The first thing you do in Starfield is choose your Backstory, which automatically unlocks three skills for you. But the description of the skills does not explain what exactly they do. To help you understand what each starting skill does and which are the best level 1 skills in Starfield, here’s our guide.
All Level 1 Skills in Starfield Explained
There are five skill trees in Starfield : Physical, Social, Combat, Science, and Tech. There are 16 or 17 skills in each skill tree , but they all have five skills in the top row, called “starting skills”.
Unlike the classes in Skyrim, to be effective in the Starfield you will need some skills from each tree. Additionally, you need to spend four skill points per level to unlock the next level in the skill tree. This can be done by unlocking any skill or investing more skill points into leveling up an already unlocked skill.
Here’s what each level 1 skill in Starfield does:
- Boxing – Unarmed attacks deal 25% more damage. When using a power attack, 25% less O2 is used.
- Fitness – you have 10% more oxygen.
- Stealth – adds a stealth counter. When you sneak, you are 25% harder to spot. Silenced weapons deal 5% additional sneak attack damage.
- Lifting weights – increasing the total lifting capacity by 10 kilograms.
- Health – Increase your maximum health by 10%.
- Commerce – buy 5% cheaper, sell 10% more expensive.
- Gastronomy . You can prepare signature dishes and drinks, and research additional recipes in the Research Lab.
- Persuasion – Increases the chance of success when persuading someone by 10%.
- Garbage Collection – There is a chance that you will find extra credits when searching for containers.
- Steal – Unlock the ability to pickpocket targets.
- The battle
- Ballistic – Ballistic weapons (any ranged weapon that deals physical damage) deal 10% more damage.
- Duel – melee weapons deal 25% more damage. Take 10% less damage when using melee weapons.
- Lasers . Laser weapons deal 10% more damage.
- Pistol certification . Pistols deal 10% more damage.
- Shotgun Certified – Shotguns deal 10% more damage.
- The science
- Astrodynamics – increases the gravity jump range of jump engines by 15%.
- Geology . Obtain more common and uncommon inorganic resources from land-based objects.
- Medicine – First aid kits, trauma kits and first aid kits restore 10% additional health 10% faster.
- Research methods . Resources needed to craft items and complete research projects are reduced by 10%.
- Surveying – adds additional zoom to a handheld scanner and increases scanning distance by 20 meters.
- Ballistic weapons systems . Ballistic ship weapons deal 10% more damage and cost 20% less to use while aiming.
- Training with promotion packages . You can now use boost packs.
- Piloting . Now you can use ship engines (that is, the ability to strafe).
- Security . You can try to pick advanced locks, and two automatic attempts can be reserved.
- Guidance Control Systems – Unlocks the ship guidance function.
List of the best Starfield starting skills
While every starting skill is useful and can be more interesting than others in certain RPG builds, there are some skills that are objectively more important than others . While this list is my own opinion, I think most people would agree that these are the best basic skills in Starfield.
Starfield S-Tier Starting Skills
- Acceleration package
- Health improvement
By far the best starting skill in Starfield is Boost Pack . You won’t be able to use the Jetpack until you unlock the Boost Pack skill, and I guarantee that every Starfield character, regardless of playstyle, will use the Jetpack. It will help you travel the world both vertically and horizontally. Additionally, speed packing will prevent fall damage if you time it correctly.
The next best skill in Starfield is Stealth . While everyone can crouch and sneak in Starfield , you unlock the detection meter through the Stealth skill, which is extremely useful for stealth. This skill is useful for every character, but is best suited for those who want to play smarter. Without a counter, you won’t know whether enemies can see you or not.
I think fitness and wellness are S-tier because they bring benefits to every build. Fitness gives you more O2 or stamina and Wellness gives you more health. It is very important to gradually improve these two skills throughout your playthrough.
Security is a necessary skill because you will be able to pick more complex locks, and you will have to pick a lot of locks to get the best loot in Starfield. Lastly, I highly recommend the Ballistics skill because most of the weapons you will use in Starfield are ballistic weapons.
Finally, it is very important that everyone unlocks the Weight Lifting skill as soon as possible. Very soon you will realize that you cannot carry many things at once, and this skill will increase your carrying capacity. You don’t want to burden yourself!
Starfield A-Level Starting Skills
- Shotgun Certification
- Pistol Certification
- Target management systems
A-level skills are great options that you should eventually get, but they are not absolutely necessary for S-level.
I think shotguns are the best weapons in Starfield, which is why the shotgun certification is at the top of the A-tier, followed by the pistol certification , because that’s also a good thing since you’ll most likely always have a pistol on hand.
Medicine is a great skill that increases the amount and speed of health regeneration received from healing items. Target Control Systems is a really fun skill that essentially gives you VAT on Fallout ships. Piloting is another great skill that allows you to use engines to maneuver in space combat. This is really useful to avoid enemy fire and get into a superior position.
Persuasion is a great skill for those who want to find their way out of sticky situations, and stealing is a necessary skill if you want to steal. Both of these skills are really good and ultimately necessary in my opinion, but I would start by getting Boost Pack, Stealth or Security.
Starfield B-Level Starting Skills
- Garbage collection
- Ballistic weapons systems
B-level skills are just average . They’re definitely not bad, but there are better starting skill options.
Scavenging is a good skill that gives you more credits when finding containers, but as you complete the campaign and side quests, finding a few extra credits here and there doesn’t mean much.
Ballistic weapons systems allow your ship’s ballistic weapons to hit harder, which is good, but there isn’t enough space combat to make this a necessary skill. Lastly, Lasers are a good skill if you want to use laser weapons first, laser weapons are just harder to find.
Starfield C-Level Starting Skills
The starting C-tier skills are the ones that I wouldn’t recommend unlocking unless you really want it or are committed to a specific playstyle.
While it’s definitely part of the game, gathering resources isn’t a core part of Starfield. If you’re really into outpost building and exploration, then geology can be useful, but you can instead just go into trading and buy the resources you need from any major city in populated systems.
Exploration is a good option if you like going to planets and scanning everything, but it’s one of the least fun gameplay loops in my opinion. Plus, you can scan just fine without any surveying skills.
If you’re collecting melee weapons, choose Duel . If not, avoid it. In most cases, you will still resort to weapons. If you’re building a melee build, choose Boxing . But avoid it if this is not the case.
D-Tier Star Field Starting Skills
D-tier Starfield starting skills are the ones that I advise you to avoid completely . These skills aren’t worth it unless you’re a chef and don’t really need gastronomy skills.
One of the worst starting skills in Starfield is Gastronomy . You will never have to cook food or drinks in Starfield, and unlocking more food and drink recipes is completely useless. Really, unless you’re playing the role of a chef, avoid this skill.
Astrodynamics is a completely useless skill in Starfield, since you can make a gravity jump to any solar system throughout the entire game. You may have to spend a few credits to upgrade your ship, but it’s easy. It may take you longer to jump from one solar system to another instead of rushing straight to your destination, but that’s not a big deal.
If you’re stuck in decision paralysis like I was, feel free to save your skill points as you level up rather than spending them all at once. I often didn’t know what level I wanted to level up next, so I waited until I had three or four skills to unlock many good skills at once. You are not allowed to assign, so choose wisely.