and Sarah, who are accompanied by a lifeless body. Cora is visibly distressed by the loss of her father, Sam Coe, unable to survive the ordeal.
The fate of your companions hinges on the bonds you’ve forged with them, and it’s possible to save them in NG+ mode.
Additionally, within the book section, you’ll come across Vasco, and to the west of the robot, you’ll discover Matteo in the garden area.
Walter can be located on the upper level, situated on the bar’s floor. Engage in a conversation with him, and he’ll provide guidance to the basement area that leads to the Well District. Follow this route to locate the missing Noel.
Noel will be present in the Well, speak with her and take the artifacts to Vladimir in the Lodge where he’ll ask you to hide them in a safe place.
The quest will exactly play out the same from here on out as it did in the first choice of defending the Lodge in A High Price to Pay main quest in Starfield.
Build the Armillary on your ship/outpost
Given the Artifact’s current designation as unsafe, you have two options at your disposal. You can either construct an armillary directly on your ship or venture to a planet to establish an outpost where the armillary can be housed. In my case, I opted for the former, as it presented a more convenient solution compared to the task of locating a suitable planet and creating an outpost for the armillary.
Consequently, if you decide to pursue the ship-based armillary, proceed to your vessel, access the Armillary screen within your cockpit, and choose the “Build Armillary” option.
Return to the Lodge
Once you’ve successfully constructed the Armillary, make your way to the Lodge and engage in a conversation with Matteo. He’s feeling quite apprehensive about the Hunter’s remarks concerning the Unity, sparking a deep curiosity within him.
As a result, he expresses a strong desire to journey to the Sanctum, hoping to acquire a deeper understanding of the true significance behind it all. This action marks the conclusion of the “High Price to Pay” main mission in Starfield.
Should you defend the Lodge or go to the Eye?
Both choices ultimately yield the same outcomes, but we firmly advocate for prioritizing the protection of the Constellation members on the Eye over defending the Lodge.
As harsh as it may sound, the “High Price to Pay” mission takes into account your affinity levels with the interactable NPCs, many of whom serve as quest givers capable of providing substantial XP and rewards.
In our particular scenario, it was Sarah who tragically lost her life on the Eye. Notably, Sarah was also a quest giver, facilitating the mission “In Memoriam,” during which she shared her sentiments towards you and offered the opportunity to initiate a romantic relationship.
Starfield – High Price to Pay mission rewards
Upon successfully wrapping up the “High Price to Pay” mission in Starfield, you will receive a generous reward of 800 experience points (EXP) and a substantial sum of 11,800 Credits (X Credits). Additionally, you will unlock access to the Unity main mission in the Starfield storyline.