Best Stealth Sniper Build In Starfield


With a host of powerful sci-fi weapons at their disposal, Starfield players have no shortage of ways to eliminate their enemies. From melee builds to grenadiers, a variety of fun builds are available thanks to the game’s numerous skills, Traits, and other features. Bethesda fans who remember the power of stealth archers will be right at home with a stealth sniper. This build focuses on sneaking into position for devastating ranged attacks. When used properly, the stealth sniper is one of the most deadly characters in the game. Here’s everything players need to know about the best stealth sniper build in Starfield.

Stealth Sniper Playstyle

The main character aiming their rifle in a wooded area in Starfield

Image Source: Bethesda via The Nerd Stash

There’s a reason stealth archer was such a dominant playstyle in Skyrim. Huge stealth attack multipliers and potent sneaking abilities make these characters some of the strongest and easiest builds to play. The stealth sniper continues that tradition. Avoid direct assaults, and instead use stealth to put yourself in the best position to land multiple sneak attacks. With the right skills and weapon, it only takes one or two hits to drop most enemies. Take the time to survey the battlefield before entering combat, because that preparation will pay off with quick kills.

Phased Time, Sense Star Stuff, and Reactive Shield are some of the best Powers for a stealth sniper. This build struggles in head-to-head confrontations compared to tankier characters, but Reactive Shield offers a convenient solution. Sense Star Stuff is ideal for locating and tracking one’s enemies, an essential ability for this kind of character. Last, Phased Time slows the world down around the player, which is perfect for lining up headshots or repositioning oneself on a hectic battlefield.


The Soldier Background in Bethesda's new sci-fi RPG

Image Source: Bethesda via The Nerd Stash

The Soldier is arguably the best Background for a stealth sniper. It starts the player off with the Ballistics skill, the weapon class to which most of the best sniping weapons belong. Ideally, you want to squeeze every ounce of DPS from this build, and the Soldier gets you off to a great start. The Soldier’s other skills, Fitness and Boost Pack Training, are equally useful for making the stealth sniper more mobile.

Ronin and File Not Found are less conventional Background picks, but both provide a solid stealth sniper foundation if you want to try something different. The Ronin begins with Stealth by default, while File Not Found begins with Ballistics by default. Whichever Background you choose, make sure to lean into this build’s core skills as soon as possible. It will make a big difference in the long run.


The Stealth skill in Bethesda's new sci-fi RPG

Image Source: Bethesda via The Nerd Stash

There are numerous skills in Starfield, each of which can develop through multiple levels. The stealth sniper borrows heavily from the Combat tree while taking a couple of skills from Physical as well. Here are the most important skills for a stealth sniper:

  • Stealth (Physical)
  • Concealment (Physical)
  • Ballistics (Combat)
  • Rifle Certification (Combat)
  • Marksmanship (Combat)
  • Sniper Certification (Combat)
  • Sharpshooting (Combat)
  • Pistol Certification (Combat)
  • Armor Penetration (Combat)
  • Crippling (Combat)

Most of the stealth sniper’s skills are devoted to increasing their DPS with ballistic weapons, specifically rifles. Though this build includes Pistol Certification as a close-range backup plan if things get messy, this build thrives at long-range. The cramped corridors of spaceships and bases don’t give the player much room to exercise their sniping talents, so be prepared for combat to shift from long to mid or close-range at a moment’s notice. Stealth and Concealment are indispensable skills.

Best Stealth Sniper Traits

The Terra Firma Trait from Starfield

Image Source: Bethesda via The Nerd Stash

Terra Firma, Introvert, and Alien DNA are all great choices for Traits. The stealth sniper is strongest in wide-open areas with plenty of room to maneuver. Since those are typically found on planets, Terra Firma doubles down on that advantage, giving players a boost to health and oxygen while on the surface but decreasing it in space. Going it alone is often the best route for stealth, so Introvert fits well here, increasing oxygen whenever adventuring without a companion.

Alien DNA buffs the player’s starting health and oxygen but nerfs the effects of food and healing items. This Trait isn’t mandatory, but it’s worth considering. That’s especially true if you don’t want to run Terra Firma or Introvert and would like another fitting option. There are other viable Traits, particularly as roleplaying options, but for the raw value of the buffs they provide, these three more than earn their spots in the best stealth sniper build.

Best Stealth Sniper Weapons

The Old Earth Hunting Rifle in Bethesda's new sci-fi RPG

Image Source: Bethesda via The Nerd Stash

It will surprise no one that the best weapon for a stealth sniper is a sniper rifle. Starfield has a wide selection of weapons to choose from, and decent sniping options are available early on. One of the best early choices is the Old Earth Hunting Rifle. Though it’s a rudimentary weapon, all it needs is a good scope and suppressor to meet the needs of the best stealth sniper build. Keep in mind that in some situations it’s better to go without a suppressor, however. When range is a higher priority than noise, consider removing the suppressor or substituting another weapon. Later in the game, the player can get their hands on the Magsniper and weapons perfect for the best stealth sniper build.

Starfield is available now for PC, and Xbox Series X/S.

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