Best Skills to get early in Starfield
Image Source: Bethesda Game Studios via SteamDb

Top 10 Best Skills to Get Early in Starfield

Life skills.

There’s nothing quite like starting a brand new character in a Bethesda Game Studios title as — much like staring at a blank page or canvas — the possibilities of what can be achieved is almost endless. Fortunately, Starfield is no different, as the amount of character builds that are possible is dizzyingly deep. But what if you want to get yourself off to a good start? That’s where we come in. Here are our recommendations for the best skills to get early in Starfield. Let’s dive straight into it!

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10. Whatever Weapon Type You Want to Specialise In

Kicking off our suggestions is a straightforward one: Get your weapons up to snuff so that you’re not getting trounced by all those interstellar baddies and alien monstrosities trying to eat your face off. Thing is, this specific recommendation boils down to personal preference.

Ultimately, there are a few weapon types that you can specialise in: Shotgun Certification, Pistol Certification, Rifle Certification, Heavy Weapons Certification, Particle Beams, Lasers, and Incapacitation. So, depending on your weapon of choice, we’d opt to drop a Skill point or two into whichever weapon types best resonate with you so that you can dole out more damage when the going gets tough.

9. Surveying

Exploring planets is a surefire way to earn yourself some quick XP, and you’ll also occasionally net yourself some decent loot on your space-faring travels if you’re lucky. The only problem is, your hand scanner has a very limited range of 10m when you first embark on your sci-fi adventure.

As you allocate Skill points into Surveying, you’ll not only nab yourself increased range for your hand scanning endeavours, but also be granted another level of zoom so that you can pinpoint faraway critters, plant life or resources. In short, this’ll significantly speed up your exploration sessions.

8. Weight Lifting

Managing your inventory is one of the core gameplay mechanics in any modern Bethesda title, and Starfield is no exception. While you may have a companion that you can use as a pack mule to hump your bulky equipment, or a spaceship that can carry some of your cargo, you’ll soon realise that there’s not much space in, well… space.

Luckily, Weight Lifting helps to remedy this by increasing your carrying capacity, with Rank 4 culminating in an incredibly handy 100 kilograms of extra space. Plus, you also gain a 50% resistance to being staggered by your opponents to boot. That is very much a win-win, right?

7. Payloads

Speaking of managing your inventory, Payloads is another handy Skill that can prove useful if you’re constantly getting bogged down by the game’s encumbrance mechanic.

Instead of increasing your carry capacity like the aforementioned Weight Lifting Skill, you’ll instead receive increased capacity in the cargo hold of your spaceship. Interestingly, while your own personal carrying capacity is quite limited by comparison, the scope of your spaceship’s cargo can reach much greater sizes. As a result, Payloads is undoubtedly even more utile than Weight Lifting.

6. Security

As is par for the course in Bethesda games, lockpicking is the key to unlock all those fortified safes, doors, and crates that you find during your quest. Sure, sometimes the treasure inside can be a little underwhelming and you may start feeling like the juice ain’t worth the squeeze, but rest assured, you’ll occasionally find some truly impressive loot in those locked treasure troves.

With this new Skill under your belt, you’ll be able to unlock higher level locks, and even bank auto attempts which’ll save you quite bit of time while you’re scavenging. Score!

5. Wellness

Your hit points (HP) are quite literally the lifeblood of your entire journey. Reach zero and you’ll be pushing up virtual daisies, and nobody wants that.

Luckily, you can swiftly expand your overall pool of health by dropping points into the Wellness Skill. Each rank grants players with an easy-breezy boost of 10% to their maximum health, culminating in an additional 40% at the fourth and final rank. It may not be an exciting Skill to develop per se, but it’s without question a core attribute that shouldn’t be overlooked.

4. Ballistics

Shooting and looting is a fundamental part of Starfield, and Ballistics is a nifty umbrella Skill that covers a wide gamut of weaponry that you’ll likely possess in your arsenal. Sure, we did say up top to specialize in a specific weapon type, but Ballistics is such a comprehensive Skill to have in your back pocket we’d suggest plowing points into it at the earliest opportunity.

This Skill offers increased damage to pistols, shotguns and rifles, with each new rank offering an additional 10% damage buff to the corresponding armaments. Rank 4, however, concludes with a rather nifty 30% buff to your overall range, which is not to be sniffed at either.

3. Medicine

In the same vein as Wellness, keeping your HP topped up is absolutely critical to your ongoing success in Starfield. One method of keeping the ol’ Grim Reaper at bay is by using Med Packs, Trauma Packs, or Emergency Kits to heal yourself when you’re in a bind.

With Medicine, though, you’ll snag an additional 10% healing and you’ll heal 10% faster with each rank. Not only is this beneficial during moment-to-moment combat when you’re being faced down by numerous adversaries, but the final rank even grants you the chance to cure an affliction every time you heal. Talk about a life-saver, huh?

2. Targeting Control Systems

Starfield’s ship-to-ship combat can be incredibly challenging, especially in the early game. That’s largely because your first spaceship, the Frontier, is much akin to a tin can with a motor bolted onto it. Yes, it can fly and do the things that other spaceships can do, but in the grand scheme of things you’re starting out with one of the most basic spacecrafts in the entire game.

To ameliorate this, we’d definitely recommend dropping a few points into ship-related Skills like Targeting Control Systems or even Shield Systems a little later on, if you can. Specifically, Targeting Control Systems unlocks the ship’s targeting functionality, which is a godsend when you’re having to dogfight with pesky pirates in the far reaches of the cosmos.

1. Boost Pack Training

While Fallout 4 featured a couple of ways of getting your mitts on your very own jetpack, Starfield has weaved the airborne mechanic into the fabric of the second-to-second interstellar experience. In fact, boost packs not only give you a big upper hand during combat encounters as you zip in and out of cover, but you’ll also gain an advantage to exploration as well.

Essentially, there are hidden areas dotted around the various locales you explore that are impossible to reach without a boost pack. These can hide some very useful rewards to boot. Plus, flying around with a jetpack simply makes everything better. Like, we’re pretty sure that’s a scientific fact.

And on that note, we conclude our guide on all the best skills to get early in Starfield. For more, why not explore our related coverage down below. And for everything else, keep it locked at Twinfinite.

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Dylan Chaundy
Dylan is a Senior Writer at Twinfinite and has been with the site for over two years, and in the games media industry for over a decade. He typically covers horror, RPGs, shooters, Roblox, indie titles and movies, and loves reading, pizza and skateboarding; ideally, at the same time. He has a degree in English Literature from Aberystwyth University, Wales. He thinks FTL may be the most perfect game ever created.