There are 17 possible traits to add during character creation in Starfield. You can add up to three, and you can even get rid of them after you start the game – albeit in specific fashions, at specific places. There’s no real reason not to take all three traits; sure, they have their downsides, but the upsides generally outweigh them. Plus, it’s just fun.
We’ve got a list of every trait – see the above link. But which ones are our personal favorites? In time, our thoughts may change, but after a couple of weeks with Starfield, here are our findings.
Between Extrovert and Introvert, we can’t help but feel one’s substantially better than the other. If your play style truly does revolve around never bringing companions along – which we suppose we could see if you really want to go full-stealth – then the added oxygen from being a lone wolf makes sense.
As for us, we can’t imagine playing through Starfield without a friend by our side at least the bulk of the time. Having decreased oxygen on our lonesome is, thus, a non-issue. The boost when allies are with you is a good little perk.
6 Hero Worshipped
Among the many warmly-received sections of our extensive preview of Starfield a couple of months before launch, the return of The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion’s Adoring Fan was surely up there. How much he’d actually help out, versus simply playing up the intentionally annoying shtick, was less clear at the time.
As it turns out, the Adoring Fan is… a pretty good crew member. He’s got decent skills that work well in various ship-stationed situations, and he’ll toss you some free stuff every so often. Good deal.
When you’re first starting out with Starfield, soaking in the sights in scenic New Atlantis, you might think the cost of hiring crew for your ship is outrageous. Even if you successfully talk them down, folks are going to want credits that are frequently in the high four figures. (Then again, really think about it for a moment – they never ask for more; is this truly so big an expenditure?)
Over time, however, the costs will become… we don’t want to say chump change, but not far off. That’s why doubling the upfront fee will quickly seem less incredulous to players as the money starts coming in. In exchange, you get a fantastic occasional full-heal of sorts to your starship. Starfield has some pretty tough orbital scrapes, so a sudden elixir to the engines can be a total lifesaver.
4 Dream Home
This one’s for all those who want a nice spacious residence right from the get-go rather than needing UC citizenship, or some equivalent, to purchase a house. Your ‘Dream Home’ is up there with some of Starfield’s very best properties. It’s got plenty of room for just about anything, with some nice views of the world outside your windows.
From a more practical perspective, it’s nice to have a quick place to drop off tons of junk long before most players will have more than their ship’s cargo hold. The 125,000-credit mortgage is nothing to scoff at, but you can ignore it by paying a weekly fee of 500 credits for as long as you need to. Just come back later and deal with it in full. Or don’t!
3 Kid Stuff
Combining a fun role-playing concept with rewards both narrative and pragmatic, ‘Kid Stuff’ is easily one of the best traits in Starfield. You’ll have a mother and father living in New Atlantis, and yes, you’ll need to fork over 500 credits to them every week. (The game says they take two percent of your credits on a weekly basis, but we’ve not seen that happen, and from the looks of things, neither have other sites.)
The fee comes with the promise that rare but special events will trigger in which one of your parents gets some good news – good news which reverberates down to you in some fashion. Our father won a poker bet and got a ship out of it, a ship he gave us, and we promptly sold. No offense, dad, but that 18k was more useful at the time.
Beyond all that, your parents will pop up in other parts of the Settled Systems, like Akila City, giving you some additional conversations to further flesh out your relationship.
Starfield’s main romanceable companions are all varying shades of good-natured. Earning affinity with them generally means being nice, charitable, humble, that sort of thing. That makes ‘Empath’ pretty rad, because it will sometimes open up unique dialogue branches (not unlike the various government native traits) that showcase your character’s emotional understanding. These branches frequently trigger affinity boosts as a result.
That’s where the trait’s synergy comes into play: when you do something your companions like, from donating credits to saving a settler to – indeed – responding with ‘Empath’ dialogue choices – you’ll gain a temporary bonus to combat effectiveness. Yes, effectiveness will drop for a bit if you do something they disapprove of, but trust us, it’s seldom some cosmic mystery sussing out their behavioral preferences.
There’s more. Your Self-Esteem temporary status from doing something your companions like will provide a buff to your persuasion checks while it’s active. This one is a winner.
The only Starfield trait we think tops ‘Empath’ is ‘Wanted’. At first blush, the idea of compelling even more people to try to kill you in a game where exploration often results in stumbling upon some abandoned facility filled to the brim with bad guys… maybe doesn’t seem so appealing. But think of it this way. You’re already fighting often. These occasional additional skirmishes won’t really add much to the equation.
Yet from a practical standpoint, they add oh so much. First, the bounty hunters targeting you will sometimes pop up while you’re in the middle of a protracted battle against spacers, pirates, zealots, you name it, and Starfield seems to do a decent job of ensuring they end up in the crossfire against each other just as much as you will. There’s also a thrill to the whole thing, and a very Han Solo sort of role-playing opportunity.
What you’re really taking ‘Wanted’ for is its buff to your health when it runs low. Unless you’re exceptionally talented at Starfield, you will take some hits from time to time. This ‘hardening’ of sorts to your health pool can’t be acquired elsewhere, and it can prove invaluable.
Next: Starfield: How To Upgrade, Customize, And Buy New Ships