Best Starfield Build: Speech & Persuasion

Discover the best Starfield Speech & Persuasion Build guide in Starfield and how to create a powerful character with recommended skills, background, traits, weapons, and armor.

Starfield Speech Build

This build was updated for game version Starfield Update 1.11.33 – May 2024.

Starfield Speech & Persuasion Build Introduction in Starfield

In Starfield’s vast and dangerous universe, your words can be just as powerful as your weapons. With a Speech build, you can 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 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

Features and Mechanics for Best Starfield Speech & Persuasion Build in Starfield

Starfield Speech Persuasion Intimidation Dialog Build

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

  • Damage: Electro-Magnetic (EM)
  • Range: 20 meters
  • Weapon: Pistol
  • Best Skills: Xenosociology, Manipulation, Intimidation
  • Starborn Power: Creators’ Peace
  • Background: Diplomat
  • Traits: Empath, Extrovert, Taskmaster
  • Companion: Barret

Starfield Speech & Persuasion Explained

Starfield Speech Check And Persuasion Meter

You must win the check with turns and points when trying to win persuasions in Starfield. Your goal is to spend points depending on your skills and background and fill 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. Remember 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. Commerce is 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 you 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.

Diplomat – The wars are over. Peace now reigns over the Settled Systems. But only because there are those quietly fighting to keep it. Because of you, agreements were signed, words were heeded… lives were spared.


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.

Traits are optional customization options in Character Creation. Players can select up to three attributes from a comprehensive list of traits to further shape their protagonists. The May 2024 update allows players to change their traits on a New Game + (Unity). Thus, you can change them both in the game and in a new game, which keeps your progress but starts the universe over.


Starfield Xenosociology Skill

Xenosociology, Manipulation, and Intimidation are the best skills for persuasion and speech builds in Starfield. These skills allow you to force creatures to either fight for you or avoid conflict in dialogue. With our skill selections, you will have more ability to influence speech in the quest and even avoid combat throughout Starfield. Therefore, expect a heavy skill point investment into the social tree to influence NPC rather than combat.

You should try to rank up skills by completing their requirements. For example, Boost Pack Training hits Boost Pack constantly in combat to level it up very quickly. Leave one enemy alive, continually boost the pack as you have fuel, and you can complete the progression in one encounter.

Level Progression

We recommend the Diplomat background, which unlocks Persuasion, Commerce, and Wellness at level one. Starfield leveling progression system gives you three skills at level one via your background, then one skill per level without a level cap. You will need several skill points in each tree to move to the next level and pick higher-tier skills.

Unlike other Bethesda games, Starfield requires you to use or complete specific objectives with your skills to take a higher rank. For instance, in Boost Pack Training, hit Boost Pack constantly in combat to level it up very quickly. Leave one enemy alive, continually boost the pack as you have fuel, and you can complete the progression in one encounter. This is why we jump from tree to tree, giving you time to level your skill ranks. Come back or take another skill in the progression if you haven’t reached the level.

Levels 1 – 10

Here’s a list of the best skills to select from levels 1 – 10 with the Speech & Persuasion Build Guide in Starfield:

  • 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

Levels 11 – 20

Here’s a list of the best skills to select from levels 11 – 20 with the Speech & Persuasion Build Guide in Starfield:

  • 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

Levels 21 – 30

Here’s a list of the best skills to select from levels 21 – 30 with the Speech & Persuasion Build Guide in Starfield:

  • 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


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. 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 immediately and work towards progressing your crafting. The most damage comes from Internal and Receiver, with other mods mainly helping with accuracy.

Weapons can have up to 8 modifications depending on the type. Each mod requires materials or resources and the Weapon Engineering skill from the Science skill tree. You will also have to research mod upgrades via a research station, and it can take some time to unlock the full potential of the gun and weapons. Weapons have four qualities: white, blue, purple, and legendary yellow. If a weapon is blue or greater in rarity, it comes with a perk or a trait. These add additional effects in addition to modifications.


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. Newill’s Goods on Neon in the Volii star system is the best store to find these items. You can find this slightly south and east of Alpha Centauri. The items are costly, but they also “stack,” meaning you can wear both the suit and the Mark III to get both increases.

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%. Inspect each blue or greater armor mod and see if the trait and perk align with your build.

Starborn Power

Starfield Creators Peace Power
Starfield Creators Peace Starborn Power

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 enemies can pick up their weapons and 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, which 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 discovering and exploring Temples to progress this power.


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.

You can also play solo, but it requires a heavy investment in your social skill tree. In the second skill level, you find isolation, which increases your damage and reduces damage when playing solo. This would be the ultimate goal later in the game, post-level 50, with abundant skill points.

Build Summary – Speech & Persuasion Best Build for Starfield

Background – Diplomat

Traits – Empath, Extrovert, Taskmaster

Primary Weapon – Old Earth Pistol

Armor – Corpo Sleek Suit & Neurotac Mark III

Companion – Barret

Starborn Power – Creators’ Peace


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

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