Top Choices for Starfield Backgrounds: Which Should You Pick?

Choosing your character’s background is a significant decision in Starfield, a highly anticipated science fiction RPG that’s finally here. This game promises vast intergalactic exploration, and your character’s background not only defines their history but also determines their starting skills, crucial for your journey. With a multitude of backgrounds available, we’re here to simplify your choice by highlighting the best Starfield backgrounds you should consider. So, let’s dive right in.

Best Starfield Backgrounds for New Players

Starfield offers a selection of 21 unique backgrounds, each equipped with its own set of skills. If you’d like to explore the details of each background, including their descriptions and skills, keep reading as we provide an overview of all of them. However, to get you started, here are our top five recommendations:

  • Soldier
  • Cyber Runner
  • Combat Medic
  • Bounty Hunter

These backgrounds will shape your character’s journey in Starfield, so select the one that aligns with your preferred playstyle and character concept. Whether you lean towards combat, stealth, diplomacy, or exploration, there’s a background that suits your preferences.

Let’s take a closer look at the various backgrounds available in Starfield :

1. Soldier

This background is a personal favorite for many in Starfield. Soldiers hail from the turbulent Settled Systems, where violence is a familiar companion. If you’re looking to not only survive but excel in combat situations, this is an excellent choice.

Soldiers possess a skill set that enhances both their combat abilities and mobility. Fitness and Ballistics skills boost your stamina and damage output, giving you an advantage in fights. Moreover, the Boost Pack Training provides early access to a jetpack, adding versatility to your character.

Fitness - Enhances your oxygen capacity.
Ballistics - Increases the damage dealt by ballistic weapons.
Boost Pack Training - Grants you early access to and proficiency with Boost Packs.

2. Cyber Runner

If the soldier’s life doesn’t appeal to you, the Cyber Runner background is tailor-made for those who prefer a stealthy approach and aim to turn a profit. Cyber Runners are masters of navigating the world quietly and discreetly. This background grants you a valuable stealth skill, making it considerably more challenging for enemies to spot you.

Additionally, you acquire security and theft skills, significantly improving your lockpicking abilities and offering extra attempts to open locks with finesse. So, if you’d rather not rely on firearms, the Cyber Runner path might be your preferred choice.

Stealth - Adds a stealth meter, making it challenging for enemies to detect you.
Security - Improves lockpicking skills and provides two additional auto attempts.
Theft - Enables pickpocketing of personnel.

3. Combat Medic

In Starfield, your health is valuable, and it can drop rapidly if you’re not cautious. That’s where the Combat Medic background comes in handy. With the Medicine skill, you’ll recover faster when using Med, Trauma, and Emergency packs compared to other backgrounds.

Additionally, the Wellness skill boosts your maximum health. But don’t assume you’re defenseless; the Pistol Certification allows you to deal more damage with pistols.

Pistol Certification - Boosts damage dealt with pistols.
Medicine - Med, Trauma, and Emergency packs heal faster and increase your health.
Wellness - Increases your maximum health.

4. Bounty Hunter

In Starfield, space travel is at the heart of the game. Fortunately, the Bounty Hunter background aligns perfectly with this theme. As the name suggests, bounty hunters excel in swift and efficient navigation through the cosmos.

Their piloting skills grant early access to ship thrusters, while their mastery of targeting control systems allows for precise strikes on enemy vessels, expediting boarding procedures. Additionally, bounty hunters are equipped with boost packs early in the game, enhancing their mobility.

Piloting - Grants early access to ship thrusters.
Targeting Control Systems - Unlocks ship targeting systems.
Boost Pack Training - Early access to boost packs.


This is an intriguing Starfield background because it allows you to shape your character’s backstory as you see fit. With no predefined history, you become an explorer in the vast cosmic expanse. However, don’t be mistaken; this background comes with a solid set of skills.

It includes improved wellness for better health, expertise in ballistics for increased weapon damage, and early piloting skills for maneuvering ship thrusters. So, feel free to embark on your journey without worrying about your past.

Wellness - Boosts your maximum health.
Ballistics - Enhances the damage of ballistic weapons.
Piloting - Allows you to utilize your ship's thrusters at an earlier stage.

6. Diplomat

The Diplomat background is tailored for those who prefer peaceful solutions. Diplomats excel in interpersonal skills, making them an ideal choice for players seeking non-violent resolutions. They possess Persuasion, a valuable skill for successful conversations.

Additionally, Diplomats are well-versed in commerce, ensuring profitability in buying and selling items. While the inclusion of the Wellness skill may seem unusual, it can prove useful, even for a Diplomat faced with challenging situations.

Persuasion - Increases the likelihood of success in conversations.
Commerce - Improves profitability in buying and selling items.
Wellness - Raises your maximum health.

7. Explorer

The Explorer, in contrast to the profit-seeking bounty hunter, has an insatiable thirst for cosmic wisdom. Originating from a background immersed in the celestial realm, this character possesses a unique skill set that blends astrodynamics, surveying, and even a touch of combat prowess.

Explorers are well-versed in the intricacies of their spacecraft’s Grav Drive technology, enabling them to excel at enhancing it. Moreover, their laser weapons pack more punch, and they wield a scanner with enhanced zoom capabilities. Opt for the Explorer background if you aspire to be an intrepid voyager across the cosmos.

Lasers - Improves the effectiveness of your laser weapons.
Astrodynamics - Allows for enhancements to your ship's grav drive.
Surveying - Enhances your scanner with increased zoom and range capabilities.

8. Space Scoundrel

For those who find echoes of the famous Star-Lord from Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy in Starfield, the Space Scoundrel background is tailor-made. In essence, these scoundrels play by their own rules, adhering to a mixed sense of morality, and their skillset mirrors this unique approach.

Space Scoundrels are adept at using pistols for close combat and have piloting skills to make quick escapes. However, when it comes to talking their way out of situations or earning credits through cunning, their persuasion skills come in handy. Choose this background for a character reminiscent of a slightly more morally ambiguous Peter Quill.

Pistol Proficiency - Enhances your pistol damage output.
Astral Navigation - Enables you to operate the ship's thrusters.
Charismatic Influence - Boosts odds of achieving favorable outcomes in conversations.

9. Industrialist

Do you dream of being a space-age CEO, like Musk? Then the Industrialist background is tailored for you. This background blends the art of persuasion and deep research, providing you with the knowledge and insights to delve into advanced technology.

It also brings a touch of security expertise, reminiscent of the cyber runner, and the Research Methods skill, which speeds up project completion and enhances crafting efficiency with fewer resources. While not considered the top-tier background in Starfield, the Industrialist offers a well-rounded mix of skills for those with ambitious technological aspirations.

Persuasion - Improve your odds of success in conversations.
Security - Gain the ability to unlock advanced locks and receive two extra automatic attempts.
Research Methods - Accelerate research project completion and craft items more efficiently with reduced resource consumption.

10. Cyberneticist

The Cyberneticist background in Starfield equips you with a diverse skill set that encompasses self-healing, lockpicking, and proficiency with laser weaponry. While this assortment may appear unconventional, it can prove invaluable when utilized strategically.

To begin, the Security skill empowers you to bypass advanced locks, providing additional automatic attempts. Additionally, the Laser skill enhances the effectiveness of your energy-based weapons. In situations where all else fails, the Medicine skill facilitates rapid healing and an efficient escape.

Medical - Accelerates healing and grants additional health from Med, Trauma, and Emergency packs.
Security - Enables you to unlock advanced locks and provides 2+ auto-attempts.
Laser - Enhances the effectiveness of your laser weapons.

11. Xenobiologist

As we embark on our Starfield journey, we’ve already encountered a fascinating yet somewhat frightening array of alien lifeforms. The Xenobiologist background is tailor-made for those intrigued by the mysteries of extraterrestrial existence.

With the Surveying skill, your scanner becomes a potent tool, enhancing its capabilities. Improved fitness ensures your blood carries more oxygen, crucial for exploration. Additionally, you’ll wield increased laser damage, so be sure to have one handy.

Laser - Boosts the effectiveness of your laser weapons.
Surveying - Expands the zoom and range of your hand scanner.
Fitness - Increases your oxygen capacity.

12. Sculptor

The Sculptor, a unique blend of talents, possesses skills that might seem at odds. While they could have pursued a career in medicine, they chose a path that fuses artistry with science.

This Starfield background excels in Geology, enhancing their ability to extract inorganic (alien) resources from surfaces. Additionally, they possess the power of rapid healing, as well as persuasive abilities to navigate interpersonal interactions.

Medicine - Speeds up healing and provides greater health benefits from Med, Trauma, and Emergency packs.
Geology - Improves your odds of obtaining alien materials from various surfaces.
Persuasion - Amplifies your effectiveness in conversational interactions.

13. Long Hauler

The Long Hauler background in Starfield may not come with any flashy specialties, but it offers dependable strength when it matters. Proficient in Weight Lifting, Long Haulers can significantly increase their maximum carrying capacity, allowing for extended journeys with more supplies.

Additionally, they possess space exploration skills, enabling them to skillfully pilot their ship’s thrusters and utilize ballistic weapon systems for added firepower during space encounters.

Weight Lifting - Raises your overall carrying capacity.
Piloting - Grants early access to the ship's thruster controls.
Ballistic Weapon Systems - Amplifies ballistic weapon damage aboard your ship.

14. Bouncer

The Bouncer, a more traditional background in Starfield, harks back to Earth’s earlier days. With a history as a bouncer, you come equipped with the Boxing skill, allowing you to deliver more powerful physical blows while conserving oxygen.

Complementing this, you have a strong Fitness capability, further enhancing your oxygen capacity. Surprisingly, you also possess the knack for picking advanced locks, should you choose a more covert approach to your adventures.

Boxing - Amplifies the damage and conserves Oxygen when using unarmed attacks.
Security - Ability to unlock intricate locks and provides two additional auto-attempts.
Fitness - Expands your Oxygen capacity.

15. Homesteader

This background suits individuals looking for a peaceful settlement on a planet, away from the chaos of the galaxy. However, it means your skillset leans toward a more passive approach.

Homesteaders bring geology skills for gathering alien materials, surveying for an enhanced scanner, and weight lifting for increased carrying capacity. Avoid pursuing a violent playthrough with this background.

Geology - Probability of acquiring inorganic substances from surfaces
Surveying - Enhanced zoom and extended range capabilities for your handheld scanner
Weight Lifting - Augments the player's load-carrying capacity

16. Ronin

The Ronin background in Starfield thrives on adaptability, as your identity shifts based on your associations. As a seasoned blade for hire, you’ve honed your skills through numerous missions. The Ronin excels in dueling, granting you increased melee damage and a handy stealth meter.

Additionally, you possess a knack for scavenging, allowing you to acquire more resources. This background is ideal for solo play in the Starfield universe.

Dueling - Improves combat proficiency, reducing damage taken and increasing damage dealt when wielding melee weapons.
Stealth - Introduces a stealth gauge, making it challenging for adversaries to spot your presence.
Scavenging - Boosts the yield of resources obtained when searching containers.

17. Pilgrim

In the world of Starfield, the Pilgrim background is all about survival. Your proficiency in scavenging ensures you’ll come across more valuable loot, while your expertise in gastronomy allows you to craft unique recipes and ingredients.

To enhance your survival skills, the Pilgrim also possesses an advanced scanner thanks to their surveying expertise. If you’re prioritizing survival in Starfield, the Pilgrim background is an excellent choice.

Scavenging - Enhances the yield of resources when looting containers.
Surveying - Expands the zoom and range of your scanner.
Gastronomy - Empowers you to craft unique food and beverages.

18. Professor

In the vast expanse of Starfield, the Professor background is all about the pursuit of knowledge. These characters, like the gifted scientist Noel, are deeply dedicated to uncovering the mysteries of the cosmos. Their expertise lies in sourcing inorganic materials and excelling in research projects, thanks to their Research Methods skill.

To enhance their exploration capabilities, Professors possess a greater grav jump range, thanks to their Astrodynamics skill. If you’re driven by the thirst for knowledge in Starfield, the Professor background is the way to go.

Astrodynamics - Enables the enhancement of your ship's gravitational drive.
Geology - Improves the odds of procuring inorganic materials from various surfaces.
Research Methods - Accelerates the completion of research projects and reduces crafting resource requirements.

19. Beast Hunter

In stark contrast to the world of academia, the Beast Hunter is a rugged profession within the Starfield universe, where individuals with a dark and blood-stained history thrive. These hunters, as their name suggests, specialize in tracking down and confronting terrifying monstrosities that lurk across the galaxy.

As a Beast Hunter, you gain proficiency in Oxygen management through your Fitness skill, essential for surviving in hostile environments. You also have a natural affinity for ballistic weapons, which are your weapon of choice for taking down these formidable foes. Moreover, your Gastronomy skill allows you to utilize the meat from your conquests to craft unique and delectable recipes.

Fitness - Augments your oxygen capacity.
Ballistics - Boosts the damage output of ballistic weapons.
Gastronomy - Empowers the creation of distinctive culinary creations.

20. Gangster

Starfield surprisingly harbors its own underworld, complete with mobsters and their intriguing tales. The Gangster background lets you immerse yourself in the legacy of the Mafia while honing and transferring the skills acquired in the criminal realm. With the Shotgun Certification skill, you become adept at dealing extra damage using this weapon of choice.

When it’s time for hand-to-hand combat, the Boxing skill equips you with the prowess needed to throw powerful punches. Alternatively, you can swiftly pilfer possessions using your Theft skill, giving you an array of illicit options at your disposal in the vast universe of Starfield.

Shotgun Certification - Elevates damage output when using shotguns.
Boxing - Augments the potency of unarmed strikes while conserving Oxygen.
Theft - Enables the skill of pickpocketing from individuals.

21. Chef

The Chef background, often considered less exciting by some, offers a passive yet potentially rewarding experience in Starfield, depending on your playstyle. At its core, the Chef brings Gastronomy skills into your toolkit, allowing you to create distinctive dishes as long as you have the necessary ingredients.

To aid in your culinary endeavors, Chefs can also enhance their scavenging abilities, increasing the loot they find in containers. Additionally, Chefs receive a boost in Dueling skills, similar to the Ronin, although it might be wiser to stick with firearms in most situations. Consider choosing the Chef background if you find yourself overwhelmed by other options or if you have a passion for cooking that you wish to explore later in the game.

Gastronomy - Enables the creation of unique and exquisite food and beverages.
Dueling - Augments your resilience in melee combat, reducing incoming damage and increasing outgoing damage.
Scavenging - Boosts resource acquisition when searching through containers and loot.

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