Starfield: 8 Best Melee Weapons

Here are my picks for best melee weapons that you should use for your character build.

Best Melee Weapons in Starfield
Best Melee Weapons in starfield (credits-Gameusal)

Melee are handheld-bladed weapons that enable direct engagement with foes in close-quarters combat. These weapons possess distinct attributes such as damage, mass, value, and mod slots, all of which influence their effectiveness and customization. These melee weapons also boast unique effects or bonuses, setting them apart.

Key Takeaways

  • Choose a melee weapon that matches your character’s skills, perks, traits, and the enemies and environment you encounter.
  • We recommend Va’Ruun Painblade, Barrow Knife, and Tanto Alien Slayer as the most lucrative weapons for close-range combat in Starfield. 
  • You can also consider Osmium Dagger for its strength and stealth action character builds. 

Comparison Table

WeaponDamageMassValueMod SlotsSpecial Effects
Va’Ruun Painblade621.42007Physical and energy damage
Wakizashi511.351507Bonus damage to robots or cyborgs
UC Naval Cutlass391.41008Bonus damage to pirates or rebels
Osmium dagger280.341257+34% more damage against aleins
Tanto260.451257Bonus damage to aliens or mutants
Barrow Knife220.34756Ignores some enemy armor or resistance
Rescue Axe171.4356Good for breaking armor or shields
Combat Knife160.36256Versatile with easy carry

About The Author

Shahzar has been a big fan of all Bethesda titles, including the Fallout and Elder Scrolls franchise. He has a special place for futuristic melee weapons and was a little disappointed by the lack of variety in Starfield. Still, he loves trying out all the weapons and testing them so you don’t have to. If you ever get stuck on anything during your campaign, you can always reach out.

Combat Knife

The Combat Knife is a fundamental melee weapon early weapon in the game. Sporting a decent damage rating of 16 and a lightweight design with a mass of 0.36, it’s easy to wield.

One of the things that I love about this Combat Knife is its six mod slots. These mods allow for attribute enhancement or the addition of unique effects.

Combat Knife, a Melee weapon in Starfield
Combat Knife (Credits – Youtuber Starbuster Games)

Like most weapons in Starfield, I found that the Combat Knife’s effectiveness increases significantly when you target critical areas like the head or neck.

Rescue Axe

The Rescue Axe, a robust tool, doubles as a formidable weapon. With a higher damage output of 17 and a mass of 1.4, it’s slower but packs a punch. Boasting six mod slots, it offers room for customization.

This weapon helped me break through enemy armor and shields and deliver devastating power attacks. Surprisingly, I was also able to loot a rare version of this Rescue Axe that was able to increase the damage output with each subsequent hit.

Rescue Axe in starfield
Rescue Axe (Credits – Youtuber Starbuster Games)

To wield the rescue axe effectively, aim for weak points in your enemies’ armor or shields, such as joints or gaps, to bypass their defenses and maximize damage.

I also utilized it as a versatile tool for unlocking some doors and containers or cutting through obstacles. However, I should remind you that executing a power attack drains your stamina, leaving you momentarily vulnerable.

Search for the Rescue Axe in emergency stations, fire departments, or mining sites. Even though you can buy this axe from vendors, I recommend looting enemies to find it.

Barrow Knife

The Barrow Knife is a rare melee weapo, that can only be obtained by completing a quest. It boasts an impressive damage rating of 22 and a lightweight mass of 0.34, making it one of the most potent and maneuverable melee weapons. 

Barrow Knife Starfield
Barrow Knife – Starfield: Image by Gamesual

I would consider getting this weapon just for its lightweight, as it will not take up space in storage and can be pulled out immediately to deal significant damage.

Six mod slots can allow players to perform a few customizations. 

To wield the Barrow Knife effectively, I targeted vital areas that allowed me to deal maximum damage and the potential for instant kills. A stabbing attack can be executed by pressing the attack button while sprinting, but ensure accuracy to avoid counterattacks.

You can find the Barrow Knife in a Settled Systems, revealed by following a mysterious prophecy and fulfilling specific conditions. 

Osmium Dagger –  Hazardous

This blade is made of osmium, the densest and one of the hardest metals known in Starfield. It has a bluish-gray tint and a shiny appearance.

Osmium Dagger Starfield
Osmium Dagger – Starfield: Image by Gamesual

However, I found Osmium Dagger too heavy for storage and sold it for 2395 credits.

Use the Osmium Dagger as a stealth weapon to sneak up on your enemies and stab them from behind or to perform quick assassinations in close quarters.

I highly advise upgrading the Osmium Dagger with weapon mods to improve its attributes or add new effects, such as increased damage, faster speed, longer reach, etc.

You can find it in a crashed spaceship on the planet Terra, where you can find various alien weapons and technology.

UC Naval Cutlass – Loyalist’s Blade

The UC Naval Cutlass is an antique melee weapon representing the United Colonies’ faction in the game. It boasts a high damage rating of 39 and a moderate mass of 1.4, offering strength and resilience. With eight mod slots, it provides extensive customization possibilities. 

UC Naval Cutlass Starfield
UC Naval Cutlass – Starfield: Image by Gamesual

One of the only reasons I added the Cutlass to this list is its unique ability to deal bonus damage against pirates or rebels. I found this weapon incredibly handy in a game where I encountered several pirates.

Target vulnerable body parts for increased damage and potential bleeding or critical hits to maximize the UC Naval Cutlass’s effectiveness. 

I found the UC Naval Cutlass at various locations in Settled Systems, including naval bases, museums, and historical sites. It’s also available for purchase from vendors or as loot from enemies affiliated with the United Colonies faction. 

Tanto – Alien Slayer

The Tanto is an exotic melee weapon from the planet Akari within the game. It is deadly and swift and boasts a high damage rating of 26 and a lightweight mass of 0.45 using a lightweight and excellent damage output.

Tanto Starfield
Tanto – Starfield: Image by Gamesual

Seven mod slots allow for attribute enhancements and new effects. The Tanto delivers bonus damage against aliens or mutants, making it a formidable choice as one of the best melee weapons.

To maximize the Tanto’s effectiveness, aim for critical areas for increased damage and potential blindness or suffocation. It excels as a stealth weapon for silent assassinations or ceremonial purposes.

Tanto can be found at various locations in Settled Systems, such as temples, shrines, or tombs. It’s also available for purchase from vendors. However, I found the Tanto by looting the bodies of the members of the Akari faction. 

Wakizashi – Mechanical Menace Slayer

wakizashi Starfield
Wakizashi – Starfield: Image by Gamesual

The Wakizashi stands as another exotic melee weapon hailing from the planet Akari. With a remarkably high damage rating of 51 and a moderate mass of 1.35, it offers lethal and dependable performance. 

Seven mod slots provide ample room for customization. The Wakizashi delivers bonus damage against robots or cyborgs, making it a potent choice against mechanical adversaries.

Wakizashi may be found in dojos, palaces, or fortresses of Settled Systems. It’s also available for purchase from vendors. However, again, I recommend that you loot or steal it from enemies affiliated with the Akari faction and save some credits.

Va’Ruun Painblade – Cosmic Power

The Va’ruun Painblade is a curved blade that can inflict severe damage and cause bleeding damage. The main reason I recommend picking this weapon is because itcan absorbg the life force of its victims,healg the wielder, andincreaseg their stamina. 

I obtained this rare weapon during my campaign by completing a quest for the Va’ruun. Va’ruun are a mysterious alien race living in the galaxy’s outer reaches. It is undoubtedly one of the best melee weapons in Starfield.

Va'aruun painblade in starfield
Va’aruun Painblade (Credits – Youtuber Weapons from games)

The Va’ruun Painblade’s unique effect is that it can drain the life force of its enemies, making it useful against formidable or resilient foes. It can also heal you and boost your stamina, allowing you to fight longer and harder.

You can find the Va’ruun Painblade in a hidden vault on the planet Zalos, where the Va’ruun have their secret base. You can also get it from the Va’ruun leader, who will offer it to you as a reward for helping them against their enemies. 

What Is My Best Pick?

Although everybody has their choices regarding weapons, I believe the Va’Ruun Painblade stands out as a top-tier melee weapon in Starfield. Its ability to deal substantial damage, induce bleeding, and absorb life force is a formidable edge in combat.  

During my 20-plus hours with the game, I came across many unique weapons, and I am sure there are plenty more to be discovered. Therefore, I recommend trying out different melee weapons, and you may find a better melee weapon that best suits your playstyle. 

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