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Starfield Stealth Sniper Build: Featuring Traits, Background & Skills

Craig Robinson

Sniping is one of the go-to playstyles in shooting games, with its stealth, safety, and assassination options very attractive for casual and seasoned shooters. Starfield aims to be no different, with its large open procedurally generated landscapes, bases with sentries, guards, robots and more. Now is the time to properly scout and explore the landscape, using your long-range advantages to their fullest. With that said, here’s a look at a Stealth Sniper build in Starfield, offering players a closer look at the best sniper backgrounds, skills, and traits to take for your ride.

Best Starfield Stealth Sniper Build

Here is an example of how to build a Stealth Sniper Build in Starfield, featuring skills, backgrounds, and other tips to live the fantasy. Image via Bethesda.

To create a Starfield Stealth Sniper build, you must look at a few factors, featuring your character’s roleplay, background, and any traits you want to consider. You will also gradually get more and more skills to spec the build as you level through the game. To start off the build, we recommend using the following:

  • Background: Cyber Runner
  • Traits: Introvert (optional), Wanted (optional), Any other roleplay option you want to start as.

Cyber Runner is one of the best backgrounds for a Sniper build, thanks to it giving you three basic skills to start with. These are Stealth, Security, and Theft. Stealth is your big-ticket skill, as it means you get better at sneaking around to avoid close-range combat, and you get a damage boost to silenced weapons. So, you can use a suppressed ballistic sniper and get a damage boost for it from the get-go. You also get Security, which makes hacking doors and terminals easier from the start. Theft is a throwaway trait on this starting background, but, at least you can steal items now from unsuspecting victims.

Starfield Stealth Sniper Skills

As alluded to above, you get a few decent starting skills to get you going with this build. However, you need many more levels before you can properly utilize your Starfield sniper build. This build will take around 40 levels to get going properly, especially if you want stealth synergies on top of the rest of the sniper skills:

Combat Skills Row Rank Description Level
Ballistic 1 4 Ballistic Weapons range is increased by 30%. 5
Demolitions 2 4 Throwing grenades now show a trajectory arc. Explosions have a 50% larger radius. 9
Sniper Certification 3 4 Scoped Weapons do 50% more damage while using the scope. 13
Marksmanship 3 3 Increase critical hit chance with non-automatic ranged weapons by 15%. 16
Sharpshooting 4 4 Ranged critical hit kills increase your critical hit chance with all ranged weapons by 25% for 20 seconds. 20
Armor Penetration 4 4 Critical hits using a non-automatic ranged weapon without a scope do double damage, and those with scopes knock down enemies on the next shot. 24

From there on, you can upgrade your Stealth Skill in the Physical tree, which will take you to around level 27. The other high-profile stat you want is the Concealment Skill, which is on the fourth row of Physical. This grants you a 4x damage boost to ranged weapons when you hit an enemy with a ranged sneak attack. You also no longer trigger mines, can sprint while sneaking, gain a Chameleon-like skill when standing still, and drop aggro on ranged enemies when you enter your Chameleon stealth feature. It is better to get this late into a save, as you have a lot more damage multipliers set up from the combat tree. But, you could get this earlier on in your save if you want to for the more stealthy focused buffs, rather than damage buffs. You’re essentially trading early-game damage for better stealth and vice versa, depending on your build order.

Also, be aware that the second and third-row physical skills don’t offer too much for the build, and are flavor survivability features. Pick whichever you want, get it to level 4, and advance those skill tiers to grab Concealment.

As for the remainder of your skills, you can invest them in any other technology-related, social-related, or anything else you find yourself doing in your save.

Note that this sniper build, while getting a lot of crit, damage multipliers, and stealth advantages, it does lack on the more science, social and exploration side. So, there are drawbacks to the build. If you’re interested in that, then you may consider the non-stealth version. You essentially complete the build 15 levels earlier as you do not need to worry about Concealment, meaning you have around 15 levels to play around with social, tech and science skills instead of other pure damage min-maxing.

Best Starfield Stealth Sniper Traits

Meanwhile, the traits of Introvert and Wanted are decent trait options, but you don’t need them, or any trait for that matter.

  • Introvert is good because it means you get to consume less oxygen when traveling alone. This is decent, as it means better resource utility, especially with you playing a sniper role, which means you ideally want to control the fights by getting yourself into sneaky advantage points and not have to worry about AI blowing your cover. It does mean you don’t want to interact with companions, which is a large part of the game’s box features, so it’s certainly a trade-off for the DPS, hence the not really needed part.

  • Wanted: Generates a damage bonus when you get into ambush fights, which is handy for ramping your damage multipliers.

  • If there’s any trait we recommend taking its likely what faction you want to play. Want to be a contract killer for the pirates, then make yourself more outlaw in traits. If you want to be a space cowboy, then take that. Perhaps you’re a New Atlantean loyalist sniper army ranger? Go for that.

You don’t need to take any Traits, though, as Traits are largely personal story and role-play features, and you can spec these to however you want your save and playthrough to be.

This concludes the Stealth Sniper build in Starfield. Hopefully you have a better idea of the build you want to run, the levels you need to get there, and the strengths and weaknesses of the playstyle. If you are interested in this, and destroying all enemies, then we wish you the best of luck as you explore the cosmos and pop aliens and humans alike. When we get more hands-on with the game, we’ll be sure to update the game on recommended mods, gear, and other customizable features to help further the build guide.

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Guide Information
  • Platforms,
    PC, XB X|S
  • Genre
    Action Adventure, Action RPG, Shooter
  • Guide Release
    30 August 2023
  • Last Updated
    18 October 2023
    Version History
  • Guide Author

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Starfield is an action role-playing game from Bethesda Game Studios set in a futuristic interpretation of space exploration and colonization. Earth has long been abandoned, but there are plenty of other planets in different star systems where humans have ventured and settled. You have the freedom to create your own character with a unique background, but the main story will take you through a series of adventures as you uncover more information about mysterious artifacts which create gravitational anomalies. Along the way, you can build and customize your own space ship, establish your own outpost, befriend and romance new companions, and more. As a Bethesda game, you can also expect to see a lot of creative mods which have the potential to change your experience of the base game, or take it in an entirely new direction.

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