With an expansive galaxy to explore, countless side quests to complete, and a seemingly unending plethora of role-play options, Starfield is a dream come true for those who enjoy crafting a build and living another life. One such life and build is the Bounty Hunter. It’s entirely possible to ignore the main questline and simply live. To scoop up bounties in the significant cities, carry out the mission, and then spend the credits. Here’s the best Bounty Hunter build in Starfield.
How to Build a Bounty Hunter in Starfield
To craft a Bounty Hunter build in Starfield, you need to consider your goals. Do you intend to hunt bounties for the entire playthrough? Do you want an origin story? If so, then may I recommend enlisting with the UC Vanguard? It’s an action-packed questline providing much combat experience—perfect for a bounty hunter.
No matter your goal, remember that the entire point of a Bounty Hunter in Starfield is to utilize the mission boards at each city center to pick up bounties, take down the target, and walk away with the credits. How you complete each bounty is entirely up to you, but this build will help you lay the groundwork for a lengthy and exciting role-play.
Best Background for a Bounty Hunter
Is there even a dispute here? Obviously, the best starting background for a Bounty Hunter is Bounty Hunter. Of course, it’s in the name, but the starting skills provide a fantastic basis for the rest of the build.
Many of the bounties you’ll encounter in Starfield revolve around taking down a pirate ship. You don’t have to land at a point of interest on a planet but wipe out the entire fleet or a single starship in outer space. As such, both Piloting and Targeting Control Systems provide unparalleled benefits for such missions.
As for Boost Pack Training, while not a requirement, it does help gain the upper hand against bounties. Instead of walking in their front door, you can boost to the second floor, firing from above and gaining the high ground.
If you’re deadset on not choosing Bounty Hunter, then the top three alternatives are Ronin, Soldier, or [File Not Found].
Best Traits for a Bounty Hunter
As the final step in character creation, we must select three traits for a Bounty Hunter build in Starfield. While certainly not a requirement, these offer more flavor, especially considering this entire build is based on role-play.
As such, we recommend the following traits:
- Alien DNA: The increased health and oxygen but decreased healing and food item effectiveness work out perfectly. As a Bounty Hunter, you must be agile, swift, and efficient, which often means striking fast and first. You don’t have time to take a hit.
- Neon Street Rat: While certainly not a requirement, Neon Street Rat offers some flavor. After all, Neon is the home to criminals and ne’er-do-wells, which makes it the ideal starting point for any Bounty Hunter origin story.
- Dream Home: You need a reason to track bounties. What is yours? With Dream Home, you have a place to kick up your feet and rest after a particularly challenging bounty hunt. But it also acts as a money sink. You need to pay GalBank regularly to keep the home, which provides a reason for why you’re traversing space tracking down criminals.
Best Skills for a Bounty Hunter
Now, let’s review the possible skills for a Bounty Hunter build. The build will focus heavily on combat and space flight, so expect most perk points to wind up in those two fields.
- Fitness: Increases total oxygen.
- Wellness: Increases total health points.
- Gymnastics: Increases ground combat maneuverability, unlocking the combat slide, faster movement in Zero-G, greater stability, faster running, and increased jump height.
- Pain Tolerance: Increases physical attack durability.
- Cellular Regeneration: Increases the recovery time for injuries.
- Rejuvenation: Slowly regenerate health while outside of combat.
- Commerce: Improves buying and selling prices at vendors.
- Persuasion: Increases the ability to pass speech checks.
- Scavenging: Increases the gains from containers.
- Manipulation: Opens the manipulation option against NPCs.
- Isolation: Improve combat buffs when traveling solo.
- Ballistics: Increases damage dealt by ballistic weaponry.
- Pistol Certification: Increases damage dealt by pistol weapons.
- Shotgun Certification: Improves the overall usefulness of shotgun weapons.
- Rifle Certification: Improves the damage of rifle weapons.
- Demolitions: Increases the damage and blast radius of explosives.
- Rapid Reloading: Increases the chance of reloading your weapon faster.
- Targeting: Increases accuracy and range when shooting without aiming.
- Armor Penetration: Ignore a percentage of the target’s armor.
- Sharpshooting: Increases damage with ranged weapons.
- Medicine: Improves the effectiveness of Med Packs.
- Research Methods: Decreases the resource requirements for research and crafting.
- Spacesuit Design: Unlocks spacesuit, helmet, and jump pack modifications.
- Weapon Engineering: Unlocks weapon modifications.
- Special Projects: Unlocks high-end crafting projects.
- Ballistic Weapon Systems: Improves the damage of ballistic weapons in space combat.
- Boost Pack Training: Unlocks boost pack capabilities.
- Piloting: Unlocks additional piloting options for ships.
- Security: Allows you to unlock complex locks and increases the number of hacking attempts allowed.
- Energy Weapon Systems: Improves the damage of energy weapons in space combat.
- Engine Systems: Increases top speed and survivability in space combat.
- Shield Systems: Improves the durability of ship shields in space combat.
- Missile Weapon Systems: Increases the damage of missile weapons in space combat.
- Starship Design: Unlocks additional ship modules.
- Starship Engineering: Increases survivability in space combat.
- Boost Assault Training: This makes the boost pack more viable and robust in combat encounters.
As you can see, there are a lot of potential skills for a Bounty Hunter. And hey, you don’t have to select every one of these skills—for instance, the various weapon certifications. If you don’t intend to use shotguns, don’t invest points in Shotgun Certification. The same goes for the ship combat skills under Tech. They increase survivability when tackling ship-based bounties.
Best Weapons and Armor for a Bounty Hunter Build in Starfield
When choosing the best weapon and armor for a Bounty Hunter in Starfield, you have to think about damage output and survivability first and foremost. The gun should be capable of taking down an enemy in a single shot. Two at most. At the same time, the armor can take a beating.
When it comes to recommended weapons in Starfield, we suggest:
- Damage: 13
- Ammunition: .50 MI Array
- Fire Rate: 345
- Range: 50
- Accuracy: 66.4%
- The Prime
- Damage: 61
- Ammunition: 7.5mm Whitehot
- Fire Rate: 12
- Range: 48
- Accuracy: 79.8%
For armor, there’s only one surefire suggestion that makes sense: the Bounty Hunter Spacesuit. While it doesn’t feature any unique affixes, it does offer 100 Physical, Energy, and EM Resistance. In layman’s terms, it can take a hit. The downside, however, is its size. It weighs 20.90 Mass, which is heavy. You’ll become a walking tank.
How to Get Bounties in Starfield
Just about every major settlement you visit will have a Mission Board. In the image above, it’s the one on the left. Here, you can tackle a variety of missions, including bounties, surveys, and cargo-hauling jobs.
Obviously, you’re most interested in the bounties. These come in two flavors: ground and space combat. You’ll typically light up your grav drive for ground-based combat encounters and jump to a distant system, to some small-time planet where mercenaries, spacers, or pirates overtake a POI. After fighting through hordes of enemies, there’s a boss at the end. He’s your target.
As for space combat, it will follow the same path as above but without landing on a no-name hole of a planet. Instead, you’ll track a starship or a small fleet, then wipe them out with your ship. This is why we recommend a bunch of Tech skills to improve damage output and survivability in space combat.
Tips for Playing a Bounty Hunter
When it comes to any build in Starfield, you must understand a few things. Namely, the early game is all about setup. You will not have enough points or credits to invest in your build wholly. It’s all about laying the foundation for mid- to late-game.
Furthermore, with this build specifically, don’t be afraid to role-play a little. After all, you’re building a Bounty Hunter. It’s a viable class to complete side quests, especially in close-quarters environments. Still, it flourishes when you add flavor to its background and genuinely take steps to feel like a Bounty Hunter in the Settled Systems.
Lastly, just because this is a comprehensive build guide for Starfield does not mean you must follow it to the letter. Do not be afraid to deviate. It’s your playthrough, so have a little fun in how you craft your Bounty Hunter!
If you’re still enjoying Starfield like us, don’t forget to check back at Prima Games often for new guides on the game. We cover hot topics like How to Recruit Betty Howser in Starfield.