Best Starfield Build: Melee

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

The Best Starfield Melee Build Guide

The Best Melee Build in Starfield

Starfield Best Melee Build

Melee builds are a classic choice for players who want to get up close and personal with their enemies. In Starfield, melee builds are even more viable than ever before, thanks to the new combat system and the variety of powerful melee weapons that are available. This build excels at melee aggression without having to modify weapons or worry about ammunition. Once you have enough skill points invested, you will be very survivable.

Melee Build ProsMelee Build Cons
High damageGear Dependent
Quick mobilitySkill Point Dense
Requires Positioning KnowledgeGear Dependent

Best Melee Build Features & Mechanics

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

  • Damage: Melee Ballistic
  • Range: 5m
  • Primary Weapon: Sword
  • Best Skill: Martial Arts
  • Best Power: Grav Dash
  • Mechanic: Power Attack
  • Throwable: Fragmentation Grenade
  • Aid: CQB-X

The Melee build is a hyper-aggressive in-your-face melee weapon wielder. The build focuses on Melee Weapons, Sprinting for mobility, and simple weapons that do not require armor. Melee is a great option for players who struggle with aiming or just want something aggressive and different. Starfield mechanics are perfect for high damage and survivable melee build. This will serve as a template that you can use to succeed with the Best Starfield Melee Build.

How Does Melee Weapons Work in Starfield

Melee weapons in Starfield have three mechanics, basic attack, power attack, and blocking. A basic attack is the same button as your trigger while blocking is your aim button. You can perform a power attack by pressing your melee attack button. This will do more damage but also has a longer animation. This is best to use when you can expect no damage incoming for 2 seconds. You can also use knives and other melee weapons with stealth for an instant kill if undetected.


Starfield Ronin Background

The best Background for a melee build is Ronin. The Ronin background in Starfield gives you Dueling, Stealth, and Scavenging skills at level 1. Here’s of the Ronin Background skills in Starfield:

  • Dueling: Melee weapons do 25% more damage. Take 10% less damage while wielding a melee weapon.
  • Stealth: Adds a Stealth Meter. You are 25% more difficult to detect when sneaking. Suppressed weapons do an additional 5% sneak attack damage.
  • Scavenging: There’s a chance you’ll find extra credits when searching containers.


The best traits for a Melee build in Starfield are Alien DNA and Extrovert because they increase your Oxygen capacity. Oxygen is vital to a successful melee build because most of your speed comes from sprinting. Here are the best traits for a melee build in Starfield:

  • Alien DNA: You volunteered for a controversial experiment that combines alien and human DNA. As a result, you start with increased health and oxygen, but healing and food items aren’t as effective.
  • Extrovert: You’re a people person. Exerting yourself uses less oxygen when adventuring with human companions, but more when adventuring alone.

Keep in mind that 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 Alien DNA is our suggestion for the Best Starfield Melee Build Guide.


The best skills for a melee build in Starfield are Dueling, Concealment, and Martial Arts because they increase your melee damage potential. Concealment can provide 10x damage from a stealth melee attack which can one-shot nearly any enemy in the game. Focus heavily on the Physical skill tree with some into Combat and Science for crafting. Here is the list of the best and recommended skills for the Melee Build in Starfield:

  • Martial Arts
  • Concealment
  • Dueling
  • Boost Pack Training
  • Stealth
  • Fitness
  • Wellness
  • Spacesuit Design
  • Gymnastics
  • Medicine

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 a Ronin background, which unlocks Dueling, Stealth, and Scavenging. 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 Melee Build Guide:

  • Level 1: Dueling, Stealth, Scavenging
  • Level 2: Boost Pack Training
  • Level 3: Medicine
  • Level 4: Astrodynamics
  • Level 5: Fitness
  • Level 6: Wellness
  • Level 7: Stealth Rank 2
  • Level 8: Gymnastics
  • Level 9: Boost Pack Training Rank 2
  • Level 10: Dueling Rank 2
  • Level 11: Medicine Rank 2
  • Level 12: Astrodynamics Rank 2
  • Level 13: Spacesuit Design
  • Level 14: Fitness Rank 2
  • Level 15: Wellness Rank 2
  • Level 16: Gymnastics Rank 2
  • Level 17: Martial Arts
  • Level 18: Boost Pack Training Rank 3
  • Level 19: Dueling rank 3
  • Level 20: Spacesuit Design Rank 2
  • Level 21: Fitness Rank 3
  • Level 22: Wellness Rank 3
  • Level 23: Martial Arts Rank 2 (or Stealth)
  • Level 24: Concealment
  • Level 25: Boost Pack Training Rank 4
  • Level 26: Dueling Rank 4
  • Level 27: Gymnastics Rank 3
  • Level 28: Martial Arts Rank 3
  • Level 29: Concealment Rank 2
  • Level 30: Dueling Rank 4

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 Melee Build

Starfield Wakizashi Weapon
Wakizashi Melee Weapon
Starfield Combat Knife Weapon
Combat Knife Melee

The best weapon for Melee Build is the Wakizashi Melee Weapon because it has great damage and a wide radius. The secondary choice is the Combat Knife melee weapon using the Stealth skill in close range. Unlike guns or other weapons, you cannot modify these melee weapons. You also do not have ammunitions so it’s very handy when playing a high difficulty with very low ammunition. It’s a good idea to keep a shotgun (Shotty, Big Bang, Coachman) on you at all times. There might be sometimes melee is impossible. A ranged weapon like the AA-99 is also good just in case you need to shoot a decent 40m distance.

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.

Here are the best weapon effects, perks, and traits for a melee weapon in Starfield:

  • Frenzy: Small chance to frenzy a target.
  • Instigating: Deals double damage to targets with full health.
  • Rapid: +25% increase in attack speed.

Best Armor for Melee Build

The best armor for Melee Build is the Mantis Legendary Armor spacesuit, power pack, and helmet. The Mantis armor offers exceptional survivability and utility. The Reactive perk built in helps when enemies attack you back with a chance to stagger, making them vulnerable to attacks. The Mantis Armor can be found in a secret outpost at Denebola I-B.

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 Melee Build in Starfield:

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


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

Pack SlotMod
Slot 1Oxygen Reserve
Slot 2Emergency Aid
Boost PackSkip Capacity Boostpack


Here is a list of the best Helmet armor mods for the Melee 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 Melee build in Starfield:

  • Acrobat: -50% fall damage.
  • O2 Boosted: +20% oxygen capacity.
  • Reactive: 10% chance to stagger nearby attackers.

Best Companion

Starfield Best Companion Vasco
Starfield Best Companion Vasco

The best companion for the Melee Build is Vasco because the robot has access to three high-powered Starship skills that the Ronin Background lacks. Here’s a list of Vasco’s skills:

  • EM Weapon Systems: EM ship weapons have 10% increased damage and cost 15% less to use in Targeting Mode.
  • Shield Systems: Your ship has 40% increased shield capacity.
  • Aneutronic Fusion: Ship reactors produce 1 extra unit of power.

Best Aid

The best aid for a Melee build are Squall, Heart+, and Amp. The either increase your damage, reduce damage taken, and 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 Melee 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.
  • CQB-X: +25% melee damage for 5m.

Best Powers

The best Starborn power for Melee Build is Grav Dash because it provides incredible movement. You want to be the fastest blur in order to dash up and destroy enemies. Two other powers are Reaction Shield for heavy incoming weapon fire and Anti-Gravity field which renders targets vulnerable.

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.

Melee Build Summary Guide

Background – Ronin

Traits – Alien DNA, Extrovert

Weapon – Wakizashi

Secondary Weapon – Combat Knife

Armor – Mantis Legendary

Companion – Vasco

Starborn Power – Grav Dash


  • Martial Arts
  • Concealment
  • Dueling
  • Boost Pack Training
  • Stealth
  • Fitness
  • Wellness
  • Spacesuit Design
  • Gymnastics
  • Medicine

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