Best Starfield Soldier Build Guide

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

Best Starfield Soldier Build Guide

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

Soldier Build Introduction in Starfield

In 2330, humanity has spread to the stars, colonizing hundreds of planets. But with this expansion, there has been conflict, and those willing to fight for their home are in high demand. You are one such soldier, trained to battle in any environment and against any foe. You are the last line of defense between peace and chaos, and your skills will be tested on the harshest worlds in the galaxy.

The Soldier is your generic weapon-focused build designed with combat in mind. You will have a variety of weapon choices and excel in combat. However, Starfield requires many skill points and levels to gain proficiency in starship build, outpost engineering, and other aspects of the game. Therefore, we recommend this build as a starting template for someone who enjoys weapons, weapon crafting, and armor.

Soldier Build ProsSoldier Build Cons
High MobilityWeapon Focused
Ballistic Weapon PreferenceEquipped Determines Power
High Oxygen Capacity Lacks Starship Skill

Features and Mechanics for Best Soldier Build in Starfield

Starfield Rifle Damage

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

  • Damage: Ballistic
  • Range: 48 Meters
  • Weapon: Rifle
  • Best Skills: Armor Penetrator, Marksmanship, Rifle Certification
  • Starborn Power: Reactive Shield
  • Background: Soldier
  • Traits: Terra Firma
  • Companion: Vasco


Starfield Soldier Background

The Soldier background in Starfield gives you Fitness, Ballistics, and Boost Pack Training skills at level 1. Here’s of the Soldier’s Background skills in Starfield:

  • Ballistics: Rank 1: Ballistic weapons do 10% more damage.
  • Boost Pack Training: You can now utilize boost packs.
  • Fitness: You have 10% more oxygen available.

These skills are given to you at level 1, and you progress using the skill or some other function. Fitness levels up by using up all of your Oxygen 20 times. Ballistics levels by killing enemies with Ballistic Weapons. Boost Pack levels by using the boost pack in combat. You should be using Ballistic Weapons and Boost Packing while in combat. You can tell if a weapon is Ballistic by the icon on the top right corner. Look for a grenade explosion and not an energy symbol.


Starfield Terra Firma Trait

The best trait for a Soldier build in Starfield is Terra Firma. Health and oxygen increase when on the surface but decrease when you’re in space. As a traditional foot Soldier, this can help you out while exploring planets, which will be most of your gameplay.

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 Armor Penetration Skill

Armor Penetrator, Marksmanship, and Rifle Certification are the best skills for a Soldier. Armor Penetrator ignores armor and benefits from critical hits. Marksmanship can knock down enemies after a critical hit and synergies well together. Rifle and Sniper Certification damage scoped rifles, allowing for massive bursts in combat. Lastly, unlock weapon engineering to scope risks and gain the benefits of Marksmanship and Sniper certification.

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 Soldier, which unlocks Boost Pack Training, Fitness, and Ballistic Weapons. Early on, you want to level weapon certification and boost pack. Moreover, it takes two skills in science to quickly access weapon engineering for even more damage added to weapons.

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 up 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 Soldier Build Guide in Starfield:

  • Level 1: Ballistics, Boost Pack Training, and Fitness
  • Level 2: Medicine
  • Level 3: Persuasion
  • Level 4: Shotgun certification
  • Level 5: Ballistics Rank 2
  • Level 6: Astrodynamics
  • Level 7: Medicine Rank 2
  • Level 8: Boost Pack Rank 2
  • Level 9: Shotgun, Ballistics or Pistol Certification
  • Level 10: Rifle Certification

Levels 11 – 20

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

  • Level 11: Astrodynamics Rank 2
  • Level 12: Medicine Rank 3 or Research Methods
  • Level 13: Weapon Engineering
  • Level 14: Spacesuit Engineering
  • Level 15: Demolitions
  • Level 16: Rifle Certification Rank 2
  • Level 17: Ballistics Rank 3
  • Level 18: Marksman
  • Level 19: Sniper Certification
  • Level 20: Boost Pack Rank 3

Levels 21 – 30

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

  • Level 21: Weapon Engineering Rank 2
  • Level 22: Spacesuit Engineering Rank 2
  • Level 23: Boost Pack Rank 4
  • Level 24: Marksman Rank 2
  • Level 25: Sniper Certification Rank 2
  • Level 26: Armor Penetrator
  • Level 27: Weapon Engineering Rank 3
  • Level 28: Spacesuit Engineering Rank 3
  • Level 29: Chemistry
  • Level 30: Sharpshooting


Starfield AA-99 Rifle
AA-99 Rifle
Starfield Magsniper Rifle
Magsniper Rifle

The best weapons for Soldier Build are the AA-99 Ballistic Rifle and Magsniper Rifle because they have excellent range and a high rate of fire, and they can be modified to fit both close and medium range. This weapon’s ammunition is easy to find and does excellent damage regardless of the situation.

The ranged weapon option for sniping is the Old Earth Hunting Rifle. Progress throughout the levels to Hard Target, then Magsniper for the most damage possible. The Va’ruun Inflictor weapon is the best overall and appears later in the game. Here are the best weapon traits and perks for a Sniper Rifle weapon in Starfield:

  • Hitman: +15% damage while aiming
  • Instigating: Deals double damage to targets with full health
  • Shattering: Breakthrough even the strongest armor

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 Soldier Build is the UC Marine spacesuit, power pack, and helmet. UC Marine armor offers excellent resistance, is readily available, and is highly customizable. Here are the recommended armor perks and traits for a Soldier build in Starfield:

  • Headhunter: Deals +25% damage on the next attack after hitting a target’s head
  • Reactive: 10% chance to stagger nearby attackers
  • Sentinel: 75% chance to reduce damage by 50% while standing still

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 Reactive Shield Power

The best Starborn power for Soldier Build is Reactive Shield because it provides superior protection at range or up close. This power also reflects damage, and with a 35 power cost, you can cast it frequently based on its duration. Sense Star Stuff is another great Starborn power because it 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 Vasco

Vasco is the best companion for the Soldier Build because the robot can access three high-powered Starship skills that the Soldier 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.

You can also 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 reduces damage when playing solo. This would be the ultimate goal later in the game, post-level 50, with abundant skill points.

Build Summary – Soldier Best Build for Starfield

Background – Soldier

Traits – Terra Firma

Weapon – AA-99 Rifle

Armor – UC Marine Spacesuit

Companion – Vasco

Starborn Power – Reactive Shield


  • Armor Penetrator – Combat skill line
  • Rifle Certification – Combat skill line
  • Weapon Engineering – Science skill line
  • Demolitions – Combat skill line
  • Persuasion – Social skill line
  • Wellness- Physical skill line
  • Marksman – Combat skill line
  • Spacesuit Design – Science skill line
  • Sniper Certification – Combat skill line
  • Sharpshooting – Combat skill line

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