Starfield - Best Starting Builds

two cowboy-like characters face off
Credit: Bethesda

Bethesda’s games are known for their in-depth customization systems, allowing for some incredible builds. You can have similar expectations for the builds in Starfield. Worry not if you find yourself overwhelmed by the sheer amount of backgrounds, skills, traits, and weapons in the game and can’t figure out what build you should go for. Here is our guide for the best starting builds in Starfield.

Starfield has various builds that drastically change how to approach combat and character interactions. Playing each time with a different build feels refreshing, giving you a new perspective on the game. However, you want to ensure that the first build you try makes the game more approachable and engaging. Check out our recommendations for starting builds here!

While you're here, check out our Starfield food & drink guide, list of planets and all weapons.

Best Starting Builds for Beginners

An ideal starting build depends highly on personal taste. Some prefer going guns blazing into fights, resolving every conflict with the barrel of their weapons, while others consider diplomacy or stealth the best route. If you’re a beginner to the RPG genre, try the following Starfield builds for your first play-through.

Demolition

character appears to use a highly explosive weapon
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Credit: Bethesda

The Demolition build is, without a doubt, one of the most fun ways to play Starfield. It requires you to create a beefy character who can handle heavy weaponry. Your every encounter will be explosive, ending in bloodshed, wreaking havoc across the galaxies. Why carefully close in on enemies, picking your targets one by one when you can mow them down?

Background
Medic
Traits
Wanted
Skills
Ballistics, Pistol Certification, Dueling, Demolitions, Heavy Weapons Certification
Weapons
N67 Smartgun, The Negotiator, Ashta Tamer, Poisonstorm, Heller's Cutter

You can pick from our best early game weapons and spacesuits to become an overpowered killing machine early on.

Stealth

a pistol with a silencer
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Credit: Bethesda

A fun and easy build for beginners is the Stealth build. You can take on missions by patiently waiting to sneak behind the enemy lines, taking them down one at a time. This approach makes some of the more difficult Starfield missions easier to handle. You will always be stacked on resources since you will do less of the shooting and more of the looting.

Background
Cyber Runner
Traits
Introvert
Skills
Stealth, Concealment, Pistol Certification, Dueling, Lockpicking, Theft, Persuasion, Manipulation
Weapons
Assassin's Equinox, Old Earth Sniper Rifle, Dispondant Assassin

We suggest you check our guides on how to steal, lockpick, and level your stealth skills quickly.

Sniper

player stands patiently aiming a sniper rifle
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Credit: Bethesda

The final build every beginner should try in Starfield is the Sniper build. It is one of the most broken ways to play the game since you can take out targets from a safe distance, never putting yourself in harm's way. Remember that not every Starfield mission is designed to be completed this way, so mixing a Sniper build with something like stealth is rather smart.

Background
Cyber Runner
Traits
Introvert/Wanted
Skills
Stealth, Marksmanship, Sniper Certification, Lasers, Armor Penetration, Crippling, Sharpshooter
Weapons
Old Earth Sniper Rifle, MagSniper, Hard Target

Best Starting Builds for Advanced Players

If you’re an expert at RPGs or have a fair amount of experience with the other Bethesda games, you might want to try out some different approaches in Starfield. Below, we have mentioned some of the best Starfield starting builds for advanced players.

Melee

a knife
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Credit: Bethesda

Melee builds make the game extremely thrilling when you feel the rush of taking down enemies with your bare fists. Starfield allows for some overpowered melee builds with weapons like knives and axes. However, since you are bringing a knife to a gunfight with this build, it is only recommended to use it if you’re fairly good at the game mechanics.

Background
Chef
Traits
Terra Firma
Skills
Wellness, Boxing, Gymnastics, Martial Arts, Intimidation, Neurostrikes
Weapons
Fists, UC Naval Cutlass, Barrow Knife, Va'Ruun Painblade

In all honesty, some Starfield enemies are sponges when dealing with them using bullets. Melee players must have a LOT of patience and the most optimized load-outs to stand a chance in Starfield.

Tech

player looks at their chronomark watch
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Credit: Bethesda

Starfield lets you live out the fantasy of becoming a cyber engineer in space with a Tech build. The tech build uses all futuristic technology available to create the optimal cyber warrior. With this build, you can also unlock secret areas and safes, giving you access to valuable items. Unlock secret doors, Contraband crates, armor like the Mark 1, and so much more to get ahead of everyone early on.

Background
Cyber Runner
Traits
Terra Firma
Skills
Ballistic Weapon Systems, Security, Targeting Control Systems, Lasers, Particle Beams, Weapon Engineering, Boost Pack Training
Weapons
Magshot, Brawler's Equinox, Novablast Disruptor, Orion, Solstice

Pacifist

character stands in futuristic monk-like robes
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Credit: Bethesda

Finally, the Pacifist build is the last one advanced players should try. This is an entirely distinctive way of playing the game, where you aim to resolve every conflict with dialogue and persuasion rather than a bloodbath. If you want to see some of the most unique character interactions and potentially change the game’s outcome, go the Pacifist route in Starfield.

Background
Diplomat
Traits
Dream Home, Hero Worshipped, Kid Stuff
Skills
Persuasion, Intimidation, Diplomacy
Weapons
Brawler's Equinox, Novablast Disruptor, EM weapons

Builds To Avoid

Now that you have seen some ideal builds for the new players let’s talk about the builds you should avoid, at least during your first run of Starfield.

Thief Build

A Thief build is not ideal for new players since stealing items and pick-pocketing can have negative consequences. It can negatively affect your honor and trust among your Constellation companions, except Andreja, impacting your character interactions and romantic progress.

Being able to smuggle contraband consistently also requires a solid bit of investment into your ship and skills, which makes this more of a mid-game or new game plus playstyle. These skills are helpful during missions such as the Ryujin Industry questline.

Trader Build

A Trader build isn’t recommended for first-time players as it requires you to sell your valuables constantly and buy better gear. Unless you're experienced with making money quickly in Starfield or know infinite money hacks, this playstyle can take a while to set up. This is also because to be a proficient trader, you're going to need to know how to build high-level outposts and manage them correctly. Furthermore, early in the game, it's best to keep your items on you, especially those that can be used later in missions.

Cold-Hearted Killer

While not a build, you can become a Cold-Hearted Explorer by killing NPCs in the game. We recommend against doing so for the game's first run, as you can jeopardize certain quest lines and achievements.

That concludes our list of the best Starfield builds to try when starting, whether you're an advanced player or a beginner. For more in-depth guides, check out our builds hub. Also, brush up on your knowledge of factions in the game so you know exactly who you may be dealing with. This playstyle will only fly if you're in a violent faction like the Crimson Fleet.

For all things Starfield, stick with us at Starfield Portal.

For more articles like this, take a look at our Builds and Guides page.