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10 Best Starfield Backgrounds To Choose

Craig Robinson

Like other Bethesda RPGs, backgrounds are an important part of the game’s ability to give players a look into their build and role-play opportunities. It is no different in Starfield, with many of these Starfield backgrounds offering players some role-play opportunities, and associated skills to get players the build they want. With Starfield offering space exploration, scientific opportunities and discoveries, and your bog standard human political intrigue, there’s plenty of backgrounds that can let you dip your toes in all the themes the game has to offer. So, with that said, here is a look at the best Starfield Backgrounds available to better understand what you could use for your builds.

Best Starfield Backgrounds At Launch

Here is a look at the best Starfield Backgrounds to select for your character, ranging from combat themes to exploration styles. Image via Bethesda.

Below are our picks for the best possible Background choices in Starfield. These picks allow players to experience the game using more generalized and always viable options, or to dip in specialist playstyles that allow you to engage with various specific aspects of the game properly.

We will go into more detail on each of the backgrounds below. Feel free to click on these links to auto-scroll to the relevant section if you’re interested in them in more detail:

Best Combat Backgrounds in Starfield

Combat is an integral part of Starfield, and there are many different combat background styles to select. Image via Bethesda.

  • The Soldier is a great all-around starting background for any playthrough. It offers solid Oxygen for combat options, and exploration, giving you the Boost pack, aka a jetpack. You can pretty much enjoy combat wherever you want, from assaulting buildings, to exploring the landscape, and you get better damage improvements with your standard ballistic weapons, which feel like the most common weapon damage types, for all classifications of weapons, from pistols, SMGs, to rifles, and heavy ordinance. It’s an all-around can’t go wrong type of background.

  • Combat Medic is another all-around good option, especially for players who like to play the hardest or harder difficulty options. Access to better healing and being more durable will help you through some of the harder moments in the game. The "Pistol Certification" iconPistol Certification is a feature, so if you like using them, it’s a bonus, but the other two carry this Starfield background.

  • Cyberneticist is a Starfield background for players who want the mix of being able to progress areas with hacking, along with getting some options for weapon bonuses, and health bonuses. It’s essentially the more Science fiction side of Soldier, trading the boost pack for door and terminal hacks, and training better HP instead of better Oxygen.

  • A Ronin is a more melee-focused style that offers stealth, better melee combat and better resource scavenging. If you like getting in close range, using stealth, and looting more from your enemies, this is a solid playstyle. We think this edges out over the other melee or close-range playstyles, thanks to the stealth benefits and looting buffs, especially with stealth mechanics always being very strong in Bethesda games.

  • Space Scoundrel is the final entry in the best combat backgrounds in Starfield for its skills. You get pistol certification, start off with ship boosters and persuasion for those story moments. Think of yourself as a Han Solo-type character, who can smooth talk his way through dialogue throughout the game, while having decent staging points for those wanting to get into space and orbit, and also do some damage with a pistol as Han Solo does with his Blaster.

Best Explorer Backgrounds in Starfield

Geology Skills are important for space explorers who want to harvest resources to better their pocket or faction and can be accessed via several Starfield Backgrounds. Image via Bethesda.

  • The Cyber Runner background is for the playstyles that adore using a mixture of bad-guy actions. You can get "Stealth" iconStealth, "Security" iconSecurity hacking for doors and terminals to enter places you shouldn’t be, and then theft for pickpocketing. It’s a great tool for stealing from places, invading hostile bases, getting access to loot, and anything else relating to being a baddie. It’s likely something people will want to play if they plan on joining the pirates or being a thief in "Neon" iconNeon. Think of this as the Cyberpunk Khajit playstyle, or good starting point for a Stealth Sniper build in Starfield. It’s likely the go-to background for playthroughs who plan to make Neon and the mega corps factions as their go-to experience.

  • Diplomat is for the charisma enjoyers in Fallout games. If you’re the type of player who enjoys reaping as many benefits from trading, getting better dialogue by persuasion, and doing those side quests, companions and other dialogue-related content, then this is a solid option to select as your Starfield background. Bear in mind if you don’t take the "Persuasion" iconPersuasion skill, you can’t do persuasion at all. So, it really offers strong value from the get-go. This is a background you can take anywhere and join anyone with.

  • Homesteader is a solid background if your goal is to be an exoplanetary explorer; this background likely has you covered thematically and practically. The skills you start off with grant you better surveying planets and scouting, better mineral acquisition from planetary surfaces, and you get better weight capacity for picking things up. It’s certainly something for those who loot everything and collect everything they can on their travels. If you take this option you’re more than likely interested in the Constellation or Freestar Collective factions.

  • The Industrialist is for players who want to explore and play the side quests and main story, while also dabbling in crafting. The persuasion option and security mean you can bypass most hurdles, both people and robotic. Meanwhile, the "Research Methods" iconResearch Methods offers better crafting from the start, and can be upgraded fairly early to offer you even better crafting and to get sudden research development for even more exciting crafting options from as early as level 5 if you wish. You can go anywhere with this playstyle and join any faction, and find your starting background is very fitting no matter what you do.

  • Professor: The Professor is for the more science explorer types, who want to do more peaceful playthroughs and explore the stars. You start with better Grav jump distances for your ships, offering better ways to explore space from the get-go. Meanwhile, you get "Geology" iconGeology for better resource drops from surface objects on planets, and better crafting too. It’s a decent starting point for scientists, and intergalactic trader playstyles, similar to Homesteader, except more space rather than planet-themed. This is likely the playstyle for the Constellation playstyle and to experience their storyline and dialogue for.

This concludes our ten best Starfield backgrounds, fitting for both the explorers and combat enthusiasts. Note that this page isn’t to say the rest are bad, but these are the 10 of the 21 starting backgrounds that stand out the most as potentially thematic and/or good starting points for backgrounds. Remember, there isn’t really a level cap in Starfield, and you can eventually upgrade everything, so, only consider your background for the things you want to get started on early, or for a set build and playstyle you have in mind from the start so you can get there a few levels faster.

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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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