Starfield – Best Backgrounds, Starting Skills, and Traits

Are you more of a Soldier or a Diplomat?

Once you get beyond the opening sequence of Starfield, you'll be tasked with building your own character. Not only will this require choosing the aesthetics of your character, but also their attributes (i.e. background/starting skills and traits). How do you know which are the best? I've given you some great options below, dependent on your style of play.

What are the best backgrounds in Starfield?

While the best background is technically a subjective question that can't truly be answered for a wide audience, I've narrowed down your options as much as possible. Based on how you plan to play Starfield, there are certain backgrounds that will benefit you more than others.

Best Background for combat-oriented players - Soldier (or Bouncer)

Screenshot by Pro Game Guides

If you're a player who finds themselves always starting (or ending) fights, you should consider choosing the Soldier background. Selecting the Soldier will give you increases in fitness, ballistics, and boost pack training, all of which are very useful in combat. Alternatively, players who want to do more fighting without guns or lethal means should consider the Bouncer background, as it promises augmented fitness, boxing, and security skills.

Best background for pacifists - Sculptor

Screenshot by Pro Game Guides

Now, I don't actually mean literal pacifists, but rather players who are less interested in combat and other tricky situations. If you're looking to get the most out of discovery and interaction in Starfield, consider choosing the Sculptor background for boosts in medicine, geology, and persuasion. Overall, you'll be an individual with a diverse set of useful skills.

Best Background for Unsure Players - [FILE NOT FOUND]

Screenshot by Pro Game Guides

By far the best option for players who don't know exactly what they plan to do with their gameplay is the [FILE NOT FOUND] background, because it is intentionally vague and comes with balanced skills. Wellness, ballistics, and piloting are all decently useful traits a majority of players will benefit from.

Related: How do Planet Tiles Work in Starfield?

All backgrounds and starting skills in Starfield

There are quite a number of different backgrounds available, so it's not surprising if you want to see more than our few main recommendations. That's why I've outlined all of the available backgrounds, as well as which starting skills accompany them. I recommend reviewing all of them and choosing which works best for you, personally.

BackgroundStarting Skills
Beast HunterFitness, Ballistics, Gastronomy
BouncerBoxing, Security, Fitness
Bounty HunterPiloting, Targeting Control Systems, Boost Pack Training
ChefGastronomy, Dueling, Scavenging
Combat MedicPistol Certification, Medicine, Wellness
Cyber RunnerStealth, Security, Theft
CyberneticistMedicine, Security, Lasers
DiplomatPersuasion, Commerce, Wellness
ExplorerLasers, Astrodynamics, Surveying
GangsterShotgun Certification, Boxing, Theft
HomesteaderGeology, Surveying, Weight Lifting
IndustrialistPersuasion, Security, Research Methods
Long HaulerWeight Lifting, Piloting, Ballistic Weapon Systems
PilgrimScavenging, Surveying, Gastronomy
ProfessorAstrodynamics, Geology, Research Methods
RoninDueling, Stealth, Scavenging
SculptorMedicine, Geology, Persuasion
SoldierFitness, Ballistics, Boost Pack Training
Space ScoundrelPistol Certification, Piloting, Persuasion
XenobiologistLasers, Surveying, Fitness
[FILE NOT FOUND]Wellness, Ballistics, Piloting

What starting skills are the best in Starfield?

Just like backgrounds, the best starting skills will depend heavily on how you play the game. Starting skills are tied to the background you select, but I've outlined a few starting skills that will benefit almost every kind of Starfield player.

Best overall starting skills in Starfield

  • Medicine - This skill gives you an increased talent in medical use and application, which all players can find a use for.
  • Scavenging - As most players are attracted to loot across Starfield, having an advantage here will come in handy.
  • Wellness - Since a major part of most games (including Starfield) is not dying, having a health skill is not something to sneeze at.

Related: Why there won’t be atmospheric flight in Starfield

What are the best traits in Starfield?

Screenshot by Pro Game Guides

Out of all the traits to choose from when you create your character in Starfield, you can choose only three. Many are interesting, but come with drawbacks, and with that in mind, I narrowed down the three I believe will benefit players most, regardless of play style. These are the most useful traits I found in Starfield:

  • Dream Home - You get a free home to call your own and customize to your heart's content! While you have to pay back 125,000 in credits over time for this house, I found accruing credits to not be too daunting in Starfield.
  • Kid Stuff - Not only do you get the addition of family members with this trait, you have the option to visit these two parents of yours. You automatically pay them some of your earnings every week, but it's only a measly 2%.
  • Taskmaster - Since ship systems can be tricky to manage in Starfield, why not have the option for some to automatically repair themselves? Just make sure you're stashing away credits, because these repairs come at the cost of the crew being twice as expensive.

Do you have to pick traits in Starfield?

You don't actually have to choose any traits when you're creating your character in Starfield—they are all completely optional. That being said, there's value in at least choosing one or two useful traits to get yourself some unique perks while playing.

All traits in Starfield

Alien DNA- Increased starting health & oxygen
- Decreased efficacy of healing & food items
Dream Home- Own a customizable home
- Have to pay back 125,000 Credit bank loan
Empath- Doing actions favored by companion increases combat efficacy
- Doing actions not favored by companion lowers combat efficacy
Extrovert- Less oxygen used when with a companion
- More oxygen used when alone
Freestar Collective Settler- Exclusive Freestar Collective conversation options
- Higher rewards for Freestar Collective missions
- Other factions' bounties will be increased
Hero Worshipped- Get gifts and additional crew member
- Have an annoying and clingy fan sometimes appear
Introvert- Less oxygen used when alone
- More oxygen is used when with a companion
Kid Stuff- Have parents you can visit
- Pay 2% of your earnings to parents
Neon Street Rat- Exclusive Neon conversation options
- Higher rewards for Neon missions
- Other factions' bounties will be increased
Raised Enlightened- Gain access to items in a chest within the House of Enlightened
- Lose access to items in the Sanctum Universum chest
Raised Universal- Gain access to items in a chest within Sanctum Universum
- Lose access to items in the House of Enlightened chest
Serpent's Embrace- Grav jumping boosts oxygen & health
- Must jump regularly to avoid lowered health & oxygen
Spaced- Health & oxygen better in space
- Health & oxygen worse on surface
Taskmaster- Automatic repair of some ship systems
- Crew recruitment costs twice as much as usual
Terra Firma- Health & oxygen better on surface
- Health & oxygen worse in space
United Colonies Native- Exclusive United Colonies conversation options
- Higher rewards for United Colonies missions
- Other factions' bounties will be increased
Wanted- Armed mercenaries will sometimes appear to kill you for a bounty
- Extra damage dealt when health is low

Want to read more about Starfield? If so, check out Is there a Level Cap in Starfield? on Pro Game Guides.

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About the Author

Bethany has been a writer at Pro Game Guides for over two years, but she has been into both gaming and writing for countless years. When not writing helpful guides for fellow gamers, she can be found playing on her PC or Switch, writing short stories, and watching horror movies.
Find Bethany Barber On: Twitter

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Starfield – Best Backgrounds, Starting Skills, and Traits

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