Best Starfield Build: Unarmed

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

Starfield Best Unarmed Build

The Best Unarmed Build in Starfield

Starfield the Best Unarmed Build

Unarmed builds have long been popular for players who enjoy getting into the thick of battle. In Starfield, unarmed builds are more viable than ever, thanks to the game’s skill tree system. This build excels at aggressive close-range unarmed combat without the need to modify weapons or worry about ammo. With enough skill investment, it becomes incredibly resilient. And the best part, is no ammunition or weapons are required to do great damage. This guide will walk you through how to set up the Best Starfield Build Unarmed.

Unarmed Build ProsUnarmed Build Cons
High DamageVERY Skill Point Dependent
No Ammunition RequiredNo Range
Crowd Control StunsAid Items Important

Best Unarmed Build Features & Mechanics

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

  • Damage: Physical
  • Range: 5m
  • Primary Weapon: Fist
  • Best Skill: Neurostrikes
  • Best Power: Phased Item
  • Mechanic: Unarmed Power Attacks
  • Throwable: Fragmentation Grenade
  • Aid: Amp

Starfield Unarmed Attacks Explained

Unarmed attacks in Starfield have three mechanics, basic attack, power attack, and blocking. These are identical to melee but do not require a weapon and can do powerful damage with the right skill selection. An unarmed basic attack is the same button as your trigger while blocking is your aim button. You can perform an unarmed 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. Your power attack will consume oxygen so you’ll want a large capacity with skills and traits. In general, combat focuses on sprinting into the action and trying to stun attackers then unloading with power attacks. Fellow melee players will attack you, which you can use block and stagger them for a second.

Background

Starfield Bouncer Background

The best Background for a Unarmed build is the Bouncer. The Bouncer background in Starfield gives you Boxing, Security, and Fitness skills at level 1. Here’s of the Bouncer Background skills in Starfield:

  • Boxing: Unarmed attacks do 25% more damage. 25% less O2 used when using a power attack.
  • Security: You can attempt to hack Advanced locks, and 2 auto attempts can be banked.
  • Fitness: You have 10% more oxygen available.

Traits

The best traits for an Unarmed build in Starfield are Alien DNA and Extrovert because they increase your Oxygen capacity. Oxygen is vital to a successful Unarmed build because most of your speed comes from sprinting and unarmed power attacks cost oxygen. Here are the best traits for a Unarmed 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 Unarmed Build Guide.

Skills

The best skills for an Unarmed build in Starfield are Neurostrikes, Boxing, and Marital Arts because they increase your unarmed damage and stun enemies. At Rank 4, Neurostrikes can provide area-based stun and Concealment can provide 10x damage from a sneak unarmed attack. Focus heavily on the Physical skill tree avoiding the Combat skill tree entirely and using Science for crafting. Here is the list of the best and recommended skills for the Unarmed Build in Starfield:

  • Neurostrikes
  • Boxing
  • Martial Arts
  • Boost Pack Training
  • Wellness
  • Concealment
  • Stealth
  • Spacesuit Design
  • Gymnastics
  • Pain Tolerance

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 Bouncer background, which unlocks Boxing, Security, and Fitness. 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 Unarmed Build Guide:

  • Level 1: Boxing, Security, Fitness
  • Level 2: Boost Pack Training
  • Level 3: Medicine
  • Level 4: Stealth
  • Level 5: Astrodynamics
  • Level 6: Wellness
  • Level 7: Boxing Rank 2
  • Level 8: Gymnastics
  • Level 9: Boost Pack Training Rank 2
  • Level 10: Medicine Rank 2
  • Level 11: Astrodynamics Rank 2
  • Level 12: Spacesuit Design
  • Level 13: Boxing Rank 3
  • Level 14: Wellness Rank 2
  • Level 15: Pain Tolerance
  • Level 16: Martial Arts
  • Level 17: Fitness Rank 2
  • Level 18: Boost Pack Training Rank 3
  • Level 19: Spacesuit Design Rank 2
  • Level 20: Boxing Rank 4
  • Level 21: Nutrition
  • Level 22: Neurostrikes
  • Level 23: Concealment
  • Level 24: Martial Arts Rank 2
  • Level 25: Wellness Rank 3
  • Level 26: Boost Pack Training Rank 4
  • Level 27: Gastronomy
  • Level 28: Shield Systems
  • Level 29: Martial Arts Rank 3
  • Level 30: Neurostrikes Rank 2

It’s advised that you try to rank up skills by completing their requirements. For example, Boost Pack Training, simply press 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 Unarmed Build

Starfield AA-99 Rifle
AA-99 Rifle
Starfield Combat Knife Weapon
Combat Knife Melee

Unlike other builds, the Unarmed build doesn’t need weapons to do damage. You simply keep your weapon slot unequipped and do damage with your fist. At the start of the game, you won’t be able to do much damage because you need skills ranked up like Boxing, Martial Arts, and Neurostrikes. It’s recommended to keep at least a couple of weapons on your person when melee is simply not possible due to bugs or range. For this build, I recommend using a rifle like the AA-99 for range situations where you cannot reach a target. The Combat Knife also makes a great choice especially when used from stealth. You can sneak up on targets and kill them outright if undetected. Once you level up to 15+, you won’t be reliant on weapons but it comes in handy in certain situations.

Best Armor for Unarmed Build

The best armor for Unarmed Build is a Navigator spacesuit, power pack, and helmet. The Navigator armor is low mass which allows you to carry more materials. The most important consideration when selecting armor is mass (weight) and perks or extra effects. Your goal with this build is to be quick, not bogged down with heavy armor. Mass is the most important consideration and use aid items like Heart+ to reduce damage.

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.

Spacesuit

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

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

Pack

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

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

Helmet

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

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

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 Unarmed 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 Unarmed Build is Vasco because the robot has access to three high-powered Starship skills that the Bouncer 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 an Unarmed 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 close-quarters unarmed build. Here is a list of the best Aid items for a the Best Starfield Build Unarmed:

  • 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 Unarmed Build is Phased Time because it slows everything around you allowing you to close the distance and avoid damage. 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.

SPOILER

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.

Unarmed Build Summary Guide

Background – Bouncer

Traits – Alien DNA, Extrovert

Weapon – Fist (non-required)

Armor – Navigator

Companion – Vasco

Starborn Power – Phased Time

Aid – Amp

Skills

  • Neurostrikes
  • Boxing
  • Martial Arts
  • Boost Pack Training
  • Wellness
  • Concealment
  • Stealth
  • Spacesuit Design
  • Gymnastics
  • Pain Tolerance

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