The Ultimate Crimson Fleet Pirate Build in Starfield

It's a pirate's life for me!

Starfield Crimson Fleet Pirate Build
Screenshot by Prima Games

Starfield allows for a lot of depth when crafting a build, thanks in no small part to its extensive list of backgrounds, traits, and skills. If you want to play a morally good character, you absolutely can. Go ahead, join the UC Vanguard! But if the side of the law isn’t for you, then may I be the first to welcome you to the Crimson Fleet. Here, you can steal, pillage, raid, and fight to your heart’s content. But first, let’s go over the ultimate Crimson Fleet pirate build in Starfield.

The Best Starfield Pirate Build

There is nothing quite like playing a role-playing game without a moral code. It’s absolute freedom. You can invest your hard-earned credits in upgrading your starship for greater mobility and stopping power, making raids easier. Or, you can invest in shielded cargo space to move contraband across the galaxy. If someone tries to stop you, whip out ol’ Keelhauler and give them every round in the chamber.

But to successfully craft a pirate build in Starfield, you first need to start from the beginning: Character Creation!

Best Backgrounds for a Space Pirate Build

There are numerous backgrounds that prove perfect for a space pirate build, but you can only select one. We recommend one of the following:

  • Gangster
    • Shotgun Certification
    • Boxing
    • Theft
  • Space Scoundrel
    • Pistol Certification
    • Piloting
    • Persuasion
  • File Not Found
    • Wellness
    • Ballistics
    • Piloting

While certainly not a hard requirement, you’ll want a background that offers Piloting and some form of combat, like Ballistics or Shotgun Certification. To this end, of the above-recommended backgrounds, we can narrow it down further to either Space Scoundrel or File Not Found. Both of these offer a fantastic starting point when crafting a pirate build.

Starfield Crimson Fleet Bar
Screenshot by Prima Games

Starfield features countless traits, some of which significantly alter gameplay, that coincide with a spare pirate build. You can only choose a handful, though it’s not required to select any. We recommend the following:

  • Alien DNA: Provides a boost to health and O2, but at the expense of the overall effectiveness of food and drink items.
  • Taskmaster: As a pirate, you’ll likely have a crew of Crimson Fleet to man your starship, and Taskmaster ensures that crew is thoroughly trained to automatically repair the ship when it falls below 50% health, but they cost more to hire.
  • Spaced: In space, your health and O2 increase significantly but decrease when on a planet’s surface.

While these three are the most recommended traits for a space pirate build in Starfield, they’re not the only traits. If you prefer to raid outposts and points of interest, Terra Firma provides a nice buff to health and oxygen while on the surface. But most pirates will spend their time in a starship, right?

Depending on your chosen background, you may start with the ideal skills in Starfield for a space pirate build, like Piloting and Ballistics. But you’ll still want to invest a few points into the following recommended skills when you level up:

  • Wellness: Increases your overall health pool.
  • Fitness: Increases your stamina pool.
  • Scavenging: Improves the odds of finding credits, loot, and ammunition.
  • Deception: Improves the chances of an enemy ship surrendering.
  • Negotiation: Use persuasion and bribes to influence dialogue.
  • Ship Command: Increases the total number of crew available for your starship.
  • Targeting Control Systems: You can use ship targeting to take out engines and grav drives.
  • Ballistics: Increases the damage output of traditional ballistic weaponry, like shotguns, rifles, and pistols.

You can tailor your pirate build to suit your playstyle. If you prefer not to spend all your time flying, opt for more land-centric skills that improve combat. For most, however, flying is integral to being a Crimson Fleet member, which means investing in Piloting, Ship Command, and Targeting Control Systems. To that end, consider Starship Engineering, Shield Systems, and the various Weapon Systems skills to significantly improve your starship as you enter mid- and late-game.

Best Weapons for a Crimson Fleet Pirate

Starfield Crimson Fleet Pirate
Screenshot by Prima Games

The weapons you choose to round out your Crimson Fleet build in Starfield vary depending on your preferred playstyle. If you’re the type to move quickly, then a submachine gun or revolver proves most effective. If you prefer to take your time in close-quarters situations, clearing hallways and rooms with scary effectiveness, then something like the Old Earth Shotgun is more suited to your playstyle.

A few recommended weapons for this type of build include:

  • Keelhauler: You’ll receive Keelhauler from Delgado by progressing through the Crimson Fleet Faction Questline. It’s a mag-shot revolver capable of dealing exceptional damage with each shot.
  • Revenant: Revenant is a unique weapon found during ‘Eye of the Storm’ next to the body of Jasper Kryx. It’s a powerful rifle with an Extended Magazine, Titanium Build, and the Lacerate mod equipped.
  • Pirate Legend: The Pirate Legend is a unique variation of the typical Maelstrom, a favorite rifle among Crimson Fleet pirates. Aludra Tahan sells this one on The Key, and it comes equipped with various mods like Space-Adept, Reflex Sight, Muzzle Brake, Drum Magazine, and Hair Trigger.

If you couldn’t tell by now, all of these weapons stem from the Crimson Fleet, and they’re all pirate-themed. But the theming isn’t the whole point, as each weapon serves a purpose and provides significant damage-dealing capabilities in both close-quarters and medium-range distances, which is where you’ll find yourself most of the time when raiding and pillaging.

Ideal Powers for a Pirate Build in Starfield

As you progress through the main story, you’ll eventually unlock the ability to use various powers. These abilities begin to unlock upon completing “Into the Unknown,” and they provide you with a nice buff, like the ability to slow time or cast what is essentially a fireball spell powered by the sun.

We recommend taking the following powers to complement this build:

  • Parallel Self: This power opens a doorway to another universe and calls forth a second version of you to fight by your side.
  • Solar Flare: Hurls a ball of solar-powered energy at opponents to deal fire damage.
  • Eternal Harvest: Alters the flow of time, giving you greater control over situations.

While certainly not a comprehensive list of useful powers, these three have saved me on multiple occasions while fighting for the Crimson Fleet.

The only thing left is to join the Crimson Fleet! Best of luck out there, Space Pirate!

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!