Starfield: The 5 Best Social Skills

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Starfield: The 5 Best Social Skills

Starfield has five skill trees, each of which contains character perks that enhance different aspects of your character. Some skills provide straightforward stat bonuses while others unlock new gameplay mechanics or features. With no option to respec in the game, it’s important to be discerning about where you spend your limited skill points so you that you don’t wind up wasting them. Which is why we’ll be going over the best Social skills to take in Starfield.

The Best Social Skills in Starfield

The Social tree is where you’ll find skills related to interacting with other people. This tree contains perks relevant to dialogue and trade as well as ways to influence NPCs to do what you want them to do.

Below we’ll go through the best skills in the Social tree and what you can expect from each of them. We’ll work our way down to the best one.


Isolation - best for lone wolves
The Isolation skill. (Image: Bethesda Game Studios via HGG / Sarah Arnold)

This skill is perhaps the antithesis of a “Social” skill, but we suppose this tree was the most logical place to put it.

Isolation will only be useful to you if you choose to run around without a companion or crew, but if that’s how you prefer to play, it goes a long way to making up for the damage you’ll lose by not bringing along the extra gun. Each rank of Isolation significantly improves your weapon damage and damage resistance when you’re running solo.

You’ll miss out on all the benefits of having crew on your ship and companions at your side, including their personal stories. But if you’re okay with that, you may find that flying solo is advantageous for stealth missions in particular. You can also pair this skill with the Introvert trait to double up on your lone wolf advantages.


Diplomacy - this is a very subtle skill that helps more than you realize.
The Diplomacy skill. (Image: Bethesda Game Studios via HGG / Sarah Arnold)

If you’re looking to make your way through the Settled Systems as peacefully as possible, Diplomacy could be exactly the skill you need.

Ranks 1-3 will cause a target NPC to stop fighting for a time, and rank 4 will cause them to stop forever (as long as you don’t provoke them again). To use this skill, you have to open up your scanner and hover over the enemy. You’ll then see the option to use Diplomacy to calm them down.

At times, you’ll also have [Diplomacy] appear as an option in dialogue. Instigation, Intimidation, and Manipulation all work the same way but offer slightly different results.

Ship Command

Ship Command - Starfield Best Social Skills
The Ship Command skill. (Image: Bethesda Game Studios via HGG / Sarah Arnold)

This tier 4 skill requires 12 skill points in lower level Social skills to unlock, but it’s worth it. It’s the only way to increase the total crew you can have on your ship at any given time.

Rank 1 allows you to have 4 active crew, and rank 2 and 3 each bump it up by another single crew member. Rank 4 lets you have up to eight active crew in total.

Having more crew will give you a wider variety of skills to access. Ship skills are particularly beneficial to acquire through your crew, allowing you to skip over them on your own character. Plus, it’s just nice to have the extra company around.


Theft - Starfield Best Social Skills
The Theft skill. (Image: Bethesda Game Studios via HGG / Sarah Arnold)

If you have any intention of picking pockets at any point in Starfield, you’ll need at least one rank of the Theft skill. Rank 1 is required to even see the Pickpocket option when targeting an NPC. Higher ranks increase your chances of success when you do try to lift something, and rank 4 even lets you pickpocket holstered weapons.

To pickpocket a target once you have the skill, you’ll need to crouch down to enter stealth. Then get close to an NPC, and the Pickpocket prompt should appear. You’ll see the character’s inventory and a percent next to each item that indicates your chances of successfully lifting the item off of them.

Even if you don’t care about stealing everyone’s sandwiches, picking pockets can be an effective way to complete certain missions through stealth, usually by stealing a key. It’s also a level 1 skill, so you can grab it right off the bat and use it to unlock higher level Social skills.


Persuasion - Starfield Best Social Skills
The Persuasion skill. (Image: Bethesda Game Studios via HGG / Sarah Arnold)

While you won’t need to have the Persuasion skill to be able to talk your way through situations, it will frequently make it a lot easier. There are some persuasion checks in Starfield that can make a huge difference in how a conversation plays out, sparing you from having to fight a bunch of enemies or needing to find another way around a building.

Each rank of the Persuasion skill very simply increases your chances of success in these persuasion checks. You won’t even notice the difference until you realize you’ve gone through several missions without failing a check and having to decide if you want to reload or not.

Persuasion is a tier 1 skill, so you can put points into it right away. It’s a great skill to invest in if you’re trying to unlock the higher Social tiers.

Join the High Ground!

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

Happy gaming!


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