Best Starfield Build: Sniper

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

Starfield Sniper Shot Assassin

The Best Sniper Build in Starfield

Starfield Best Sniper Build

A sniper build in Starfield is a playstyle that focuses on taking out enemies from long range. This can be a very effective playstyle, but it also requires a lot of patience and accuracy. Sniper builds need to be able to carefully select their targets and make sure that each shot counts. This build will use Rifles with scopes to pick off targets at vast distances and go for one-shot kills.

Sniper Build ProsSniper Build Cons
One-shot EnemiesWeapon Dependent
Massive RangePlayer Skill Dependent
Great on high-difficultyRequires patience

Best Sniper Build Features & Mechanics

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

  • Damage: Ballistic
  • Range: 120 meters
  • Primary Weapon: Magsniper
  • Best Skill: Sharpshooter
  • Best Power: Void Form
  • Mechanic: Snipe Shot & Stealth
  • Throwable: Stun Mine
  • Aid: Infantry Alpha

The Sniper build is your prototypical ranged marksman with precision and patience. The build focuses on Ballistic Weapons, Stealth movement, and Sniper Rifles damage to complete your missions. You will use long-range weapons with an emphasis stealth and burst damage at the furthest range possible. This build will focus heavily on the Combat skill tree with many choices of weapon.

Sniping In Starfield

Starfield Snipe Shot

To perform a Sniper Shot in Starfield, simply hold down the aim and enter the cross-hair of the scope. You can then steady your aim and use your Oxygen as a resource. This is why it’s important for Snipers to have high Oxygen capacity for Sniping, and the longer you hold the button down, the more likely you are to build up CO2. Additional skills like Ballistics, Sharpshooting, and Marksman can add even more damage giving you that range one-shot killer build.

In Starfield, any gun can technically be a “sniper rifle.” The Sniper Certification skill gives a benefit for weapons with scopes.  Obviously, you want a non-automatic Rifle, typically a ballistic weapon as your choice. We will give some recommendations below but understand that’s what qualifies for skill bonuses which increase your damage.

Stealth Mechanic

Starfield Detection bar

While this build is a Sniper, an important mechanic is sneaking. This can help you avoid detection and do extra 2x damage with a sneak attack. You can increase this damage further with a Surpressor modification on the muzzle of weapons. The stealth mechanic in Starfield works with a “hidden” bar on the top center of the screen. You will need to unlock the stealth skill and that’s recommended early on depending on your background selection. As you become detected or concealed, the bar moves back and forth. You can also get a sneak damage multiplier while stealth, including using silencers.


Starfield Soldier Background
Soldier Background

The best background for a Sniper Build in Starfield is the Soldier. This background unlocks three skills at level one, Fitness, Ballistics, and Boost Pack Training. Here’s of the Soldier’s Background skills in Starfield:

  • Ballistics: Ballistic weapons do 10% more damage.
  • Boost Pack Training: You can now utilize boost packs.
  • Fitness: You have 10% more oxygen available.


Starfield Alien DNA Trait

The best trait for a Sniper build in Starfield is Alien DNA. You start with increased health and oxygen, but healing and food items aren’t as effective. With the long-range gameplay, you should be primarily doing damage at max range and avoiding damage. The extra oxygen is helpful while aiming with a scope as well.

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 Sniper Build Guide.


The best skill for a Sniper is Sniper Certification which increases scoped rifle damage. You also want to pick up Marksman, Ballsitics, Stealth, and Sharpshooting to stack additional damage multipliers on your ranged, scoped, and sniper rifles.

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

  • Sniper Certification
  • Sharpshooting
  • Stealth
  • Marksman
  • Ballistics
  • Rifle Certification
  • Wellness
  • Boost Pack Training
  • Weapon Engineering
  • Spacesuit Design

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 Sniper, you want to stick with primarily Combat-based skills. The Science skill tree for crafting which you need to invest 4 points into early so you can get Weapon Engineering and start researching and modifying your weapons. 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 Soldier, which unlocks Boost Pack Training, Fitness, and Ballistic Weapons. 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 Sniper Build Guide:

  • Level 1: Fitness, Ballistics, Boost Pack Training
  • Level 2: Stealth
  • Level 3: Medicine
  • Level 4: Astrodynamics
  • Level 5: Fitness
  • Level 6: Ballistics Rank 2
  • Level 7: Lasers
  • Level 8: Pistol Certification
  • Level 9: Rifle Certification
  • Level 10: Ballistics Rank 3
  • Level 11: Medicine Rank 2
  • Level 12: Astrodynamics Rank 2
  • Level 13: Weapon Engineering
  • Level 14: Spacesuit Design
  • Level 15: Demolition
  • Level 16: Rifle Certification
  • Level 17: Sniper Certification
  • Level 18: Weapon Engineering Rank 2
  • Level 19: Spacesuit Design Rank 2
  • Level 20: Boost Back Training Rank 2
  • Level 21: Marksman
  • Level 22: Rapid Reloading
  • Level 23: Sniper Certification Rank 2
  • Level 24: Sharpshooting
  • Level 25: Armor Penetration
  • Level 26: Boost Pack Training Rank 3
  • Level 27: Security
  • Level 28: Shield Systems
  • Level 29: Weapon Engineering Rank 3
  • Level 30: Boost Pack Training 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 Sniper Build

Starfield Magsniper Rifle
Magsniper Rifle
Starfield Marksmans AA-99 Weapon
AA-99 Rifle

The best weapon for Sniper Build is the Magsniper Rifle because it can get a 120-meter range, hit for over 400 damage, and have a Recon Scope and Penetrator Rounds. An alternative is the Hard Target Rifle or the Old Earth Hunting Rifle early in the game. The secondary weapon to equip is the AA-99 Rifle because it’s also ballistic and can be modified to semi-automatic with a scope. You can use this for medium or close encounters and pairs well with Hard Target.

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 Magsniper Rifle weapons:

Magsniper Weapon SlotMod
BarrelStabilizing Barrel
LaserRecon Laser Sight
OpticLong Scope
MuzzleShock Band Charge
Magazine and BatteryPenetrator Rounds
InternalHigh Powered
Magsniper Weapon Modifications

Here are the best weapon traits and perks for the Magsniper Rifle weapon in Starfield:

  • Handloading: Volatile rounds that are designed to pack a bigger punch but aren’t as stable and can fail on occasion.
  • Hitman: +15% damage while aiming
  • Shattering: Breakthrough even the strongest armor.

Secondary Weapon

The following table lists the best mods for AA-99 Rifle weapon:

AA-99 Weapon SlotMod
BarrelLong Barrel
LaserRecon Laser Sight
OpticShort Scope
Grip & StockErgonomic Stock
Magazine and BatteryExplosive Rounds
InternalHigh Velocity
AA-99 Weapon Modifications

Here are the best weapon traits and perks for the AA-99 Rifle weapon in Starfield:

  • Corrosive: Randomly deals corrosive damage and reduces the targets’ armor over 6 seconds
  • Furious: Each consecutive hit deals more damage
  • Incendiary: Randomly deals incendiary damage

Best Armor for Sniper Build

The best armor for Sniper Build is the UC Marine spacesuit, power pack, and helmet. UC Marine armor offers great resistance, is easily available, and highly customizable.

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 Sniper Build in Starfield:

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


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

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


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

  • Chameleon: Blend with the environment while sneaking and not moving.
  • Headhunter: Deals +25% damage on the next attack after hitting a target’s head.
  • Sentinel: 75% chance to reduce damage by 50% while standing still.

Best Companion

Starfield Sam Coe Companion
Sam Coe Companion

The best companion for the Sniper Build is Sam Coe because he plays at range with Rifle Certification along with two Tech skills you lack. Here’s a list of Sam Cole’s skills:

  • Piloting: You can now utilize ship thrusters.
  • Rifle Certification: Rifles do 10% more damage.
  • Payloads: Ship cargo holds have 10% more capacity.
  • Geology: Get more common and uncommon inorganic resources from surface objects.

You can also choose to play solo but require heavy skill investment into the Social skill tree. In the second skill level, you find Isolation which increases your damage and damage reduction playing solo. This would be the ultimate goal later in the game post level 50 with an abundance of skill points.

Best Aid

The best aid for a Sniper 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 Sniper build in Starfield:

  • Infantry Alpha: +25% ranged damage and weapon accuracy for 2m.
  • Amp: +35% movement speed for 2m and 2x jump height for 2m.
  • Heart+: +20% health for 2m, +200 damage resistance for 2m.

Best Starborn Powers

Starfield Void Form Power
Void Form
Starfield Void Form Starborn Power

The best Starborn power for Sniper Build is Void Form allows you to instantly go stealth and flee a fight to a safe distance A couple of alternative powers are Reactive Shield which helps reduce damage and reflect bullets. Also, Sense Star Stuff detects enemies and friendlies and you can see targets behind walls.

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.

Sniper Build Summary Guide

Background – Soldier

Traits – Alien DNA

Primary Weapon – Magsniper

Secondary Weapon – AA-99

Armor – UC Marine

Starborn Power – Void Form

Throwable – Fragmentation Grenade

Companion – Sam Coe


  • Sniper Certification
  • Sharpshooting
  • Stealth
  • Marksman
  • Ballistics
  • Rifle Certification
  • Wellness
  • Boost Pack Training
  • Weapon Engineering
  • Spacesuit Design

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