Best Starfield Build: Speech & Persuasion

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

Starfield Speech Persuasion Intimidation Dialog Build
Starfield Speech Persuasion Intimidation Dialog Build

The Best Speech & Persuasion Build in Starfield

Starfield Best Speech and Persuasion Build

In the vast and dangerous universe of Starfield, your words can be just as powerful as your weapons. With a Speech build, you’ll be able to persuade, intimidate, and deceive your way through the game, unlocking new dialogue options, gaining access to restricted areas, and getting the best possible deals. Speech builds are particularly well-suited for players who want to avoid combat and focus on solving problems through diplomacy. They’re also a good choice for players who want to roleplay as a charismatic characters who can get what they want, no matter the cost.

Speech & Persuasion Build ProsSpeech & Persuasion Build Cons
Non-Combat FocusedWeak in Combat
Incredible Story OptionsSituational Application
Great for Poor ShootersSocial Tree Weak

Best Speech & Persuasion Build Features & Mechanics

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

  • Damage: Ballistic
  • Range: 40 meter
  • Primary Weapon: Old Earth Pistol
  • Best Skill: Manipulation
  • Best Power: Creators’ Peace
  • Mechanic: Perusaion Checks
  • Throwable: Fragmentation Grenade
  • Aid: Hippolyta

The Speech & Persuasion build is your prototypical front-line Space Warrior. The build focuses on Non-Combat solutions, persuasion, intimidation, and deception to complete your missions. You will use a combination of medium to long-range weapons with an emphasis on dialogue, not combat to finish the quests. This build will focus heavily on the Social skill tree in order to optimize our dialogue options.

Starfield Speech & Persuasion Explained

Starfield Speech Check And Persuasion Meter
Starfield Speech Check And Persuasion Meter

When trying to win persuasions in Starfield, you must win the check with turns and points. Your goal is to spend points depending on your skills and background and fill up the bar to succeed. The numbers correlate with the grey bars, so if you have four grey bars, you can hit the +4 on the dialogue. The goal is to reach full points spent on your grey bars at the end of your turn. Keep in mind, that the more aggressive answers are color-coded, so if you try a +4 initially, you could fail outright rather than take your time.

Here are factors and mechanics that influence speech, dialogue, and persuasion in Starfield:


Starfield Diplomat Background

The best background for a pacifist speech and persuasion dialogue-based build in Starfield is the Diplomat. The Diplomat gives you two starting skills from the Social tree Persuasion and Commerce, and Wellness from the Physical skill tree. Persuasion is the foundation of the build and you can start leveling it right away, along with Commerce used for buying and trading. This allows you to progress further in the skill tree grabbing more advanced skills earlier.

Here is a list of the Diplomat Background skills in Starfield:

  • Persuasion: 10% increased chance of success when persuading someone.
  • Commerce: Buy for 5% less and sell for 10% more.
  • Wellness: Increase your maximum health by 10%.

These skills are given to you at level 1, and progress by using the skill or some other function. Persuasion levels up as you succeed in persuasion checks. Commerce levels up as you buy and sell loot. Wellness levels up as you heal yourself.


The best traits for a Speech and Persuasion build in Starfield are Empath, Extrovert, and Taskmaster because they deal with other crew, companions, and allies. The premise of the build is to avoid combat and influence others with speech and all of these traits will help in that regard. Here is a list of the best traits for the Best Speech & Persuasion Starfield Build:

  • Empath: You are deeply connected to the feelings of others. Performing actions your companion likes will result in a temporary increase in combat effectiveness. But, performing actions they don’t like will have the precise opposite effect.
  • Extrovert: You’re a people person. Exerting yourself uses less oxygen when adventuring with human companions, but more when adventuring alone.
  • Taskmaster: Occasionally, if you have crew trained in a certain ship system, that system will automatically repair itself to full health whenever it is damaged below 50%. However, all crew cost twice as much to hire.

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 Empath, Extrovert, and Taskmaster are our suggestions for the Best Starfield Speech & Persuasion Build Guide.


The best skills for a Speech and Persuasion build are Xenosociology, Manipulation, and Instigation because they can change or force NPCs to obey your command. Moreover, these skills can be used in combat to entirely avoid fighting, but they take many skill points to reach in the Social skill tree.

Here is the list of the best skills for the Speech & Persuasion Build in Starfield:

  • Xenosociology
  • Manipulation
  • Instigation
  • Diplomacy
  • Intimidation
  • Persuasion
  • Commerce
  • Negotiation
  • Spacesuit Design
  • Boost Pack Training

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.

For the Speech and Persuasion build, you want to stick with primarily the Social skill tree. The Science skill tree is vital to crafting later in the game, specifically your spacesuit, which can help with boost pack training. You will need a few points in level one to progress this in order to get important crafting skills. Start the game early with one skill in each tree so you can progress and then unlock additional levels.

Level Progression

At level one, you receive three free skills from your background selection. For this build, we recommend the Diplomat background, which unlocks Persuasion, Commerce, and Wellness at level one. 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 Speech & Persuasion Build Guide:

  • Level 1: Persuasion, Commerce, Wellness
  • Level 2: Boost Pack Training
  • Level 3: Security
  • Level 4: Stealth
  • Level 5: Medicine
  • Level 6: Astrodynamics
  • Level 7: Gastronomy
  • Level 8: Commerce Rank 2
  • Level 9: Diplomacy
  • Level 10: Intimidation
  • Level 11: Negotiation
  • Level 12: Medicine Rank 2
  • Level 13: Astrodynamics Rank 2
  • Level 14: Spacesuit Design
  • Level 15: Boost Pack Training Rank 2
  • Level 16: Deception
  • Level 17: Instigation
  • Level 18: Leadership
  • Level 19: Persuasion Rank 2
  • Level 20: Diplomacy Rank 2
  • Level 21: Manipulation
  • Level 22: Xenosociology
  • Level 23: Wellness
  • Level 24: Spacesuit Design Rank 2
  • Level 25: Boost Pack Training Rank 2
  • Level 26: Targeting Control
  • Level 27: Shield Systems
  • Level 28: Piloting
  • Level 29: Xenosociology Rank 2
  • Level 30: Manipulation Rank 2

It’s advised that you try to rank up skills by completing their requirements. For example, Commerce levels simply by buying and trading items at vendors. Progressing skills, specifically in the Social Skill Tree is critical to advancing to more powerful skills.

Best Weapons for Speech & Persuasion Build

Starfield Old Earth Pistol
Old Earth Pistol
Starfield Novablast Disruptor
Novablast Disruptor

The best weapon for Speech & Persuasion Build is the Old Earth Pistol because it fits the profile and character of a diplomat focused on dialogue and using a pistol for protection. The Novablast Disruptor can be used to stun and provide a non-lethal option. You can equip companions with EM weapons and also have them provide NON-lethal support. While this build will focus on a pacifist style with speech, persuasion, and intimidation, it’s always best to be prepared for situations that break down into violence. Below you will find the suggested mods for the Best Starfield Build Speech & Persuasion.

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 Old Earth Pistol weapons:

Old Earth Pistol Weapon SlotMod
Grip & StockTactical Grip
Magazine and BatteryArmor-Piercing Rounds
InternalHigh Powered
Best Old Earth Pistol Weapon Modifications

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

  • Anti-Personnel: +10% damage against humans
  • Crippling: Deals +30% damage on the next attack after hitting a target’s limbs
  • Furious: Each consecutive hit deals more damage

Look to get Long Barrel modification straight away and work towards progressing your crafting. The most damage comes from Internal and Receiver with other mods mainly helping with accuracy.

Best Armor for Speech & Persuasion Build

The best armor for a speech and persuasion build is apparel like the Corpo Sleek Suit which increases persuasion chance by 5%. The Neurotac Mark III also gives a massive boost of 15% increased chance of Instigation. The best store to find these items is Newill’s Goods on Neon in the Volii star system. You can find this slightly south and east of Alpha Centauri. The items are very expensive, but also “stack” meaning you can wear both the suit and the Mark III to get both increases.

Regarding other armor, you won’t be focused too much on combat with this build. Look for armor that has low Mass (weight) so you can carry more materials and resources. You also want to work on leveling your Science skill tree in order to upgrade your Spacesuit and Boost Pack. The Boost Pack is extraordinarily valuable regardless of the build you play because it increases your speed in and outside of combat.

Best Companion

Starfield Companion Barrett

The best companion for the Speech & Persuasion Build is Barret because he is a non-combat-focused companion with useful Tech skills the Diplomat background lacks. Here’s a list of Barret’s skills:

  • Starship Engineering: All ship systems repair 10% faster.
  • Particle Beam Weapon Systems: Ship particle beam weapons do 10% more damage, and the Targeting mode cost is reduced by 10%.
  • Robotics: You deal 10% more damage to Robots and Turrets. You can force a target robot up to 10 levels higher than you to stop fighting for a limited time.
  • Gastronomy: You can craft specialty food and drinks, and research additional recipes at a Research Lab.

Best Aid

The best aid items for a Speech and persuasion build are Squall, Heart+, and Amp. They either increase your persuasion, reduce damage taken, and or increase movement speed. All of which are relevant for a noncombat-focused build. Here is a list of the best Aid items for a Speech & Persuasion build in Starfield:

  • Hippolyta: +20% persuasion chance for 5m.
  • Amp: +35% movement speed for 2m and 2x jump height for 2m.
  • Heart+: +20% health for 2m, +200 damage resistance for 2m.

Best Powers

The best Starborn power for Speech and persuasion Build is Creators’ Peace because it allows you to disarm enemies for a non-combat solution. Note, that the enemies can pick up their weapons and will still be hostile to you, but this works very well to avoid conflict. If you fail a persuasion attempt and combat ensues, use this immediately and regroup. Two other Starborn Powers are Reactive Shield which helps reduce bullet damage and Sense Star Stuff 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.

Speech & Persuasion Build Summary Guide

Background – Diplomat

Traits – Empath, Extrovert, Taskmaster

Weapon – Old Earth Pistol

Armor – Corpo Sleek Suit & Neurotac Mark III

Starborn Power – Creators’ Peace

Companion – Barret

Aid Item – Hippolyta


  • Xenosociology
  • Manipulation
  • Instigation
  • Diplomacy
  • Intimidation
  • Persuasion
  • Commerce
  • Negotiation
  • Spacesuit Design
  • Boost Pack Training

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