Often the hardest part of any RPG is the character creation process. You have to decide who you want to be for however long it takes you to finish the game. In a game like Starfield, that could be dozens and dozens of hours, so we’ve ranked the best traits and background to pick for your character and make your journey easier.
And trust us, it doesn’t get easier making a decision whether it’s your first playthrough or your 100th. That being said, some choices are geared towards offering solid gameplay benefits while others are just plain fun.
Best Background to Choose in Starfield
Backgrounds in Starfield are essentially classes, providing some particular flavor and backstory for your character as well as a few starting skills.
Your background may come up now and then as you travel the Settled Systems. Usually, it will just get a passing mention in dialogue, but in some situations, it may affect the options that are available to you, An example is a Beast Hunter being able to ask for a larger reward for a quest to track down an alien creature.
We chose some backgrounds that have what we think are particularly useful starting skills. Though in the end, you should pick a background that fits the kind of character you want to play, both in terms of skills and roleplay.
If you’re the kind of player who likes to look for a non-violent solution rather than running in with guns ablaze, it’s worth considering playing a Diplomat.
You won’t get any skills that help you deal damage, but you’ll get Wellness, which increases your health. You’ll also get Persuasion for practicing that diplomacy you’re known for, and Commerce, which can help you make better deals at vendors (notably, only the Diplomat gets Commerce as a starting skill).
All of these are a good combination of skills for a more peaceful playthrough that focuses on questing, crafting, and building.
#6 Bounty Hunter
Ready to unleash your inner Boba Fett? The Bounty Hunter background gives you exactly the skills he would have if he was transported across universes into Starfield.
The Piloting skill is incredibly valuable to have, as it allows you to maneuver your ship better and can allow you to pilot more advanced ships. The Bounty Hunter is also the only background that gets Targeting Control Systems, putting you way ahead of the game in space combat.
Outside the cockpit, you get to take advantage of Boost Pack Training, allowing you to jump higher and farther. And we all know how much jumping (and sequence breaking) players tend to do in Bethesda games.
#5 Space Scoundrel
If you’re more of a Han Solo than a Boba Fett, then Space Scoundrel might be the background you’re looking for.
It offers Pistol Certification, so you can do more damage in combat. You’ll also get Piloting, a valuable skill for getting around in a spaceship. And you’ll round things out with the Persuasion skill, which can make a lot of quests easier to complete.
This is a good all-around background if you want to dabble in different areas of the game: combat, questing, and spaceships.
Do you hate to miss anything in a game? If so, the Industrialist might be a good background for you. It doesn’t offer any combat or ship bonuses, but it does offer some skills that will help you with your quests and exploration.
Persuasion will keep you from missing dialogue checks, and Security will help ensure that you can always find out what’s inside that locked safe. Top it off with Research Methods, which will let you discover and craft projects with fewer resources, and you’ll be ahead of the curve in terms of the items you can make.
#3 Cyber Runner
If your primary goal in Starfield is to steal everyone’s sandwiches, the Cyber Runner background can help you do that. This background offers the perfect trifecta of skills for an aspiring thief.
Stealth helps you stay hidden while you work your magic, Security lets you crack open more locked cases and safes, and Theft lets you lift items directly from people’s pockets. No sandwich or credstick will be safe from your kleptomaniac hands.
For people who prefer a good clean fight to all that sneaking around, there’s the Soldier background.
The Fitness skill will let you run around more before you have to let your O2 recharge. Ballistics makes you more effective with any weapon that uses bullets, which is the majority of guns in the game. Lastly, Boost Pack Training lets you jump higher and farther.
With this combination of skills, you’ll be unstoppable menace on any battlefield – whether it be on a strange alien planet or in the unforgiving void of space.
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Although this background doesn’t offer any unique story or dialogue options, it does come with three very strong starting skills, which makes it a great option for anyone who isn’t overly concerned about roleplay.
The Wellness skill offers a straightforward buff to your health, and Ballistics improves your damage with all weapons that use bullets. With your combat bases covered, you also get the Piloting skill, which will make travel and combat easier as the game progresses.
Best Starting Traits to Take in Starfield
While backgrounds are mostly about giving your character a jumping off point, many traits will continue to be relevant over the course of your entire game. Some give a buff or grant access to features you won’t otherwise be able to use.
For this reason, traits are probably the more important choice to consider in character creation. Luckily, you get to choose up to three traits, whereas you only get one background. Traits can also be removed later on, though you can’t acquire any new ones.
We chose some traits that have a particularly positive impact on gameplay.
#7 Terra Firma
This trait increases your health and oxygen when on planets and moons, but decreases them whenever you’re in space.
Although this trait has a definite downside, you’ll be doing most of your fighting on the surface. So you won’t notice the negative effects very often, and you’ll benefit from the positive ones quite a lot. A good trait to take for combat, unless you plan to do a lot of space piracy.
#6 Dream Home
Although that 125,000 credit mortgage may seem intimidating, it’s worth noting that the banking industry in the Settled Systems is a lot more laidback about collecting payment than in real life. You only have to make your payments when you actually want to use the house.
For a measly 500 credits a week, you get access to a lovely little home right off the bat that you can decorate as you please. There are plenty of other housing options in the game, but if you’d like to collect and decorate them all, you won’t want to skip this trait.
Just remember – even in the far off future, in the depths of space, you can’t escape capitalism.
As long as you don’t have something against traveling with a follower, this trait is pure upside.
You use less oxygen as long as you have a human companion at your side. Having a companion with you has its own benefits – they can help you in combat and carry your stuff – so a little O2 buff is just icing on the cake.
Unsurprisingly, this can’t be taken alongside the Introvert trait, which provides the opposite effect.
#4 Alien DNA
Although this trait has a very noticeable downside of making healing items less effective, its upside of increased health and oxygen is a worthwhile tradeoff. With time you’ll find yourself flush with healing items, so making up for their reduced effectiveness won’t be an issue.
The trait doesn’t decrease the effectiveness of any other buffs, only healing. With the increased health and O2 you start out with, you can worry a bit less about your health and O2 overall.
#3 Kid Stuff
While this trait comes with a tangible cost in credits and no real gameplay benefits, it offers the unique and enjoyable experience of visiting and interacting with your character’s parents. Which is incredibly rare given that almost every main character in a RPG tends to be an orphan (or ends up as one part way through the game).
The game bases your parents’ appearance on your character’s, so it’s fun just to go meet them and see where your character came from. They send you letters periodically and you can visit them any time. A few credits every week for parental affection is a small price to pay.
#2 Hero Worshipped
Remember the Adoring Fan from Oblivion? He’s back in Starfield, and this time he wants to follow you across the Settled Systems.
It’s a lot of fun having your very own hype man aboard your ship, and more importantly, he’s a free crew member. Hiring those can get pretty expensive, so that’s a pretty big bonus. The only reason you’d want to avoid this trait would be if you find him too annoying to have around.
Having a price on your head might sound like a bad thing, but in Starfield it’s actually a pretty good deal overall.
Sure, you have to fight off a few armed thugs every once in a while – but that just means you get more loot! And for your trouble, you get a pretty powerful buff whenever your health gets low. If you’re comfortable holding off on healing, you can take advantage of this to do some big damage.
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Thanks for reading! We hope this guide has helped you choose the best background and traits 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!