In this guide, we’ll explore the best backgrounds for beginners, considering a balanced approach to starting your interstellar odyssey.
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 Background For Beginners In Starfield
When considering which background suits beginners to not just Starfield but RPGs in general, we have listed four options below that are best suited to the task and offer the most balanced approach to starting your planet-hopping adventure. It’s important to note that each Background in Starfield grants you one free rank in 3 predetermined skills, effectively jump-starting your character progression and skill set in a thematic and mechanical direction. Furthermore, some Backgrounds also grant unique quest, dialogue, and roleplaying options.
1. Bounty Hunter
“Wherever there are wanted individuals, there are those who profit from their capture. And your quarry knows that in the vastness of space, they can run…but they can’t hide.”
One of the easiest recommendations to give for a beginner is to take the Bounty Hunter background. Not only does it have mechanics that reflect its theme, but it grants unique dialogue options throughout the game and provides exceptional starting skills that will have you leveling up in no time!
Piloting allows you to fly more advanced ships, use thrusters, and have more responsive controls while flying your ship – an absolute must, as Starfield without a trusty starship is like toast without bread!
Targeting Control Systems allows your starship’s missiles to lock on faster and more efficiently, which means you’ll be able to destroy enemy ships faster and more effectively. Furthermore, this skill also allows you to target specific regions of an enemy ship, which allows you to disable a ship’s engines so that you can board it, allowing for more opportunities to loot items/ships.
Lastly, the Boost Pack Training skill is an absolute must-have in Starfield. It is vital to traverse the environment, giving you an edge in combat by providing verticality; without it, your pack equipment is useless. Boost Pack Training is arguably the best skill in Starfield.
This background overall focuses on providing a beginner with greater combat effectiveness, maneuverability, and quality of life both terrestrially and extraterrestrially at the start of the game, allowing you to easily branch out into other builds while providing a strong roleplaying theme and dialogue option integration.
“There was a time when all you wanted to be was a titan of industry, maybe a ship designer, or megacorp exec. Thankfully, that skillset never goes out of style in the Settled Systems.”
The Industrialist performs surprisingly well for those not looking to lean into a combat-heavy approach at the start of the game. This background gives you one rank in the Persuasion, Security, and Research Methods skills. All three are fantastic skills to have and rank up in Starfield.
In particular, the Persuasion skill will open up different dialogue options in the game for getting discounts, peaceful negotiations, and convincing people to look the other way. Security is a vital skill, especially early on in the game as it will allow you to use Digipicks, Starfield’s version of a lockpick, to access restricted areas, rooms, containers, and computer terminals, which will net you more loot and thus better items and credits right from the start of the game.
Lastly, getting a rank in Research Methods helps catapult you to being a crafter and putting all the universe’s resources to use for building weapons, spacesuits, medicines, or industrial components. All crafting skills benefit from Research Methods as it makes the material cost to research more advanced forms of craftable equipment exponentially cheaper and faster to conduct. Additionally, there are quite a few helpful/unique dialogue options that the Industrialist opens up in the Ryugen, Trade Authority, and Constellation questlines that add a flavor and angle that wouldn’t be otherwise available. So, If you know that you’ll be spending time exploring those factions, the Industrialist is an easy recommendation.
“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.”
The Cyberneticist is a very well-balanced combat build perfect for beginners. This background gives you one rank in the Medicine, Security, and Lasers skills. We’ve already mentioned the benefits of Security above, giving you environmental access to more loot and bypassing defense systems.
Starting the game with a rank in the Medicine skill is also extremely desirable and helpful as it makes the medpacks and various healing items in the game more effective and efficient by granting you a percentage boost to the healing done by these items. Medicine also unlocks some unique dialogue options that are very helpful in many quests.
Lastly, Lasers provides you with an offensive skill, increasing the damage done with Laser-based weaponry. The game provides plenty of distinct playstyle options in the four combat categories of Ballistic, Melee, Laser, and Unarmed weapons. However, Ballistic and Laser are the most diverse and dynamic categories. Taking lasers straight out the gate will give you a significant edge in combat shortly after character creation and thus helps you level faster and more efficiently by making you able to punch above your level with laser-based weaponry.
This background helps to give beginners a strong, well-rounded, and balanced start to the game by boosting your overall combat effectiveness (Lasers), combat sustainability (Medicine), and controlling the environment (Security).
“The wars are over. Peace now reigns the Settled Systems. But only because there are those quietly fight to keep it. Because of you, agreements were signed, words were heeded…lives were spared.”
For those looking at a less combat and less crafting-oriented approach to the game and just want to jump in and talk your way through the game, look no further than the Diplomat. We get one free rank in Persuasion, Commerce, and Wellness.
In the Industrialist section, we’ve already mentioned the benefits of having Persuasion above, so let’s talk about Commerce. Commerce is an incredible skill to take early on in the game. Taking Diplomat as our background gets us a free rank right at the start. This will give players an edge over every other background regarding cold hard credits. Items will be cheaper for you right out the gate, and you’ll be able to sell your loot for more credits as well, making this a great background for those looking to get rich quickly.
Lastly, a free rank in Wellness provides your character with more health and, thus, survivability than other backgrounds. These three skills combo extremely well to give you a versatile and hardy social character right out the gates with lots of room for roleplay, mercantilism, and survivability.
The Final Word
Selecting the right background in Starfield is a crucial decision that shapes your character’s skills and thematic direction. These recommended backgrounds for beginners provide a balanced start, catering to various playstyles and preferences. Whether you aspire to be an industrial magnate, a cybernetic warrior, a skilled negotiator, or a bounty hunter, these backgrounds ensure an exciting and well-rounded initiation into the cosmic wonders of Starfield!
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