Starfield - Smuggler Build

A screenshot from the Starfield gameplay trailer.
Credit: Bethesda Game Studios

In Starfield, you have various good and bad factions trying to increase their influence. Whether you believe in the Freestar Collective's independence, the United Colonies' justice, or the Piracy of the Crimson Fleet, there's something for you. If you've wanted to live out the fantasy of a space pirate, check out our Starfield Smuggler build.

What is a Smuggler Build?

A screenshot from the Starfield gameplay trailer.
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Credit: Bethesda Game Studios

A smuggler in Starfield is essentially a space pirate like the Crimson Fleet. For smuggling, you have the option of collecting high-value Contraband. Learning how to smuggle contraband is exceptionally important. You can take your pirating hijinks a step further and steal ships and deal with quests in the most violent manner possible. There's an entire Crimson Fleet questline dedicated to this!

Best Smuggler Background

Space Scoundrel

A screenshot of a space scoundrel in Starfield.
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Credit: Bethesda Game Studios

The Space Scoundrel comes with the following three skills.

  • Pistol Certification - You value being discrete above everything else. Moreover, you can approach targets undetected and swiftly kill them with silenced weapons.
  • Piloting - Become more adept at controlling and piloting larger ships.
  • Persuasion - Talk your way out of any situation and get your way.

Cyber Runner

A screenshot of a Cyber Runner in Starfield.
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Credit: Bethesda Game Studios

The Cyber Runner is also a great background if your smuggling operations are going to be more covert and you value discretion and stealth. It comes with the following skills:

  • Security - Hack into restricted areas and systems to get Contraband.
  • Stealth - Sneak your way into facilities and past enemies undetected
  • Theft - Steal keys and valuables from NPCs

Smuggler Skills and Traits


A screenshot of the Neon Street Rat trait in Starfield.
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Credit: Bethesda Game Studios


A screenshot of the Stealth skill in Starfield.
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Credit: Bethesda Game Studios

Of course, the core of every build is the skills you choose. Here are our suggested skills for a Smuggler build.

  • Deception - The most important skill that allows you to fool contraband scans.
  • Commerce - You can buy items for less and sell for even more.
  • Dueling - If you want to be a swashbuckler, pick up the UC Naval Cutlass.
  • Intimidation - Intimidate your way through confrontations.
  • Persuasion - Talk your way out of sticky situations with law enforcement or hostiles.
  • Pistol Certification - Increase your pistol damage with both laser and physical weapons.
  • Rifle Certification - Master the powerful rifles of Starfield.
  • Negotiation - Bribe the law and have corporations on your payroll.
  • Security - Lockpick into any secure facility or hidden stash of Contraband.
  • Stealth - Sneak your way behind enemy lines and lose them quickly.
  • Weight Lifting - Contraband is heavy, so you want the maximum carry capacity.

Smuggler Build Best Weapons

You'll want to hit up the Crimson Fleet questline as soon as possible and collect the legendary Pirate Jasper Kryx's gear. The two weapons that will suit you the best as a smuggler are:

  • Keelhauler
  • Revenant

Until then, you can make do with some laser rifles or other silenced weapons for stealthy takedowns. You can try out weapons like the Orion or Equinox.

Smuggler Build Best Spacesuits

The best spacesuit for a smuggler in Starfield would be the Stealth Operative outfit that you get from the Ryujin Industries Questline. While it's not a defensive spacesuit, its Stealth attributes are great for smugglers and pirates.

If you're looking for defensive spacesuits, check out our list of the best armors in Starfield. Furthermore, be on the lookout for these modifiers on your spacesuit:

  • Armor-Plated
  • Hacker
  • Incendiary
  • Repulsing

Smuggler Build Best Powers

You gain access to unique powers in Starfield, and you can use these otherworldly abilities to further your smuggling career. Here are some powers we recommend for the smuggler build and pirates in general.

  • Parallel Self
  • Void Form
  • Inner Demon
  • Phased Time

That concludes our guide for the Smuggler build in Starfield. We hope it aids you in your piracy adventures across the Settled Systems.

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