Starfield’s large variety of weapons are categorized into certain weapon tiers and rarities. Each has a significant impact on your weapon’s damage and effectiveness.

Unfortunately, the game doesn’t do a great job of communicating this to you, resulting in many players getting rid of weapons that may have a potentially higher damage output.

Below we go over in detail the weapon tiers and rarities system in Starfield so that you can unlock the true potential of your character’s build.

The player holding a rifle in Starfield

Starfield Weapon Tiers Explained

Weapon tiers in Starfield split the game’s weapons into five categories that determine their overall stats and value.

Here are the five Starfield weapon tiers, ranked from worst to best:

  • Base (level 0-9)
  • Calibrated (level 10+)
  • Refined (level 20-25)
  • Advanced (level 30-35)
  • Superior (level 40-50)

Generally speaking, higher weapon tiers will result in higher base stats for a given weapon. This means that you’ll want to keep an eye out for the specific tier of the weapons you find while exploring.

You can determine the tier of a weapon by reading the prefix of the title of the weapon. For example, this Grendel is a “Refined” weapon, as it is called a “Refined Grendel” rather than simply a “Grendel”:

Highlighting Refined weapon tier for Grendel in Starfield

When comparing the base stats of the Base Grendel and the Refined Grendel, you can see quite a large increase in stats that include fire rate, range, accuracy, and overall damage:

Comparing Base Grendel stats with Refined Grendel in Starfield

You’ll naturally find weapons of varying tiers as you explore and fight enemies in Starfield, with the chance of finding higher-tier weapons as you level up.

The level ranges beside each weapon tier above correspond to when you will likely see weapon drops of that tier in your playthrough. For example, after level 10, you will see more Calibrated tier weapons and won’t see many Refined weapons until you reach level 20.

Starfield First-Person Combat

It appears that you can still stumble upon higher and lower-tiered weapons at any level, but generally, you will see higher-tier weapons as you level up in Starfield.

Weapon tiers are not the only way that weapon effectiveness is determined in Starfield. Weapons are also split into rarities, which can have a significant impact on a weapon’s overall power.

Starfield Weapon Rarities Explained

Weapon rarities in Starfield split weapons into three categories that determine how many unique modifiers a weapon has. It is a different system to weapon tiers.

Here are the four Starfield weapon rarities, ranked from worst to best:

  • Common (Grey) – No modifier
  • Rare (Blue) – One modifier
  • Epic (Purple) – Two modifiers
  • Legendary (Gold) – Three modifiers

To determine a weapon’s rarity type, check below the weapon’s name and the color assigned to it.

Highlighting Legendary rarity for Grendel weapon in Starfield
This Grendel is a “Legendary Rifle”. Its rarity also signified by the gold colour assigned to it.

Weapon rarities are a separate system to weapon tiers, meaning that you can find weapons of any rarity type at any level. It is based on random chance.

Weapon Modifiers Explained

The most important aspect of weapon rarities is the number of unique modifiers available. It has the potential to add a lot of power to your build. Rare weapons will always have one modifier attached to them, Epic has two modifiers, and Legendary will always have three modifiers.

Here is an example of a Legendary weapon with three modifiers:

Highlighting three Legendary weapon modifiers for Grendel weapon in Starfield

There are a total of 29 weapon modifiers in Starfield, split between three modifier slots. Here are a few examples of some powerful modifiers, what they do, and which slot they fit in:

SlotModifiers
Slot 1 ModifiersFurious: Each consecutive hit deals more damage.

Space-Adept: +30% damage while in space, and -15% damage while on a planet.
Slot 2 ModifiersCorrosive: Randomly deals corrosive damage and reduces the targets’ armor over 6 seconds.

Rapid: +25% increase in attack speed.
Slot 3 ModifiersShattering: Break through even the strongest armor.

Titanium Build: Premium build materials make this weapon light as a feather.

The more modifiers a weapon has, the more powerful it will likely be. Do note that weapon modifiers are determined by RNG. Legendary weapons give you the highest chance of getting your most desired modifiers as they will always have three modifiers attached.

It’s up to you which modifiers will best suit your build in Starfield.

How to Utilize Weapon Tiers & Rarities in Starfield

To make the best use of the weapon tiers and rarities systems in Starfield, you’ll need to pay close attention to the weapons base stats to ensure maximum damage output. You’ll also need to look out for specific weapon modifiers that suit your build.

Player in space suit holding SMG with thumbs up in Starfield

In most games, you are expected to dismiss gear of lower rarities, as these are usually less powerful. This is not the case in Starfield, as it’s the tier of the weapon that seems to have the biggest impact on its base stats, rather than its rarity.

Because of this, you’ll often stumble upon weapons that are lower in rarity but have a greater damage output and better base stats than something you already have equipped.

For example, you can see below a Refined Common Grendel has better base stats than a Calibrated Legendary Grendel:

Comparing Calibrated Grendel with Refined Grendel in Starfield

Depending on the sort of build you’re going for, certain modifiers can be extremely powerful. If you can get a weapon with a few modifiers that synergize well together, it may be more important for your build than just having higher base stats.

Therefore you must pay attention to both a weapon’s tier and rarity level in Starfield to maintain a fine balance between the two to get the most out of your weapons and gear!

author
Staff Writer
Passionate gamer and writer, Alpay has been featured on GamingIntel, Stuff.tv, and TheGamer. When not writing, he delves into virtual worlds, enjoys high-concept TV shows, and splurges on Steam sales.