Starfield: The 5 Best Science Skills

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Starfield: The 5 Best Science Skills

Skills in Starfield fall into one of five trees, each of which affect different parts of the game. Some of these skills provide straightforward bonuses to your stats, while others can open up new gameplay mechanics or features. Since there’s currently no way to respec in the game, it’s a good idea to plan ahead and put some thought into how you want to allocate your skill points. To that end, we’ll go over the best Science skills in Starfield.

Let’s get started!

Top 5 Science Skills in Starfield

The Science tree is all about scanning, gathering, crafting, and outpost development, with a couple of ship-related skills thrown into the mix. These skills will generally be more useful later in the game, as few of them offer any direct combat benefits or anything useful for completing missions.

This guide will list some of the best skills in the Science tree and how each one can enhance your character build. We’ll jump straight into our top five, working our way up to the best Science skill in the game.


Starfield Best Science Skills: Astrophysics
Image: Bethesda Game Studios via HGG / Sarah Arnold

Not to be confused with the Astrodynamics skill in Tier 1, Astrophysics is a Tier 3 skill that lets you scan worlds without having to travel to them directly. That makes the process a lot less tedious later in the game, which is a good thing since there are over a thousand worlds to discover in Starfield.

Each rank lets you scan worlds that are a little further out, starting with the moons of your current planet and moving out to any world within 30 light years. The ranks also progressively increase your chances of discovering a trait when scanning.

As it is a Tier 3 skill, you won’t be able to learn Astrophysics until you’ve spent eight skill points in the Science tree.

Outpost Engineering

Starfield Outpost Engineering Skill
Image: Bethesda Game Studios via HGG / Sarah Arnold

Along with Planetary Habitation in Tier 4, Outpost Engineering is one of only two skills that are directly focused on improving your outposts. If you’re looking to do anything more than dabble in outposts, this skill will eventually be a must-have.

Ranks 1–3 each unlock progressively more advanced outpost modules, so you’ll need to develop this skill if you want to be able to build every type of outpost module in the game. Rank 4 reduces the resource cost of constructing outpost modules by half, allowing you to build more with less.

Like Astrophysics, Outpost Engineering is a Tier 3 skill, so you’ll need to spend eight skill points in the Science tree before you can learn it.

Special Projects

Starfield Best Science Skills: Special Projects
Image: Bethesda Game Studios via HGG / Sarah Arnold

As a Tier 4 skill, Special Projects won’t be available to you until a bit later in the game, and you won’t want it until then anyway. But once you’ve maxed out any crafting skill — Chemistry, Spacesuit Design, or Weapon Engineering — this skill can function as a sort of capstone.

Rank 1 unlocks an additional tier of research projects at the Research Lab, allowing you to research and craft some of the most advanced items in the game. Ranks 2–4 each allow you to craft progressively higher tiers of manufactured components that can be used as materials in crafting. Rank 4 gives your outposts a chance to produce additional resources, making it easier to gather the materials for your crafting projects.

You won’t be able to learn this skill until you’ve spent at least twelve skill points in the Science tree, but that gives you a chance to max out one or more of the lower-tier crafting skills, each of which combines well with Special Projects.


Starfield Scanning Skill
Image: Bethesda Game Studios via HGG / Sarah Arnold

Like the Astrophysics skill, Scanning is all about helping you detect resources that you can exploit for your crafting projects and outposts.

Each rank unlocks a progressively higher level of resources that can be detected on planet and moon surfaces, as well as some additional information about ships you encounter. The latter will be particularly useful if you plan to do a lot of space combat or piracy, otherwise it’s just a nice bonus. The real draw here is resource detection.

As a Tier 2 skill, Scanning requires at least four skill points in the Science tree. You won’t be able to grab it right off the bat, but you can use it as a stepping stone to Tier 3 and 4 skills.

Research Methods

Starfield Best Science Skills: Research Methods
Image: Bethesda Game Studios via HGG / Sarah Arnold

Last but not least, the Research Methods skill is a great entry-level skill for getting started with the Science tree, offering benefits that can help you with any crafting skill you decide to pursue.

Each rank reduces the resources that you’ll use when crafting and researching, allowing you to create more, more quickly. Rank 4 also makes it more likely that you’ll have a sudden development when researching, which is a random chance to abruptly advance with your current research project.

Best of all, Research Methods is a Tier 1 skill, so you can take it right away if you want to. It makes a great choice for putting some skill points in the Science tree to unlock the higher-tier Science skills.

Join the High Ground!

Thanks for reading! We hope this guide has helped you choose the best Science skills for your character in Starfield. If you have any questions, leave a comment below, and be sure to subscribe to our newsletter for more useful guides!

Happy gaming!


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