Near the end of Starfield’s The Empty Nest quest, the player and Sam Coe will infiltrate a Shaw Gang hideout where the next artifact is found in a cave. But upon emerging from the cave, Shaw herself will appear, ready to deal with you pesky Constellation cowboys.
Just as any gang leader in the Wild West would, Shaw offers you options. Seeing as she pays her men handsomely, you can pay her 4,000 credits, pay her with your life, or talk her into letting you go. But which one nets the best outcome?
Killing Shaw in a good old-fashioned shootout
If you fancy a gunfight, you can refuse to pay Shaw and engage in battle with her and her bodyguards. This fight isn’t too tough, and you’ll have a harder time dealing with the Ashta than any of the Shaw Gang cronies.
As for what you get for choosing this route, you’ll be able to loot all of the dead bodies left from the scuffle. Shaw doesn’t have any amazing legendary loot, but she does carry a few guns that pack a punch or that can be sold for quite a bit of money.
Persuade Shaw Into Letting You Go
This might be the best time to put your silver tongue to work if you aren’t confident in your aim. This one is a bit more difficult than talking to Jacob Coe, as you’ll need to fill six persuasion bars instead of four. That’s where chems like Hippolyta and Wine come in, as they increase your chance of persuasion.
If you’re successful, Shaw will tell her bodyguards to stand down, and you are free to walk away. But there’s more to this option.
Should you Help Shaw With the Ashta?
No matter how you deal with this situation, a pack of Ashta will show up once your conversation with Shaw ends. Dealing with them is completely optional, but overcoming the beasts can be lucrative.
If you help Shaw take out the Ashta, she will be indebted to you and will give you a special Modified Calibrated Razorback with some ammo as a reward. You can also loot all of the dead bodies and Ashta that are left behind, and your conscience should be clear, knowing you did the right thing.
Paying Shaw 4000 credits
Last but not least, you can simply pay Shaw a lump sum of 4,000 credits as a way for her to recoup her losses from your infiltration. And just like the persuasion option, you are free to go, albeit 4,000 credits poorer.
Leaving Shaw to deal with the Ashta
Again, the Ashta will return, and Shaw will call out for you to help, but you can ignore her and leave. If you choose this route, you get nothing from Shaw. In fact, leaving Shaw to deal with the monsters might be the worst option, as you get the least from it in terms of loot, XP, and credits. And if you choose to pay Shaw and leave, you’re actually walking away from the mission with less money than you started.