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In Starfield, I took a mission from the Freestar Rangers bounty board to free a hostage. After clearing the spacers from the target ship, I found the captain bound in the cockpit. Hovering over her, I was presented with the following options:

Options

The options are:

  • Talk [E],
  • Set Free [R], and
  • Equip & Free [Space]

The first two are obvious, but what does it mean to "equip" a hostage?

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    I am going to guess it allows you to give them a weapon and/or armor to defend themselves?
    – Timmy Jim
    Oct 7, 2023 at 4:41

1 Answer 1

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As Timmy Jim guessed in a comment, this options allows you to free the hostage and give them a weapon.

When you select the Equip & Free [space] option, the screen will immediately open onto the hostage captain's inventory. They'll usually have some sort of aid item (eg a med pack) and nothing else; you'll have the option to steal that item. The intended purpose of this screen, however, is to transfer them a weapon and ammunition. Note that you aren't actually required to do anything in the inventory screen once you go this route, though; if you don't arm the captain, it's functionally equivalent to selecting Set Free [R].

If you've not cleared the hostiles from the ship, the freed captain will then take this weapon and help you kill the remaining hostiles. I'm unsure if the captain can be killed or if they'll just "take a knee" like your active companion does once reaching a critical damage threshold.

If you decide not to arm the captain (eg. either select Set Free [R] or Equip & Free [space] but don't give them a weapon), the captain will wait in the cockpit until you finish killing the remaining hostiles onboard.

If you've already cleared the hostiles, the freed captain will keep the weapon, ammo, and anything else you transfer to them. In this scenario it makes more sense to just free the captain and sell whatever weapon you may have given them.

Note that a hostage mission isn't completed until the captain is free and all hostiles on the ship have been killed; you have to talk to the captain after the hostiles are eliminated in order to complete the mission.

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