Starfield Weapons and Armor: Everything You Need to Know

Starfield weapons and armor features a deep and complex gear system with several factors that determine the effectiveness of weapons and armor. Understanding how these systems work is crucial to getting the most out of your gear. This article provides a comprehensive guide to weapons and armor in Starfield.

Gearing up in Starfield can be confusing at first glance. Weapons and armor have multiple attributes like tier, archetype, rarity, and mods that all contribute to overall effectiveness. It’s easy to be misled and hang onto low-level gear simply because it has a cool name or high rarity color. This article will break down all the key factors so you can optimize your loadout as you progress through the game.

Starfield Weapons and Armor Gear Attributes


Quality: Calibrated, Refined, Advanced, Superior

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The tier or quality of a piece of gear determines its base effectiveness. Higher tiers translate to more damage for weapons and more resistance for armor. Advanced is the highest tier for weapons, Superior for armor. Always prioritize tier over other attributes.


Type: Pistol, Rifle, Shotgun, etc.

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The archetype dictates the weapon’s general characteristics like damage type, fire rate, available mods, etc. While some archetypes are better than others, you can succeed with any archetype you enjoy using. For armor, some types like Mercenary and Explorer tend to have the best stats.


Rarity: Rare (Blue), Epic (Purple), Legendary (Gold)

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Rarity determines the number of special modifiers an item can have, adding 1 for Rare, 2 for Epic, and 3 for Legendary. Modifiers provide bonuses like bonus damage or resistances. Rarity is secondary to tier and archetype.

Higher rarity (blue, purple, gold) weapons have special modifiers like bonus damage types or extra effects. But rarity alone does not make up for lower base stats from quality tiers.

Rarity is nice to have but expensive to obtain ideal rolls. Don’t grind exclusively for perfect rarity gear. Focus on Quality and Mods instead.


Type: Anti-Personnel, Boosted, Operator’s, etc.

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Mods are added at workbenches to enhance gear. Prioritize unlocking modding perks to maximize weapons and armor. Modded white-rarity Advanced/Superior gear can rival Legendaries.

Crafting weapon and armor mods is essential to get the most out of your equipment. Invest perk points into:

  • Weapon Engineering – Improve weapons
  • Spacesuit Design – Improve armor
  • Special Projects – Unique/powerful mods

Once you unlock mods through perks and research, install them on any gear you plan on keeping. Modded white-rarity Advanced gear can rival even Legendaries.

Finding the Best Gear

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Higher tier weapons and armor start appearing more frequently from vendors and as random loot at around level 30. However, it is possible to find Advanced and Superior gear earlier on if you get lucky.

Most unique named gear is untiered, meaning it has low base stats and is outclassed as you level up. Some exceptions exist from certain quests. Generally, ignore rarity until you have Advanced/Superior gear, then mod it heavily.

Shop vendors regularly for Advanced/Superior base weapons to mod. Resting can refresh their inventory. Prioritize tier over everything else.

For organic crafting resources like Adhesive, just buy them rather than farming. Focus perks on unlocking gear mods first before resource harvesting.

Advanced and Superior are the highest tiers for weapons and armor respectively. The difference in strength between tiers is massive – an Advanced rifle will easily outdamage even a Legendary rifle of a lower tier.

Do not be distracted by shiny colors! Always check for quality:

  • Weapons: Calibrated, Refined, Advanced
  • Armor: Reinforced, Superior

If it lacks a quality keyword, it’s untiered/basic and will become obsolete quickly.

Try to acquire Advanced weapons and Superior armor as soon as possible. Their base stats make them relevant for many levels. A good tactic is buying Advanced/Superior white-rarity gear from faction vendors and improving it with mods.

Making Your Gear Last

The good news is that once you acquire Advanced or Superior gear, that equipment will remain relevant for many levels rather than becoming obsolete quickly. No need to replace your weapons every few minutes.

With the right perks and mods, you can take a basic white quality Advanced rifle found early on and turn it into an endgame powerhouse that will never leave your loadout.

Maximize your gear’s potential by investing perks into armor and weapon modding skills. These allow you to enhance your equipment far beyond what random loot alone provides.

Don’t worry about gear level requirements on mods. Even low level mods can improve high level gear. Don’t hoard crafting resources either – use them frequently to improve your equipment.

A Fellow Redditor Story about Weapons and Armor Confusion

When I first started playing Starfield, I was baffled by the weapons and armor system. I picked up a rare rifle called Revenant during a quest. It looked awesome and I spent so many resources upgrading it. Later, I found a basic white quality assault rifle for sale at a shop. Even though it looked boring, its stats were twice as good as my fully upgraded Revenant!

I went online feeling ripped off, until I learned about quality tiers and how big of a difference they make. I realized I had wasted so much time and effort trying to improve a low tier weapon. Once I bought that white advanced rifle and modded it, the difference was like night and day. I felt unstoppable!

So don’t make my same mistake. Pay attention to item tiers first, rarity second. Look for Advanced/Superior quality keywords. And make sure to install mods on anything you plan to keep. Follow this advice and you’ll have a much smoother experience progression and waste less time on worthless gear!

Final Thoughts

  • Prioritize gear tier first – Advanced and Superior equipment is always the best
  • Archetype determines the weapon’s general characteristics
  • Rarity provides extra bonuses but isn’t essential
  • Unlock modding skills quickly to maximize gear effectiveness
  • Vendors are your friends! Buy Advanced/Superior base gear and mod it
  • Your equipment can remain relevant for many levels if upgraded

Following these tips will ensure you get the most out of every piece of gear and maintain the strongest possible loadout as you journey through the Settled Systems. With the right mods and perk investments, even common weapons can become devastating tools of destruction. Good luck fellow Starfield player!

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