Starfield Weapons: Types & Damage Explained

Our Starfield Weapons: Types & Damage Explained guide will breakdown everything you need to know about the best weapons, weapon types, and damage.

Starfield Weapon Types
Starfield Weapon Types

Types of Weapons in Starfield

Weapons in Starfield are divided into three main types: Ballistic weapons, Energy weapons, and Electromagnetic. Ballistic weapons use gunpowder to propel projectiles, while energy weapons use a variety of different energy sources to create beams or projectiles. And finally, we have Electromagnetic weapons or Mag weapons.

Weapon Stats & Damage Type

All three types of weapons have their own advantages and disadvantages. In addition to the type of weapon, players will also need to consider the weapon’s stats when choosing weapons. These stats include damage, range, accuracy, rate of fire, and ammo type. Below is a list of each weapon stat and what to expect on weapons.

  • Damage Type: physical, laser, or EM.
  • Ammo: Different ammo types, like explosive or ammo-piercing rounds, can be modified.
  • Magazine Size: How much ammunition before reloading
  • Rounds: Annilator, Hornets Nest, Armor-Piercing, Explosive, and more
  • Fire Rate: how fast does the weapon fire.
  • Range: ideal range to deal maximum damage.
  • Accuracy: how likely to hit what you’re aiming at.
  • Mass: the “weight” or how heavy the weapon is.
  • Mods: how many mod slots are available and or equipped

On the Hard Target weapon in the above screen shot you see Bashing and Handloading weapon features. These are random perks and traits giving to weapons of rare or higher quality. Blue is rare (one trait), purple very rare (two traits), gold is legendary (three traits). These are typically random but some quest related weapons can drop specific weapon effects.

Players will also be able to customize their weapons in Starfield. This includes adding mods and attachments to improve the weapon’s stats. Mods are most likely to be found throughout the game world, or the player can craft them. Attachments are likely to be purchased from merchants or found in loot chests.

Weapons are an essential part of combat in Starfield. Players can create a powerful arsenal that will help them survive in the Settled Systems by choosing the right weapons and customizing them to their liking.

Weapon Modification

Starfield features the most robust mods of any Bethesda game. There are up to eight possible mod slots based on the weapon but require a weapon workbench and the skill. Weapons are very unique with some having no mods or up to eight so don’t expect this will be universal. Selecting a weapon that has more mods could prove valuable assuming you have the materials to craft it.

  • Barrel: extend or reduce to change weapons range.
  • Laser: Attach an optic
  • Optic: sights like iron sight or scope.
  • Muzzle: attachment to the end of the weapon like a suppressor.
  • Grip & Stock: at the end of the weapon to reduce recoil.
  • Magazine and Battery: ammunition type and size of mag.
  • Internal: changes an internal mechanism of the weapon.
  • Receiver: can change the type of firing semi or full-automatic.

Modified Weapon

Starfield Negotiator Heavy
Legendary Negotiator Heavy

To get a sense for weapon customization and modifications, take a look at the Legendary Hegotiator Heavy weapon. It fires 40mm grenades with a massive burst damage potential and radius. This is one of the most powerful and fun weapons in the game. Since it’s legendary, it comes with three random weapon effects and take of 6 traits. Using our Demolitionist build, here’s a table with a sample weapon modification setup:

Negotiator Weapon SlotMod
LaserRecon Laser Sight
OpticReflex Sight
Grip & StockStabilizing Stock
Magazine and BatteryHornet Nest
InternalHigh Powered
Best Negotiator Heavy Weapon Modifications

Each slot listed above has 2-5 options available and require at least rank one in Weapon Engineering which takes awhile to unlock.

The Research Laboratory Station has been shown on your Starship as well as Outpost, in addition to the Lodge after starting the main story. You will harvest and collect materials similar to other games in order to create modifications to your existing weapons. Research takes a massive amount of materials and storage can be difficult. You can use your ship storage and create containers at your outpost. You can also buy materials from general vendors and mineral merchants.

Weapon Critical Strikes & Sneak Damage

Starfield weapons will be able to critical strike and also have a stealth damage modifier. Critical striking headshots with extra weapon passives in the Combat skill tree. You can stealth via the passive stealth in the Physical skill tree. This skill is required in order to use the mechanic while critically striking is dependent on your aim, skill passives and randomness. Sneak bonus damage is a base for 2.0x and can ramp up to 4x with the Concealment skill.

Skills to Boost Weapon Damage

Starfield’s skills are broken into five categories Physical, Social, Combat, Science, and Tech. The Combat skill tree is the obvious choice for increased effectiveness of weapons. In this section, we see individual weapon types like Shotguns and Pistols, but also Lasers and Ballistics. Most likely, you will be able to “stack” or double up the effectiveness of not only a weapon but a type.

Once you’ve unlocked the skill by leveling or through character creation background starting skills, you can progress until rank four by completing challenges.

Customized Starfield Builds

There is a lot to weapons in Starfield and we suggest checking out our customized build templates. Here’s a list of completed and updated builds currently:

  • Beast Hunter: Specialized character or profession focused on tracking, capturing, or eliminating exotic and dangerous creatures across the cosmos.
  • Bounty Hunter: Track down elusive targets, collect lucrative rewards, and carve your own legend among the stars.
  • Demolition Expert: This build is perfect for players who want to blow things up and cause maximum damage.
  • Sniper: This build playstyle focuses on taking out enemies from long range.
  • Soldier: You are the last line of defense between peace and chaos, and your prototypical front-line soldier.
  • Stealth: This revolves around mastering the art of covert operations and remaining unseen in the vast expanse of space.

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