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The Best Early Skills to Level in Starfield

How to improve your character early to set yourself up for later on.

When you’re just starting your adventures in Starfield, you’ll likely be trying to learn a handful of different systems at once. Your inventory and starchart are daunting on their own, but on top of that is the new Skill system, which is a lot to take in. Thankfully, we’re here to help make your choices easier. Here are the best skills that you should try to level early in Starfield.

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What Skills Should You Get in Starfield?

Due to the nature of this being a starter’s guide, we’ll be avoiding any skills in the second Tier and beyond. We want to focus on the first row of each of the five skill trees since those are where your focus will be anyway. Without further ado, here’s what you should be leveling!

Physical Tree

In the Physical tree, you’ll want to have points in the Fitness and Weight Lifting skills first. Fitness provides you with a boost to your oxygen supply, which may as well be your sprint meter 90% of the time. The more you have, the less you have to walk from place to place. Weight Lifting will increase your total carrying capacity, which is essential in a Bethesda RPG. In my playthrough, I have the Weight Lifting skill maxed, and even that’s barely enough to hold everything I need to carry.

Social Tree

The two strongest Social skills you can max out are Persuasion and Scavenging, with Persuasion being a must-level. I use Persuasion maxed in my playthrough, and the ability to get 99% of Persuasion checks correct is a god-send even in story content. Scavenging, on the other hand, is great for scoring that extra loot and, thus, some extra money or supplies. To that end, Commerce is an honorable mention for the Social Tree due to it increasing sell values at vendors.

Related: How to Reset Vendor Balance in Starfield

Combat Tree

Almost immediately, you should be going for Pistol Certification, followed by Ballistics. Most of the weapons you find early on in Starfield are pistols, so getting some extra damage in there can make those early combat encounters a little faster. Ballistics, meanwhile, will cover multiple weapons within the Ballistic weapon type, so damage there is super nice to have.

Science Tree

While the Science tree should mostly be avoided in the early game, you wouldn’t be harmed by snagging a few points in Medicine. The extra healing and healing speed can be a nice touch, especially since your armor isn’t all that high just yet.

Tech Tree

Without a doubt, both Piloting and Security are going to be strong skills to have early in the Tech tree. Security is helpful in almost any part of the game, as it’ll allow you to hack high-level locks and snag even more loot than you normally would. Piloting can also cause far less headache when getting in dogfights, thanks to improved handling at Level 2.

If you snag any of these skills, you should find your experience with the early game to be much easier. If you’re looking for more early-game tips, check out our guide on how to complete the early side mission Distilling Confidence in Starfield.

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Shawn Robinson
Shawn is a freelance gaming journalist who's been with Prima Games for a year and a half, writing mainly about FPS games and RPGs. He even brings several years of experience at other sites like The Nerd Stash to the table. While he doesn't bring a fancy degree to the table, he brings immense attention to detail with his guides, reviews, and news, leveraging his decade and a half of gaming knowledge. If he isn't writing about games, he's likely getting zero kills in his favorite FPS or yelling at the game when it was 100% his fault that he died.