Starfield: Skill Tree [Explained]

Dominate Starfield by unlocking the full potential of the skill tree system with expert guidance and strategies for galactic domination.

Starfield Skill Tree
Starfield Skill Tree

The skill tree system has raised the bar to new heights. This comprehensive guide will explore each skill in the Tree. 

Key Takeaways

  • Starfield features 82 skills grouped into five categories: Physical, Social, Science, Combat, and Tech.
  • Gain Skill Points by accumulating XP through character progression.
  • Skills have four ranks, each requiring specific Skill Points: Novice, Advanced, Expert, and Master.
  • Skill Challenges tailored to each skill are essential to unlock higher ranks.

Skill trees are divided into four very distinct tiers. Progressing onto each tier requires a certain amount of skill points spent on the previous tier. The division of ranks and how many points are needed to unlock them are as follows.

  • Rank 1(Novice): No Skill Point Required (Free)
  • Rank 2(Advanced): Requires 4 Skill Points
  • Rank 3(Expert): Requires 8 Skill Points
  • Rank 4(Master): Requires 12 Skill Points

Each rank possesses a distinct effect that progressively intensifies with each successive rank unlocked. Unlocking progressive ranks for a skill necessitates completing specific “Skill Challenges.”

Physical Skills List

NameRanking Perk(s)Skill Challenge
BoxingUnarmed Attacks do more damage. Less O2 consumed when using a power attackKill 20/50/100 enemies with an unarmed attack
FitnessYou have more oxygen availableUse up all available oxygen 20/50/100 times
StealthAdds a Stealth Meter. You are more difficult to detect when you are sneaking. Suppressed weapons do additional sneak attack damagePerform 10/20/40 sneak attacks
Weight LiftingIncreases total carrying capacitySprint for 1000/2500/5000 meters while at 75% or more of your maximum load capacity
WellnessIncreases your maximum healthHeal 200/500/1000 damage
Energy Weapon DissipationEnergy damage is significantly reducedTake 150/350/750 points of energy damage
Environmental ConditioningGain resistance to airborne environmental damageTake 100/250/500 environmental damage
GymnasticsUnlock the ability to combat slide. Take less fall damageTake 100 fall damage
Kill 5 enemies in Zero G environments
Kill 20 enemies in Zero G environments
NutritionFood and drinks are more effectiveConsume 10/30/75 food or drink items
Pain Tolerance Physical damage is significantly reducedTake 250/500/1000 points of physical damage
Cellular RegenerationSignificantly increased chances to recover from injuries naturallyRecover from 5/10/30 injuries
DecontaminationSignificantly increased chances to recover from infections naturallyRecover from 5/15/30 infections
Martial ArtsIncreased chance to crit with a melee or unarmed attackDeal 250 damage with unarmed attacks
Disarm 10 enemies using melee or unarmed attacks
Disarm 30 enemies using melee or unarmed attacks
ConcealmentBetter stealth to your surroundings. Ranged Sneak Attacks and Melee Attacks do exponential damagePerform 10/30/75 melee/unarmed sneak attacks
NeurostrikesIncreased chances to stun an enemy with unarmed attacksStun 10/30/75 enemies with an unarmed attack
RejuvenationSlowly regenerate healthFall below 25% health 3/8/15 times and fully heal

Physical Skills table. 

Physical Skill List
Physical Skills List

Social Skills List

NameRanking Perk(s)Skill Challenge
CommerceBuy for less, Sell for moreBuy or sell 25/75/150 unique items
GastronomyResearch and craft different type of food and drinksCreate 5/25/50 food or drink items
PersuasionIncreased chance of success when persuading someoneSucceed in 3/5/10 speech challenges
ScavengingIncreased chances of finding extra items when searching containersLoot 25/75/150 containers
TheftUnlock ability to pickpocket targetsSuccessfully pickpocket 5/10/20 times
DeceptionStronger ships will automatically surrender to piracy demands. Enemy contraband scans are less effectiveConvince 5/10/20 ships to surrender
DiplomacyForces target NPC to stop fightingSuccessfully use Diplomacy on 5/25/50 different people
Intimidation Forces target NPC to fleeSuccessfully Intimidate 5/25/50 different people
IsolationIncreased weapon damage and damage resistance for each helmet and spacesuit when you do not have a companionKill 20/50/100 enemies while not in command of a follower
NegotiationAccess to bribery in speechBribe 3/5/10 times through persuasion
InstigationForces target NPC to attack their alliesSuccessfully Instigate 5/25/50 different people
LeadershipGives companions perks such as health, affinity Sprint 1000/2500/5000 metres with an active follower
Outpost ManagementAdditional cargo links can be placed at outpostBuild cargo links on 6 different planets
Construct 8 robots at outposts
Construct 10 crew stations at outposts
ManipulationForces target NPC to obey commandsSuccessfully Manipulate 5/25/50 different people
Ship CommandIncreases number of active crew membersDestroy or board 5/25/50 ships with a crew of 2/4/6 or more
XenosociologyForces target alien to stop fightingSuccessfully use Pacify/Flee/Frenzy on 15 different aliens

Social Skills table. 

Social Skills List
Social Skills List

Science Skills List

NameRanking Perk(s)Skill Challenge
AstrodynamicsIncreases grav jump range and fuel cost of jump drivesMake 5/15/30 grav jumps
GeologyGet more inorganic resources from the surface objectsHarvest inorganic resources from 20/50/100 sources
MedicineMed Packs, Trauma Packs and Emergency kits restore additional healthUse healing items 20/50/100 times while wounded
Research MethodsLess amount of resources required to craft items and complete research projectsCraft 5/10/15 unique food, drinks, drugs, weapon mods, or equipment mods
SurveyingAdds optional zoom and scan distance is increased on hand scannerUse the hand scanner to scan 10/25/50 unique resources, flora, or fauna
BotanyGet more organic resources from plants and more info about them on your hand scannerHarvest 20/50/100 organic resources from plants
ScanningCan detect inorganic resources on planet and moon surfaces with additional info on themScan 5/15/30 planets or moons
Spacesuit DesignCan research and craft helmets, spacesuits and pack modsCraft 5/15/30 spacesuit, helmet, and pack mods
Weapon Engineering Can research and craft superior weapon modsCraft 5/15/30 weapon mods
ZoologyGet more organic resources from creatures and additional info on them by hand scannerHarvest organic resources from 20/50/100 creatures
AstrophysicsCan scan moon planets over light years and increased chances to discover a traitScan 10/25/50 unique planets or moons
ChemistryResearch and create superior chemsCreate 10/25/50 chems
Outpost EngineeringResearch and construct superior outpost modulesBuild 5/25/50 different outpost modules
Aneutronic FusionShip reactors produce extra units of powerDestroy 5/25/50 ships
Planetary HabitationCan build outposts on planets with extreme environmental conditionsBuild habitable outposts on 5/10/20 different planets
Special ProjectsCraft supreme Manufactured Components at an Industrial WorkbenchCraft 10 common or uncommon manufactured components
Craft 10 rare manufactured components
Craft 10 exotic manufactured components

Science Skills table. 

Science Skills List
Science Skills List

Combat Skills List

NameRanking Perk(s)Skill Challenge
BallisticsBallistic weapons do more damageKill 20/50/100 enemies with a ballistic weapon
DuelingMelee weapons do more damage. You take less damage from melee weapons.Kill 20/50/100 enemies with a melee weapon
LasersLasers weapons do more damageKill 20/50/100 enemies with a laser weapon
Pistol CertificationPistols do more damageKill 20/50/100 enemies with a pistol
Shotgun CertificationShotguns do more damageKill 20/50/100 enemies with a shotgun
DemolitionsThrowing grenades show their trajectory. Explosions do more damageKill 20/50/100 enemies with explosives
Heavy Weapons CertificationHeavy weapons do more damageKill 20/50/100 enemies with a heavy weapon
IncapacitationEM weapons do more damageDeal 400/1000/2500 EM damage
Particle BeamsParticle beam weapons do more damageKill 20/50/100 enemies with a particle beam weapon
Rifle CertificationRifles do more damageKill 20/50/100 enemies with a rifle
MarksmanshipIncreased crit hit chance with non-automatic ranged weaponDeal 10/30/75 ranged critical hits
Rapid ReloadingReload weapons fasterReload 30/75/150 empty magazines
Sniper CertificationScoped weapons do more damageKill 50/125/250 enemies using a scoped weapon
TargetingIncrease accuracy and range when shooting without aimingKill 50/125/250 enemies without aiming with a ranged weapon
Armor PenetrationAttacks ignore majority of a targets armorKill 20/50/250 enemies with a non-automatic weapon
Cripplinghuman enemies have increased chance to enter a downed statePut 20/50/100 enemies into the bleedout state
SharpshootingIncrease crit damage and headshot damageDeal 50/125/250 ranged critical hits

Combat Skills table. 

Combat Skills List
Combat Skills List

Tech Skills List

NameRanking Perk(s)Skill Challenges
Ballistic Weapons SystemBallistic ship weapons have increased damage and cost less to use in targeting modeDeal 1000/4000/10000 damage to enemy ships with ballistic weapons
Boost Pack Training Unlocks Boost PacksBoost jump 10/25/50 times while in combat
PilotingUnlocks ship thrusters and increases ship maneuvrability Destroy 5/15/30 ships
SecurityHack difficult locks and increases number of auto attempt on hacksPick 5/15/30 locks
Targeting Control SystemsUnlocks ships targetting functionalityDestroy 5/15/30 enemy ships while in targeting mode
Energy Weapons SystemsEnergy ship weapons have increased damage and cost less to use in targetting modeDeal 1000/4000/10000 damage to enemy ships with Energy weapons
Engine SystemsIncreases ships top speed and decreases the cool down periodBoost 5/25/50 times with your spaceship while in combat
PayloadsShip cargo hold have more capacityMake 10/25/50 grav jumps with 75% or more of maximum cargo capacity
Shield SystemsShip has increased Shield CapacityTake 150/350/750 shield damage
Missile Weapons SystemsShip missiles do more damage and their targeting cost is reducedDamage 1000/4000/10000 damage to enemy ships with missile weapons
Particle Beam Weapons SystemsShip particle beam weapons do more damage and their targeting cost is reducedDamage 1000/4000/10000 damage to enemy ship with particle beam weapons
RoboticsDeal more damage to robots and turretsDestroy 5/25/50 robots
Starship DesignAllows installation of better ship modulesInstall 5/15/30 unique ship modules
Starship EngineeringAll ship systems repair fasterUse 5/10/15 ship repair kits
Automated weapons systemsAutomated weapons do more damage and their targeting cost is reducedDeal 1000/4000/10000 damage to enemy ships with automated turret weapons
Boost Assault TrainingNearby enemies take damage when you boostDeal 200 damage to enemies using the boost pack
Knockdown 20 enemies with a boost
Deal 500 damage to enemies using the boost pack
EM Weapons SystemEM ship weapons do more damage and their targeting cost is reducedDeal 1000/4000/10000 damage to enemy ships with EM weapons

Tech Skills table. 

Tech Skills List
Tech Skills List

Given the numerous skills and levels available, we understand that Starfield’s extensive skill tree system can be overwhelming. Bethesda Game Studios offers depth and complexity in their games. Here, we present a selection of essential skills from each tree to focus on early in the game for optimal progress.

Security (Tech Skill)

Progressing in this skill enables you to unlock advanced locks and safes containing valuable loot. Gaining access to these safes can be particularly advantageous. 

Persuasion (Social Skill)

Persuasion plays a crucial role in Starfield, influencing the outcome of speech challenges and shaping the story according to your preferences. 

Armor Penetration (Combat Skill)

As you advance through the game, you will face mighty enemies. This skill empowers your weapons to deliver maximum damage, ensuring effectiveness even against higher-level enemies.

Stealth (Physical Skill)

The number of enemies in each mission of Starfield may come as a surprise. Charging head-on to confront them often leads to defeat. Opting for sneak attacks saves ammo and time to restart the mission.

Spacesuit Design (Science Skill)

Despite its four Skill Point costs, investing in this skill enables you to craft superior space suits, helmets, and mods that offer defensive advantages and provide greater mobility with lighter-weight vests.

My Experience With Skills Tree

Skills played an essential part during my 30-plus hours of campaign. I was glad that the Skills were not an afterthought in this game. Instead, a fully fleshed-out Skill system was present that can completely change how each player experiences the game. 

I had to constantly level up to gain skill points, which required me to farm for XP

Starfield Gameplay time
Starfield – Gameplay Time: Image by Gamesual

The Skill Tree was not too complicated, and a simple progression made a difference in my campaign of Starfield. Therefore, I would recommend players pay attention to the Skills they want to unlock for their character and keep a close eye on the Skill Tree.

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