Starfield makes players choose a Background at the beginning of the game, but with 21 to pick from, it’s hard to know which is the best one for you.

While Backgrounds are perfect for roleplaying purposes, they also unlock 3 skills from the start. If you’re more interested in picking the right skills for you, then choosing a Background can be tough.

Fortunately, we’ve compiled the best Backgrounds for each playstyle, so you know exactly which one to pick before you start.

Starfield Best Background

The best background in Starfield is [File Not Found]. It is perfect for newcomers, as it offers the best starting skills which will help significantly in the early game.

However, of the 21 Backgrounds available in Starfield, there are 4 that players should consider: They are:

  • [File Not Found]
  • Soldier
  • Diplomat
  • Cyber Runner

These backgrounds offer the best starting skills, giving you a strong headstart and unlocking useful features such as the Boost Pack.

VASCO standing next to the player in Starfield

Below, we explain why each of these Backgrounds is a viable choice in Starfield:

Best All Round Background

The best balanced Background in Starfield is [File Not Found]. It is perfect for newcomers, as it offers a boost to health, combat, and piloting skills.

With the [File Not Found] Background, players will start with the following skills:

  • Wellness – Gain 30 points of health
  • Ballistics – Ballistic weapons do 10% more damage
  • Piloting – You can now utilize ship thrusters
The player walking on a moon in Starfield

The [File Not Found] description mentions how “there’s no information on file about your past life,” making it the perfect Background for players who want to forge their own identities.

Best Combat Background

If you’re looking for a combat-focused Background, then the best one is the Soldier. It improves gun damage and your proficiency with the boost pack.

With the Soldier Background, players will start with the following skills:

  • Fitness – You have 10% more oxygen available
  • Ballistics – Ballistic weapons do 10% more damage
  • Boost Pack Training – You can now utilize boost packs
The player shooting a gun in Starfield

The Soldier description focuses on your skills as a, you guessed it, soldier, stating, “if there’s one thing armed conflict relies on its trained warriors with guns and guts. You had both.”

Best Speech Background

By far, the best Background to pick for a Speech-focused playthrough is Diplomat. It focuses on improving your persuasion and bartering skills.

With the Diplomat Background, players will start with the following skills:

  • Persuasion – 10% increased chance of success when persuading someone
  • Commerce – Buy for 5% less and sell for 10% more
  • Wellness – Gain 30 points of health
Dialogue options in Starfield

The Diplomat Background description remarks on how your skills of persuasion have changed the galaxy. It reads: “Because of you, agreements were signed, words were heeded… lives were spared.”

Best Stealth Background

Finally, if you’re considering a stealth run, then you’ll want to pick the Cyber Runner Background. It’s all about pickpocketing, lockpicking, and, of course, sneaking.

With the Cyber Runner Background, players will start with the following skills:

  • Stealth – Adds a Stealth Meter. You are 25% more difficult to detect when
    sneaking. Suppressed weapons do an additional 5% sneak attack
  • Security – You can attempt to hack Advanced locks, and 2 auto attempts
    can be banked
  • Theft – Unlock the ability to pickpocket targets
The player sneaking up on an enemy with a knife in Starfield

The Cyber Runner Background description is all about having your eye on the prize, stating, “the megacorps stand as monuments to power, prestige and profit. You’ve worked both for and against them, on the inside and out, often sacrificing conscience for credits.”

All Starfield Backgrounds Ranked

The best Background in Starfield is [File Not Found], as the skills it unlocks are perfect for the early game.

The worst Background in Starfield is either Chef or Pilgrim, as both offer specialist skills that aren’t particularly useful in the early game.

While none of the Backgrounds are particularly terrible, especially if they fit your character’s backstory better, for those who are roleplaying, there are some that the majority of players should avoid.

The Background selection screen in Starfield

Below, we’ve ranked every single Background from best to worst (1 being the best). It’s worth noting that only the bottom 5 are truly not worthwhile:

  1. [File Not Found]
  2. Diplomat
  3. Soldier
  4. Cyber Runner
  5. Space Scoundrel
  6. Industrialist
  7. Combat Medic
  8. Cyberneticist
  9. Sculptor
  10. Long Hauler
  11. Bounty Hunter
  12. Homesteader
  13. Ronin
  14. Beast Hunter
  15. Professor
  16. Bouncer
  17. Xenobiologist
  18. Gangster
  19. Explorer
  20. Chef
  21. Pilgrim

Are Backgrounds Important in Starfield?

Backgrounds are quite important, as they unlock unique dialogue options for the player. Additionally, the starting skills can give the player a significant boost in the early portion of the game.

However, you can unlock all of the available skills gained through each Background regardless of which you start with. So don’t worry about being locked out of certain skills because of the Background you picked.

Ultimately, Backgrounds are important for unlocking unique dialogue options in very specific situations and for roleplaying purposes.

The dialogue screen in Starfield
Former Staff Writer
Whether it's an indie platformer or a 100-hour JRPG, Tom loves talking about games. So much so, he made it his career. Since starting in 2020, he's covered a wide range of topics at sites including TheGamer and The Game Crater.