One of the best side missions in Starfield is Juno’s Gambit, an unassuming encounter with a mysterious ship that shifts into a philosophical study of what it means to be “alive.” So, should you kill or spare Juno during this mission?
Juno’s Gambit Endings in Starfield
Starting Juno’s Gambit is tricky, as it’s pretty much random. You need to activate a random event to start the quest. You can trigger this somewhat consistently by going to the Tau Ceti system and going towards the orbit of Tau Ceti 3. You will then need to approach the mysterious ship, board it, and talk with the operatives to start the quest.
The absolute best possible path to take in the questline requires you to first join Ryujin Industries before starting this quest. Travel to Neon as step one and join Ryujin faction, which will unlock the quest’s secret path. This is a non-hostile path that gives the largest amount of credits payout.
In total, there are three endings for Juno’s Gambit, two of which will result in violence and bloodshed, while the third is peaceful for all involved parties. Here are the ending options:
Bad Ending: Side With the Ryujin Operatives, Change Juno
If you side with the Ryujin Operatives Collins and Khambatta, choosing to attach the AI Control Board to Juno, the sentient computer will not die, but change, and the duo will take control of the Mysterious Ship. When you return to your vessel, Juno will come back online describing feeling “anger,” and will proceed to vent the oxygen and disable life support on the Mysterious Ship, killing both the Ryujin operatives. Lastly, Juno will jump out of the system, ending the mission.
To make matters worse, there is a possibility that you will encounter a vengeful Juno again later in space combat, but this has not yet been confirmed.
Neutral Ending: Side With Juno, Kill the Ryujin Operatives
If you choose to side with Juno, you can either try to negotiate with the Ryujin Operatives or be forced to battle them for the sake of your new AI friend’s freedom if you haven’t joined the Ryujin Industries faction. Choosing the latter will result in the neutral ending.
If you opt to fight the operatives, they will scale to your level but ultimately aren’t too much of a challenge, You may want to make sure to bring a companion or crewmate for backup just in case if you are playing on a higher difficulty level, or are running low on ammo. The Ryujin operatives will drop ammo, credits, and weapons, including a Magshot pistol.
After saving Juno, the AI will ask your opinion on what it should do with its newfound freedom. It does not matter what you suggest, as the mission will end the same way. You will return to your ship and a thankful Juno will jump to another system, mentioning the possibility of meeting again somewhere down the line.
Magshot Pistol Stats
Here are the stats for the Magshot pistol awarded in the questline.
- Damage: 72 Phys (calibrated: 108 Phys).
- Fire Rate: 25.
- Range: 20.
- Accuracy: 62.8%.
- Ammo: .43 MI.
- Mag: 6.
- Mass: 2.00.
- Mods: 0/6.
Good Ending: Convince the Ryujin Operatives to Leave
If you want to go the pacifistic route, you will need to make sure you have joined the Ryujin Industries faction. Personally, we could not even get this quest to spawn without being a member of Ryujin Industries, so you will likely have the option to go the peaceful route in Juno’s Gambit.
Simply side with Juno, and use the Ryujin Industries dialogue option to make the operatives stand down. Keep in mind that you will have to give them a ride back to Neon in your ship though, as they would be stranded otherwise. Once again, Juno will jump out of the system, and when you reach Neon, the mission will be completed.
Which Ending Should You Choose in Juno’s Gambit?
Ultimately, no matter what ending you choose, there is no difference in XP received, and the variation in credits and loot is not enough to make any mission preferable over another. Since the game is an RPG, you should choose your favorite ending based on how you feel your created character would react to the situation, or what you personally feel is morally right.
Reported Interactions With Juno After the Mission
Some players have reported unique interactions with Juno after completing the mission. We’re including one interesting one below. Keep in mind that you should take this reported interaction with a grain of salt, as we cannot guarantee that it happens in the game. However, it might, and the knowledge of the event could help your own playthrough.
Potential spoilers ahead!
User u/Competitive_Ball_597 said this about their playthrough: “I just had my second encounter with Juno. Originally, I chose to destroy her, siding with the operatives since I was already one myself. Choosing this resulted in Juno killing the men and disappearing after. I just jumped to the Shoza system and Juno began combat with me in a level 32 ship, simply named ‘Juno.’ There was a small amount of dialogue as the battle commenced and once I destroyed the ship’s engines I was unable to board. I finished the ship off, and there was no loot. Feels like there will probably be another random encounter down the line somewhere.”
There may be even more encounters with Juno down the line, depending on the decisions you make during Juno’s Gambit.
For more Prima guides on Starfield, check out where to find Heller’s Cutter in the new RPG.