Skip to main content

The best backgrounds and traits in Starfield

Bethesda RPGs really encourage players to actually roleplay a character in every way. Starfield continues the tradition found in Elder Scrolls and Fallout by starting you off by having you create your own unique character, complete with a history and set of specific traits. The number of options this time around is massive, and they not only inform who your character is to help you embody their personality, but dictate what skills you start with, the ways you can interact with certain groups, and other passive buffs and debuffs. There are way too many possible combinations to consider, and personal taste will play the biggest part in which you decide to select, but here are a few backgrounds and traits that stand out as the best for a variety of players.

Best backgrounds

Your background plays the biggest role in who your character is. Yes, it does determine the first three skills you start with, but it impacts much more than that. Depending on your background, you might have different dialogue options with certain characters or have slightly different interactions in specific situations. You can’t really predict these, but they do make the choice more important if you want to really play the part of whichever character you create.

Bounty Hunter

A description of the bounty hunter background.

If you’re looking to start out being a bit of a Jango Fett-type character, the Bounty Hunter is the perfect background. You won’t get any actual combat perks at the start, except for immediately being able to use boost packs to easily flank enemies and maneuver around the environment. Your main bonuses will be in ship combat thanks to the Piloting and Targeting Control Systems skills. If your dream is to be a space pirate, raiding unsuspecting vessels for supplies, you should go Bounty Hunter.

Combat Medic

A description of the combat medic background.

Don’t think of the Combat Medic as a support class as you would in a normal game. You won’t be healing or supporting your crew with this class, but just making yourself that much more hardy. This class has an advantage with pistols, which is a great starting point to unlock skills in other weapon types later in the skill tree, but it’s going to make the most of healing items.

Space Scoundrel

A description of the space scoundrel.

If the Bounty Hunter is your Jango Fett, then the Space Scoundrel would obviously be your Han Solo. Good with pistols? Check. A skilled pilot? Check. A smooth talker? Triple check. This is a very open class that you can steer in a lot of different ways, but none of the starting skills will go to waste. It is a perfect class for when you don’t know for sure yet which direction you want to commit to.

Cyber Runner

A description of the cyber runner background.

For all you stealthy players out there, the Cyber Runner is here to get your criminal activity going. This background gives you all the tools you need to start committing crimes — and getting away with them — as soon as you begin. Stealth makes you harder to detect when you go where you shouldn’t, Security lets you bypass difficult locks, and Theft gives you the chance to lighten unsuspecting NPC’s pockets.

Best Traits

Traits work differently than backgrounds, with characters usually having one positive and one negative associated with them that more directly impact your gameplay experience. You can have up to three of them, but you don’t need to have any if you don’t want to. Pay attention to their descriptions as well, as many of them are mutually exclusive from one another.


A description of the extrovert trait.

Are you better with people or working alone? If you plan on running with a crew, roll as an Extrovert to consume less O2 while running and jumping around. If you’re the lone wolf, go the opposite direction. Don’t worry about this impacting any other aspect of your character, either. You won’t be locked out of romances or dialogue options as an Introvert, for example.

Kid Stuff

A description of the kid stuff trait.

Hold on, hear us out on this one. Sure, the description doesn’t make it clear what upside there is, and giving away 2% of your cash every week is a hefty price just to have parents, but you have to trust us when we say it’s worth it — at least early on. We won’t spoil anything, but you do get more tangible rewards besides just having loving parents who believe in you and a free place to crash on New Atlantis. Later on, when you’re starting to get a lot more Credits, you can always cut them off if you’re feeling heartless.

Raised Enlightened/Universal

A description of the enlightened trait.

These are two other exclusive traits like Introvert and Extrovert, only for your religious beliefs. If you want to be a person of faith in exchange for specific rewards, there’s no downside except that you can’t be a part of the religion you don’t choose. The only unfortunate part of making this choice here is that you have no idea what either of these religions is about, let alone what you will get in their unique chest.


A description of the Wanted trait.

If you want to add even more difficulty and unpredictability to your space adventures, make yourself a wanted criminal from the jump. Unlike committing other crimes in Starfield, this one can’t be removed by paying your bounty or doing time. Mercs will show up at random to ruin your day, but that may not be such a bad thing if you can handle it. For one, you always get the bonus of doing more damage while at low health, and taking out mercs can be lucrative and help you level up faster.

Jesse Lennox
Jesse Lennox loves writing, games, and complaining about not having time to write and play games. He knows the names of more…
Bethesda’s Todd Howard responds to Starfield paid mods controversy
A player character in third person looking out over a snowy planet in Starfield

Bethesda Game Studios director Todd Howard has addressed recent concerns about Starfield's paid mods, which echo long-standing issues between the company and its modding community.

This debacle began with the launch of the Creation Kit, which dropped on Steam following the Xbox Games Showcase last week. This allows people to make new additions to the game -- including Bethesda, which used it to market some new Trackers Alliance bounty-hunting missions. While the first one in the pack was offered for free, many fans expressed disappointment that the second mission was locked behind a $7 paywall in Creations.

Read more
Avowed: release date window, trailers, gameplay, and more
A player fights a bear in Avowed

Obsidian has been a studio that punches above its weight with amazing RPGs like Pillars of Eternity and South Park: The Stick of Truth, as well as classic games like Fallout: New Vegas and Star War:s Knight of the Old Republic 2. While we're waiting on the sequel to the sci-fi adventure The Outer Worlds 2, the team is taking on its biggest challenge yet. Avowed is a first-person RPG that has a lot of visual similarities to Skyrim, but is set within the original world created for Pillars of Eternity. We've been tracking this game since it was revealed in 2020 and it's now in the final stretch before release. This could be the next great RPG experience you've been looking for, so check out everything you need to know about Avowed.
Release date window
During the January Xbox Developer Direct, we learned that Avowed is currently scheduled to release in the fall of 2024. We expected that window to narrow during the Xbox Games Showcase in the summer, but not concrete date was given.

The release date might be November 12, 2024 though. Obsidian included this date in a now-now edited blog post just after the Xbox Games Showcase.

Read more
Age of Mythology: Retold will have controller support on PC from day one
Key art for Age of Mythology: Retold.

Age of Mythology: Retold will have full controller support on PC from day one. World's Edge confirmed this to me when I went hands-on with the real-time strategy (RTS) remake earlier this week following its appearance at the Xbox Games Showcase.

For those out of the loop, Age of Mythology: Retold is a remake of a beloved spinoff of the Age of Empires RTS series. It uses mythological characters and factions rather than historical ones, but still features the same engaging army-building and battling gameplay loop of Assemble Studios' classics. From what I played of Retold, this remake retains all of that while simply upgrading the visuals to be much prettier and adding some quality-of-life features (like being able to recharge god powers during a battle) that make the game even more fun to play.

Read more