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Vendors are a crucial component of Starfield, as you’ll need to make use of the RPG’s merchants in order to get better gear, obtain necessary parts to fix a damaged ship, buy healing items, and sell off all your contraband to earn enough credits to eventually buy that house in Akila City. The bars and restaurants in Starfield are also vendors, as the items you can buy from there are considered “aid” in that they’ll restore a little health or give you temporary buffs.
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But we don’t just go into Starfield’s bars and restaurants to make use of their functionality—we go there to hang out. Video game bars are fantastic little lore dumps, lovingly detailed spaces that really make the game world in which they’re set feel lived-in and real. There’s nothing quite like walking into Mass Effect 2’s Afterlife for the first time, or settling down for a game of Gwent in The Witcher 3’s Golden Sturgeon, to make it feel like you really are your character, and you really are jonesing for a drink.
And like other Bethesda RPGs, Starfield has its fair share of watering holes decorated with interesting objects and frequented by colorful characters (you could even call it Barfield, there’s so many). We ranked all the ones we could find, from worst to best, based on decor, menu, and overall vibes. Which Starfield bar would we most like to drink at? Read on to find out.
If its dingy 1960s elementary school cafeteria decor and giant poster of definite war criminal Vae Victis weren’t enough to make this bar (which appears to be unnamed) on the UC’s dilapidated Wolf System station dead last in our rankings, there’s a cranky old man who gives off very aggressive MAGA vibes pouring the drinks. He misses the good old days when the bar was full of scrappy young soldiers, before the civil war between the United Colonies and the Freestar Collective, and his dogged belief that things were just better back then has turned away clientele. He’s aware of it, but doesn’t care—he’s clearly not afraid of being canceled by the woke mob.
This ugly curmudgeon has a perfectly fine drink selection, but unless you want to hear Jason Aldean’s “Try That In A Small Town” on repeat while you sip a warm beer, I’d steer clear. I wouldn’t come here if you paid me, but at least you can offload your smuggled organs at the nearby trade authority after you turn on your heel and briskly walk away from Starfield’s biggest election denier. — Alyssa Mercante
The Sixth Circle can be found at Cydonia, the underground city on Mars, and it sucks pretty badly. Though it’s decorated similarly to other Starfield bars with metal fixtures and sparse decor that gives a no-nonsense industrial vibe, it’s the clientele that make this place the second least desirable bar in the cosmos. The Sixth Circle is a Marine bar, but not just any Marine bar—it’s the official watering hole of the Red Devils, the meanest Marines in the UC Vanguard. The now-disbanded unit was created solely to fight Terrormorphs (Starfield’s version of Alien’s xenomorphs), so every member of this special unit is a complete and utter menace.
They’re all perfectly well-behaved when you’re in there, sure, but the moment you open your mouth to complain about the military industrial complex is the moment you’ll get an Old Earth pistol to the temple. And the dog tags for fallen soldiers hanging behind the bar next to pictures of them—is that supposed to be welcoming? Nah, I’m good. I’ll go somewhere else for my juice box full of whiskey. — AM
The Pit Stop is the kind of place that would have you questioning where the hell you are and how you got there. Located in Hope Town on Polvo, you’d probably only ever be at the Pit Stop because your ship’s reactor gave out and you need to refuel yourself while you wait for repairs.
Like a Waffle House in space that serves booze (except not nearly as cool as that sounds), the Pit Stop has the campy trappings of a chain restaurant with tepid attempts at “cool,” like suspended ship parts and a sign that says “Shut Up and Drink.” But you can tell that this place is probably owned by some rich guy too busy to actually participate in daily operations. Instead, he’s drunk on the shores of Paradiso and stops in once a month to offer his “interior design” advice. — Claire Jackson
If the Broken Spear was all that its sign promises, it would be way higher up on the list. Hanging above its entrance is a picture of a skull biting a spear in half between its teeth, with the bar’s name emblazoned over it in some cool, retro-futuristic font. Unfortunately, the sign is the only cool thing about the Mars-based bar, as its interior has about as much personality as its bartender, who doesn’t like mixed drinks because he thinks alcohol should be enjoyed straight-up. Yawn, boring, I’ll pass. — AM
Jake’s is like that dive bar in Brooklyn where no matter how cool you dress or how often you go, the bartender will always be a cantankerous dick. Jake doesn’t want to engage in any small talk, and he’s very openly mean, which always makes me anxious when I’m ordering at a bar. If I can’t use my gregarious nature to get a free shot out of you (or even just a smile), I’m at a loss. I’d probably cry if I went here. — AM
The Brown Horse Tavern is located in the middle of a museum—a museum adjacent to underground living areas on a Saturn moon whose bleak sights will bore you to death before you succumb to hypothermia. And for some reason there’s a tour guide who’s eager to show you the damn storage containers folks are forced to live in here? Yeahhh….well when you’re done with the depression tour and are over staring at leftover artifacts from Earth and replica ships that despite their primitive technology speak to a time when life was once way-the-hell easier for humanity, maybe it’s time for a shot of tequila and a beer. At least there’s that, goddess help us. — CJ
As far as I can tell, this Gagarin-based bar doesn’t seem to have a name. It’s just an outdoor drinking space plopped down in the middle of a kinda-depressing place. But that’s kinda the perfect watering hole for a place like Gagarin, where everyone’s miserable and gentrification is a slowly descending guillotine. The place is run by Lizzy, who’ll give you a quest if you talk to her. And it’s an outdoor bar, which is always nice when you need to drown your sorrows over a difficult job, heartbreak, or how the universe never seems to work out for you as you stare up at the endless starry sky. It’s not much in this rough life, but at least the comfy chairs in the back let you sink into yourself so you can live to regret tomorrow morning. — CJ
Maybe the Rock is too close to the Sheriff’s office and the Hitching Post is filled with tourists, insufferably chatting about how excited they are to see the “space cowboys.” No matter, Aggie’s is a short walk further into town away from all that bullshit. Like the Hitching Post, there’s an outdoor area, but this one’s got a fire pit! It’s out of the way of all the people that will annoy you, and far enough from the main streets that you can ignore the hustle and bustle. Have a few drinks and watch things burn in the fire pit, that’s catharsis right there. — CJ
Sure, you might get eaten by an Ashta while visiting Akila, but the chance to sit outside and sip some Solomon’s Reserve with your new husband Sam Coe is worth it. Plus, the Hitching Post is the newest bar in town, and you’ll be supporting a fledgling small business by patronizing it. It’s a no-frills establishment, sure, but it’s also right there when you walk past Akila City’s gates, so you don’t need to go out of your way. Plus the owner and bartender, Jaden Ross, is so dang nice, you’ll wanna hang for a bit. — AM
If there’s one thing I love to occasionally frequent (especially on vacation), it’s a bougie rooftop bar. Chez Simon has the exact kind of vibe I’d look for on a trip to Barcelona (or Paradiso, which is where you can find it in Starfield). It’s like a Tommy Bahama button-down got a slightly cyberpunk update, with bisexual lighting and massive hibiscus flower decals adorning the bar’s backsplash. There’s a dance floor and plenty of seating, from regular chairs to barstools to couches you can probably sneak a nap on if you get too tipsy.
Everyone at Chez Simon is in their bathing suits, which always ensures things will get a little rowdy—it’s the kind of place I’d expect to get hit on by a middle-aged couple who are on vacation to renew their wedding vows. — AM
Once in a while I like to go to a bar that I have no business being in and buy a cocktail I can barely afford. When I was younger, I’d do it with boring wealthy guys who wanted to woo me with their favorite $20 mezcal margarita on the Upper East Side. Now, I do it with my girlfriends, and get one espresso martini before running to a dive bar across the street to slam beer/shot combos. The Viewport is one of those kinds of bars. I’d never be a regular there, nor would I likely go more than once, but if you’re in the mood to sip a cocktail that costs more than a meal, this is the place.
There are fun drinks here, like the Departure Time (a shot of liquor of the bartender’s choosing, served with a twist) and the New Arrival (an orangey whiskey highball), and the bartender Nyssa is nice. — AM
Madam Sauvage’s is the kind of place that I’d only visit at specific times (mostly to avoid the weird people who undoubtedly drift in). I dig the vibes: greens, blues, and yellows, the electronic music that’s always playing. If I’m too overwhelmed, I can always retreat to the back area, or I could look down at the sorry state of humanity from the upper level as I casually lean on the railing, sipping something out of a martini glass while wondering when I’m gonna redo my nails because they’re a mess. — CJ
The Red Mile is like Old Vegas, the line of seedy, rundown casinos in Downtown Las Vegas that went by the wayside after the infamous strip opened in the ‘40s. There are mostly empty slot machines, some questionable patrons, and a general air of dinginess. It’s incredible, the kind of place that would serve as the perfect backdrop for a Scorsese mob flick. I want to go there and blow thousands of credits and chainsmoke Marlboro Reds and pretend to be the estranged wife of Dino “The Mook” DeGregorio. I want to have my bachelorette party here.
The Red Mile is both the only proper building on Porrima III, serving as both casino and mercenary outpost, and the name of the dangerous death run that begins at that very same building and makes its way through creature-infested terrain. Do you know any other bars that have an elevator inside that leads straight to a death run that people bet on? No, I didn’t think so. — AM
If, at some point during your Starfield playthrough, you wished that this universe had a bougie trance dance club DJed by an intergalactic version of Björk, then let me present to you the Astral Lounge. It’s the biggest club in Neon, the Blade Runner-esque city where everyone is high on Aurora, a drug that’s only legal in this one part of the galaxy, so you’d expect it to be grand—and it is. There’s a VIP area accessible only by elevator, expensive neon light fixtures, a full bar, and a raised platform at the center that serves as a stage for its go-go dancers. Yes, the go-go dancers are inexplicably wearing head-to-toe, long-sleeved metallic bodysuits with funny little doodads on their heads and strange spikes coming off of the arms and legs in what Kotaku’s Ethan Gach says is a reminder of how “unsexy this game is,” but if you were high as a kite like everyone else at the Astral Lounge, you’d love it.
If you’re looking for Björk (her name is actually BorealUS), head up to the VIP Lounge and across the tiny walkway to her booth that hangs over the dance floor. Just keep in mind, she’s very high, so approach her slowly. You don’t wanna harsh her mellow. — AM
Design-wise, Euphorika kind of reminds me of Fangtasia, the vampire bar from the delightfully campy and criminally underrated HBO series True Blood. The walls are lined with blood-red panels, the barstools and hightops are red, the runner carpets are red, the bartop is red—it’s sexy! If Skyrim’s vampires crossed into Starfield’s universe, they’d hang out here! And for a reasonable fee of just 5,000 credits, you can get access to the special member’s lounge, where you can do all the Aurora you want without having to look at the swirling neon bodysuits of the Astral Lounge dancers.
Euphorika wouldn’t be my regular bar, but it would definitely be a place I’d take out-of-towners for a drink or two, or the spot I’d wanna head to if I was looking to have a somewhat seedy, mostly sexy little night. — AM
For me, the Last Nova is home. The background sound of blast beats, screaming vocals, and harsh guitars only gets sweeter the more you drink. Everyone’s dressed in the same shades of black and red and you just know that someone gets shoved out that front door after a profanity-laced argument at least twice a night.
The Last Nova is located on the Key in the Kryx system, which you can only access as a member of the Crimson Fleet. It’s a rough life, but the Key is the place to share a drink with comrades. It’s where you stare out the window into the endless black void of space. The punctuated crack of a snare drum is all that reminds you that you’re still alive. For the degenerate members of society, the Last Nova is refuge, it is community, it is dangerous celebration, it is commiseration, all at once. — CJ
The Rock is technically not just a bar, but the headquarters of the Freestar Collective Rangers, a faction you can join early on in Starfield. If you were unsure of which faction to join, I’m sure The Rock will help you make up your mind. This bar on the second story of the massive building is just utter perfection, from the Edison bulb string lights crisscrossing overhead to the giant Ashta skeleton hanging from the ceiling.
The mix of industrial finishes and western influences combined with warm lighting makes the space feel remarkably cozy, and the private room off of the main bar area looks like the perfect place to sit down for a delicious meal. I just know the food here is delicious, just like I knew the bathrooms would be clean before I even went inside. Sure, its drink menu isn’t all that extensive, but the vibes here are immaculate—there’s an animal throw rug and succulents and a pleasant bartender and a balcony you can recede into if you’re looking for a reprieve from chatting with the space cowboys about their armored wolf problem.
When I first walked into The Rock early on in my Starfield playthrough, a low “oooh” of wonder escaped my lips—this is the kind of place I’d spend every weekend at, the kind of spot I’d become a regular at, and get my own special seat and drink combo. This place is home. — AM
Which Starfield bar is your favorite?