What are the best skills in Starfield? With a whopping 82 skills to choose from, finding the right ones for you can be quite a time-consuming process. To help you out, we’ve prepared a list of the best Starfield skills that you should start working on right away that will boost your effectiveness early on.
From easier Starfield persuasion minigames to the ability to attempt harder Starfield lockpicking challenges, or even improve your damage in combat, there are a lot of potential options for Starfield skills. It’s worth bearing in mind that knowing the Starfield’s best skills will also come in handy when deciding which of the Starfield companions and Starfield crew to bring with you or assign to your ships and outposts. After all, these allies can help plug the gaps in your own build.
Starfield best skills
The best Starfield skills are:
- Concealment – Increases sneak attack damage
- Martial Arts – Increases critical chance with unarmed and melee attacks
- Rejuvenation – Regenerate health
- Marksmanship – Increases critical hit chance with non-automatic ranged weapons
- Rapid Reloading – Increases reload speed
- Armor Penetration – Attacks ignore a percentage of enemy armor
- Fitness – Increases maximum oxygen
- Weight Lifting – Increases total carrying capacity
- Wellness – Increases your maximum health
- Persuasion – Increases chance of success when persuading someone
- Ballistics – Ballistic weapons do more damage
- Medicine – Med Packs, Trauma Packs, and Emergency Kits restore additional health and do so faster
- Spacesuit Design – Unlocks more suit customization
- Weapon Engineering – Unlocks more weapon customization
- Boost Pack Training – Increases boost pack effectiveness
- Security – You can attempt to hack more advanced locks, and more auto-attempts can be banked
- Outpost Management – You can establish trade routes between outposts
- Outpost Engineering – You can build more advanced outpost modules
- Targeting Control Systems – Unlocks ship targeting functionality
- Starship Design – Unlocks more advanced ship modules
- Starship Engineering – Ship system repairs are faster
These are the best skills for the majority of builds and playstyles, with some focused on the early parts of the Starfield length – when you’ll primarily be using basic ballistic weapons and lacking health, oxygen, and hoarding all manner of items in your inventory. Furthermore, there are also great utility skills and perks, such as Persuasion and Security which are worth investing in several times as you progress to open more avenues for quests and loot.
Higher tier skills like Armor Penetration, Rejuvenation, and Marksmanship, on the other hand, define the best Starfield builds by adding new abilities that change how you play. While these are more for the late-game, it’s a good idea to plan ahead as it will take a lot of skill points invested in a skill tree to unlock the higher tier skills.
If you’re looking to build Starfield outposts, which we recommend you do, then the perks of upgrading this system are vital. While outposts are generally a more mid-late game side hustle, these skills are great for letting you take full advantage of the deep system and streamline the process.
It’s also worth noting that some of the best skills are included in the best Starfield backgrounds that you can pick during Starfield character customization, alongside the best Starfield traits. So, you can start thinking about your build as early as the opening minutes of the game when you’re creating your brand-new space adventurer. Remember though, Starfield is ultimately an RPG, so don’t be afraid to pick the skills that best suit the roleplaying aspects of your character. After all, with the right gear – including Starfield Legendaries – you can accommodate for unoptimized skills enough to make it through the game.
While it might seem like Concealment is only for stealth builds (which it is perfect for), it can also be great for standard builds. Given the massive increase to sneak attack damage, it’s a great way to initiate combat; taking out an enemy or two before they even know you’re there. If you’re using suppressed weapons, it becomes easier to chain sneak attacks as well.
Martial Arts is one of the best Starfield skills for melee and unarmed builds. Increasing critical chance, adding a chance to disarm opponents, increasing damage reduction, and even having a 50% chance to reflect damage when blocking, it’s hard to deny just how strong this skill is. Bear in mind though, if you’re not looking for a melee build – which is often niche – this skill can be safely ignored.
Rejuvenation is one of the best skills in Starfield, especially once fully upgraded, as it works in all builds. By adding the ability to heal naturally, including during combat at rank 4, Rejuvenation is not only a great quality of life upgrade, but it also saves healing items for when you need them most. Furthermore, it will also compensate for the healing reductions from the Alien DNA trait.
This tier three Combat skill is vital for those making a ranged build. Marksmanship will massively boost critical hit chance with non-automatic ranged weapons, as well as doubling the critical hit damage of non-scoped weapons and causing critical hits with scoped weapons to knock enemies down. It’s undoubtedly one of the best Starfield skills for those going all in on ranged weapons.
Like Marksmanship, Rapid Reloading works wonders with any ranged weapon playstyle. Boasting 30% improvements to reload speed with every weapon category by rank 3, it’s hard to not appreciate how smooth reloads can be. What’s more, at rank 4, Rapid Reloading also adds a chance to increase reload speed by 50% for 15 seconds just from hitting enemies.
Armor Penetration is a universally powerful skill for those using ranged weapons. At rank 3, this skill will result in attacks ignoring 50% of a target’s armor which in turn will significantly increase the damage you deal without having to upgrade your weapon whatsoever. It only gets better a rank 4, decreasing enemy armor by 25% for six seconds after a critical hit. Paired with skills like Marksmanship, Armor Penetration is certainly one of the best Starfield skills.
While many of the physical skill tree perks are focused on improving your martial prowess – which is great for those who enjoy melee builds – Fitness is a much more universally useful skill. Increasing your maximum oxygen by 10% per rank, Fitness will let you perform more actions that use O2, such as sprinting, performing power attacks, and even running while encumbered. Sure, it won’t save you when you’re in the thick of it, but the bonus O2 can make exploring the Starfield planets or maneuvering in combat much easier.
Weight Lifting is another one of the best Starfield skills simply because it eases up the pressure on inventory management. Hoarding in Bethesda games is second nature to many, after all, you never know when a random microscope could come in handy. Well, if you’ve got lots of items you want to bring with you, whether that be the best Starfield weapons and Starfield armor for any situation or lots of resources, Weight Lifting has you covered. By increasing your carrying capacity, you’ll be able to carry more and worry less.
Wellness is a perfect pick for nearly all situations and builds, making it one of the best Starfield skills, despite how simple it is. Wellness will increase your maximum health by 10% per stage. As you might’ve guessed, this is great for increasing your survivability in combat and while exploring hazardous environments. As such, you’ll get plenty of use out of Wellness.
With the return to a more traditional form of speech challenges in Starfield, persuasion is a handy skill to have on many characters. Persuasion will increase the chance of success when attempting to persuade someone during the speech minigame. This is very helpful for having more situations turn out in your favor, potentially unlocking new quest solutions, loot, and more. Persuasion is certainly a skill we’d recommend investing in several times throughout your journey.
At the start of the game you will largely be using ballistic weapons like standard pistols and rifles, making Ballistics a no-brainer. Ballistics will increase your damage with ballistic weapons quite significantly as you increase the perk rank. While we wouldn’t advise maxing this skill out unless you want to be a ballistic weapons expert, it’s definitely a great perk to invest in early on. If you know exactly what build you want to use already, then perks like Dueling, Lasers, and the various weapon Certification skills are the way to go later on.
Medicine does what it says on the tin, increasing the effectiveness of the various healing items in the game, including Med Packs, Trauma Packs, and Emergency Kits. As you increase your health when you level up, you’ll find these healing items begin to trail off. To avoid having to use your full supply of healing items whenever you take a shot or two, Medicine will simply improve the amount these items heal. This perk can save you in a pinch, especially with the faster healing it offers, while also saving your resource supply.
Spacesuit Design in the science tree is vital to opening new enhancement possibilities for armor. With more advanced spacesuit mods at your disposal, you’ll be able to further hone your build with powerful gear mods. You’ll still need the necessary crafting materials to craft these upgrades, but it can significantly improve your combat effectiveness.
Like Spacesuit Design, Weapon Engineering provides more gear mods, specializing in powerful new attachments to your weapons. If you’re a fan of maxing out your weapons, then Weapon Engineering is a must-have. Again, you will still need to acquire the necessary crafting components, but you’ll gain access to new weapon mods.
Boost Pack Training
The boost pack is one of your greatest allies in combat, letting you quickly reposition or rain down fire from above. However, not just anyone can use it; you’ll need to have Boost Pack Training first. While the first level is the most important, the later ranks are nothing to scoff at, further improving the efficiency of your boost pack. Whether you need a fun new toy in combat or a tool to aid in exploration, Boost Pack Training is undoubtedly one of the best skills in Starfield.
Like the Persuasion perk, Security is one of the best and most important skills in Starfield with how it can open new opportunities. Letting you hack and lockpick increasingly more advanced locks, Security is vital for sneaking past encounters for stealth builds and finding powerful new items behind locked doors and chests. It doesn’t stop there though as Security also lets you store more auto-attempts for the lockpicking minigame, making it a much smoother experience.
While building outposts certainly isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, it’s a great way to passively acquire crafting materials and other benefits. If you’re willing to dip your toes in, then Outpost Management in the social skill tree will go a long way. This skill will let you establish trade routes between outposts to keep resources flowing between your settlements among the stars, making establishing bases a much easier task.
Like Outpost Management, Outpost Engineering won’t be useful to everyone, but it will be absolutely essential to those looking to build settlements. Outpost Engineering will offer access to more advanced outpost modules that will make establishing settlements a more rewarding experience.
Targeting Control Systems
Ship combat isn’t a massive aspect of Starfield, though it can be quite tricky if you’re not prepared. One easy way to improve your combat effectiveness in space is to unlock the Targeting Control Systems perk, one of the best Starfield skills for budding pilots. This skill will make it easier to track and lock-on to enemy ships with missiles to take them down faster. Alongside improving your Starfield ships using Starfield ship customization, this skill can give you a big boost.
Starship Design is the perfect skill for those players looking to create the best ship in Starfield. Offering access to more advanded ship modules, Starship Design will let you deck out your ship with the best of the best when it comes to customization. If you don’t care too much about your ship, then you can save a few skill points by passing on this perk.
Starship Engineering causes your ship systems to repair significantly faster. In fact, at max level, this skill has a chance to repair the entire system each time a single block is repairs. It doesn’t stop there though, as it also increases damage mitigation, letting you take a few more hits.
And that covers all the best Starfield skills. With so many perk choices and build options, Starfield could easily be on many player’s lists of best RPG games. At the very least, Bethesda’s first new universe in over two decades will surely be one of the best Xbox RPG games available.
Still looking for more? While a good Starfield wiki can be a handy source of information, our new Starfield Database goes further, offering you daily news, searchable databanks, and even interactive tools.