A sniper relies on precision, range, and the ability to deliver devastating shots from a distance. In this guide, we explore the best backgrounds to create the perfect sniper build in Starfield.
How to Choose a Background
To choose a background in Starfield, start the game, and once at the main menu, select “New” to start a new game. Go through the guided tutorial, and you’ll soon be able to fully create your character, making a biometric ID, Body, Face, and then selecting a Background and three optional Traits.
See our Full Character Creation Guide.
Best Backgrounds For A Sniper Build
“The Settled Systems is no stranger to warfare, and if there’s one thing armed conflict relies on it’s trained warriors with guns and guts. You had both. Simple, bloody work…and you were great at it.”
The best Background for a Sniper build in Starfield is the Soldier. This background gives us one rank in the Fitness, Ballistics, and Boost Pack Training skills.
The Ballistics skill is one you will want to max out right away, as this improves your damage with all ballistic weapons, including rifles as well as increases your maximum range by a whopping thirty percent! Talk about the perfect sniper starting perk!
Boost Pack Training is the prime bonus of this background that will give you a jetpack from day 1 and is extremely useful. We end up sacrificing that starting survivability/utility found in the Beast Hunters Gastronomy for something that grants us verticality, dynamic movement, and an escape in combat but also a means of getting to higher ground very quickly, which is imperative to a sniper.
2. Beast Hunter
“From the Ashta of Akila to the Terrormorphs that plague the whole of the Settled Systems, hostile alien life abounds. You’ve learned the skills to track them, find them, and take them down.”
Easily one of the best options for jumpstarting a ranged Sniper build in Starfield, the Beast Hunter grants one rank in the Fitness, Ballistics, and Gastronomy skills.
Fitness gives us increased percentage of Oxygen, Starfield’s equivalent to stamina. Oxygen is used for running, jumping, and more importantly for our Sniper build holding your breath to steady your shots while aiming down the sights of a scoped weapon.
Ballistics, as mentioned above, is an absolute must-have skill that increases damage done with ALL ballistic weapons, whether that be pistols, shotguns, minigun, semi-autos, or rifles.
Lastly, we get Gastronomy, which will allow us to use what we kill, allowing us to concoct specialized food and drink from alien creatures. This fits the roleplaying theme behind the Beast Hunter perfectly and gives us a great survival skill in the field.
The dialogue options with the Beast Hunter background also fit that lone ranger vibe that most associate with a Sniper character. This background really jumpstarts a Sniper build in the right direction immediately. Simply max out Fitness and Ballistics and go on to purchase and max out the Stealth, Rifle Certification, Marksmanship, Sniper Certification, Armor Penetration, and Sharpshooting skills and you’ll be an unstoppable terror on the battlefield.
“Robots? Mere toys. Neuroamps? Good for parlor tricks. The Colony War may have made implants and upgrades available to veterans, but you once saw a greater future. Humans and machines, as one.”
Another strong background option for a sniper build is the Cyberneticist, especially if you are interested in making a Sniper that uses EM/Laser-based weapons instead of Ballistic weaponry. There are fantastically diverse arsenals available in both ballistic and EM weaponry, so one is not necessarily better than the other. As a result, that allows us to have a very well-rounded and flexible Sniper build with the Cyberneticist, which grants us one rank in the Medicine, Security, and Lasers skills.
Medicine will allow us to better use healing equipment such as medpaks and trauma kits by boosting the percentage of healing it gives us.
Security will allow us to utilize the lockpicking mechanic in Starfield. Using digipicks to unlock the sequence of tumblers, will allow us to loot all containers and access otherwise restricted areas, which as a Sniper, sometimes the prime shooting locations can be behind a locked door or ventilation shaft.
Lastly, Lasers will provide us with a tremendous damage and range boost to ALL our Laser-based weapons.
The Cyberneticist dialogue options add an edgy intelligence to the character from a roleplaying perspective. The Cyberneticist provides a well-balanced approach to a sniper build by opening up the environment and looting potential with Security, improved combat sustain through the Medicine skill, and both a damage and range boost to our Laser-based weapons.
Simply max out Lasers and Medicine skills before purchasing the Stealth, Incapacitation, Particle Beams, Marksmanship, Sniper Certification, Armor Penetration, and Sharpshooting skills to be the polar opposite of a storm trooper, blasting anything that moves with a beam of death.
The Final Word
In the vast expanse of Starfield, the right background is the cornerstone of a successful sniper build. Each recommended background brings a unique blend of skills and thematic elements that cater to different playstyles. Whether you prefer a traditional ballistic approach, an edgy cybernetic touch, or an adventurous exploration twist, these backgrounds pave the way for an immersive and powerful sniper character. As you traverse the cosmic landscape, may your shots be true, and your chosen background align seamlessly with the marksman within. Be sure to check out our website for more tips, tricks, and builds for Starfield.
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