Skills are a key part of many great video games, including Starfield. The best Starfield skills can help you achieve a number of goals early in the game. While you start out with a handful based on your background, we’re going to break down the full list. Whether you aim to stick to the storyline or you plan to plunder, our skill list will help you find your footing in the game.
The Best Starfield Skills
There are plenty of skills to choose from in Starfield’s massive skill trees. Which skill is best depends on how you want to play the game. You’ll need a different set of skills for a space pirate compared to someone who prefers a diplomatic approach or an explorer. However, here are 10 of the best Starfield skills everyone will find useful.
1. Weight Lifting
Starfield is a game about exploration. That means there’s a lot of loot you can snag, but too much weight will slow you down. Increasing the Weight Lifting skill is the best way to combat that problem, and it’s easy to rank up. To level up this skill, you need to sprint while loaded with too much gear. The carrying capacity will increase with each level with a cap of 100kg fully maxed out. Your character also gains 50% resistance to being staggered at Rank 4.
While there’s a lot of ground to cover in Starfield, there are also plenty of locked doors and boxes. The only way to get through them is to pick the lock. That’s impossible unless you’ve ranked up the Security skill, which makes life in Starfield so much easier. At Rank 2, hacking “tips” begin to appear, and Rank 3 allows you to try Master-level locks. When fully ranked up, the Security skill lets you use a Digipick to eliminate keys.
One early issue in the game for many players is credits. You can get them from missions and selling gear, but prices aren’t that great. When you want to change that, increase your Commerce skill. You only need to sell “unique” goods to increase the rank of this skill. At Rank 4, you can sell anything you find for 25% more, and goods across the universe cost 20% less to purchase.
The best Starfield skill for players who want to play pirate is Piloting. While the first few points aren’t exciting, they are useful, considering you unlock the thruster and increase maneuverability. When you reach Rank 3, you gain the ability to pilot Class B ships. This opens the doors to new spaceship options, while Rank 4 unlocks powerful C Class ships.
5. Targeting Control System
Adding points to your weapons and shield systems is important for space pirates, but so is the Targeting Control System skill. This skill will save you a lot of headaches and ship parts during combat. When unlocked, you can target specific ship systems, which makes boarding easier. At Rank 4, lock time is reduced to 60%, and your damage increases by 20% in targeting mode.
Whether you are an explorer at heart or just need resources, it pays to put points into the Geology skill. You’ll need those resources for two other helpful skills on our list of the best Starfield skills. While used for crafting, rare and exotic resources can increase your credit count quickly. This skill is ranked up through harvesting or scanning resources from a planet’s surface.
7. Boost Pack Training
One of the early skills you can have fun with in Starfield is Boost Pack Training. This allows you to use a pack to “boost” yourself across the terrain of planets in the game. It’s the best way to get around on foot, whether you’re in the city or on a barren moon. It’s one of the best Starfield skills anyone can take advantage of, and it’s easy to rank up as you use the boost pack in combat.
8. Weapon Engineering
One of the best feelings in Starfield is taking down an enemy or opening a crate to find a powerful weapon. That glee can quickly turn into anguish when you need a scope or want to add modifications. The only way to do this is through research and the Weapon Engineering skill. Modifying weapons is a game unto itself in Starfield, and you can crank out master-level mods at Rank 4.
9. Spacesuit Design
You’ll need powerful weapons to get through Starfield, but you also need protection. Your spacesuit is the main line of defense, and you can upgrade it through the Spacesuit Design skill. Each rank lets you craft better mods for your spacesuit, boost pack, and helmet. If you plan to build habitats on hazardous plants or play pirate, spend some points on this skill.
Master-tier skills can be tough to decide on, given the number of points they require. Some are better than others, and Rejuvenation is among the best. It’s a great skill to have if you constantly find yourself low on health. It will regenerate health outside of combat relatively quickly without a medical pack but can provide a health boost in battle with higher ranks as well.
Starfield Skill Tree Explained
The Starfield skill tree is where you’ll go in the game when you gain a level. The basic premise is something most gamers will be familiar with. When you level up, you can use a point to unlock a new skill or upgrade one. You’ll need to complete challenges to get to the next level.
In Starfield, the skill tree has five branches with many abilities. Each category is distinct: Physical, Social, Combat, Science, and Tech. There are four ranks for each skill and four tiers per category. You start in the basic tier, but you need to unlock Advanced, Expert, and Master level skills. Check out the full list of skills below.
Under the Physical category, there are five Novice skills related to your character’s fitness. The Sport of Kings is present with Boxing, which increases your prowess in hand-to-hand combat. It’s challenging to rank up compared to Fitness. This skill increases your oxygen levels and is easy to level if you plan to explore planets in Starfield.
Weightlifting lets you carry more loot, and Wellness brings your character’s maximum health up by 10% each rank. The last skill in the first tier is Stealth, which is self-explanatory. The Advanced Physical skills have more to do with resistance. You can increase damage resistance against certain conditions or add a combat slide to your arsenal with the Gymnastics skill.
While there are five skills in the first tiers, there are only three under Expert and Master. Decontamination and Cellular Regeneration help players come back from damage naturally. Martial Arts adds a variety of effects, including the chance to reflect 50% of an attacker’s damage back at them.
Are you tired of tripping mines? The Concealment skill can take care of that. You can also increase the chance to stun opponents through Neurostrikes or regain health without Med Packs with the Master level Rejuvenation skill.
|Starfield Physical Skills|
|Energy Weapon Dissipation|
Consider yourself a leader or a lone wolf? In either case, you’ll find useful skills in the Social Skill Tree. It has the same layout as Combat Skills. There are five for Novice and Advanced and three for the best two tiers. It’s also where you’ll find three incredibly useful skills, including Commerce, Persuasion, and Theft.
Commerce allows you to get better deals, and Theft can increase your stack of credits through other means. The scavenging skill is also useful if you’re a looter. Gastronomy lets you craft food and drink items, two things I personally never used in the game. The same goes for all the Advanced skills with Deception, Diplomacy, Intimidation, Isolation, and Negotiation.
How useful those are depends on how you plan to play the game, although Isolation is worth it if you like to leave your companions behind. Alternatively, you’ll want to rank up the Leadership skill in the Expert tier if you pal around with companions. Outpost Management is useful for base builders, but everyone will appreciate Instigation. This Starfield skill can force an NPC to attack their allies.
In the Master tier, there’s Xenosociology, which sends aliens against their own, and Manipulation for NPC characters. Both are handy at various times in the game, but Ship Command can bring your spaceship to life immediately. Fully ranked, this skill allows eight crew members on a ship at one time.
|Starfield Social Skills|
Fancy fighting? There’s plenty of action in Starfield to go along with the dialogue. That’s where the combat section of the tech tree comes into play, and you don’t have to upgrade to the Advanced tier to get some help in the game with combat.
Two of the first skills to pick up are Pistol and Shotgun Certification or Ballistics. I stumbled across more of those weapons early on in the game compared to Lasers, which also have a skill. Dueling increases melee damage, and each of these skills kicks the percentages up with the first few ranks.
Heavy Weapon and Rifle Certification can do some serious damage. Those skills are great, but so is a maxed-out Demolitions skill. It can inflict 50% more damage and double the blast radius with all explosive devices. There’s also an Incapacitation skill, which is a fancy way of saying EM damage.
Do you love to take out high-level enemies from afar? If so, level up the Sharpshooting skill. The targeting skill is on the opposite end of the spectrum. It increases accuracy and range when you have to shoot quickly without aiming. Rapid Reload is great and is easy to rank up, but Crippling will take some time.
The Armor Penetration skill is great against armored foes, while Marksmanship improves the damage of all weapons that aren’t automatic and increases critical hit chance with rank. Last but not least is a skill for lurkers with Sniper Certification. If you’re tired of shaky hands or you want to increase scoped damage, it’s a skill you’ll want to level up.
|Starfield Combat Skills|
|Heavy Weapons Certification|
In a game like Starfield, science is just as important as combat. Especially if you plan to take advantage of resources in the game or you want to upgrade any gear you find. There are also skills to boost exploration, like Astrodynamics.
This novice skill increases the range of grav drive jumps. Do you like to scan planets? That’s where the Scanning skill comes in handy, along with Astrodynamics. Another way to increase power in space is through Aneutronic Fusion. It lets you squeeze a few extra units of power from your ship’s reactor, but it can be hard to access as a Master tier skill.
Medicine and Chemistry go hand-in-hand, just like Spacesuit Design and Weapon Engineering. Those are skills you can put to use early in the Advanced tier. If you want to mod a weapon or add protection to your suit, those are incredibly useful to level up. Geology and Surveying are also important skills in the Novice class.
Enjoy scanning plants as you wander around the galaxy? If so, the Botany skill will prove useful, while Zoology allows you to harvest resources from animals without killing them. The Chemistry and Research Methods skills help with certain aspects of the game, like Special Projects. That skill is from the Master tier and allows players to craft rare and unusual components.
If you come across a planet full of rare resources but a harsh climate, level up Planetary Habitation. It increases the number of outposts you can build while letting you set up on planets with extreme pressure or corrosive gasses. Builders will also want to rank up the Outpost Engineering skill to build advanced modules in their outposts.
|Starfield Science Skills|
The Science and Tech trees in Starfield are related but deal with completely different areas. Tech is reserved for your spaceship, and it’s an area that can eat up a lot of your skill points quickly. With that in mind, Boost Pack Training, Piloting, and Targeting Control Systems are skills everyone should consider.
The boost pack is a blast leveled up, and Piloting allows you to access parts and pilot higher-level ships. This is key for space combat, just like the ability to target control systems on other ships. You can also level up specific weapon systems through this part of the tech tree. The options include Particle Beam, Ballistic, Energy Weapon, and Missile Weapon System skills.
Those are from the Novice to Expert tier, while the EM Weapon Skill and Automated Weapons Systems are in the Master tier. The Payloads and Engine System skills increase their respective areas, but Robotics increases your damage against turrets and robots. While not related to your ship at all, Security is a Novice skill everyone should rank up quickly.
Security lets you pick locks through the surprisingly fun lock-picking mini-game. If you want to get to some of the better gear in the game, it pays to spend points on this skill. The same applies to the Shield System skill if you plan to fight in space. Boost Assault can be a fun skill, but not nearly as useful as Starship Design.
When you want the best modules for your ship, you have to spend points on the Starship Design skill. You can add experimental modules when this skill is fully ranked up. Starship Engineering doesn’t deal with modules. It’s just as useful, however, considering it speeds up the repair time on your ship while in combat.
|Starfield Tech Skills|
|Ballistic Weapon Systems|
|Boost Pack Training|
|Targeting Control Systems|
|Energy Weapon Systems|
|Missile Weapon Systems|
|Particle Beam Weapon Systems|
|Automated Weapon Systems|
|Boost Assault Training|
|EM Weapon Systems|
- From the creators of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Fallout 4
- Set in the year 2330 in worlds beyond our solar system
- Explore over 1,000 planets as a member of Constellation, space explorers searching for rare artifacts
- Pilot your own spaceship throughout the universe
- Customize your character's appearance, background, and distinguishing characteristics