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Starfield persuasion explained, improve skill, more

Learn the power of Starfield persuasion to convince others and talk your way out of any situation in Bethesda’s updated speech and dialogue system.

Starfield persuasion: A raider NPC looking at the camera, with a speech bubble icon next to them.

How do you persuade in Starfield? With Starfield, Bethesda added skill checks for various things, deepening the roleplaying experience with more intricate and involving speech skills to name but one improvement. However, Starfield persuasion is complex and complicated when you first dive in, but given how important it is, you’re going to need to know how it works. So, here’s a guide to persuasion in Starfield so you can convince others that you were right all along.

Persuasion is one of the many Starfield skills that you can pick during Starfield character creation. With great speech skills, your character will be able to open many new avenues as you explore the whole universe of Starfield planets at your fingertips, such as persuading members of different Starfield factions.

Starfield persuasion explained

To persuade in Starfield, you must make successful dialogue choices to reach enough persuasion points in a limited number of attempts. Each speech option has a difficulty rating and corresponding persuasion score.

To begin persuading a character in Starfield, look out for a dialogue option with the ‘persuade’ prompt, indicating it as a special dialogue choice.

Starfield persuasion: The persuasion mini-game during dialogue with an NPC.

From here, you will enter the persuasion minigame system and be greeted by speech options of varying points and colors:

  • Green (easy) – more likely to be successful but rewards less persuasion score
  • Yellow (medium) – balanced difficulty and persuasion score reward
  • Red (hard) – the most challenging but most rewarding persuasion option

While it might sound as simple as picking the easiest and most likely to succeed options, this often won’t work. You only have a limited number of ‘turns’ or attempts before you outright fail at persuading the NPC, and you have to reach a persuasion score target, both of which are specified at the bottom left of the dialogue interface.

Starfield persuasion: An example of the persuasion system in Starfield, highlighting the persuasion score and number of turns.

So, we recommend carefully considering which dialogue option to pick. Often, it’s worth taking a few risks to be rewarded with more persuasion score, rather than go for the easier, significantly less rewarding options. Instead, save the easiest options until last, just in case you only need one or two points left to succeed in your last attempt. Most importantly though, if your last choice is successful, then you’ll automatically be given a free turn so it’s possible to just about scrape through a persuasion check successfully if you’re lucky.

Once you’ve reached the persuasion target in enough turns, you will receive the notification ‘persuasion success’ and earn a small amount of XP in return.

Starfield persuasion: An example of persuasion dialogue with an NPC.

Starfield persuasion skill

Persuasion in Starfield is a great skill to get used to as it can be used to avoid combat encounters (which will also save your valuable resources) and often open new opportunities for progressing quests and scenarios throughout the Starfield length.

While shooting first and asking questions later is generally the most exhilarating option – especially when you’ve got the best Starfield weapons at the ready – the expanded dialogue system is a big improvement over recent Bethesda titles like Skyrim and Fallout 4. In many ways, it’s a return to the more traditional form of RPG dialogue with speech checks seen in Dungeons & Dragons, and many games since then, including Bethesda’s own Oblivion and the like.

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How to improve persuasion in Starfield

There are several ways to improve your persuasion skill in Starfield:

  • Unlock the Persuasion skill
  • Social skills
  • Practice with the persuasion system

The most immediate way to improve your persuasion abilities is to unlock the Persuasion skill in the Social skill tree. At rank 1, Persuasion will give you a flat 10% increased chance of success when persuading someone, which is a great upgrade right away and it only gets better the more skill points you invest.

It’s also worth noting some of the best Starfield backgrounds come with the Persuasion skill by default, such as Diplomat and Industrialist so you might find that you already have this benefit.

There are also other Social skills that can be used to bypass combat and convince others, similar to the Persuasion skill, such as Negotiation, Diplomacy, and Instigation. If you’re looking to become a master of speech-craft, then there are plenty of options for you in Starfield.

Lastly, as obvious as it might sound, practice with the dialogue system before you start investing in skills to compensate. It is a difficult system and you’ll find yourself thrown in at the deep end when you’re first introduced to the persuasion system, so take every opportunity you can and think carefully about the choices you make and the order you make them in.

That covers everything you need to know about Starfield’s persuasion, including how to persuade and how to improve your persuasion ability in the game. Now, if only you could persuade someone to hand out Starfield houses or Starfield Legendaries, that would be a treat.

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.