Starfield: How to Use Stealth

From hiding illicit activities to sniping enemies from the shadows, we’re going to breakdown to how be an effective assassin in Starfield: How to Use Stealth

Starfield Scope shooting from Stealth

Stealth is a crucial aspect of gameplay in Starfield, allowing players to navigate the universe undetected, complete covert missions, and take down enemies with precision. This guide will help you understand and excel in the art of stealth in the Starfield universe.

How to Sneak Basics

Starfield Detection bar
Starfield Detection bar

In order to start initiate a crouch and start sneaking in Starfield players will need to press the B button on Xbox or the left Ctrl key on PC. Either button/key can be pressed again in order to remove your character from stealth.

Once you trigger your character to crouch, the game will produce a bar on the top center of the screen, which will indicate how well concealed you are. A clear white bar means you are fully hidden, an orange caution means that enemies have potentially heard or sighted you and are searching, and the bright red ‘Danger’ bar means you have been detected.

Unlocking the Stealth Skill

Starfield Stealth Skill

While any player can choose to crouch and sneak in Starfield, the only way to start leveling this skill up and improving your damage and efficiency with it is to unlock the Stealth skill in the Physical skill tree.

Stealth: For a combatant who values discretion above all else, the ability to approach a target while undetected and kill with a silenced weapon is as terrifying as it is effective.

  • Rank 1: Adds a Stealth Meter. You are 25% more difficult to detect when sneaking. Suppressed weapons do an additional 5% sneak attack damage.
  • Rank 2: Upgrades the Stealth Meter. You are 50% more difficult to detect while sneaking. Suppressed weapons do an additional 10% sneak attack damage.
  • Rank 3: You are 75% more difficult to detect while sneaking. Suppressed weapons do an additional 15% sneak attack damage.
  • Rank 4: You are 100% more difficult to detect while sneaking. Suppressed weapons do an additional 20% sneak attack damage. Doors you interact with while in stealth no longer alert enemies.

Using Stealth in Combat Situations

Starfield Sniper & Stealth Build

The idea behind stealth combat is to “crouch” first while outside of combat to enable the “HIDDEN” bar at the top of your screen. This will enable the Stealth and Concealment skills to activate and increase your damage. Then your goal is to move undetected without alerting enemies. Don’t forget to consider your terrain and surroundings – enemies may not just be on the ground but watching from above. Ideally, we recommended to use a Pistol and Rifle with Suppressor. The suppressor is key to increasing damage and remaining undetected. You can craft that through the Weapon Engineering skill via the Science skill tree.

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 and stealth users to have high Oxygen capacity for sniping. 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 from the Combat tree gives a benefit for weapons with scopes. Obviously, you want a non-automatic Rifle, typically a ballistic weapon as your choice. 

Suppressed Weapon Mods

Starfield Suppressor Weapon Mod
Suppressor Weapon Mod

If you enter into combat with a standard issue gun from stealth, the odds are likely that while you may bring the first enemy down quickly, as soon as you start firing your gun all of the other enemies in the area will hear it and immediately alert to your presence. Starfield does have knives and other melee weapons you can use for a silent approach. However, you can see from the ranks listed in the Stealth skill that that you only get an increased stealth damage boost from suppressed weapons. So silencers are a must!

Nearly all types of weapons, from ballistic to lasers, can have some type of suppressor added to them. Sometimes, you can get lucky and may find a weapon with a suppressor already attached when you are looting an area or enemies. The perks and traits on loot are fairly random in Starfield, however, so the best way to to add a suppressor modification to a gun yourself. Be aware that to do so will require Rank 2 of Weapon Engineering in the Science skill tree to be able to research the suppressor mod, and then plenty of resources to create it.

In order to add this weapon modification you’ll need to visit a weapon workbench. You can build one of these stations in an outpost, but if you haven’t yet done that an easy way to find one is to go the basement of Constellation headquarters, which has a research lab and all the necessary crafting stations.

Once you’ve interacted with the Workbench, chose your desired weapon from the list of everything in your inventory on the left hand side of the screen. From there, you can choose from different mod slots. Suppressors go in the Muzzle slot, and you’ll find it listed there.

Best Backgrounds and Builds for Stealth

Starfield Cyber Runner Background
Starfield Ronin Background

When you’re starting a new game and putting a character together in character creation, if you already know you want to prioritize sneaking and stealth skills, then there are certain background choices you can make which will give you a bit of a headstart. Starfield has 21 different character backgrounds, also referred to as starting classes, which determine the protagonist’s origin story. Each background grants you access to three automatically unlocked starting skills, of which Stealth can be one.

Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, only two of the available background choices in Starfield will give you the Stealth skill: Cyber Runner and Ronin. However, if you wish to choose a different background for any reason, you won’t really be that far behind. You can unlock the Stealth skill as soon as you level up and receive a skill point for the first time.

Here is a list of the best backgrounds and builds for Stealth in Starfield:

Stealth is an essential skill in Starfield, enabling you to accomplish missions and objectives with finesse. By understanding the basics, equipping the right gear, honing your skills, and adapting to different situations, you can become a master of stealth in the vast and dangerous universe of Starfield.

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