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Starfield easter eggs and secrets

Discover all the known Starfield easter eggs and secrets so you’re not missing out on any hidden references, details, and more in Bethesda’s biggest game yet.

Starfield easter eggs: The Adoring Fan from Oblivion at the centre, with Meridia's Beacon on the left and a potato on the right. In the background is a blurred image of the Curiosity rover and the ruins of an Egyptian pyramid.

What are the Starfield easter eggs? Bethesda has never shied away from secrets, references, and easter eggs to other properties and even their own games, and in a universe as big as Starfield, you won’t be surprised to hear there’s lots to find. So, here are all the Starfield easter eggs and Starfield secrets we’ve uncovered so far so you don’t miss out.

During our time with the game for our Starfield review, we’ve come across many of these easter eggs and secrets for ourselves, though plenty have also been uncovered by the community. However, finding some of these easter eggs will require some exploration, so be sure to bring the best Starfield weapons and best Starfield builds if you’re looking to take them on yourself.

Starfield easter eggs and secrets

The currently discovered Starfield easter eggs and secrets are:

  • Adoring Fan
  • Alex Hay’s note
  • An arrow in the knee
  • Apollo 11 moon landing site
  • Curiosity rover
  • Earth landmarks
  • Hours without incident
  • John Williams reference
  • Lord of the Rings potatoes
  • Mantis Batcave
  • Meridia’s Beacon
  • Nirnroot
  • Public domain books
  • Real astronauts and scientists as planets
  • Opportunity rover
  • Star Trek
  • Star Wars
  • The Face of Mars

As you can see, there are already a lot of easter eggs and secrets that have been found across the galaxy, including references to previous Bethesda games, other space franchises like Star Wars, and even references to our own world.

If you’d like to find out more about each of the Starfield easter eggs and secrets listed above, then keep on reading as we breakdown how to find each of them and their significance.

Starfield easter eggs: The Adoring Fan from Starfield on the left, and the Oblivion incarnation of the right.

Adoring Fan

Love it or hate it, the Adoring Fan makes a grandiose return in Starfield. You read that right – the Adoring Fan from Oblivion is back and better than ever.

The Adoring Fan is a wood elf that would seek you out in The Elder Scrolls IV Oblivion and shower you with praise. With blazing orange hair and incessant complements, it’s hard to ignore the Adoring Fan in Oblivion and he became well-known for his groupie antics.

Well, after nearly 20 years, the Adoring Fan has reappeared in Starfield, voiced by the same iconic voice actor. Thanks to the Starfield Hero Worshipped trait, players can hire the Adoring Fan as a Starfield crew member that can accompany you on your adventures. Much like his Oblivion counterpart, the Adoring Fan will jabber at you constantly, frequently praising you and even giving you gifts. It’s a great callback to one of the many weird and wonderful aspects of Oblivion.

Alex Hay’s note

Alex Hay’s note is perhaps the most heart-warming of the Starfield easter eggs. Sitting on a table in The Eye space station above Jemison – which you’ll journey to in the main Starfield missions – is a note. This note reads “To all my friends and fellow explorers. I’m always with you, out there in the starfield. Love always, Alex Hay.”

This secret is a tribute to Alex Hay, a fellow game developer and long-time fan of Bethesda that passed away before the release of Starfield.

An arrow in the knee

It wouldn’t be surprising to hear that even people with only a remote interest in games had heard the lines “I used to be an adventurer like you. Then I took an arrow in the knee”. One of the many, many lines repeated throughout The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim, this has gone on to become iconic for Bethesda. As such, we all expected Bethesda would find some way to slide this reference in, and they did – not once, but twice.

Firstly, upgrading Crippling, one of the Starfield skills in the Combat tree, to its max level will see the badge be upgraded too. The max level badge depicts, you guessed it, an arrow to the knee.

Secondly, various NPCs can utter the following line when you walk past them: “I used to be an explorer too, but then I – no, never mind. It’s a long story.” This puts a spin on the iconic line from Skyrim.

Starfield easter eggs: A player standing next to the American flag at the Apollo 11 moon landing location.

Apollo 11 moon landing site

In a game all about our place in the universe, it’s not surprising that Starfield pays homage to one of the most important historical events – the Apollo 11 Moon landing. For the unaware, the Apollo 11 mission was the first human mission to successfully land on the Moon, seeing Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin step out of the Apollo Lunar Lander, Eagle, to set foot on the lunar soil.

What better way to reference this feat of human achievement than by letting players visit the historic location. That’s right, you can land on the Moon too, just with a fancy, even more sci-fi ship. If you’re struggling to navigate, head to the Lodge and pick up Sir Livingstone’s Second Journal to gain access to an Activity that will guide you to the Apollo Landmark on Luna. Here you will find the Lunar Lander and the American flag. In fact, jumping onto the base of the Lander, you can find a snow globe collectible.

Starfield easter eggs: A player looking at the top camera of the Curiosity Mars rover on cabinet.

Curiosity rover

The Curiosity rover, which was launched to Mars in 2011 to uncover evidence of Mars potentially having been a habitable planet at one stage, now sits in the home of Constellation in New Atlantis. You can go and see the iconic little rover for yourself if you’re in the mood to see it faithfully recreated in Starfield. Well, a part of the rover, at the very least.

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Earth landmarks

After what happened to Earth in Starfield, our home planet is unrecognizable when you’ve touched down on the sandy ground. However, tucked away under all the sand and rock are several real Earth landmarks you’re likely familiar with, including The Shard in London, the pyramids outside of Cairo, the Empire State Building in New York, and the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.

You can visit these Starfield Earth landmarks for yourself by purchasing several books from bookstores, such as Oliver Twist providing the location of the ‘London landmark’ (The Shard).

Starfield easter eggs: A player walking into Cydonia with the hours without incident sign above.

Hours without incident

If you’ve visited the city of Cydonia on Mars then you’ve likely seen the large sign by the entrance noting how many hours it’s been without an incident. Well, what you might not know is that this is updated in real time. If you wait near the sign for long enough, you’ll see it update to track the amount of time that has passed.

However, this Starfield secret will also react to your actions. For example, if you start shooting and injure a civilian, the counter will reset back to zero.

John Williams reference

The iconic composer behind many of your favorite film scores, including Star Wars, Jurassic Park, and more – John Williams – has a sneaky reference hidden in Starfield. As you’re exploring the Starfield cities, you can spot a poster for the Sol Symphony Orchestra, which features the talents of conductor William Johns. It’s a small but effective reference to one of the most impactful composers in cinematic history, particularly sci-fi.

Lord of the Rings potatoes

This Starfield easter egg rewards those for checking the item description of all the random items you can pick up, so we don’t blame you if you missed it. However, if you read the item description of a potato, you’ll find a subtle reference to The Lord of the Rings The Two Towers, in which Samwise Gamgee praises the versatility of potatoes: “Boil them, mash them, put them in a stew”.

The in-game item description, on the other hands, reads: “Can be prepared in many ways. Boiled, mashed, used in a stew – the recipes are nearly endless.”

Starfield easter eggs: A player looking at the Mantis Batcave secret area.

Mantis Batcave

During the Mantis side quest, players will stumble into a base belonging to a mysterious vigilante known as the Mantis. After solving the Starfield Mantis puzzle, however, you will soon emerge into a large, dank cave reminiscent of the one and only Batcave. There’s even a ship ready to take off and a special suit of armor, with a helmet that looks oddly similar to the iconic cowl.

Once you complete this quest, you’ll have inherited the title of the Mantis and can go about dispensing vigilante justice throughout the galaxy, like an interstellar Batman.

Meridia’s Beacon

Devout fans of Skyrim will no doubt remember Meridia’s Beacon, a gray, almost golf ball-like object. Uttering the haunting (and annoying) phrase, “a new hand touches the beacon” when you picked it up, how could you forget it? This item has become somewhat of a meme in the Skyrim community, and Bethesda loves nothing more than repaying fans with references to past games. So, Meridia’s Beacon has made a return in Starfield, known here as the ‘Space Rock’.


Another one of the Skyrim fans, Nirnroot also makes a return. Wandering around Skyrim, players could collect Nirnroot, a small flower that typically grows near water that would hum and glow. Well, a similar looking plant can be found in Starfield and can even be grown in hydroponics labs at Starfield outposts.

Public domain books

If you inspect every interactable object in games, then you’ve no doubt noticed several real books inside Starfield, such as Oliver Twist, Moby Dick, and War of the Worlds. Not only are they a neat reference to ‘Old’ Earth in Starfield, but you can also read these classics from cover to cover. Thanks to these iconic works of literature being in the public domain, Bethesda was able to include them in Starfield. So, if you’re looking to kill some downtime, why not dig into a classic by Charles Dickens?

Real astronauts and scientists as planets

Continuing the homage to our very own intrepid explorers and seekers of knowledge, Starfield also features the names of real astronauts and scientists. In fact, many have likely slipped right under your nose. The city of New Atlantis, for example, is on the planet of Jemison, named after NASA astronaut Mae Jemison – the first black woman to go to space in 1992. That’s not all though:

  • Chawla – This planet is named after NASA astronaut Kalpana Chawla, the first woman of Indian origin to fly to space, achieved on the Space Shuttle Columbia in 1997.
  • Faraday – This planet is named after Michael Faraday, a scientist responsible for inventing the first electrical generator in 1821.
  • Feynman – This system is named after Richard Feynmann, a world renowned scientist thanks to his research on quantum mechanics.
  • Gagarin – This planet pays homage to Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, the first human to journey into outer space, traveling on the Vostok 1 in 1961.
  • Heisenberg – This system is named after Werner Heisenberg, a scientist who pioneered quantum mechanics in 1925.
  • Jemison – This planet named after NASA astronaut Mae Jemison – the first black woman to go to space in 1992.
  • Newton – You guessed it, this system is named after renowned mathematician and physicist Isaac Newton, best known for his theory of gravity in 1665, among many other accomplishments.
  • Olivas – This planet is named after John Olivas, a NASA astronaut and engineer with a long career in spacewalks.
  • Schrodinger – This system pays homage to physicist Erwin Schrodinger whose work pushed quantum theory further with the ‘Schrodinger equation’.
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Opportunity rover

Starfield easter eggs also pay tribute to another of the iconic rovers that has helped humanity conduct research in space and beyond. After visiting the History of Space Flight museum during the main story, you can interact with a display to unlock an Activity to travel to the Opportunity rover on Mars.

Both Spirit and Opportunity rovers were sent to Mars in 2003 to begin a long history of trundling around on the Martian soil, so it’s great to be able to pay Opportunity a visit.

Star Trek

Trekkies that picked the Kid Stuff Starfield trait will likely have had a blast from the past upon meeting their parents for the first time, with the Mom and Dad characters being voiced by Nana Visitor and Tim Russ respectively.

With this trait, players can visit their parents occasionally, chatting to them and sometimes even receiving gifts. However, it’s their iconic voices that is arguably the most exciting. Nana Visitor starred as Kira Nerys in Star Trek Deep Space Nine, while Tim Russ played Lieutenant Commander Tuvok in Star Trek Voyager.

Star Wars

To no one’s surprise, there’s also Star Wars references in Starfield, though they are minor. While Star Wars fans have been having a field day with Starfield’s ship creator and Starfield’s ponchos to look like Cal Kestis, this easter egg is just a small reference. Posted by Reddit user ‘GeekyThunderFreak’, you can find a poster advertising Blue Harvest, with an image of a robot dusting crops. However, this is a reference to the 1982 working title of Star Wars Episode VI Return of the Jedi, which, at the time, was known as Blue Harvest.

Starfield easter eggs: The Face of Mars image.

The Face of Mars

In the city of Cydonia on Mars, players can find a creepy statue with a plaque detailing the Face of Mars. What you might not know is that this is a reference to an equally eerie photo of Mars taken by NASA’s Viking Orbiter in 1976, which seemingly showed a face on the surface of Mars. This picture, as you might have guessed, became known as the Face of Mars.

And there you have it, all the Starfield easter eggs and secrets we’ve discovered so far. With such optimism and reverence for humanity during the main story, it’s no surprise that many Starfield secrets also pay homage to the history of our adventures in space. If you’d like to make your own settlement among the stars, why not check out the best Starfield outpost locations for some great ideas.

Still looking for more? While a good Starfield wiki can be a handy source of information, our new Starfield Database goes further, offering you daily news, searchable databanks, and even interactive tools.