All Starfield skills: Every ability in the game

Andrew Highton
starfield character and logoBethesda

Starfield allows players to learn a wide array of unique skills, contributing to a diverse gameplay experience. Here’s a complete breakdown of all skills available, organized into different categories.

Bethesda’s experience in crafting role-playing games like The Elder Scrolls and Fallout shines through in the detailed skill system of Starfield, highlighting their decades-long expertise in the RPG genre.

A staple of these games has been detailed and in-depth skill trees. A big weave of abilities tied to certain attributes and traits. Players can then use them to improve and add to their character to increase their proficiency in certain areas.

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Starfield also utilizes this successful system, and we already know a bunch of skills that will feature in Behesda’s epic sci-fi RPG game.


starfield skills and abilitiesBethesda

How many abilities & skills are in Starfield?

There are a grand total of 82 abilities for players to unlock in Starfield.

These are split into the following categories:

  • Combat
  • Physical
  • Science
  • Social
  • Tech

How to upgrade skills in Starfield

To gain access to a skill in Starfield, you must first purchase it with a skill point, Once you’ve done that, you can then only upgrade the skill by satisfying a certain gameplay requirement.

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For example, if you purchase the Ballistics ability using a skill point, you can then upgrade it to the next level by meeting the following objective: “Kill 250 enemies with a ballistic weapon.”

Every Starfield ability & skill in the game

Here’s a close look at all the skills and abilities you can learn in Starfield.

Skill NameAbility TypeEffect
AstrodynamicsScienceDecreases Grav Jump fuel cost
AstrophysicsScienceIncreases trait chance while scanning moons
Armor PenetrationCombatAttacks ignore 15% of a targets armor
Aneutronic FusionScienceYour ship reactions produce 1 extra unit of power
Automated Weapons SystemsTechAutomated ship weapons deal 10% more damage & targeting mod costs are reduced by 20%
Ballistic Weapon SystemsTechIncreases ship Ballistic DMG
BallisticsCombatIncreases Ballistic weapon DMG
BargainingSocialBuy items for less and sell for more
Boost Attack TrainingTechNearby enemies take damage when you use your boost pack
Boost Pack TrainingTechIncreases Boost Jump height
BotanyScienceIncreases flora scan speed
BoxingPhysicalUnarmed attacks do 25% more damage
Cellular Regeneration PhysicalYour ability to recover from injury naturally is slightly increased
ChemistryScienceCraft improved chems
CripplingCombatHuman enemies have a 30% chance of entering a downed state after taking damage
CommerceSocialBuild better trading outposts
ConcealmentPhysicalHarder to detect while sneaking
DeceptionSocialEnemy contraband scans are 10% less effective and Ships 10% stronger than yours will automatically surrender
DecontaminationPhysicalIncreases infection recovery chance
DemolitionsCombatIncreases Explosive DMG and radius
DiplomacySocialForce an NPC not to attack you temporarily
DuelingCombatIncreases Melee weapon DMG
EM Weapon SystemsTechEM ship weapons deal 10% more damage & and cost 15% less to use in targeting mode
Energy Weapon DissipationPhysicalEnergy damage in reduced by 5%
Energy Weapon SystemsTechEnergy ship weapons deal 10% more damage
Energy SytemsTechShip speed is increased by 10%
Environmental Conditioning Physical10% resistance to Airborne environmental damage.
FitnessPhysicalYou have 10% more oxygen
GastronomySocialCan craft specialty food and drinks
GeologyScienceIncreases ore scan speed
GymnasticsPhysicalFall damage is reduced by 15% & you unlock the ability to combat slide
Heavy Weapons CertificationCombatIncreases Heavy weapon DMG
IncapacitationCombatEM weapons deal 15% more damage
InstigationSocialForce an NPC to join you temporarily
IntimidationSocialForce an NPC to flee from you temporarily
IsolationSocialGain 10% weapon damage 15% damage resistance for each spacesuit and helmet you have equipped when you’re travelling without a companion or crew.
LasersCombatIncreases Laser weapon DMG
LeadershipSocialCompanions gain affinity faster
ManipulationSocialYou can force a target NPC below your level to obey your orders for a limited amount of time
MarksmanshipCombatIncreases Marksman weapon DMG
Martial ArtsPhysicalUnarmed attacks use less Oxygen
MedicineScienceIncreases Med Pack healing
Missile Weapons SystemTechIncreases ship Missile DMG
NutritionPhysicalFood & drink are 10% more effective
Negotiation SocialGrants access to Bribery dialouge options.
NeurostrikesPhysicalIncreases unarmed attack crit DMG
Outpost EngineeringScienceBuild advanced outpost modules
Outpost ManagementSocialCan establish trade routes between outposts
Pain TolerancePhysicalPhysical damage is reduced by 5%
Particle Beam Weapon SystemsTechIncrease ship Particle Beam DMG
Particle BeamsCombatIncreases Particle Beam weapon DMG
PayloadsTechIncreases ship cargo capacity
PersuasionSocialIncreases success chance for speech challenges
PilotingTechIncreases ship speed
Pistol CertificationCombatIncreases Pistol DMG
Plantery HabitationScienceYou can build outposts on planets with extreme tempatures
Rapid ReloadingCombatIncreases weapon reload speed
RejuvenationPhysicalHealth regenerates slowly when you’re outside of combat
Research MethodsScienceResources needed to craft items and research projects are reduced by 10%
Rifle CertificationCombatIncreases Rifle DMG
RoboticsTechIncreases DMG to Robots and Turrets
ScanningScienceScanning detects uncommon inorganic resources on planet and moon surfaces.
Spacesuit DesignScienceYou can craft improved spacesuit, helmet and pack mods
ScavengingSocialFind more credits while looting
Special ProjectsScienceYou can research experimental projects at the Research Lab
SecurityTechCan attempt to hack more advanced locks
Ship CommandSocialYou can have up to 4 active crew members
SharpshootingCombatHeadshot critical damage is increased by 50% for ranged weapons
Shield SystemsTechShip has 20% increased shield capacity
Shotgun CertificationCombatIncreases Shotgun DMG
Sniper CertificationCombatDecreases scoped weapon sway
Starship DesignTechUnlocks more ship pre-built modules
Starship EngineeringTechUnlocks more ship custom modules
StealthPhysicalIncreases sneak attack DMG
SurveyingScienceThe Surveying skill likely gives you bonuses to your scanning percentage when using your survey tool.
TargetingCombatIncreases hipfire accuracy and range
Targeting Control SystemsTechTarget different subsystems on enemy ships
TheftSocialIncreases pickpocketing success chance
Weight LiftingPhysicalIncreases carry capacity
Weapon Enigeering ScienceYou can craft improved weapon mods at workbenches
WellnessPhysicalIncreases max HP
XenosociologySocialForce an NPC to do your bidding temporarily
ZoologyScienceYou can get more common resources from creatures and harvest these without harming them / you can also produce animal resources at your outpost

Those are all the skills and abilities you can use in Starfield! For more content on the game, check out our guides below:

Starfield all main story missions | All skills | All factions | All console commands | All difficulty levels explained | All achievements | All skill books | Level cap | How to remove bounty | How to fast travel | Easy XP | Easy credits | Best traits | How to get a house | How to mod weapons and equipment | How to assign your crew | How to add DLSS | How to pick locks | How to customize ship | How to dock ship | Where to sell items | Best movies like Starfield

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About The Author

Andrew Highton is a Games Writer for Dexerto. He has a Creative Writing degree from Liverpool John Moores University and has previously written for games websites such as Twinfinite and Keengamer. With 13,000+ PlayStation Trophies to his name, Andrew is a fan of a huge variety of video games, his favourites being God of War and Metal Gear Solid. Contact him at, on Twitter @AndyHighton8 or at