Starfield: Solution to Activate Cargo Link in Starfield Does not Work

Published: Nov. 22, 2023
Updated: Feb. 01, 2024

German English

In Starfield, some players are encountering issues when trying to activate cargo links. Our editor, Alex, who has over 300 hours of experience exploring Bethesda's universe, will show you how a cargo link starts working.

Activating a Cargo Link (TLDR):

  • A cargo link activates automatically; it doesn't need to be manually activated.
  • Due to the lack of lighting and auditory feedback, a cargo link might seem inactive.
  • However, you should still check the cargo link's power supply.

How to Activate a Cargo Link in Starfield

Especially during a cargo mission in the sci-fi RPG Starfield, you'll be tasked with building and activating a cargo link for your outpost. But due to a scarcity of tutorials at this juncture, you might struggle to activate the link through the intersystem. That is, you try to interact with the intersystem, but nothing happens (see image below).

Haven't built a complete outpost in Starfield yet? Be sure to check out our ultimate outpost guide! It covers everything you need to know about construction, expansion, and defense.
Starfield How to activate cargo link 05

This issue is about the intersystem of the cargo link seemingly not activating. (Starfield)

If you have correctly connected all related machines and installations, your cargo link might already be active. In this case, interacting with the intersystem would summon a spaceship. Not just any ship, but the recipient of the resource deliveries. And no, the intersystem won't give you either auditory or visual feedback, unfortunately.

More on Starfield

If no ship appears, it might be currently on a delivery to the destination. This means it has already landed on your cargo link at least once. For instance, in our first cargo mission involving uranium, the freighter took off after loading half of the agreed delivery quantity (450 units) to take it to the destination. It then returned to our cargo link to pick up the rest of the load.

Inactive Cargo Link: Looks Can Be Deceiving

In short: A cargo link doesn't need to be activated manually. It starts working automatically once all the "accessories" are correctly connected, and the power supply is secured. Even if a mission marker is on the intersystem of the cargo link, it might already be active. The marker doesn't disappear even after a freighter has landed to pick up resources. You can simply ignore the marker in this case.

Starfield How to activate cargo link 06

The cargo link in the image is active, but the problem is that this cannot be seen or heard. (Starfield)

The challenge is that a working cargo link appears completely inactive (see image above). Except for a few faintly glowing landing lights, there's simply no sign of activity; not even sound. Therefore, you need to know exactly how to connect the entire machinery of energy stores, extractors, transfer containers, and the link itself, which we will address next.

Correctly Connecting a Cargo Link in Starfield

To supply a recipient with resources in Starfield, you first need at least one extractor. You'll find this in the build menu, which opens when you interact with the outpost signal. As the game itself occasionally explains, an extractor usually needs to be placed on an ore vein. You can easily spot such a vein by the colored ground in the scanner view.

An extractor must be connected to a transfer container, as the extracted resource needs somewhere to go. You establish this connection by creating an output link. To do this, either aim at the extractor or the container in build mode and then, on PC, right-click. You might need to close the component selection menu with the Tab key before you can interact with objects.

The screenshot below shows how the connections should look.

Starfield How to activate cargo link 01

Legend for the above image

1: Output container
2: Energy or gas storage for Helium³
3: Transfer container
4: Extractors
5: Wind turbines for power supply

The transfer container must be directly connected to the cargo link's output container. If the "connection cable" is interrupted, as in our example, it doesn't matter as long as one end of the connection docks with the container. And that's almost it; only the power supply is left.

Wind turbines are recommended as a power source for the extractors (they don't need to be connected to each other or to the extractors). They don't produce much energy (3 units per turbine, while, for example, a uranium extractor needs 5 units), but wind energy is always available, so you never have to worry about fuel.

Very Important: The Power Supply of the Cargo Link

Like the extractors, the cargo link itself needs to be powered to function. However, this is not done with wind energy or fuel but with Helium³. To store this gas, you need to set up a gas storage, which you find again in the build menu of the outpost signal.

As soon as the gas storage is in place, interact with it to fill the container with Helium³ (press "R" for transfer on PC). Finally, connect the storage to the intersystem of the cargo link, see the image below. Once you've done all this, your cargo link is automatically active and can immediately be used by transport ships.

Starfield How to activate cargo link 02

The gas storage needs to be connected to the intersystem of the cargo link for the cargo link to work.

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After graduating from high school, I initially wanted to study instrumental music. However, eventually I pursued a career as a video game journalist, which I started at the prestigious Ehapa-Verlag publisher, among others. Today, I share my extensive video game expertise with Guided. I benefit from over 40 years of experience with PC and console games, as well as my work in game development for the indie studio Knights of Bytes. I understand how video games work, and I also know how to convey my knowledge in an understandable manner.
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