Can Heat Leech Really Infest Your Starfield Ship?
Screenshot by Siliconera

Can the Heat Leech Really Infest Your Starfield Ship?

As you explore the vast galaxies of Starfield, NPCs will constantly warn you about Heat Leeches taking over your ship. The small little creatures are a prominent part of Bethesda’s space RPG in the first half of the story. However, can Heat Leech really infest your Starfield ship? Here is what you need to know about the slimy, low-level enemies and the disturbing backstory behind them.

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Can Heat Leech infest my ship in Starfield?

Just like the iconic Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim “arrow to the knee” dialogue line, players have made a meme around NPCs in Starfield. This is because the game is constantly warning them to “inspect your ship for heat leeches.” After being bombarded with the message countless times while visiting the New Atlantis Spaceport, a debate in the community has been sparked over the slimy creatures. So, can Heat Leech actually infest your ship in Starfield?

Heat Leeches do not infest your ship in Starfield. The short answer is that the spaceport warning message is a mixture of lore-building as well as a clever foreshadowing of a main Faction Quest.

However, to fully explain why the hilariously obnoxious Heat Leech line is actually disturbing, we will need to get into some major story spoilers below. So read below at your own risk; you’ve been warned!

Editor Note: The following section contains major Starfield plot spoilers for the UC Vanguard faction storyline.

In the second UC Vanguard quest, “Grunt Work,” you will get introduced to the terrifying Starfield creatures known as Terrormorphs. The questline will then throw you into a tense race to discover how the horrifying enemies are created and how to stop them.

However, it is eventually revealed that the Heat Leech in Starfield are actually baby Terrormorph during the the Vanguard quest “Hostile Intelligence.” The revelation is not only shocking, but disturbing, as you spend the first half of the game encountering the tiny creatures almost everywhere. But it also explains how Terrormorphs were able to travel across the galaxy, as they would just infest ships as leeches.

Screenshot of terrormorph screaming in Starfield
Screenshot by Siliconera

With the disturbing revelation, you may have the urge to immediately race back to your Starfield ship to check for any Heat Leech in the cargo bay. However, Heat Leeches don’t actually infest your ship during the campaign. In fact, they will largely start to disappear from some sections of the game after you beat the UC Vanguard campaign due to certain plot developments. So the next time you hear the “check your ship for heat leech” Starfield meme, just be glad that it’s clever foreshadowing from Bethesda and not an actual feature!

Starfield is available now on the Xbox Series X and PC.

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Brent Koepp
Based in California, Brent is an Editor at Siliconera and has been a journalist since 2010. When he's not playing JRPGs or catching 'em all in Pokémon, you can find him spending time with his wife and two dogs.