At the end of the how-to-walk-around tutorial in Starfield you get to create your character, and the most interesting decision you'll make is which traits to pick—if any. Unlike Starfield backgrounds, which are mostly just a set of starting skills, traits are fun little modifiers to the experience that carry throughout your entire playthrough—unless you decide to get rid of them halfway.
Starfield traits are similar to the traits from Fallout: New Vegas. They're like perks, but instead of being a simple bonus to your abilities, each trait has both a positive and a negative effect. You might want to carefully weigh the pros and cons of each trait before you choose it. If you wind up having regrets, there are ways to remove traits without starting a new character—though it might take a little work.
Starfield traits can also represent your character's history before the game started: your upbringing, your religious background, even experiments you were subjected to. They'll also offer trait-specific dialogue choices. Here's the complete list of every Starfield trait, how to remove them later in the game, and which we think are the most fun.
Starfield traits list
You volunteered for a controversial experiment that combines alien and human DNA. As a result, you start with increased health and oxygen, but healing and food items aren't as effective.
You own a luxurious, customizable house on a peaceful planet! Unfortunately it comes with a 125,000 credit mortgage with GalBank that has to be paid weekly.
You are deeply connected to the feelings of others. Performing actions your companion likes will result in a temporary increase in combat effectiveness. But, performing actions they don't like will have the precise opposite effect.
You're a people person. Exerting yourself uses less oxygen when adventuring with human companions, but more when adventuring alone. (Can't be combined with Introvert.)
Freestar Collective Settler
You gain access to special Freestar Collective dialogue options, and better rewards from some missions given by the faction. But, crime bounty towards other factions is greatly increased. (Can't be combined with any other faction allegiance trait.)
You've earned the attention of an annoying "Adoring Fan" who will show up randomly and jabber at you incessantly. On the plus side, he'll join your ship's crew and give you gifts...
You really need your alone time. Exerting yourself uses less oxygen when adventuring alone, but more when adventuring with other human companions. (Can't be combined with Extrovert.)
Your parents are alive and well, and you can visit them at their home. But you will automatically send 2% of your credits home to them every week.
Neon Street Rat
You grew up on the mean streets of Neon. You gain access to special dialogue options and better rewards from some missions on Neon. Crime bounty by other factions is greatly increased. (Can't be combined with any other faction allegiance trait.)
You grew up as a member of the Enlightened. You gain access to a special chest full of items in the House of the Enlightened in New Atlantis, but lose access to the Sanctum Universum chest. (Can't be combined with any other religion trait.)
You grew up as a member of the Sanctum Universum. You gain access to a special chest full of items in the Sanctum Universum in New Atlantis, but lose access to the House of the Enlightened chest. (Can't be combined with any other religion trait.)
You grew up worshiping the Great Serpent. Grav jumping provides a temporary boost to health and oxygen, but health and oxygen are lowered if you don't continue jumping regularly—like an addiction. (Can't be combined with any other religion trait.)
Your body has become acclimated to space. Health and oxygen are increased when in space, but decreased when on the surface. (Can't be combined with Terra Firma.)
Occasionally, if you have crew trained in a certain ship system, that system will automatically repair itself to full health whenever it is damaged below 50%. However, all crew cost twice as much to hire.
You've never acclimated to space. Health and oxygen are increased when on the surface, but decreased when you're in space. (Can't be combined with Spaced.)
United Colonies Native
You gain access to special United Colonies dialogue options, and better rewards from some missions given by the faction. However, crime bounty by other factions is greatly increased. (Can't be combined with any other faction allegiance trait.)
Someone put a price on your head, and word has spread. Occasionally, armed mercenaries will show up and try to kill you, but being cornered gives you an edge—when your health is low, you do extra damage.
Best Starfield traits
After many collective hours playing Starfield pre-launch, these are the traits we like the most.
It's nice having parents—you can visit their apartment, tell them about your job, and watch them be impressed because they heard about something you did on the news. They're not just idle fixtures, either. Your parents will intermittently leave messages asking you to visit and give you stuff—cool stuff. And if you keep your eyes peeled during your adventures, you just might catch glimpses of them elsewhere in the galaxy.
I was personally very sad when my Adoring Fan accidentally died in Oblivion, so it's nice to see him reappear in Starfield. His chat is creepy, don't get me wrong, but some of the things he says are actually uplifting morale boosters after you've had your ass handed to you eight times in a row by the Crimson Fleet. There is an option to make him pay for the privilege of hanging around you if you are a Space Scoundrel, which is just a tiny bit exploitative, or you can attack him if you're roleplaying as a bad guy—but then, why choose this option at all?
If you don't like base-building but love decorating, this trait gives you a nice little home on a lovely planet, and best of all, it's completely empty so you can fill it with all the furniture you want. You're also saddled with a hefty mortgage, but talking to the guy at the bank will put you onto some morally questionable ways to pay off your debt.
Being an empath means that you gain self-esteem when you do or say nice things—nice! The buff lasts around two in-game hours, giving me an improved critical hit chance and speech challenge success chance, which works well with high Persuasion. Unfortunately, it also goes the other way, and I can get a debuff to these traits if I do something wrong. Not only will I get a "Sam didn't like that", I'll also get "you've lost self-esteem" which, get out of my head, Bethesda!
If you're not to keen on having someone follow you around all the time, there's no reason not to take Introvert. The oxygen buff helps you get around faster, which is nice for planet exploration, but here's a tip that you might miss at first: the trait description says you can't travel with human companions, so you can still bring reliable robot Vasco along and still get the buff.
Removing Starfield traits
How to remove traits
The easiest way to remove a trait is with Starfield console commands, which can also be used to change your backgrounds and skills. If you'd rather do it in-game, Starfield's traits can be removed without breaking character, but exactly how to do that is different for each trait. Nixing some traits is as simple as a quick trip to a doctor planetside, while others require more interaction or time to pass. Below is an incomplete list of the methods we've discovered to remove our traits. We'll update the rest as soon as we find 'em.
Note: Light spoilers for trait-exclusive events below.
- Dream Home: Allow Galbank to foreclose on the house by visiting their location in New Atlantis and talking to the mortgage holder.
- Freestar Collective Settler: Talk to the mayor in Akila City.
- Hero Worshipped: You can talk to him and tell him to beat it. Of course, killing him is another option. Nobody would judge you. (Note: PC Gamer guides editor Lauren Aitken says she would judge you, actually.)
- Kid Stuff: Almost immediately you can talk to your parents and tell them you can't send money anymore, removing the trait.
- Terra Firma: Visit the doctor in New Atlantis and they'll offer a medical procedure to acclimate your body to space, removing the trait.
- Wanted: Early on you can find bounty hunters hanging around bars who will remove your bounty for 3,000 credits.