Key Points
Difficulty:
Hard/Very Hard depending on Piloting skill upgrades
Rewards:
20,000 Credits
Must Haves:
Rank 2 in Security skill
Rank 2 in Piloting skill

During the first quest for the UC Vanguard faction in Starfield, you are tasked with completing a pilot simulator exam before you can become an official member.

The Vanguard pilot simulator involves taking part in a simulated space battle, which includes fighting multiple waves of enemy ships.

You only need to complete three tiers of the simulation to pass. You will gain much greater rewards if you complete all six tiers.

However, the later tiers in the simulator can be extremely hard to complete. Thankfully, there are a few ways you can make it easier to complete all six tiers.

Player in first-person mode in the cockpit of a Vanguard ship within the UC Vanguard Simulator Piloting Exam in Starfield

How to Complete all Six Tiers of the Vanguard Simulator

To fully complete all six tiers of the UC Vanguard pilot simulator in Starfield, you need to use the Debug Tools in the Simulation Controls terminal to “cheat” and utilize permanent upgrades, making it significantly easier to complete.

You will need to be at least Rank 2 in the Security skill to be able to hack into the terminal. It would also help to be at least Rank 2 in the Piloting skill so you can use your ship thrust and increase ship maneuverability to help with combat.

To initiate the exam, make sure to head to the relevant section in our guide on how to Join the UC Vanguard faction in Starfield.

Starfield UC Vanguard Simulator room

Follow these steps to complete all six tiers of the Vanguard pilot simulator in Starfield:

  1. Enter the simulation
    • It’s located in the Vanguard Pilot Simulator area
    • It’s the final floor in the MAST building – you can take the elevator to reach it
Highlighting the Vanguard Pilot Simulator area in the elevator in the MAST Building in Starfield
  1. Get into the pilot’s seat
    • Just before the pilot’s seat, you’ll notice a Simulation Controls terminal
    • You’ll see the message “debug tools are only available once targets are active” when interacting with it – something to note for later
Highlighting the Simulation Controls in the UC Vanguard Simulator Piloting Exam in Starfield
  1. Complete Tiers 1-3 of the simulation
    • Tier 1
      • You’ll face one level 32 ship – it should be easy to take down if you use your lasers to remove its shields and ballistic weapons to destroy it
    • Tier 2
      • You’ll face two level 20 ships – focus on taking them down one at a time
    • Tier 3
      • You’ll face two level 38 ships – they spawn far apart from each other, so make sure to destroy the one closest to you as quickly as possible
In a space ship flying in space within the UC Vanguard Simulator Piloting Exam in Starfield
  1. Get out of the pilot seat and interact with the Simulation Controls terminal
    • You have three debug options to choose from:
      • Shield Upgrade
      • Damage Upgrade
      • Generate Ally
    • You can choose to use all three, but they will not carry over to other tiers unless you “cheat”
Debug Tools in the UC Vanguard Simulator Piloting Exam in Starfield
  1. Hack the Advanced lock for authorized access
    • Make sure your Security skill is at least Rank 2 so you can hack Advanced locks
Hacking Advanced Lock in the UC Vanguard Simulator Piloting Exam in Starfield
  1. Enable “Infinite Upgrades” and “Debug Ally”
    • “Infinite Upgrades” allow all debug options to persist and carry over between completed tiers
    • “Debug Ally” gives you an additional powerful level 62 ally ship. It can deal massive amounts of damage and draw fire away from you
Authorized Users Only Advanced lock for the Debug Tools in the UC Vanguard Simulator Piloting Exam in Starfield
  1. Complete Tiers 4-6 of the simulation
    • Tier 4
      • You’ll face one level 44 ship – with the debug tools and additional allies, taking down this ship should be quite manageable
    • Tier 5
      • You’ll face four level 40+ ships – even with the additional help, this is quite a challenge. Use the surrounding asteroids for cover and stick close to your allies
    • Tier 6
      • You’ll face five ships of varying difficulty – this tier is extremely hard, even with all the above tools at your disposal. We recommend upgrading your Piloting and Targeting Control Systems skills to increase your chances. You can run it over and over till you pass it
Starfield UC Vanguard Pilot Exam Ship Combat
  1. Return to Commander John Tuala to get your results and rewards
Starfield UC Vanguard Commander John Tuala Pilot Exam Results

Without a doubt, the easiest way to complete all six tiers of the Vanguard pilot simulator is to hack into the Simulation Controls terminal and unlock access to all of the permanent upgrades. Sinking a few skill points into any skills related to ship combat will also go a long way. Good luck!

Starfield UC Vanguard Simulator Rewards

Here are the rewards for completing the Vanguard pilot simulator in Starfield, depending on which tier you complete:

  • Tier 3 – 7,000 Credits
  • Tier 4 – 8,000 Credits
  • Tier 5 – 10,000 Credits
  • Tier 6 – 20,000 Credits
Starfield UC Vanguard Commander John Tuala in front of the MAST building

As you can do this very early on, completing all 6 tiers is very worth it as it grants you access to a decent chunk of credits to do with as you please. Do note that once you have reported your results to Commander John Tuala, you won’t be able to get any more rewards for going through it again.

The simulation can also be run as many times as you want and is a great way to level up your piloting skills!

author
Staff Writer
Passionate gamer and writer, Alpay has been featured on GamingIntel, Stuff.tv, and TheGamer. When not writing, he delves into virtual worlds, enjoys high-concept TV shows, and splurges on Steam sales.