Best Starfield Bounty Hunter Build Guide

This guide focuses on the Best Starfield Bounty Hunter Build in Starfield, with skills, armor, and weapons to create a powerful character.

The Starfield Bounty Hunter

The Best Bounty Hunter Build in Starfield

Starfield Bounty Hunter Best Build Guide

In the year 2330, humanity has spread to the stars, colonizing hundreds of planets. As a Bounty Hunter, your skills will be put to the test as you track down elusive targets, collect lucrative rewards, and carve your own legend among the stars. This playstyle emphasizes on tracking down and capturing or killing criminals for a fee. This can be a very lucrative playstyle, but it also requires a lot of skills and abilities. Bounty hunters must be able to track down their targets, fight them if necessary, and bring them in alive or dead.

Bounty Hunter Build ProsBounty Hunter Build Cons
Powerful Ship CombatRequires Tech Focus
Exception Damage CloseWeak Range
Quick MovementStory Implications

Best Bounty Hunter Build Features & Mechanics

The following list presents all the essential Bounty Hunter Build Mechanics and Features in Starfield:

  • Damage: Ballistic and Laser
  • Range: 20 meters
  • Primary Weapon: Big Bang Shotgun
  • Best Skill: Boost Assault Training
  • Best Power: Creator’s Peace
  • Mechanic: Targeting Spaceship Systems
  • Throwable: Fragmentation Grenade
  • Aid: Heart+

The Bounty Hunter build is your space-faring mercenary for hire with the objective of taking down targets for credits. The build focuses on Spaceship Combat, Jet Packing for mobility, and simple weapons and armor to complete your missions. You will use a combination of short and long-range weapons with an emphasis on combat through force. This build will focus heavily on the Science tree with Combat and Social.

How to Board Spaceships

Starfield Targeting Ship Systems

In Starfield, you can target specific systems on Starships, disable them, and board them. This is perfect for the Bounty Hunter who must capture targets in space and even commandeer their ships! The Bounty Hunter Background gets Targeting Control Systems which allows you to focus on specific aspects to disable. The Grav drive is typically the most important so a ship cannot travel away, followed by the engine, and then weapon systems. Once disabled, you can board by getting close and hitting the “Dock” key.

Once upon the ship, you can kill, capture, or negotiate with the crew. If you decide to steal the ship, you can fly it to a local spaceport and register it. Make sure there’s no contraband on board. Once registered you can change ships by setting one to your “home.” Your previous starship will not disappear but return to the spaceport. This Best Starfield Bounty Hunter Build Guide focuses on this entertaining and useful aspect of the game and aims to enhance the gameplay.

Starfield Contraband Explained

Contraband in Starfield are items that are illegal to possess or trade in the Settled Systems. These items can vary from drugs and weapons to stolen goods and technology. If you are caught with contraband, you could face fines, imprisonment, or even death. 

Some of the known contraband items in Starfield include:

  • Drugs
  • Stolen Goods
  • Technology

There are a few ways to obtain contraband in Starfield. You can find it by exploring the game world, completing quests, or trading. You can also purchase it from illegal vendors, but this is risky because any time you travel you will be scanned for contraband.

If you are caught, you can flee with your grav drive in space. This will drive up your bounty and if you travel to another system run by that faction (United Colonies) you run the risk of getting into a confrontation. If you continue to run, you will be attacked on sight as a known criminal.  However, if you find the right vendor you can sell these items for a lot of credits.

If you play the Bounty Hunter build, you are likely to engage in this type of gameplay.  One important tip is to build a Self-Service Bounty Clearance Terminal in Starfield on your outpost.  You can clear the bounty and avoid confrontations if you get caught.


Starfield Bounty Hunter Background

The Bounty Hunter background in Starfield gives you Piloting, Targeting Control, and Boost Pack Training skills at level 1. Here are the Background skills for the Bounty Hunter in Starfield:

  • Piloting: You can now utilize ship thrusters.
  • Targeting Control System: Unlocks the ship targeting functionality.
  • Boost Pack Training: You can now utilize boost packs.

These skills are given to you at level 1, and progress by using the skill or some other function. Fitness levels up by using up all of your Oxygen 20 times. Ballistics levels by killing enemies with Ballistic Weapons. Boost Pack levels by using the boost pack in combat. You should be using Ballistic Weapons and Boost Packing while in combat. You can tell if a weapon is Ballistic by the icon on the top right corner. Look for a grenade explosion and not an energy symbol.


Starfield Wanted Trait

The best trait for a Bounty Hunter build in Starfield is Wanted. Occasionally, armed mercenaries will show up and try to kill you, but being cornered gives you an edge – when your health is low, you do extra damage As a Bounty Hunter, it’s likely someone will eventually put a price on your head and this gives us a unique bonus and also constant combat with Mercenaries. Consider this more of a roleplay and immersion choice rather than an optimal gameplay selection. Spaced and Task Master are also great selections.

Traits are optional customization options in Character Creation. Players can select up to three attributes from a wide list of traits to further shape their protagonists. It’s advised to limit or not select traits if it’s your first playthrough, but Terra Firma is our suggestion for the Best Starfield Bounty Hunter Build Guide.


The best skill for the Bounty Hunter is Boost Assault Training, Targeting Control, and Boost Assault Training. The Bounty Hunter is a high-tech monster with insane mobility and movement. You will want to focus most of your skill points on Tech, then spend 4 in Science to unlock Spacesuit Design and Weapon Engineering. This will allow you to customize weapons and armor. Then move to Social and then spend four points to unlock Isoloation which will give you damage and damage resistance when playing solo.

Here is the list of the best and recommended skills for the Bounty Hunter Build in Starfield:

  • Boost Assault Training
  • Targeting Control
  • Boost Pack Training
  • Isolation
  • Missile Weapon Systems
  • Piloting
  • Starship Design
  • Energy Weapon Systems
  • Shotgun Certification
  • Pistol Certification

Starfield skill system includes multiple skills spread between 5 categories of skills: SocialTechPhysicalScience, and Combat. Skills from every category will upgrade, customize, and enhance your Starfield character playstyle. Each skill unlock requires one skill point and then a condition in order to advance the skill ranks. Each rank requires another skill point, and each level of advancement requires four points in order to advance to another level.

Level Progression

At level one, you receive three free skills from your background selection. For this build, we recommend Bounty Hunter background, which unlocks Piloting, Targeting Control, and Boost Pack Training. Use the character creator and select any optional traits. Keep in mind that this is a template, and depending on your playstyle, you may not unlock additional ranks at the same level.

Here’s a list of level progression for the Best Starfield Bounty Hunter Build Guide:

  • Level 1: Piloting, Targeting Control, Boost Pack Training
  • Level 2: Pistol Certification
  • Level 3: Medicine
  • Level 4: Gastronomy
  • Level 5: Astrodynamics
  • Level 6: Shotgun Certification
  • Level 7: Security
  • Level 8: Shield Systems
  • Level 9: Commerece
  • Level 10: Gastronomy Rank 2
  • Level 11: Persuasion
  • Level 12: Isolation
  • Level 13: Medicine Rank 2
  • Level 14: Astrodynamics Rank 2
  • Level 15: Weapon Engineering
  • Level 16: Spacesuit Design
  • Level 17: Boost Pack Training Rank 2
  • Level 18: Energy Weapon Systems
  • Level 19: Shield Systems Rank 2
  • Level 20: Starship Design
  • Level 21: Boost Pack Training Rank 3
  • Level 22: Piloting Rank 2
  • Level 23: Missile Weapon Systems
  • Level 24: Boost Assault Training
  • Level 25: Boost Pack Training Rank 4
  • Level 26: Isolation Rank 2
  • Level 27: Ballistics
  • Level 28: Lasers
  • Level 29: Demolition
  • Level 30: Spacesuit Design Rank 2

It’s advised that you try to rank up skills by completing their requirements. For example, Boost Pack Training, simply hit Boost Pack constantly while in combat to level it up very easily. Leave one enemy alive, continually boost the pack as you have fuel, and you can complete the progression in one encounter.

Best Weapons for Bounty Hunter Build

Starfield Modified Big Bang Weapon
Big Bang Shotgun
Starfield Calibrated Magshot Weapon
Magshot Pistol

The best weapon for Bounty Hunter Build is the Big Bang because it has the most burst damage up close and can be heavily modified. The Big Bang is a later game weapon and the animation can be difficult to find, but it’s well worth it due to the damage. The weapon defaults to both ballistics and energy which helps if you take the skills in the Combat skill tree. Pick up the Breach shotgun early and use that until you level up and find a Big Bang. Your secondary weapon choice is a Magshot Pistol which can be used at medium range and also does high damage.

Weapons can have up to 8 modifications depending on the type. Each mod requires materials or resources along with the Weapon Engineering skill from the Science skill tree. You will also have to research mod upgrades via a research station and this can take some time to unlock the gun and weapons full potential.

Weapons come in four qualities, white, blue, purple, and legendary yellow. If a weapon is blue or great in rarity, it comes with a perk or a trait. These add additional effects in addition to modifications. An example of a perk is Hitman: +15% damage while aiming. Most of these are randomly given with the exception of quest-related items that come standard. It will be unlikely that you get all three recommended perks or traits on a given weapon, but we will list a few below. It’s also a good idea to save modifying weapons at blue or greater quality. This way, you don’t waste material on a non-perk weapon that is limited in overall power.

Primary Weapon

The following table lists the best mods for Big Bang Shotgun weapons:

Weapon SlotMod
BarrelExtended Barrel
LaserRecon Laser Sight
OpticReflex Sight
MuzzleDouble Barrel
Grip & StockErgonomic
Magazine & BatteryAnnihilator Rounds
Big Bang Shotgun Modifications

Here are the best weapon traits and perks for the Big Bang Shotgun weapon in Starfield:

  • Cornered: Damage increases as health decreases.
  • Lacerate: Randomly applies a bleed effect to the target.
  • Rapid: +25% increase in attack speed.

Secondary Weapon

The following table lists the best mods for the Magshot Pistol weapon:

Weapon SlotMod
BarrelMagnetic Rails
LaserRecon Laser Sight
OpticReflex Sight
MuzzleDouble Barrel
Magazine & BatteryDepleted Uranium Rounds
InternalHair Trigger
Magshot Pistol Modifications

Here are the best weapon traits and perks for the Magshot Pistol weapon in Starfield:

  • Crippling: Deals +30% damage on the next attack after hitting a target’s limbs
  • Furious: Each consecutive hit deals more damage
  • Lacerate: Randomly applies a bleed effect to the target

Best Armor for Bounty Hunter Build

The best armor for Bounty Hunter Build is the Bounty Hunter spacesuit, power pack, and helmet. Bounty Hunter offers great protection and is made for the Bounty Hunter build with high resistance.

Armors are available in four distinct qualities: white, blue, purple, and the legendary yellow. If an armor piece holds the rarity of blue or higher, it boasts an accompanying perk or trait. These augmentations introduce supplementary effects alongside any modifications. For instance, the “Beast Hunter” perk reduces damage from Alien enemies by 15%. While most of these enhancements are bestowed randomly, noteworthy exceptions include quest-related items that possess standardized attributes. Optimal resource utilization suggests reserving modifications for blue or higher quality armors, preventing the squandering of materials on non-perk gear that ultimately holds limited potency.


Here is a list of the best Spacesuit armor mods for the Bounty Hunter Build in Starfield:

Spacesuit SlotMod
Slot 1EM Shielding
Slot 2Optimized Servos
Slot 3 Heavy Shielding
Slot 4Pocketed


Here is a list of the best Pack armor mods for the Bounty Hunter Build in Starfield:

Pack SlotMod
Slot 1Hazard Protection
Slot 2Emergency Aid
Boost PackBalanced Boostpack


Here is a list of the best Helmet armor mods for the Bounty Hunter Build in Starfield:

Helmet SlotMod
Slot 1Ballistic Shielding
Slot 2Sensor Array
Slot 3 Heavy Shielding
Slot 4Gravitic Composites

Each of these armor pieces can come with additional perks or traits if they are blue quality or higher. Here are the recommended armor perks and traits for a Bounty Hunter build in Starfield:

  • Bolstering: Grants up to +100 Energy resistance and Physical resistance, the lower your health.
  • Combat Veteran: -15% damage from Human enemies.
  • Repulsing: 5% chance to disarm nearby attackers.

Lone Wolf

Starfield Isolation Skill

The Bounty Hunter is meant to play solo with the Isolation skill thus we suggest not using companions for performance and roleplay as a Bounty Hunter. Companions can be useful to haul material and for story elements, but often times will interfere with objectives alongside the story narrative of a true solo bounty hunter. If you decide to use a companion, Sarah Morgan is a good choice due to her skill passives.

Best Aid

The best aid for a Bounty Hunter build are Squall, Heart+, and Amp. They either increase your damage, reduce damage taken, or increase movement speed. All of which are relevant on the battlefield for a combat-focused build. Here is a list of the best Aid items for a Bounty Hunter build in Starfield:

  • Amp: +35% movement speed for 2m and 2x jump height for 2m.
  • Heart+: +20% health for 2m, +200 damage resistance for 2m.
  • Squall: +20% damage for 2m, 20% movement speed for 2m.

Best Powers

Starfield Creators Peace Power
Starfield Creators Peace Starborn Power

The best Starborn power for Bounty Hunter Build is Creator’s Peace because it immediately drops enemies’ weapons and makes them easy to take down. Creators’ Peace is exceptional in ship combat or close quarters which the Bounty Hunter Excels. Two additional recommended power are Reactive Shield because it lowers your damage and can reflect bullets. This is helpful at range when you cannot reach enemies with the Creator’s Peace. Sense Star Stuff is another great Starborn power because it helps detect enemies and friendlies.

Starborn Powers are earned through the main story campaign. You will encounter artifacts early on and acquire more of them as you progress. Using Vlad, located in the eye, and the Constellation group, located at the Lodge, to find more. Spend time finding and exploring Temples to progress this power.


Starfield comes with a new game plus mode. After you complete the game, you can start over with a powerful ship and a set of armor. This helps solve two problems which are storage for crafting materials and travel between worlds. While we suggest taking your time, do realize the game gets much easier if you complete the main story and start over. You will keep your level and lose access to credits, weapons, armor, ships, and all other possessions.

Bounty Hunter Build Summary Guide

Background – Bounty Hunter

Traits – Wanted

Weapon – Big Bag Shotgun

Secondary Weapon – Magshot Pistol

Starborn Power – Creators’ Peace

Companion – None


  • Boost Assault Training
  • Targeting Control
  • Boost Pack Training
  • Isolation
  • Missile Weapon Systems
  • Piloting
  • Starship Design
  • Energy Weapon Systems
  • Shotgun Certification
  • Pistol Certification

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