Starfield Background Guide - Best Starting Backgrounds for your Character
While there's no truly "wrong" background to choose to make your character as in Starfield, owing to the game's multi-layered skill trees there are certainly some archetypes that are a better fit to start with than others; so if you aren't looking to hardcore roleplay your character as a Chef, a Ronin or something else - here's a few Backgrounds that we'd recommend players to start their journey's with, and why.
Besides being an excellent power fantasy, the starting skills that come with Bounty Hunter are all quite useful - and with them all belonging to the Tech tree, you're well on your way to unlocking the later-tier skills along the same tree. Piloting and Boost Pack Training are indispensable skills that literally every player will want to pick up almost immediately - but more than that, Targeting Control Systems opens up ship combat from the get-go. While you sacrifice some variety with Bounty Hunter, it doesn't come with any skills that stand out as a bad deal - yet at the same time, they're all skills you'll be likely unlocking very, very early on regardless.
If your goal is stealth and sabotage, then Cyber Runner offers an entry-level crash course in everything subterfuge. Stealth allows you to hide from sight, Security allows you to unlock modest locks, and Theft means that you can steal important items right off of enemies or NPCs without even engaging with them - assuming, of course, that you can stay out of their line-of-sight. Especially if you're going for a morally dubious playthrough every one of these skills will be a solid foundation of your character - but even if not, you could choose a worse set of starting skills. Cyber Runner is hands-down one of the best you can choose.
Choosing this background is for those of us who prefer not to fight with our guns or fists - but rather our words. Persuasion can be invaluable for side quests when otherwise you'll be incapable of convincing an NPC to go along with you. Meanwhile, Commerce means that buying goods from an NPC will come at a discount, while you'll get an increased rate from sales. Finally, Wellness simply increases your maximum Health. All great stuff; though Wellness does feel like the odd one out. Still a great addition to anyone's arsenal, but it might be a bit hard to see how it would synergize with the other two skills listed.
If you want to spend most of your time gathering resources on food, Homesteader is the background for you. Geology and Surveying can make it much easier to find the minerals you need once you've landed on a planet, and Weight Lifting helps so that you'll be able to carry just that little bit more before becoming over-encumbered. While it's a very specific set of skills, all of them come together to help you truly roleplay as what everyone starts out this game as - a miner.
Industrialist is probably my background of choice, overall - Persuasion is broadly useful, as we've explained earlier, and Security is useful to get into places you might otherwise be incapable of. Finally, Research Methods is an essential skill if you want to start researching items to craft, or mods to slot onto your gear. No matter what your playstyle ends up being, it's hard to argue that you wouldn't see a great benefit from any of the skills that Industrialist brings to the table.
Finally, Professor feels like another well-balanced Background. Astrodynamics helps you further explore the universe, while Geology offers the ability to take advantage of the resources you can find. Research Methods, as described above, is a skill that any player will want to pick up eventually - ironically enough, while there is an Explorer Background on the list of available options, it feels like Professor much better fits that archetype - at least in my eyes.
Why didn't we suggest any of the other Backgrounds?
While again, there is no truly wrong option to go with when it comes to a player's background - combat skills feels like a bit of a waste of time. It never really felt like we were especially weak during our playthrough, and the benefits that came from non-combat skills greatly eclipsed those that granted extra damage to our weapons. Furthermore, even if you do want to spend most of the game fighting things out instead of talking, or stealth, some skills are simply essential regardless of who you decide to roleplay as. You can always go back and invest skill points into skills to improve your combat efficiency - but for starting off the game, a more generalized skillset feels appropriate.