How to Craft a Build in Starfield

A good build can alter your gameplay experience for the better.

Starfield Anomaly
Screenshot by Prima Games

Like other role-playing games from Bethesda Game Studios, Starfield allows players to live out their fantasies as a space pirate, a stealth sniper, or a snake-tongued diplomat through various builds. You could excel at close-quarters combat with a shotgun build, a gunslinger wielding a Laredo revolver in Akila City, or a jack-of-all-trades and master-of-none style build. It’s totally up to you! But to help you get started, we’re covering how to craft a build in Starfield.

Crafting the Best Builds in Starfield

The key to a good build in Starfield lies within you; it’s your personal playstyle or your inclination to experiment with various playstyles that will help you design the best builds in the game.

Starfield provides you with the mechanics in the form of Character Creation, Backgrounds, Traits, Weapons, Armor, Skills, Mods, and Starships. But it helps to have even an inkling of inspiration to kickstart your build journey.

Start With Character Creation

Starfield Rifle Certification Skill
Screenshot by Prima Games

You’ll start crafting your Starfield build from the get-go, as soon as you open up the character creation toolset upon completing the prologue for Argos Extractors on Vectera. Here, you’ll have a chance to choose your appearance, background, and traits. It’s the last two that matter most when it comes to creating a build for the game.


To successfully choose a background, consider your playstyle and what you want from a build. Do you intend to talk your way out of most situations? Then, choose Diplomat. If you prefer to heal, then select the Combat Medic. Want to hack your way into blocked-off areas? Cyber Runner!

There is a background for most playstyles; it’s just a matter of sifting through the various starting skills and choosing a set that works well for what you want.


As for selecting traits, these matter less than your background or skills. Traits provide the occasional bonus, like with Alien DNA, but often don’t greatly affect the gameplay enough to warrant changing an entire build over.

Some recommended traits that work for any build include:

  • Alien DNA: Start with more health and O2, but food and drink are less effective.
  • Terra Firma: You’ll find yourself fighting on land far more often than in space, which is why Terra Infirma is a solid choice. It provides a buff to health and oxygen while on the surface but decreases both in space.
  • Taskmaster: You’ll spend a lot of time flying, with the occasional dogfight thrown in, and Taskmaster will help automatically repair your ship systems, thanks to a highly-trained crew. But those crew members now cost more credits to hire.

The Best Skills for Your Build

You want to choose skills that complement your build and playstyle. For instance, you wouldn’t choose Stealth for a Heavy Weapons Build. Furthermore, it doesn’t make much sense to choose Diplomacy for a Stealth Sniper Build in Starfield. After all, how often will you find yourself close enough to a target to speak with them? Chances are you’ll look at them through a sniper scope.

Some recommended traits that work with almost any build include:

  • Ship Command: Unlocks the ability to expand your starship crew.
  • Rejuvenation: Provides automatic health recovery.
  • Ballistics: More often than not, you’ll find yourself using ballistic weaponry to take down opponents, so why not buff the damage output of such weapons?
  • Boost Pack Training: The ability to traverse obstacles and reach typically unobtainable positions over the battlefield can turn the tide of combat anywhere.
  • Commerce: No matter your playstyle, you need credits to buy weapons, armor, ammunition, aid items, and starships. For that, the Commerce skill reduces the cost when buying and increases the total when selling.

Lastly, consider synergy between skills. For instance, Ballistics and Rifle Certification synergize to improve the range and damage of ballistic rifles greatly. The same goes for skills like Stealth and Concealment, which work well when paired together.

Choosing the Right Weapons and Armor in Starfield

Starfield Space Pirate Build in Combat
Screenshot by Prima Games

Much of your intended build will revolve around the weapons your “class” utilizes in the field. In Starfield, there are a wide range of weapon types, including:

  • Pistols: There are various types of pistols in the game, including semi-automatic, laser, and revolvers. They all serve the same purpose: a short-range secondary weapon to use in a pinch.
  • Melee: Unless you’re truly experienced with the combat in Starfield, or a masochist, we recommend avoiding a pure melee build in Starfield. But if that’s your goal, then there are numerous close-range melee weapons, like the wakizashi or machete, that prove effective.
  • Rifles: The rifle is the primary weapon of almost any fighter in Starfield; from laser rifles to fully automatic ballistic rifles, this is a versatile class of weapon that suits most playstyles.
  • Shotguns: The shotgun is devastating in close quarters, making it the weapon of choice for a pirate build that relies on making quick work of a crew after forcefully boarding their starship.
  • Heavy Weapons: A heavy weapon build relies on dishing out and taking damage without stopping, and the numerous Microguns and grenade launchers in Starfield should help make you a force to contend with.

As for armor, there is a variety of unique pieces scattered about the galaxy. These feature various resistances, primarily damage resistance and environmental resistance. You’ll want to consider both when choosing an armor set. Or, be like most of us and pick armor based on appearance.

Damage Resistance

  • Physical: The ability to withstand damage caused by ballistic weaponry.
  • Energy: The ability to withstand damage caused by energy weaponry.
  • EM: The ability to withstand damage caused by electromagnetic weaponry.

Environmental Resistance

  • Thermal: How well the armor withstands thermal temperatures.
  • Corrosive: How well the armor withstands corrosive effects.
  • Radiation: How the armor responds to radiation damage.
  • Airborne: How the armor set withstands airborne contaminants.

Example Best Starfield Builds

There are as many builds in Starfield as there are players with keen imaginations to craft a build. Some of the most popular currently include:

  • Stealth Sniper: An elite, stealth-oriented sniper character that relies on high-damage critical shots using a sniper rifle. It’s the stealth archer from Skyrim but on steroids.
  • Pirate Build: An ultimate pirate build focused on joining Crimson Fleet, looting and stealing from any starship stupid enough not to run.
  • Heavy Tank Build: If you want to become a walking tank with high physical resistance armor and a Microgun, the heavy tank build is both fun and dangerous.

Of course, these are just three examples. There are so many unique builds in Starfield, with more popping up daily.

About the Author

Brandon Morgan

From Company of Heroes to DayZ, Brandon immerses himself wholly in video game worlds, then sits down to write about them. Since 2012, Brandon has focused on providing top-tier video game guides of his favorite games and the hottest releases. The more lore and immersion in the game, the better!