Starfield has a habit of throwing missions at you out of nowhere. You would be in space, thinking of plotting your course for the next planet, and boom! Some spaceship will hail you and sometimes tease you with a dangerous mission that could jeopardize your life. Starfield’s Groundpounder is one such mission.
Groundpounder: The Distress Call in Altair System
A space vessel enters the Altair system and sees it crawling with Spacers; the pilot also picks up a distress call. He has to make a quick escape because there are plenty of Spacer ships in the area, and some of them start targeting him.
How Groundpounder Came My Way in Starfield
I was on the Starfield mission called Back To Vectera and about to land on the moon when the ship UC-Econohaul hailed me. The pilot called me Charlie-3, me being the third Charlie (the third ship) he’d met that day. He told me about the distress call. No, he actually advised me to avoid the Altair system altogether.
He’d grav-jumped into the Altair system during one of his pickup/supply runs and had to make to quick escape before the Spacers got his grav drive.
What is the Groundpounder Mission?
A research outpost (number U3-09) on Altair-II has come under heavy attack from Spacers, and they have overrun the place. Since it is a research outpost, why the Spacers tried to take control of the outpost is anybody’s guess. But the problem is that the Freestar Rangers at the outpost never expected any Spacer intrusion, and certainly not of this level. Vastly outnumbered, with no help in sight, they sent a distress call.
It might be that no one is going to come to their aid. But I’m going with my crew. I decided to take Sam with me for this quest.
Land at the Research Outpost U3-09 on Altair-II
The UC Econohaul pilot wanted you to avoid the Altair system, but now you have chosen to accept the risk and hence, should land at the Research Outpost U3-09 on the Altair-II planet. No sooner you grav-jump in than you will hear the distress call of a Private Mahoney of the Freestar Rangers, saying that they are under heavy fire and that any Freestar Collective aircraft should come to their rescue.
Joining the Freestar Rangers is not Required for Groundpounder Mission❗
At this point in the game, I’m a Freestar Ranger Deputy myself; it is my duty to protect anyone from my force. You may not have become a Freestar Ranger when you play the Groundpounder mission, and let me make it clear that is not required to complete the mission.
As soon as you land and exit the ship, you will see there are tens of Spacers outside the research compound.
They will be far from your ship and won’t come and attack. So, you can spend some time thinking about the tactics you’re gonna employ.
Find Private Mahoney of the Freestar Rangers
Clear out the outside compound of Spacers, loot whatever you wish from them, and then head inside the building.
Before entering, check for med packs on the right. There is a gun rack and some ammo too.
Get inside the door, which is the entrance to ‘Research Station U3-09’. You will come across a dead scientist and more dead scientists in a badly trashed office later.
On the stairs, you will see the body of a UC Marine. What are Marines doing here? Were they in on with the Spacers on the whole thing to hurt the Freestar Rangers? A new mystery opens up.
Move upstairs and neutralize the Spacers you meet. You will see more dead scientists up there. There are ammo, med kits, and more items you can grab. Make sure you check every corner.
Inside the ‘Server‘ area, you will find Private Mahoney in the room to the right. Talk with her.
She would tell you that she is taking orders from Lieutenant Torres of the Freestar Rangers and that he has put the entire research outpost on lockdown.
She will also add an interesting bit. The UC Marines came in to help them in their time of need. The faction that fought them in the Colony Wars came in to aid them in the fight against Spacers? Unbelievable. But that happens to be the case. Now, the mystery of the dead Marines is cleared up. They are on the Rangers’ side in this mission.
Private Mahoney will ask you to rescue Corporal Lezama of the UC Marines and Doctor Moussa. They have got the injured with them at the makeshift infirmary and could be overwhelmed as the Spacers vastly outnumber the two of them.
Also Read: How to Recruit Heller in Starfield
Rescue UC Marines Medic Corporal Lezama and Doctor Moussa
When you move towards the infirmary, my tip would be to not show yourself to the Spacers, stay on the stairs, and try to make them come towards you. Some of them would. Now rush forward and lob a grenade or two near where you think the bunch of them are. It would kill one or severely injure 2-3. Move in for the kill now and aim for the heads. Do not rush to open the infirmary door until and unless you have killed every Spacer on the floor.
After you have made sure there are no Spacers in the area, open the infirmary door. Corporal Lezama would introduce himself. He serves as a Medic in the UC Marine Corps.
Doctor Adamou Moussa would be too afraid to speak but will eventually come to and tell you that the scientists at the Research Station study the flora and fauna for practical purposes, like for medicinal or industrial usage. The technical term for that is Astrobiology.
Lezama will give you the key to the office where Lieutenant Torres is located.
Rescue Lieutenant Torres of the Freestar Rangers
More Spacers would be in your way. Fight through them. Use grenades and mines if you have to. When you reach Torres, the CO of the Freestar Rangers, you will see that Sergeant Dasari of the Freestar Rangers is also there with him.
She knows someone came in to fight the Spacers after the lockdown and has been taking ‘good care’ of them.
Torres wants to rescue Captain Myeong of the UC Marines. Dasari is against the move, but Torres feels obliged to help Myeong since she and the Marines took the Rangers out of a tough spot. He orders Dasari to do as he says.
As per Torres, Captain Myeong is behind the barrier doors. But Dasari says that they got a security override key and thus, can join them in the fight.
Note: Before you leave the room, there is some good loot there in the form of credsticks and some ammo.
Rescue Captain Myeong of the UC Marines
Torres and Dasari will join you. When you reach Myeong and her associate, Private Tsai, 5-6 Spacers would charge in to attack you.
Take cover, make your bullets count, and wipe them out.
“You lot may be Freestar, but you’re groundpounders first.”
Myeong would introduce herself then, with some of her older exploits mentioned by Private Tsai. Torres would express his gratitude to her and the Marines for showing up. Myeong would respond: “You lot may be Freestar, but you’re groundpounders first.” She is confused about you, though.
Myeong knows that the Spacers have spaceships that can keep dropping reinforcements. You will soon be tasked with destroying the Spacer ships orbiting Altair-I and Altair-V so that more Spacers can’t come to Research Outpost U3-09.
Torres would also ask you to rescue some of the scientists at another research station on Altair-II only. Both the leaders have entrusted you with additional responsibility: to deal a death blow to the Spacer invasion once and for all. I know that I am going to see it to the end.
Also Read: How to Recruit Supervisor Lin in Starfield
Secure the Research Camp on Altair-II
Torres’ request should be carried out first, as he’s got troops and civilians on the ground. Get in your ship, and land at the Research Camp. Take care of the six Spacers there.
After securing the area, meet with the two survivors (one is a Freestar Militia, and the other is a botanist).
The Militia woman would tell you that she’s going to hole up in a cave nearby and take care of the civilians.
You can now come back to Myeong for the next part of the mission. We were going to take care of those Spacer ships, weren’t we?
Destroy the Spacer Ships in the orbits of Altair-I and Altair-V
This one is a simple order, but the mission could prove difficult as it would test your evasion skills in a dogfight. Three or four Spacer ships would come blasting at you, and you need to take your spaceship a bit far from them quickly to take less damage.
➡️ Tips to Fight the Spacer Ships
It would be a good choice to switch to the third-person view to get a better bearing on the enemy spacecraft. Use missiles and guns in tandem and try not to catch the fire of more than one enemy ship at a time. Use quick bursts of speed with the SHIFT key. It depends a lot on your flying skills. Plus, you have to be fast with taking down enemy ships.
➡️ Fight Off the Spacer Invasion at Research Outpost U3-09
The worst is not over yet. You think that you blew up the Spacer fleet to smithereens and everything would be alright now? No. You would be called back to the Research Outpost U3-09 as the military men and women you just saved are being pinned down by more Spacers, this time outside the building, in the compound.
Come back, and chase down Spacer soldiers if you have to, but kill them all. The attack would be a heavy one, so make sure you use some cover and keep changing your position.
Starfield’s Groundpounder Mission: The Rewards
In recognition of my services, Captain Myeong gave me a Rare Rifle called Peacekeeper. It uses 11mm ammo (got 12 of the 11mm Caseless).
I also got 5,000 Credits. I should mention that I played the mission at Hard Difficulty.
Starfield’s Groundpounder mission has a lot of pulse-pounding action, mostly because there is a lot of shooting involved; it’s a rescue op, and control of the research facility has to be wrested off the Spacers.
First, you secure the Research Station U3-09 and save the lives of Freestar Rangers Private Mahoney, Sergeant Dasari, and their commanding officer Lieutenant Torres, and also those of the UC Marine Captain Myeong, Corporal Lezama and Private Tsai.
You save Dr. Adamou Moussa, who is the sole surviving scientist when you show up. Then you go and destroy the Spacer ships and come back to join in one final fight against the Spacers. In the end, every officer you met and teamed up with is safe.
Groundpounder showed that whatever may have happened in the past between the United Colonies and the Freestar Collective, the actual current threat to the Starfield universe is the Spacers, Ecliptics, and the other pirate crew.
When the UC Marines showed up to help the Freestar Militia and were helped in turn, it shows how scars of old battles can be put past for the good of humanity. And after I came through it all, fighting to first save the Freestar Militia and the UC Marines and then fighting alongside them, I realized that I had become a groundpounder, after all.
Also, if 5000 credits isn’t enough for your Starfield ambition, make sure to check out our guide on how to earn money in Starfield!
Utkarsh has been in the ‘serious’ business of gaming for a long time and especially loves FPS and tactical shooters, co-op adventures, story-rich RPGs and RTS titles. Armed with a degree in engineering, he is passionate about writing, music,… read more