Starfield Sniper Builds

Starfield gameplay, showing the player character holding a sniper rifle.
Credit: Bethesda

Starfield gameplay, showing the player character holding a sniper rifle.
Credit: Bethesda

This guide will explain how to create sniper builds in Starfield. These builds are designed to take down enemies from afar with long-range rifles and avoid detection. This lets you clear areas of enemies before they know you’re there, allowing you to explore and complete your quest objectives in relative peace.

Today, we're going to take a look at the best sniper builds in Starfield. We will cover the best background, traits, skills, and the best weapon to use for the Starfield sniper build.

Best Background for Sniper Builds

Choosing a background in Starfield will determine your character’s origin story and give you three starting skills. You can only pick one background, each providing your character with specific skills and NPC reactions.

Starfield's character creation screen, showing the Cyber Runner background
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Credit: Bethesda
Stealth as a starting skill will com in handy for snipers

Of the backgrounds available in Starfield, the one that will suit sniper builds best is the Cyber Runner background. As with all backgrounds in Starfield, this will give you unique choices in dialogue and three starting skills.

Stealth is a skill that will let you sneak around and deal extra damage when attacking while undetected - Security allows you to lockpick doors, safes, and similar mechanisms. And finally, theft improves your character’s pick-pocketing ability. The Stealth skill will be the most useful for this build, letting you stay incognito as you pick off enemies from afar.

Best Traits and Skills for Sniper Builds

The best trait for sniper builds is the Introvert trait. As a sniper, you’ll want to keep yourself hidden as best as possible, so keeping a companion with you is not advised. The Introvert trait makes it so you have greater endurance when traveling alone but less when traveling with other humans.

Starfield's character creation screen, showing the Introvert trait
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Credit: Bethesda
Be cautious when using traits, they have negative aspects too

If you want a companion, consider swapping it out for the Wanted trait - this gives you a damage buff when health is low, but mercenaries will randomly attack as you play.

If uncertain, it could be wise to avoid selecting a trait initially; remember that you can remove traits during gameplay. Traits are not permanent, and if a particular trait doesn't align well with your play style, you can get rid of it later.

As for your skills, you’ll want to choose those from the combat and physical skill branches. Essential skills for this build will be -

  • Stealth: Stealth to help you hide from enemies and gain sneak attack damage.
  • Concealment: You no longer set off mines and gain even more sneak attack damage.
  • Marksmanship: Increase critical hit chances.
  • Weapon Engineering: Engineer better mods to upgrade your sniper rifle.
  • Research Methods: Helps you research more items for your combat encounters and unlock the Weapon Engineering skill.
  • Sniper Certification: The best Sniper skill in the game that increases your damage dealt, accuracy, and crit chance.
  • Sharpshooting: Increases critical hit damage.
  • Armor Penetration: Increases damage dealt through armor to tanky enemies.
  • Ballistics: Increase ballistic weapon range and damage.
  • Isolation: Increased weapon damage and damage resistance when operating alone.
  • Gymnastics: Move around and mantle faster to reposition and relocate.
  • Wellness: Increased health to survive direct firefighting confrontations. It also helps unlock Concealment.

All these skills help build up a lone wolf character who can maintain healing and safety from a distance while also being able to research and craft the most powerful weapons and mods. Your sniper rifle will be your best friend, and you need all the skills and mods to maximize its damage output.

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Best Weapons and Armor for Sniper Builds

Unsurprisingly, you will want to use snipers and other long-range rifles for these builds.

Customizing these weapons with suppressors and a high-magnification scope is recommended to drop enemies silently from afar. If you need to get up close and personal, consider taking a silenced pistol or shotgun to make quick work of any enemies in your way.

MagSniper

starfield sniper build magsniper
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You can get the MagSniper from the Centaurian Arsenal, Neon Tactical, and Rowland Arms. It's considered the best Sniper Rifle in Starfield and uses 6.5mm MI ammunition in a 12-round magazine. It has a wide variety of mods that turn it into your very own railgun that can one-shot any enemy from far away. However, lacking a suppressor mod means it's not ideal for sneak attack bonuses.

Beowulf

Starfield Beowulf sniper rifle stats
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Credit: Bethesda
Take them down safely from a distance

The best weapon to use for snipers early on is the Beowulf. It's a fairly common sniper rifle with a decent range and a reasonable rate of fire. The rate of fire is important as it'll help compensate for your lack of upgrades early on. Once you're further into the game, you can move on to the best sniper rifle in Starfield.

Hard Target

starfield epic sniper rifle hard target
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The Hard Target is an epic rarity sniper rifle that can deal base 200 damage from around 120m. The gun is also relatively easy to find and makes for an excellent upgrade once you feel ready to handle it.

Best Armor for Sniper Build

The best spacesuits for the Sniper Build can vary depending on how you play. If you plan on sneaking around, any high-level legendary armor with sneak bonuses will be your best option.

However, if stealth is not your priority, you can use powerful armor like the Mantis set or the Mark 1 spacesuits. Your priority should be the damage bonuses the spacesuit can provide you with, as the sniper build is a DPS-oriented build meant to one-shot enemies.

That's it for our sniper build. If you tire of sneaking around in the shadows, why not get explosive with our Demolition build?

For more Starfield, stick with us at the Starfield Portal.

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