Snipers are universally loved. Something about those big hefty guns that can shoot over long distances and take out enemies in a single shot just feels so right. The same is true for Starfield, where snipers are extremely overpowered as compared to other weapons. Invest in a good Starfield sniper build and your killing capabilities will be unmatched. Every star system in the game will know and fear your name.
Even though Sniper is already the strongest weapon class in Starfield, building around Sniper will make you even better with the weapon and let you reap all the benefits that come with long-range fights.
Character setup for Starfield Sniper build
The base of a good build is laid when you make your character, so let us look at what background and traits are best suited for our Sniper build. The initial 3 skills provided by your background will go a long way in deciding how your sniper build plays out.
Best Background for sniper
The best background for Sniper Build is the Soldier background. As a Soldier, your character gets Fitness, Ballistics and Boost Pack Training skills from the skill tree.
Fitness offers increased lung capacity, allowing your character to stay out longer in space and maintain proper distance from your enemies. Ballistic skill increases your character’s effectiveness with Ballistic weapons, which most snipers are. Lastly, Boost Pack Training allows you to use Boost Packs from the beginning of the game and makes it easier to relocate yourself to higher areas to take easy shots.
Best starting traits
Traits play a very important role in shaping your build. Do keep in mind that they are optional because traits are a double-edged sword. However, we would recommend you pick the following starting traits for your sniper build in Starfield.
The first trait we get is the Alien DNA trait. This trait further increases your total HP and oxygen capacity, but your healing items are no longer as effective as they normally are, but that’s not a big issue. You will always keep a distance from your enemies so healing won’t be a big requirement.
The next trait we highly recommend is either Extrovert or Introvert. Both traits have the same effect, but the only variable is whether you want to bring companions along or not. If you have a companion, use Extrovert to reduce your oxygen consumption. If you prefer going around solo, use Introvert to reduce oxygen consumption. Remember, you can’t have both of these traits at the same time.
There are no other traits that are specific to this sniper build. We recommend picking either any Faction trait or Religious trait from the trait menu. This allows you to get some extra weapons and quests in the game, but you can pick any trait you want.
Best skills for Sniper build in Starfield
After the build is complete, you need to level up your character to further polish the build by selecting the right skills. Let us look at what skills we need to make the Sniper build better.
- Weight Lifting
The first skill we recommend is the Fitness skill. The skill increases your total oxygen capacity overall. The reason we are so focused on increasing your oxygen bank is that you use up oxygen when you focus and reduce the sway of your weapon. Higher oxygen means you can focus for longer and take better shots.
Next, we have Weight Lifting so you can carry as many items as you need. Snipers are generally heavy and they are not exactly viable in every situation, so you are forced to carry at least one close or mid-range weapon with you as well. Weightlifting will help you carry whatever you need for your missions.
Next, since you will be taking some high positions to snipe your enemies, you need to be able to make a quick escape. Gymnastic skill will reduce fall damage and you can use Combat Slide as well. This will allow you to be mobile with less worrying about taking unwanted damage.
Lastly, we want Rejuvenation as you have Alien DNA and healing items are less useful. Furthermore, Rejuvenation helps keep your Sniper build in Starfield stay topped off at all times, which is extremely important for a build that spends most of its time staying stationary to line up perfect shots.
We recommend no skill in the Social skill tree, other than Instigation. Instigation is also only recommended if you are having difficulty flushing out enemies in the open, so this skill will help you turn one of your targets against their companions and force your targets to reposition so you can pick them off.
No need to focus on the social skill tree for Sniper build otherwise.
- Rifle Certification
- Sniper Certification
- Rapid Reloading
- Armor Penetration
We will need a lot of investment in the Combat skill tree. The first skill we need is the Ballistic skill. This skill will increase your damage with all ballistic weapons, including any type of ballistic sniper rifle you are using.
Next, we take Rifle Certification as this skill allows you to deal additional damage with all rifles, sniper rifles included. This is important as you won’t get your hands on a powerful sniper rifle early on, so you will be using basic rifles with scopes equipped on them, making them better.
Later on, we also recommend Sniper Certification. Sniper Certification and Rifle Certification can both work with one another and their buffs will stack up, provided you are using a sniper.
Marksmanship skill increases your chances of landing a critical hit with a non-automated weapon. Last time we checked, all rifles (other than assault rifles) and snipers are basically not automated and only fire a single shot. The ridiculously high damage of a sniper will be further enhanced by landing often critical hits. Particularly useful for stronger enemies.
Marksmanship, paired with Sharpshooting, which increases damage dealt with critical attacks, and Armor Penetration, which allows your shots to ignore enemy armor when you hit them, allowing you to deal more damage, and lets you chew through the enemy’s health bars like it’s a joke.
Lastly, we will speak about Rapid Reloading. All snipers and rifles have horrid ammo capacity and you will have to reload often. As such, the best thing you can do for yourself is get a skill that helps you reload faster.
- Research Methods
- Weapon Engineering
Both skills are for the same and singular purpose. You need to use Research Methods and Weapon Engineering will allow you to create new and powerful mods for your weapon, and their research will be fastened with these skills.
- Booster Pack Training
Booster Pack Training increases the effectiveness of your booster pack, allowing you to fly further and longer.
Next, we recommend players focus on the Robotics skill. This skill will allow you to deal additional damage to all robots and automated turrets.
Gear setup for Sniper build
Sniper build is all about positioning. Yes, your weapons and armor do matter a lot as well, but they are worth nothing if you can’t and a shot. Fighting in cramped spaces will always be disadvantageous for you.
We recommend that players stick with Ballistic weapons. Although you can use any rifle, we recommend players focus on getting the Magsniper for the Sniper build. This sniper has an excellent range of 120 meters and will hit for over 400 damage per shot.
Additionally, the sniper has both penetrating shots for those enemies who think armor will protect them and a powerful scope that will help you line up your shots perfectly. Upgrade the weapon with a Long Scope option and Stabilizer Barrel to improve its accuracy.
For your secondary weapon, you can go with anything you like, but we recommend another ballistic rifle as your build favors those. AA-99 is an excellent rifle with a high fire rate and decent damage, which can be further boosted with proper mods.
For armor, it’s best you go with any medium armor. Medium armor provides enough safety to be useful, and is mobile enough to not hinder movement too much. You will be easily able to move around and your comparatively lighter armor will also light on your booster pack.
You can further improve your armor with mods, and we recommend that you get a Ballistic Shield mod. Most laser and EM weapons have a limited range, so you will need to stay safe from enemy snipers at all costs.