In the vast expanse of Starfield, where shadows conceal as much as stars illuminate, the art of stealth is paramount. Crafting a character adept at slipping through the darkness undetected requires not only skill but a strategic choice of background. This guide delves into the best backgrounds for those who prefer stealth 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 Background For Stealth Builds In Starfield
1. Cyber Runner
“From Neon to New Atlantis, the megacorps stand as monuments to power, prestige and profit. You’ve worked both for and against them, on the inside and out, often sacrificing conscience for credits.”
Easily the best background choice for a Stealth build, both thematically and mechanically, is the Cyber Runner. It provides players with a true sneaky agent style in its dialogue options for roleplaying, and it shines in the Ryujin Industries storyline on Neon. Mechanically, it achieves its thematic premise by providing players with rank 1 in the Stealth, Security, and Theft skills.
Stealth will unlock the stealth meter for us and make us harder to detect. Security will allow us to utilize digipicks to unlock doors, containers, and computer systems that otherwise would be inaccessible to us. Theft grants us the ability to pickpocket items off of NPC’s, granting us access to more loot, credits, and quest items that otherwise would not be possible.
These three skills combine together to grant a level 1 character an extremely strong start as a ghost/spectre-like agent who can effectively sneak across a battlefield or through a building completely undetected, bypassing security systems and stealing keycards or credits right off people without anyone being the wiser. This is Hands down the best stealth build background in Starfield.
“Masterless and unbound, you wandered the Settled Systems as a blade for hire. To some, you were a simple mercenary. To others, a hero. And to a select few…a nightmare they could never wake from.”
Another very solid background selection for a stealth build is the Ronin. The Ronin excels at stealth and melee, particularly if you supplement it later on with the Concealment skill. The Ronin is a good choice for those who want to be stealthy but be a damage dealer right out the gate. The Ronin provides one rank in the Dueling, Stealth, and Scavenging skills.
Dueling increases our melee damage by 25% while granting a 10% damage reduction as long as we have a melee weapon. Stealth will give us access to the stealth meter and make it harder for enemies to detect us. Finally, the Scavenging skill will allow us to gain extra credits and items from containers which is useful for any Starfield build.
These synergize well to create a deadly melee assassin stealth build that can more than hold its own when you need to get close and personal with a target. The roleplaying side of the Ronin gives more of the edgy loner dialogue options to fit this type of stealth mold.
“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.”
Now you might think this to be an absolutely outlandish choice at first for a Stealth build, but if you are willing to wait until level 2 to spend a point to pick up the Stealth skill, then the Industrialist suddenly transforms into a very interesting social hybrid type of stealthier.
Industrialist grants us one rank in Persuasion, Security, and Research Methods.
Let’s start with the obvious: Research Methods doesn’t aid in our stealthy ways, however it does make any materials we steal or pilfer while sneaking count more towards unlocking some of the best craftable gear and items in the game, if you know that you plan to craft in Starfield and want to play a stealthy character this gets both those directions started relatively early.
Security as we’ve mentioned above will grant us digipicks and access to areas, containers, and computer systems we otherwise couldn’t.
Persuasion is a very strong skill, coupled with Security and Stealth it makes a level 2 character capable of slipping by virtually undetected but if you do get detected Persuasion gives you the ability to talk your way out of a fight or out of trouble or into an area that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to.
Couple this with the later skills of Diplomacy or Intimidation, Concealment, or Manipulation, and you have a character that can pretty much go where they please if they are detected in the first place. That makes this Industrialist background the wolf in sheep’s clothing approach to making a stealth build. In some questlines the Industrialist dialogue options can be quite heartless and corporate which somewhat fits this mold but not as well as our first two entries.
“You were always disgusted by suckers killing themselves to make an “honest wage”. As soon as you were old enough to hold a weapon, you took what you wanted from anyone unlucky enough to have it.”
Thematically and mechanically on paper, the Gangster is the farthest cry at first glance from a viable background for a stealth build. However, if we hang tight and invest until level 5 we can pull off a unique and unorthodox build that gives flashbacks to the main antagonist from the film “No Country for Old Men”.
Gangster will grant us one rank in the Shotgun Certification, Boxing, and Theft skills.
Theft, as mentioned above, will grant us the ability to pickpocket NPC’s, the one skill in line with stealth. Boxing will grant our unarmed attacks to do 25% more damage while consuming 25% less O2. Shotgun Certification will grant us a 10% damage bonus to shotguns.
After hitting level 2, pick up the Stealth skill, Level 3 Security, Level 4 Fitness, Level 5 Boost Pack Training. You’ll want to eventually buy or loot a shotgun with a silencer (or craft at later levels) if you can get your hands on the Experiment A-7 shotgun and equip a silencer even better. This turns this rough and tumble, typically loud-as-a-rock concert character into a deadly heavy hitter that is able to sneak up on foes and unleash absolute lethal force ending most enemies in a single shot and fights in few seconds before they even see you coming and by then it will be too late as this build will tear apart a room of enemies in moments. Not your typical stealth build at all but a unique and rather unorthodox approach to the silent but deadly theme.
The Final Word
Whether embracing the sleek efficiency of a Cyber Runner, the deadly precision of a Ronin, the unexpected social finesse of an Industrialist, or the unorthodox lethality of a Gangster, each background offers a distinct path to mastering the art of unseen movements. As you navigate the cosmos, may your footsteps remain silent, and your chosen background cast you in the shadow of the unknown. For all other tips, tricks, guides, and builds be sure to check out our website and we hope you found this article helpful.
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