In this guide, we’ll learn how to run trader builds in Starfield. These builds are all about making as many Credits as possible, mainly by trading and selling loot you’ve found in your adventures while exploring the galaxy.
Completing missions and selling resources and equipment will net you a nice profit. Bethesda confirmed you can engage in space piracy, letting you steal the cargo from other ships or even the ships themselves. The space trader can either be a savvy businessman or a space pirate. Take this build in whatever direction you'd like.
What is a Trader Build?
Money and commerce are power for the Trader in Starfield. While others rely on brute force tactics or stealth options in Starfield, you can solve all your problems with smooth talk and many Credits. The Trader has mastered the art of selling items and farming Credits.
You can confidently enter any corporate or vendor negotiation knowing you have the credits to back up your big talk. Spend money on getting the best guns, spacesuits, and ships without dying repeatedly.
Best Background for Trader 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 a character with certain buffs, benefits, and NPC reactions.
When creating trader builds in Starfield, it’s recommended that you go with the Diplomat background. The three starting skills the Diplomat background gives you is Persuasion, which will make it easier for you to persuade and convince NPCs. You’ve also got Commerce, which seems to work like Fallout’s barter skill—giving you better prices when buying and selling. Finally, you’ve got Wellness, a skill that increases your permanent health. It’s the Commerce skill that is the MVP here. Having lower buying prices and higher selling prices will be extremely useful as an intergalactic trader.
Best Traits and Skills for Trader Builds
The best traits for Starfield trader builds are the ones that give you discounts at certain stores. Raised Enlightened will provide you with a significant discount at the Enlightened organization store, and Raised Universal will give you a big discount at the Sanctum Universum store. However, keep in mind that these traits are connected to two antagonistic factions, meaning you can only take one of these traits. Doing so will take away access to the other’s store.
Neon Street Rat is also a good option if you plan on making deals in Neon City. If you need a place for storage, you should also pick up the Dream Home trait and get your parents to give you some support with the Kid Stuff trait.
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.
Here is a complete list of the skills we recommend for the Trader build in Starfield:
- Commerce: The most important skill to have as a trader. It will allow you to sell for higher and buy for lower.
- Scavenging: Find extra Credits and items when looting your surroundings.
- Persuasion: Passing persuasion checks often lets you bypass combat and make more profitable deals.
- Negotiation: If you can't persuade or fight them, you might as well put all those Credits to use and bribe them instead.
- Intimidation: Force enemies to flee from you.
- Deception: Force enemy ships to surrender to your threats and hand over their goods more efficiently.
- Outpost Management: Helps in setting up a robust outpost system that can also be automated to produce Credits.
- Weight Lifting: Carry more goods on you so you can sell them later.
- Leadership: Allows your companions to carry more goods so you can sell them later.
- Research Methods: Research advanced gear, resources and technologies to sell for a profit.
- Outpost Engineering: Upgrade your outpost even further
- Pistol Certification: Defend yourself with pistols which require low-skill investment.
- Shotgun Certification: Master using powerful shotguns to demolish your enemies from close range.
Best Weapons and Armor for Trader Builds
As a trader in Starfield, it's more than likely that you’re going to get into some dangerous scrapes with creatures or raiders. You will want a reliable gun to back you up when this happens. A shotgun will probably serve you best, as it will be effective even with low combat skills. Here are some of the best shotguns in the game so you can feel like you're defending your shop:
Meanwhile, here are some pistols for you to consider:
The same applies to armor. Ideally, you'll want to avoid combat, but when the going gets tough, you should get your hands on the best Starfield armors to make your survival much easier. Pair these up with a group of combat-ready companions, and you'll be able to deal with combat encounters quickly.
Find the Starborn Trader
The Starborn Trader is a highly exclusive Trader who only shows up once you reach New Game Plus. This high-level merchant sells wares catered towards the most powerful entities in the Settled Systems. They're packing a lot of expensive and high-level loot for you to check out. This includes several Legendaries, Epics, and other exclusive guns and spacesuits.
To find the Starborn Trader, we suggest heading over to the orbit of Feynman I in the Feynman System. A Mysterious Captain will hail you and offer to trade. Note that this is marked as an essential ship, and you can't destroy it or steal it.
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