Starfield Colony War

20 years before Starfield’s campaign, the Settled Systems were at war. Here’s everything we know about the Starfield Colony War.

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In 2310 AD, the Starfield Colony War between the United Colonies and the Freestar Collective concluded. The uneasy peace between these two factions has lasted for 20 years as of Starfield’s starting date, 2330 AD.

But what started the war? What was it about? How did it end? Is the war over, or is this peace merely a prelude to an all-out faction war? Be sure to read our full guides on the United Colonies and Freestar Collective to decide whose side you want to stand on.

The Starfield Colony War’s history

As one of the major historical turning points in the Starfield universe, the Colony War had a huge impact on the Settled Systems. It is unknown when precisely the Colony War began, only that the largest military power in the Settled Systems, the United Colonies, and the independence-loving Freestar Collective came to blows. Ultimately, the Freestar Collective won and were allowed to retain their independence from the United Colonies.

A ship is ripped apart by laser-fire, much like the Starfield Colony War

Starfield Colony War Inspiration

Previous Bethesda titles have often drawn on ideologies, historical events, and counterparts as the basis for their numerous factions. In this particular case, the United Colonies – the largest military and political power of its time – faces off against a colony that refuses to come into the fold – the Wild-West-esque Freestar Collective.

The Colony War, from its main participants, bears a passing resemblance to the American Revolution. Between 1775 and 1783, the British Empire was at war with the Thirteen Colonies, and the colonies, much like the Freestar Collective, won.

This is only speculation, but the parallels between the Colony War and the American Revolution do have some crossover.

Starfield Colony War participants

The two major players in the Colony War were the United Colonies and the Freestar Collective.

The United Colonies are an idealized space republic and considered the most powerful military faction in the Settled Systems. They are a collection of colonies ruled from New Atlantis on the planet Jemison, and likely consider any threat to their sovereignty as top priority.

Conversely, the Freestar Collective is a confederation of three star systems. They are less interested in expansion than they are in personal freedoms and justice. Any who threaten their independence can expect a firm and deadly response.

Starfield Colony War factions

As of 2330 AD, 20 years of peace have passed. Both the United Colonies (UC) and the Freestar Collective (FC) share a common enemy in the Crimson Fleet, but hunting down pirates is unlikely to smooth over tensions between the UC and FC.

It has already been confirmed that you can join any and all of the Starfield factions, including the Crimson Fleet. As a result, the Spacefarer might find themselves having to choose a side.

Bethesda’s Fallout 4 contained four major factions: The Minutemen, The Brotherhood of Steel, The Institute, and The Railroad. Siding with one meant war with the others, and Starfield could follow a similar path.

If true, you might want to read up on the major players in the Colony War like the United Colonies and the Freestar Collective, or you might prefer to skip the conflict entirely and set up a quiet outpost somewhere far away from a Starfield revolution.

Tim has sunk at least a thousand hours into Bethesda games over the years, and is always looking for the next mod to extend that playtime further. So, if he’s not busy updating our Starfield weapons database, he’s eagerly anticipating Starfield mods and DLC, or planning his dream outpost.