Starfield Melee Build

The player punches an enemy
Credit: Bethesda

The player punches an enemy
Credit: Bethesda

In this guide, we will be looking at how to make melee builds in Starfield. Look no further if you want the best gun-free, fist-flying, bone-crunching build. We will show you how to transform your character into an absolute powerhouse.

Starfield is out, and there are tonnes of systems to interact with. From choosing the background of our character to building our first outpost, the mere thought of all that customization has our brains working overtime. So, with our melee builds guide, we will let our fists do the thinking for us.

Best Melee Tips

The physical skill tree is displayed
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Credit: Bethesda
Maxing out the Physical skill tree will unlock Neurostrikes

Not many people know the allure of going pure melee. Setting down those weapons and getting down and dirty is an art form. Melee is also the best way to take down enemies quietly in sticky situations.

That's not to say you aren't going to have a whole load of fun with melee, far from it. There are several gun-free options and weapons that can also be used as part of the build. You don't need to turn into a full-on pacifist.

Best Background for Melee Build

The chef skill is shown on backgrounds screen
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Credit: Bethesda
Duelling skill will be handy for melee weapons

The Chef background is a good fit for melee builds. This is thanks to the Dueling starting skill, which will boost your attack power and capabilities when using melee weapons.

starfield ronin background
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The Ronin background is also excellent for those who fancy themselves as space samurai. The combination of Dueling and Stealth will turn you into a stealthy assassin who can cut through the ranks of enemies. Scavenging will also help gather Credits and resources.

starfield bouncer background
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However, the Bouncer background is perfect for you if you're a true melee purist who believes a melee build needs nothing more than their fists. The Boxing skill will help you punch harder, while the Fitness skill will let you punch longer, the perfect match.

Best Traits for Melee Build

Ship in space with the words serpents embrace on screen
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Credit: Bethesda
Serpents embrace will have its other 'perks' too

Traits are optional when creating a character in Starfield; however, a couple will be handy when making melee builds. Ideally, you want to keep your health and endurance as much as possible.

Getting in fast and hitting hard while taking damage is vital while playing melee builds in Starfield. Here are some traits we can recommend:

  • Empath: Gain a combat boost when companions agree with you.
  • Alien DNA: Increased Oxygen and HP but reduced healing effects. It can be offset with medicine skills.
  • Extrovert: Increased Oxygen and HP when with companions. Swap for Introvert for a solo build.
  • Serpent's Embrace: Gain Oxygen and HP whenever you Grav Jump.
  • Terra Firma: Gain Oxygen and HP when you're on land.
  • Wanted: Enemies occasionally attack you, but you deal increased damage at low health.

Best Skills for Melee Build

No build is complete without the relevant skills to back it up. For the melee build, you will want to focus on skills that increase your tankiness, melee damage and overall survivability. So here are the skills and what they contribute to your Melee Build.

  • Dueling: One of the most important skills that boost melee damage.
  • Boxing: Deal increased unarmed damage and knock down and stun lock enemies at the highest rank.
  • Martial Arts: Gain various bonuses while using melee attacks. Disarm, reflect, crit and reduce damage taken.
  • Neurostrikes: Stun and knock down enemies using your unarmed strikes.
  • Fitness: Gain increased oxygen to keep attacking and sprinting longer.
  • Wellness: Increased max health by up to 40%.
  • Gymnastics: Move faster, consume less oxygen, perform combat slides and mantle quickly.
  • Nutrition: Increase Food and Drink effectiveness.
  • Pain Tolerance: Reduce physical damage taken.
  • Concealment: Deal 10x melee damage when attacking from stealth.
  • Rejuvenation: Gain passive healing while out of combat.
  • Crippling: It might not ultimately be worth it as a tier 4 skill, but it's an excellent addition to the melee build if you can afford it. Try XP farming to max your skill points quickly.

If you're not going for a pure fistfighting build, we'd suggest swapping out boxing, martial arts, and neurostrikes for abilities in other skill trees.

Best Melee Build Weapons

A knife is displayed
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Credit: Bethesda
The knife - staple of the melee builds

You will have access to your first melee weapon in Starfield from the start. That weapon will be your fists. Punching your way out of situations should always be a last resort unless you're going for a pure boxing build.

As well as punching, knives and axes will be a big part of melee builds. Using these will give you more power than just using fists while remaining in the melee builds structure. All melee weapons have the same move set, so pick one with the best stats. Here are some of the best Melee weapons in Starfield -

  • The Last Priest
  • The Painblade
  • Syndicate Enforcer
  • Wakizashi
  • Osmium Dagger

Starfield Best Melee Armor

The best Armor for the Melee build in Starfield depends on your playstyle. Spacesuits exist to provide you with defensive stats, and you can generally decide the best one based solely on this stat. However, encumbrance and movement speed are things you have to keep in mind.

Therefore, we suggest equipping a lighter armor for a more stealthy swordplay-based melee build. However, if you want to be a tank that walks up and soaks damage, you should pick the beefiest armor you can find. Be sure to check our list of the best spacesuits in Starfield and how to get the MK I early.

While you are here, why not check out some of our other articles and guides like Starfield - Food and Drink or Starfield Level Cap - Is There A Level Cap In Starfield?

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

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