Starfield: Best Backgrounds To Choose

There are over a dozen different Backgrounds to choose from, some of which grant great early-game advantages in Starfield.

Once you are done creating and customizing your character in Starfield, you will be asked to choose a Background. This is a very important choice to make because your Background is going to stay with you throughout your playthrough.

Background relates to not only your character’s history but also what traits they will possess heading forward in the game. Making the choice can be difficult as certain backgrounds are more impactful than others and can actually streamline your gaming experience.

Fortunately, out of the 21 Background Options, there is a choice for everyone but if you are stuck on what to choose, let us help you out.

Best Backgrounds to choose in Starfield

The skills granted by each Background will offer unique traits, dialogue options, and damage boosts that diversify your experience from others. Here are our picks for the best Backgrounds to choose from in Starfield.

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It is a jack-of-all-trades option that takes useful starting skills from other backgrounds and puts them into one. As the abilities don’t favor a single niche, it can be an excellent safe option if you don’t know what to expect from Starfield ahead.

The health boost increases survivability and is generally a skill everyone will put their Skill Points into anyway. It also enhances Ballistic weapon damage and enables ship thrusters for a better piloting experience.


Whatever Background you end up choosing, you will find yourself investing in these skills while building your foundations in Starfield. Having them already unlocked will help you invest in a specific path of your liking from the get-go.

  • Wellness – Maximum Health increases by 10%
  • Ballistics – Ballistic weapons damage increases by 10%
  • Piloting – Enables ship thrusters

Cyber Runner

It opens up unique gameplay mechanics in Starfield which are not available at the start for other Backgrounds. Without Cyber Runner, you will not be able to use Stealth so if you prefer sneaking up on your enemies, it is the way to go.

With its skills, it will allow you to pickpocket intended targets while you become difficult to detect for the duration of the Stealth-Meter. Lock-picking is an overall quality-of-life improvement for every Starfield player, which can be your saving grace in some cases as well.

So Cyber Runner offers unique and well-rounded abilities to work with, especially for those not looking to engage in combat all the time.

  • Stealth – You become 25% more difficult to spot while sneaking. Using suppressed weapons will deal an additional 5% sneak attack damage. Adds a stealth meter to track skill duration.
  • Theft – Enables pickpocketing targets.
  • Security – Allows you to attempt Advanced Locks and bank 2 auto-attempts.

Bounty Hunter

While talking about niche builds, Bounty Hunter is impossible to ignore. It specializes in ship-to-ship combat while specializing in the Tech side of the Skill Tree only. The skills it offers are what you will eventually put your points into regardless of your Background in Starfield.

While progressing, you will end up picking Boost Packs and Ship Thrusters for your ship because of how integrated they are into the gameplay. They form the core of this Background with additional target-lock ability that is not that flattering but can be good to have,

  • Piloting – Enables ship thrusters.
  • Targeting Control Systems – Enables ship targeting functionality.
  • Boost Pack Training – Enables boost packs.


Best at passively saving you from a tough spot, a silver tongue is never a bad thing to have. Diplomat Background in Starfield focuses on investing in the charismatic traits of a character. If you wish to lean more into the role-play aspect of the game then it is a fun, unique, and pretty useful skill set to have.

Diplomat gives you a higher success rate to use Persuasion in Starfield. It also boosts your economic status by allowing you to purchase for less while selling it for more.

Lastly, it offers a universal health boost which seems out of place with respect to other skills but nonetheless a good one to have. There is a good chance you end up investing in these skills anyway so having them at the start can actually be pretty useful.

  • Wellness – Maximum Health increases by 10%
  • Persuasion – Increases success rate of persuading someone by 10%
  • Commerce – Purchase for 5% less and sell it for 10% more.


For those interested in combat, the Soldier Background in Starfield offers one of the most useful starting skills. It favors increasing weapon damage and survivability in space so you can bring the heat to your foes while traversing the stars.

It enhances Ballistic weapon damage and provides Boost Pack Training from the get-go. You will eventually invest in these skills anyway because of how useful they are in combat situations and keeping your ship afloat.

Additionally, it increases Oxygen availability which is basically your Stamina in Starfield. It is a universally useful skill for resource farming and combat so you can never go wrong with having it.

  • Fitness – Increases Oxygen availability by 10%
  • Ballistics – Ballistic weapons damage increases by 10%
  • Boost Pack Training – Enables boost packs.

Worst early-game Backgrounds to ignore in Starfield

As there are excellent traits that Backgrounds offer to look forward to, there are also ones with little to no effective value in Starfield. The choice always depends on your own preference but it’s better to invest in the ones that would help you get started and enjoy the game rather than scourging for resources.


Chef Background offers little to no utility in Starfield. Well, it does offer something but feels like a combination of side traits that not only feel suboptimal but require investment to do better.

It increases melee weapon damage and you will not find good weapon options at the start of the game. The playstyle is not for starting players as you need heavy investment to get it on par with guns and their better damage output.

Being a Chef, you will be able to make unique food in the Research Lab which can be fun and useful for some. The main problem is that it requires you to get additional resources and eventually, you will find equally better alternatives for healing which just does not justify grabbing the trait early on.

The only saving grace of this Background is finding additional credits while exploring but it can be found in other Backgrounds that have relatively more to offer.

  • Dueling – Increase Melee Weapon damage by 25%. Reduces damage taken by 10% while wielding a Melee Weapon.
  • Gastronomy – Unlocks specialty food and drinks. Allows to research additional recipes at Research Lab.
  • Scavenging – Increases the chance of finding extra credits while searching containers.


Not that different from Chef, Pilgrim Background is among the least optimal starter options in Starfield. It focuses heavily on acquiring resources with no contribution to other gameplay mechanics.

It offers the same abilities of extra recipe options and credits as the Chef Background which are not that essential for starting out. They are improvements you can get while progressing the game whereas other skills will provide more utility.

Pilgrim also offers enhancements to your hand scanner which increases the survey radius and allows you to zoom in on the resources. It is not the strongest available option but can be pretty handy once upgraded.

  • Surveying – Enhances hand scanner survey radius to 20m and equips it with a zoom option.
  • Gastronomy – Unlocks specialty food and drinks. Allows to research additional recipes at Research Lab.
  • Scavenging – Increases the chance of finding extra credits while searching containers.


Explorer offers unique benefits but the skill set lacks useful abilities for those just starting out in Starfield. The skills within the set fail to complement each other and favor late-game mechanics making it a rather restricted option.

It offers an increased Gravitational Jump which simply has no benefit while starting out and the difference from a normal Jump is hardly noticeable.

Additionally, it enhances Laser weapon damage which is not only a strong option but is actually pretty fun to use.

The problem is that you will not have access to these weapons early on and they are pretty rare to come by. Lastly, it enhances your hand scanner which is a mismatched addition to the remainder of the skill set.

  • Astrodynamics –Jump drives ‘ Grav jump range increases by 15%.
  • Surveying – Enhances hand scanner survey radius to 20m and equips it with a zoom option.
  • Lasers – 10% damage boost for Laser Weapons.


Professor Background offers niche late-game skills in Starfield. The skill set contains quality-of-life improvements rather than actual substance.

It increases increased Grav jump range which is neither noticeable nor needed in the early game.  While it reduces items required for crafting by a certain percentage, it upturns the chances of getting more resources from surface objects.

All of these abilities are generally great improvements that become better with upgrades but are not that beneficial to starting players.

  • Astrodynamics – Jump drives ‘ Grav jump range increases by 15%.
  • Geology – Increases common and uncommon inorganic resources received from surface objects.
  • Research Methods – Resource requirement is reduced by 10% for crafting items and completing research projects.


Xenobiologist Background, unfortunately, is not very flattering in Starfield with traits that can be found in other Backgrounds with better Skill sets. It only has one good Skill for starting players coupled with weaker abilities.

It increases laser weapon damage, which again is not only hard to come by but also not accessible to starting players. Additionally, it provides hand scanner enhancements for increased search radius and zoom ability.

Lastly, the best part of this Background is increased Oxygen availability which can be pretty handy in most conditions.

  • Lasers – 10% damage boost for Laser Weapons
  • Surveying – Enhances hand scanner survey radius to 20m and equips it with a zoom option.
  • Fitness – Increases Oxygen availability by 10%

How does Background affect my Starfield playthrough?

Choosing a certain Background in Starfield has no actual effect on the gameplay. It will offer new dialogue options while interacting with NPCs and companions but you can progress through the game with any of the available options.

You will eventually be able to unlock all the skills but certain abilities are more beneficial than others to start out with. With all of this said, it is best to choose what you prefer to be in your own best interest.

Can I change my Background later in Starfield?

Unfortunately, you won’t be able to change your Background later in Starfield. This is because certain dialogue options and character reactions are different based on your Background.

It provides a more immersive experience uniquely tailored to your character’s traits. If you specifically want a Skill available to other Backgrounds then don’t worry as you will be able to unlock all available skills regardless of your Background.

Hence, be careful while choosing your Background at the start of the game. Your entire playthrough is going to depend on it.

That being said, you can use Item IDs cheat codes to spawn/change Backgrounds in Starfield. Doing so will, however, disable your achievements for that playthrough.

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