The understanding of the impact of radiation quality in early and late responses of biological targets to ionizing radiation exposure necessarily grounds on the results of mechanistic studies starting from physical interactions. This is particularly true when, already at the physical stage, the radiation field is mixed, as it is the case for neutron exposure. Neutron Relative Biological Effectiveness (RBE) is energy dependent, maximal for energies ~1 MeV, varying significantly among different experiments. The aim of this work is to shed light on neutron biological effectiveness as a function of field characteristics, with a comprehensive modeling approach: this brings together transport calculations of neutrons through matter (with the code PHITS) and the predictive power of the biophysical track structure code PARTRAC in terms of DNA damage evaluation. Two different energy dependent neutron RBE models are proposed: the first is phenomenological and based only on the characterization of linear energy transfer on a microscopic scale; the second is purely ab-initio and based on the induction of complex DNA damage. Results for the two models are compared and found in good qualitative agreement with current standards for radiation protection factors, which are agreed upon on the basis of RBE data.