Starfield: 12 BEST Starting Skills [Our Recommendations]

Here is my take on Starfield Best Starting Skills after spending numerous hours in it.

In the expansive universe of Starfield, strategic skill selection is paramount for rookie explorers. Whether it’s boosting resource gathering with Geology, mastering ship combat via Targeting Control Systems, or maneuvering social situations with Persuasion, Starfield offers a plethora of the best starting skills. Each one, tailored to different playstyles, ensures a tailored interstellar journey.

Important Read: Starfield Best Armor

Key Takeaways
  • Starting skills in Starfield offer several unique traits that can affect gameplay, playstyle, narrative, and build variety.
  • There are 82 different Skills in Starfield that come from 5 unique Skill Trees.
  • Prioritizing early-game skills can give players a strategic edge throughout their journey.
  • Some synergize better with others in Starfield, enabling more advanced gameplay techniques.
  • While starting skills help players focus on certain mechanics, they generally become underwhelming upon reaching the mid-game or late-game phase.

Best Starting Skills In Starfield And Comparison

Here is an overview of the best starting skills in Starfield showcased, along with effects and the best usage of them in-game:

Serial NumberSkill NameEffects of SkillBest Usage of SkillBest For
1MedicineEnhances effectiveness and speed of healing items.Quick health regeneration and enhanced healing during initial combat encounters.Healing
2StealthEnhances sneaking and detection difficulty.Safe navigation in hostile environments and efficient, silent enemy takedowns.Stealth-based Missions
3Boost Pack TrainingEnables jet-pack usage for mobility and altitude gains.Amplified vertical exploration and negating fall damage with timely boosts.Boosting Mobility
4FitnessBoosts oxygen meter capacity for prolonged exertive actions.Longer sprints, more melee skirmishes, and extended exploration without oxygen worries.Sprinting
5PilotingEnhances ship handling and combat positioning.Superior space combat efficacy and dexterous navigation of hostile space environments.Controlling Ships
6PersuasionEnhances dialogue success rates for non-violent solutions.Influencing dialogue outcomes, preserving resources, and cultivating NPC alliances.Socializing
7CommerceOptimizes buying/selling rates for better financial stability.Efficient credit management by striking profitable deals and ensuring robust finances.Improving Economy
8Targeting Control SystemsEnhances ship combat with precise targeting.Precision in ship battles, reduced enemy firing rates, and strategic ship encounters.Improving Ship's Firepower
9SecurityUnlock advanced hacking abilities. Bank auto attempts.Essential for accessing valuable loot or information. Makes intricate minigames easier. Early investment is beneficial.Hacking
10Research MethodsReduce crafting & research resources. Faster progression.Essential for efficient crafting, saving money, and accessing high-tier items.Versatility
11TheftGrants up to 50% pickpocketing boost. Steal weapons.Ideal for a stealth-based approach. Enables discreet resource accumulation.Pickpocketing
12GeologyHarvest increased inorganic resources from surfaces.Essential for self-sufficiency in gathering resources. Enhances survival & crafting experience.Harvesting Resources

1. Medicine

The Best Healing-Based Starting Skill In Starfield.
Medicine skill
Medicine skill (picture credits: eXputer)
Ranks Description
Rank 1-4 Med Packs, Trauma Packs, and Emergency Kits restore an extra 20% to 50% of health and work 20% to 50% faster. They also have a chance to cure an affliction. These ranks unlock challenges.
Unlock Requirements To achieve these ranks, you must use healing items 20 to 100 times while wounded.
  • Why I Chose This: With the Medicine skill, players can ensure quicker health regeneration and enhanced healing capabilities, which are invaluable during initial combat encounters.

A Science-based skill like Medicine in Starfield enhances the effectiveness and speed of healing items, including Trauma Packs, Med Packs, and Emergency Kits. The hostile environment of Starfield, teeming with pirates, Spacers, automated turrets, and ravenous extraterrestrial creatures, ensures that players are bound to sustain damage. Early game survivability is pivotal, especially when adjusting to different game mechanics and confronting threats.

  • Quite good in the early game.
  • Great against hordes of enemies.
  • Unique skill with a versatile effect.
  • Will have to forgo better skills.

2. Stealth

The Best Starting Stealth Skill In Starfield.
stealth skill
Stealth skill (picture credits: eXputer)
Ranks Description
Rank 1-4 You become 25% to 100% less likely to be noticed when sneaking. Suppressed weapons deal an extra 5% to 20% damage in sneak attacks. At Rank 4, opening doors while in stealth won’t alert enemies.
Unlock Requirements To achieve these ranks, perform 10 to 40 sneak attacks.
  • Why I Chose This: In my gameplay experience, stealth is crucial, especially when resources might be limited, and direct confrontation can lead to detrimental consequences.

Stealth is a Physical skill that enhances sneaking abilities, includes a stealth meter, and increases detection difficulty in Starfield. Starfield’s vast universe faces challenges and adversaries, making stealth invaluable. Including a stealth meter, which is exclusive to this skill, transforms the gameplay dynamics in the early game. It is an intuitive indicator of player visibility, aiding navigation amidst hostile environments and ensuring safe passage without raising alarms.

  • Additionally, the enhanced sneak damage, when using suppressed weaponry, ensures efficient and silent takedowns.
  • This approach conserves resources and minimizes the risk of attracting unwanted attention.
  • Ranking up the Stealth skill further augments one’s sneaking prowess, making it increasingly challenging for enemies to detect the player, even during actions like door openings.
  • Won’t have to face all enemies at once.
  • Can take out weaker enemies to thin the crowd.
  • Limits to one playstyle.

3. Boost Pack Training

The Best Mobility-Boosting Starting Skill In Starfield.
boost packing skills
Boost packing skills (picture credits: eXputer)
Ranks Description
Rank 1-4  You gain the ability to use boost packs.

• Boost pack usage consumes less fuel. At Rank 4, these benefits are doubled.

Unlock Requirements  Perform 10 to 50 boost jumps during combat.

 Boost pack fuel regenerates faster.

At Rank 4, all previous bonuses are doubled.

  • Why I Chose This: Access to jet-pack functionalities not only amplifies vertical exploration capacities but also serves as an ingenious workaround to negate fall damage with a timely boost before landing.

The Boost Pack Training is a Tech skill enabling jet-pack usage for enhanced mobility, hover capabilities, and altitude gains, especially on low-gravity planets. Navigating the expansive cosmos of Starfield, mobility and versatility become paramount. The Boost Pack Training skill, while seemingly rudimentary at its onset, manifests as an indispensable tool for players in the early game.

  • First, it optimizes fuel consumption and accelerates the jet-pack’s refill rate, extending both its utility and endurance.
  • Refill Rate enables players to span vast terrains, scale towering heights, and experience Starfield’s diverse topographies seamlessly.
  • Second, the act of hovering indirectly replenishes the player’s oxygen meter, a vital game mechanic, especially after exhaustive activities like sprinting or prolonged jumping.
  • Allows players to reach higher locations.
  • Optimizes fuel consumption of Boost Pack.
  • Better skills are available for the late game.

4. Fitness

The Best Starting Skill For More Sprinting.
fitness skill
fitness skill (picture credits: eXputer)
Ranks Description
Rank 1-4 You have 10% to 30% more oxygen available. At Rank 4, sprinting and power attacks consume significantly less oxygen.
Unlock Requirement To achieve these ranks, deplete all available oxygen 20 to 100 times.
  • Why I Chose This: When you’re trying to hunt for different resources across various planets, having some extra sprint can feel rewarding, which is why I feel the Fitness skill is extremely underrated.

A Physical skill that boosts oxygen meter capacity, allowing prolonged exertive actions like sprinting and melee-powered attacks. Augmenting the player’s oxygen meter provides the freedom to sprint longer distances, engage in consecutive melee skirmishes, or explore alien worlds more comprehensively without the constant anxiety of depleting oxygen levels.

  • Furthermore, the intrinsic nature of Starfield requires frequent ground movements.
  • Coupled with the unique aspects of the fast travel mechanic, having an extended oxygen meter is a priceless asset, significantly reducing the player’s downtime and optimizing exploration.
  • Makes exploration easier.
  • Best for melee-focused players.
  • Limits players from unlocking other skills.

5. Piloting

The Best Ship-Controlling Starting Skill In Starfield.
Pilot skill
Pilot skill (picture credits: eXputer)
Ranks Description
Rank 1-4 (1) You gain the capability to use ship thrusters. (2) Improved ship turning rate and maneuverability. (3-4) Unlock the ability to pilot Class B and C ships.
Unlock Requirement Destroy 5 to 30 enemy ships to reach these ranks.
  • Why I Chose This: Piloting is a tech skill in Starfield that enhances ship handling, vital for space voyages and encounters, a task you’ll be doing regularly.

Starfield is set against the sprawling expanse of space and positions spacecraft piloting at the heart of its gameplay. Piloting fine-tunes your ship’s handling capabilities and significantly elevates your combat efficacy. By enabling strafe maneuvers with ship thrusters, it grants players the agility to dodge enemy fire and attain superior positioning, a crucial advantage during space combat.

  • Early in Starfield, as players grapple with the vastness of space and the unpredictability of celestial encounters, mastering ship controls is paramount.
  • Piloting, especially when synergized with the Targeting Control Systems skill, provides an integrated combat and control experience, allowing players to navigate hostile space environments with dexterity.
  • The duo makes space voyages less daunting and combats more manageable, particularly for beginners.
My Recommendation: I invested in the Piloting Skill early on during my playthrough to make swift maneuvers. This helped tremendously during combat and made it much more fun.
  • Makes maneuvering ships easier.
  • Allows players to use more ship types.
  • Requires high-level piloting skills to fully utilize.

6. Persuasion

The Best Socializing Starting Skill.
persuasion skill
persuasion skill (picture credits: eXputer)
Ranks Description
Rank 1-4 You have an increased chance of success by 10% to 50% when persuading someone.
Unlock Requirement Succeed in 3 to 10 speech challenges to reach these ranks.
  • Why I Chose This: A key aspect of Starfield is building relationships and joining factions, a facet where this skill shines.

Persuasion is a Social skill that enhances dialogue challenge success rates, enabling non-violent solutions and maintaining favorable NPC relations.

  • You have the ability to influence dialogue outcomes, creating pathways that might otherwise remain locked.
  • By choosing persuasion, players can circumvent potential hostilities, preserve resources, and cultivate valuable alliances.

Early in Starfield, players can leverage the Persuasion skill to establish themselves as diplomatic entities, fostering trust and opening avenues for collaboration. As showcased in scenarios like “The Empty Nest with Sam Coe,” the choice to negotiate rather than engage in combat can be both a tactical and narrative boon.

Given the unpredictability of dialogue outcomes in Starfield, investing in Persuasion becomes crucial.

  • Increases dialogue success rate.
  • Allows players to avoid combat through dialogue.
  • Puts at disadvantage in scenarios with no persuasion.

7. Commerce

The Best Economy-Based Starting Skill In Starfield.
commerce skill
commerce skill (picture credits: eXputer)
Ranks Description
Rank 1-4 You can purchase items for 5% to 20% less and sell them for 10% to 25% more.
Unlock Requirement Buy or sell 25 to 150 unique items to reach these ranks.
  • Why I Chose This: Commerce optimizes credit gains and bolsters overall in-game financial stability, making it highly useful when you save up for high-tier items.

In the vast universe of Starfield, resource management, especially credits, is paramount. The Commerce skill emerges as an economic linchpin, ensuring players strike lucrative deals, whether buying essential resources or selling surplus assets. Players can maintain a robust credit balance by minimizing expenditure and maximizing profit, a critical aspect of prolonged space exploration and survival.

  • The gameplay’s dynamism means expenses are inevitable – be it for procuring healing kits, acquiring new ships, obtaining pivotal information, or even diffusing potentially hazardous situations with credits.
  • The Commerce skill in Starfield acts as a financial cushion in such instances, preventing rapid depletion of credits and fostering sustainable economic growth.
Important: With the Commerce skill, even early in Starfield, players can bypass extensive resource-gathering quests, opting instead for straightforward transactions that are both time-efficient and economically advantageous.
  • Reduces cost of buying and increases the selling price.
  • Important skill to make money.

8. Targeting Control Systems

The Best Starting Skill For Ship Weaponry.
Target control system skill
Target control system skill (picture credits: eXputer)
Ranks Description
Rank 1-4 Ships that have locked onto you fire at a 25% slower rate.

You have a 10% higher chance of critically hitting target-locked ships.

In targeting mode, deal 20% more system damage.

Unlock Requirement To reach these ranks, destroy 5 to 30 enemy ships while in targeting mode.
  • Why I Chose This: Unlocking the ship’s targeting functionality ensures consecutive shots land with precision and potency, providing a decisive advantage in these cosmic confrontations.

The Targeting Control Systems skill does more than just enhance shooting precision. Drastically reducing enemy ship firing rates upon lock-on provides players the much-needed breathing space to strategize and act. Such moments are pivotal, allowing players to inflict severe damage or potentially disable enemy ship systems altogether.

  • The latter benefit creates an opportunity to board enemy vessels, opening avenues for loot and further progression.

As players delve deeper into Starfield and encounter increasingly formidable adversaries, the benefits of ranking up Targeting Control Systems become evident.

Important: Faster target lock times, augmented damage, and heightened chances of critical strikes ensure ship battles tilt in the player’s favor in Starfield.
  • Reduces ship’s time to lock on.
  • Enhances ships’ combat.
  • Only the first skill point is useful to steal ships.

9. Security

The Best Hacking-Focused Starting Skill.
security skill
security skill (picture credits: eXputer)
Rank Hacking Abilities Auto Attempts and Bonus Features
4 Complete the Previous Rank Challenge to Unlock Expend a digipick to eliminate unnecessary keys. 5 auto attempts can be stored.
2 Attempt to Hack Expert Locks 3 auto attempts can be banked. Rings turn blue when a pick can be slotted.
3 Attempt to Hack Master Locks 4 auto attempts can be banked.
4 Attempt to Hack Advanced Locks 2 auto attempts can be banked.
  • Why I Chose This: From what I’ve tested during my in-game hours, the Security skill is ideal for easing minigames and accessing valuable loot or information behind locked barriers.

While Novice-level locks in Starfield might yield to any casual hacker, the real treasures in Starfield always lie behind the Advanced, Expert, and elusive Master locks.

  • Not only does the Security skill allow attempts at these higher-tier locks, but it also makes the intricate minigames associated with them significantly more manageable.
  • These mini-games, reminiscent of the intricacies I have seen in titles like Fallout, can be daunting without the right skill investment.
  • Additionally, the ability to bank auto attempts acts as a safety net, ensuring players don’t miss out due to a momentary lapse in concentration or skill.
  • Lockpicking becomes easier.
  • Stores Auto Attempts.
  • Not all chests have good loot.

10. Research Methods

The Most Versatile Starting Skill In Starfield.
research methods skill
Research methods skill (picture credits: eXputer)
Rank Unique Crafts Requirement Resource Efficiency and Research Improvements
1 Craft 5 unique items Resources needed for crafting and research are reduced by 10%.
2 Craft 10 unique items Resources needed for crafting and research are reduced by 20%.
3 Craft 15 unique items Resources needed for crafting and research are reduced by 40%.
4 Complete the Rank 3 Challenge to Unlock Sudden developments during research become twice as common, and resources needed for crafting and research are reduced by 60%.
  • Why I Chose This: This starting skill is essential for efficient crafting, money-making, and accessing high-tier items.

The Research Methods is, without a doubt, a great addition to the best starting skills in Starfield as it reduces crafting and research project resource requirements. At the core of these systems lies the invaluable Research Methods skill, which holds the key to efficient resource management, a foundational element in ensuring a player’s progression and sustenance in the vastness of space.

  • Crafting, the art of creating diverse items ranging from medical supplies to advanced weaponry, becomes an indispensable aspect of the Starfield experience.
  • Every piece crafted can significantly influence a player’s journey, dictating how combats are approached, injuries are treated, or outposts are fortified.
  • This efficiency accelerates a player’s ability to produce critical items and positions them to potentially profit by selling high-value items crafted from surplus materials.
Important: Given the essential nature of crafting in Starfield, a reduction in the resources required for such endeavors—offered by the Research Methods skill—is not a luxury but a necessity.
  • Great in early game to save money.
  • Makes better weapon upgrades available quickly.
  • Doesn’t save as much.
  • Jack of all trades, master of none.

11. Theft

The Best Starting Skill For Pickpocketing.
Theft skill
Theft skill (picture credits: eXputer)
Rank Successful Pickpockets Improved Pickpocketing Abilities
1 5 times Unlock the ability to pickpocket targets.
2 10 times Gain a 10% greater chance for successful pickpocketing.
3 20 times Increase your chance of success by 30%.
4 Complete the Rank 3 Challenge to Unlock Attain a 50% greater chance for successful pickpocketing. Additionally, you can now pickpocket holstered weapons.

The Theft skill in Starfield grants pickpocketing ability, up to 50% success rate boost, and can pilfer holstered weapons.

  • Why I Chose This: In Starfield, mastering pickpocketing skills is vital to gaining an early advantage, and the Theft skill shines as an early-game gem. 

While various skills unlock indispensable capabilities, Theft is a unique gateway to a stealth-based approach. Desire the thrill of discreetly lifting valuables? Theft is your ticket.

  • Beyond mere pilfering, it bestows a remarkable 50% boost in pickpocketing success and lets players daringly snatch holstered weapons—altering confrontations dynamically.
  • Significantly increases Pickpocketing success chance.
  • Allows stealing equipped weapons at higher levels.
  • Requires players to invest in Stealth.

12. Geology

The Strongest Harvest-Oriented Starting Skill.
geology skill
geology skill (picture credits: eXputer)
Rank Harvest Inorganic Resources from Sources Additional Benefits from Surface Objects
1 20 sources Get more common and uncommon inorganic resources
2 50 sources Get more rare inorganic resources
3 100 sources Get more exotic inorganic resources
4 Complete the Rank 3 Challenge to Unlock Occasionally harvest additional rarer resources
  • Why I Chose This: If you prefer getting resources from simply exploring planets, having this starting skill can significantly help you find better materials in higher quantities.

Geology is a reliable starting skill in Starfield, as it allows players to harvest increased inorganic resources, including rare ones, from planetary surfaces.

While scavenging isn’t Starfield’s core, its undeniable relevance surfaces when diving into outpost construction and in-depth research.

  • Geology boosts your gathering, ensuring a richer haul of invaluable inorganic resources like iron, titanium, and the occasional rare find from surface nodes.
  • Sure, one might argue the merits of Commerce, allowing players to simply purchase these resources in bustling Settled Systems.
  • Yet, the Geology skill offers self-sufficiency, letting explorers tap directly into planetary bounties.
  • This autonomy saves credits in Starfield and enhances the immersive experience of survival and crafting.
  • Allows players to discover more exotic resources.
  • Great for planet-to-planet exploration.
  • Better Crafting options.
  • Materials are available for cheap at Merchants.
  • Becomes ineffective in the mid-game phase.
  • Gets overshadowed by Commerce.

To summarize, Starfield’s vast cosmos becomes a distinct experience with the right starting skills. Whether focusing on Commerce for trade, Security for loot, or Fitness for exploration, the chosen path profoundly impacts gameplay. The initial skills define your journey and set the pace for your cosmic adventure.

Before you leave, I highly suggest that you also read how to install the Starfield DLSS mod. Or, learn more about the Shielded cargo. Similarly, mastering the Lockpicks in Starfield allows players to get better loot early on., and the best backgrounds in Starfield guides.

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Daniyal is a Guides Writer and Editor at eXputer with over one year of experience in content writing. He's had a passion for tech and gaming for more than 15 years. Ever since his first console, the PS2, he's constantly branching off to different genres, and his go-to at the moment is the Souls experience pioneered by FromSoftware, which is evident by his 1,500+ hours of game time on Elden Ring. You can learn some more about Daniyal's gaming journey on his Steam & Xbox profiles.

Experience: 1+ Years || Mainly Covers Guides || Education: Bachelors in Computer Sciences.

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