Starfield – The Best Skills To Pick and Level Up First

In Starfield, there are dozens upon dozens of different skills you can adopt to build out your character. Here are the ones that will be most useful to everyone.
Starfield Guide Best Skills

Starfield is an RPG, and that means it has a big focus on building a custom character that you can shape in terms of appearance, morality, and ability. Starfield is also a game where you can approach its countless scenarios in different ways, depending on your disposition.

Every time you level up your character, you’ll get a skill point to invest on the skill screen, which will improve one specific aspect of your character, and give you the opportunity to improve it even further by completing a challenge related to that trait.

Read: Starfield Guide – 5 Key Tips To Remember Before You Start

With over 82 skills to choose from in the game, and four ranks within each skill, it can be a little daunting to know where to start – choice paralysis to the extreme! But a good thing to know is that many of the skills play into specific styles of play, so you won’t need to worry about investing too much in bribery and persuasion if you’re planning on solving everything with your fists, for example.

That said, there are some skills that will be universally useful to you, no matter what kind of character build you opt for in the end. So if you’re having trouble deciding what to spend a skill point on, these five skills are safe bets that will pay off across the entire course of the game.

Weapon Certification (Pick one, stick with it!) [Combat]

As much as we’d all like to play through a game of Starfield using only our silver tongues, the fact of the matter is that combat is completely unavoidable in this game. Because of that, even if you’re planning on being more of a science or charisma-focused character, you should still pick a preferred weapon specialisation early on, and stick with it.

Sticking with one particular type of weapon type is advantageous in that you’ll find yourself gaining access to the higher-ranked perks faster – increasing the damage of weapons by up to 50% – which will dramatically improve your effectiveness in combat, saving you medpacks and ammo in the long run.

Spreading points out across different weapon types means you’ll be less deadly overall.

Rifle Certification is a very safe bet if you haven’t got something in mind, as rifles are quite varied, and include things like automatic assault weapons and single-shot, long-range sniper rifles.

If you’ve maxed out a specific weapon specialisation, the next step would be to invest either in Ballistic Weapons, Laser Weapons, or Particle Weapons, depending on what kind of gun you’ve developed the strongest affinity for.

Read: Starfield Review – Across The Universe

Nutrition [Physical]

There is a lot of food and drink in Starfield, and you’ll likely be picking up a lot of it. But here’s the thing – eating food doesn’t really heal for very much health at all to start with.

Why are you weighing yourself down by carrying all those bowls of space ramen and packets of spiced worms if they’re not going to do much?

Investing in Nutrition boosts the healing capabilities of all the crap you’ll inevitably pick up, by up to 50%, making these items far more useful. It’ll also improve any other effects food and drink might have too – like increased persuasion changes, damage resistance, carry capacity, etc.

Eat good food!

Security [Tech]

You know what you’re also picking up a lot of? Digipicks (space lockpicks!). So why not put them to good use? What else are you going to do, sell them? No! Don’t do that!

Without an investment in Security, you can try your hand at unlocking Novice-level locks on doors and chests, but the stuff you find behind this level of barrier isn’t usually worth the effort.

Even with just a single skillpoint investment in Security, you’ll gain the ability to pick Advanced-level locks, and gain access to a couple of automatic pick placements. Even if you’re not planning on heading down a thief-style route, gaining access to this level will dramatically improve the returns you get for spending your Digipicks, as well the precious mental energy you need to solve those puzzles.

Weight Lifting [Physical]

Starfield is a Bethesda game. And that means you’ll be picking up and carrying a lot of stuff (like food and digipicks!) With crafting components and mineral resources so key to Starfield, especially in the late game, it’s good to start collecting things early – but they do take their weight toll.

Read: Starfield Review Roundup – Shoot for the moon

While the management of your character’s encumbrance will be a constant factor across the game (remember to use the cargo hold!) investing in Weight Lifting, which will allow your character to simply carry more things (up to 100kg) will go a long way towards ease this burden. It’s not the most exciting skill, but it will save you quite a few headaches.

Piloting [Tech]

Like combat, piloting a spaceship is inevitable in Starfield.

While you can definitely get away with ignoring this skill in the first couple dozen hours or so, trust us when we say that later on, you’ll need to be able to hold your own in much tougher spaceship dogfights. It’s here where your piloting skill comes in very handy.

Not only does it allow you to use your ship thrusters for a temporary speed boost, and allow you to be more manoeuvrable in Ranks 1 and 2, but Ranks 3 and 4 give you the license to pilot Class B and Class C ships, which are typically bigger and faster, have the ability to equip better weapons, and have far more cargo space.

There will come a point where you’ll feel like your ship is in dire need of an upgrade, and having a high Piloting rank means you can instantly jump to some of the best ships in the game without worrying.

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Edmond was the founding managing editor of GamesHub. He was also previously at GameSpot for 13 years, where he was the Australian Editor and an award-winning video producer. You can follow him @EdmondTran