It may sound obvious, but your starting skills are extremely important in Starfield. That’s because skills rank up naturally by using them in related challenges, so if you don’t unlock them early, you won’t be completing those challenges and you’ll eventually have to stop your progression and farm skill ranks just to catch up!
Many skills in Starfield also unlock completely new forms of gameplay like boost packs, ship targeting, extreme outposts, and combat slides that you can NOT use if you don’t unlock that skill. With that in mind, I’ve come up with a list of the top 13 Best skills you need to unlock EARLY to make your Starfield playthrough as painless as possible. Let’s get into it!
Number 1 on our list is Security, found in the tech skill tree. Security is essentially Starfield’s version of lockpicking, but a bit more advanced as it uses multiple overlapping layers of rings that you have to fill the gaps for to clear the lock.
Locks in Starfield will be found on both containers and doors, meaning not only is breaking through those locks important for gaining more loot but if you don’t have the higher ranks your progress may get blocked completely if a locked door guards the way.
Ranking up this skill early will mean that any locks that you open along the way will fill up your challenge meter naturally as you play the game, letting you eventually open every possible lock type all the way up to master and never missing anything.
2. Boost Pack Training
Next up is Boost Pack Training, also in the tech tree, which allows your character to use one of the best features in the game of Starfield and that is jet packs. Seriously, you need to get this skill unlocked as soon as possible because not only is it fun to use, but it also opens up way more possibilities for traversal and even combat!
Boost pack training is a skill that I recommend you also max out all the way to rank 4 sooner rather than later. The reason for this is that each rank of this skill makes your boost pack use more efficient, letting you use less fuel and regenerate fuel more quickly.
Once you achieve rank 4 you’ll notice a huge difference as on low gravity planets you can essentially fly infinitely because you have that extra potential to float and your boost pack training will generate your fuel before you even get close to the ground.
The Medicine skill in Starfield makes your healing items more effective, increasing their total amount healed and speeding up their healing time. This is important because the basic healing items in Starfield such as Med Packs are actually extremely weak. By level 10 on my first playthrough, I was burning through these things like crazy before I figured out that I could actually upgrade their healing substantially with this skill. Even getting medicine up to rank 2 will make a noticeable difference in your overall ability to heal through damage, letting you focus more on the combat at hand which is great.
4. Weight Lifting
Next on our list is Weight Lifting, which is found in the physical skill tree. Weight lifting is an extremely simple skill to understand as its primary use is to increase your carrying capacity. Each rank gives you more potential carryweight with Rank 4 providing a whopping 100 bonus carry weight!
If you are familiar with any Bethesda title you no doubt understand the importance of carry weight in making your life easier. With a lower carry weight, you’ll quickly get encumbered, and in Starfield, that’s a really bad thing because your Oxygen meter (Starfield’s version of Stamina) doesn’t refill as fast, and even worse, you can no longer fast travel back to your ship or anywhere, essentially leaving you stuck. So this is another skill you want to unlock early and it also progresses quite easily to the next rank simply by sprinting around when you are near capacity.
Piloting rank 1 and rank 2 are so important that they turn your ship from a sitting duck into a truly useful space gladiator. At rank 1 you can engage your ship’s thrusters. This benefit is huge for ship combat as it will make changing direction so much easier!
At rank 2 your maneuverability is increased. Both of these improvements are really essential for ship combat and believe me you will need to fight off some enemy ships early on in Starfield so it’s best to be prepared and grab these when you can.
Eventually Piloting rank 3 and 4 will also be very useful in the mid to late game as these ranks let you make use of better quality parts in the B tier and C tier to upgrade your ship, making it much more effective overall.
6. Targeting Control Systems
Targeting Control Systems is a must-have skill in Starfield as it lets you lock onto an enemy ship, slowing down time while also letting you target specific enemy ship systems like shields, engines, weapons, and more. Using the targeting skill is also the only way to reliably disable an enemy ship’s engine if you want to approach them for boarding. The thing about this skill is that the time to lock onto your targets is a bit long at rank 1 so once you do have some extra skill points I recommend taking this one to at least rank 2 if not rank 3 to speed that up so you do not have to wait around to get a target while fighting off those pesky space pirates.
Stealth can be found in the Physical skill tree in Starfield and it’s one of the game’s most obvious skills allowing you to Sneak more successfully. Now unlike Boost Pack Training where you can’t boost at all if you don’t have the skill unlocked, you can always sneak in Starfield. What rank 1 of stealth does however is it gives you access to the actual stealth meter on your heads-up display which tells you how close you are to being detected. So if you are interested in stealth build or utilizing sneak attacks for bonus damage, this skill is pretty much essential.
Next up is Gymnastics, also located in the Physical skill tree. Now this is sort of a fun one as rank 1 of gymnastics unlocks the combat slide which you can use by sprinting and using the crouch or stealth button at the same time. This is one of those skills that isn’t fully necessary but can be helpful, especially on harder difficulty levels as it will help you take less damage by getting to cover more quickly.
The Wellness skill, located in the Physical skill tree in Starfield is pretty much a no-brainer as it will give a solid boost to your overall health pool, helping you to survive for longer in difficult encounters. As with most other skills in Starfield, the bonuses here are percentage-based and they improve with subsequent ranks, so getting beyond rank 1 here is eventually recommended to really maximize your survivability on any build.
10. Planetary Habitation
One more utility skill worth mentioning has to do with Outpost building and it’’’s one that many players are going to overlook. This is the Planetary Habitation skill and it’s located in the science tree. Now this skill is not required to create a basic outpost on a temperate planet like Jemison, but it will come into play later if you want to take your base building further out into the galaxy on other planets that have extreme temperatures. That’s because any planet in Starfield that is especially harsh like a deep freeze or inferno environment can not be built on without this skill unlocked.
This will be extremely useful for a pirate or smuggler playthrough because it will allow you to build your outpost in a secluded part of the galaxy away from prying eyes allowing you to build your criminal empire in peace. Plus each rank of this skill also increases the maximum number of outposts you can build as a nice side bonus.
Every player should get a few ranks of Ballistics early because most of the early weapons you’ll come across in Starfield fall into this category. This includes pistols, rifles, shotguns, and more. Each of those weapon types also has its own skill which you can level separately, but with skill points being relatively hard to come by early on it makes sense to invest in just one skill that will improve them all at the same time and that’s what Ballistics does.
The Demolitions skill improves grenades and mines in Starfield. Demolitions is also one of those skills in Starfield that unlocks a unique gameplay element that you wouldn’t be able to use otherwise – a visible trajectory on your grenade. Without this trajectory perk, grenades become much less reliable. But with rank one you can throw grenades with much higher accuracy over terrain and even bounce them off corners! Just one skill point here is definitely worth it!
13. Rapid Reloading
Finally, I recommend picking up the Rapid Reloading skill at some point as certain weapons in Starfield can take a very long time to reload especially in the heat of battle, so any improvement here will be greatly appreciated. But that’s it, our list of the top 13 skills you need get early in Starfield. I hope this guide was helpful for you and if it was make sure to check out our other Starfield guides below.
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