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How to Sneak Attack in Starfield - Completing the Stealth Challenges

Nathan Garvin

Various stealth builds have long been popular in the flagship franchises developed by Bethesda Games Studios, and given the significant gameplay similarities between those games - especially Fallout 4 - there’s no reason to expect Starfield will be any different. With the addition of skill challenges, however, leveling up skills isn’t as easy as it used to be. This page will provide some tips leveling the "Stealth" iconStealth skill in Starfield, including strategies for quickly completing the Stealth skill challenges at each rank.

The Stealth skill makes you harder to detect, while also boosting your sneak attack damage with suppressed weapons.

What Does the Stealth Skill Do In Starfield?

If you’ve played an Elder Scrolls or Fallout game that launched in the past twenty or so years, you’re probably fairly familiar with the stealth system in Starfield. Assuming you have at least one rank in the Stealth skill you can enter stealth mode by pressing [B], after which you’ll be able to move around undetected by other characters and creatures. This is useful for sneaking into and through areas undetected, picking locked objects and pockets without repercussions, and landing sneak attacks on enemies. This assumes, of course, you remain undetected, something which can prove surprisingly difficult to do if you haven’t invested any ranks in the Stealth skill. The noise you make (hence the speed at which you move while sneaking) and the enemy’s line of sight both play a role in how difficult it is to remain hidden, and one of the primary things the Stealth skill does is make it more difficult for enemies to detect you. At max rank, you’ll be twice as difficult for enemies to detect, and you’ll gain a +20% bonus to sneak attack damage with suppressed weapons - both welcome boons for prospective snipers, space ninjas, kleptomaniacs and general ne’er-do-wells.

Rank Effect Challenge
1 Adds a "Stealth" iconStealth Meter. You are 25% more difficult to detect when sneaking. Suppressed weapons do an additional 5% sneak attack damage. Perform 10 sneak attacks.
2 Upgrades the "Stealth" iconStealth Meter. You are 50% more difficult to detect when sneaking. Suppressed weapons do an additional 10% sneak attack damage. Perform 20 sneak attacks.
3 Adds a stealth meter. You are 75% more difficult to detect when sneaking. Suppressed weapons do an additional 15% sneak attack damage. Perform 50 sneak attacks.
4 Adds a stealth meter. You are 100% more difficult to detect when sneaking. Suppressed weapons do an additional 20% sneak attack damage. Doors you interact with while in stealth no longer alert enemies.

(1 of 2) To complete the stealth skill challenges, stalk unsuspecting wildlife,

To complete the stealth skill challenges, stalk unsuspecting wildlife, (left), then zorch them with your Cutter's mining laser - this should increment the counter several times per enemy. (right)

How to Level Up Stealth Quickly in Starfield

As with most skills in Starfield, after purchasing the first rank of the Stealth skill you must complete a challenge to become eligible to unlock higher ranks. In this case, you must perform a number of sneak attacks (10, 20 and 50, depending on the rank). Neither the effectiveness of the attack nor the threat posed by the enemy matter for incrementing this challenge, you merely have to be undetected when you perform an attack. Ranged sneak attacks are much easier to pull off, but it’s still tedious having to hunt down 85 enemies just to rank up your Stealth skill. Fortunately there’s a bit of a shortcut we can take.

First, there’s no need to actually fuss over proper hostiles - any wildlife will do, including the stony xenobiology skittering about on "Kreet" iconKreet (the first moon you land on after getting your ship during the game’s first main quest). There’s no need to waste ammo, nor should you resort to melee attacks, the good old "Cutter" iconCutter you (hopefully) dragged out of the mines with you is actually a decent weapon for this task. Just enter stealth mode, track an unsuspecting alien critter, and when you’re close enough, shoot it with your mining laser. Not only does this increment the stealth challenge counter, it can do so several times per enemy… perhaps due to a quirk of how the game counts the weapon’s continuous stream of damage? In any event, with any luck you’ll increment the challenge counter several times per enemy. In addition, the enemies you should be preying on are all fairly weak, and this consumes no ammo.


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Guide Information

  • Platforms,
    PC, XB X|S
  • Genre
    Action Adventure, Action RPG, Shooter
  • Guide Release
    30 August 2023
  • Last Updated
    4 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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