While there are countless opportunities to talk your way out of a potentially hostile situation in Starfield, there are also lots of encounters where violence is the only answer, and for those you’ll need the best weapons.
Unlike Starfield’s best ships — where you’ll need to rank up the Piloting skill before you can even use them — there are no prerequisite skills you need before you can use the best weapons. That said, skills can help. You can can improve your efficiency with various weapons types by getting various skills in the Combat skill tree; in particular, many weapons benefit from investment in the Ballistics skill.
It’s worth bearing in mind that aside from the unique weapons listed here, most basic weapons can be improved by the additional of mods. You can also find pre-modded versions of basic weapons, many of which go toe to toe with the unique weapons we’ve listed here. But if you’re looking to track down a guaranteed reliable arsenal, here are the best weapons in Starfield.
Sir Livingstone’s Pistol
Weapon type: Pistol
How to get it: Gift from parents
It may seem like an odd choice kicking off a list of the best weapons in Starfield with perhaps the most basic pistol you’ve ever seen, but this is an excellent choice for anyone who picks the Kid Stuff trait at the start of the game. After you’ve done a main mission or two — and once you’ve met your parents for the first time and told them you’re part of Constellation now — they will show up uninvited at The Lodge after Noel lets them in. Your dad will present Sir Livingstone’s Pistol to you as a gift.
There’s nothing too special about this gun other than it being a very reliable sidearm that does a decent amount of damage while you’re still a fairly low level, mostly because it’s equipped with a compensator, large magazine, and high velocity ammo by default. It does use .45 caliber rounds, though, which aren’t the most frequent to stumble upon, so you may need to stock up at a vendor every now and then.
Weapon type: Pistol
How to get it: Loot
By far the best basic pistol I’ve used in the game, the Magshot is essentially a futuristic revolver that can kill many common enemies with one shot. It is the definition of a hand cannon and, in lieu of Starfield not having many excellent long-range weapons, any Magshot pistol can essentially double as a rifle.
There is a unique version of the Magshot called Trickshot, which is acquired by looting a fallen mech during the United Colonies faction mission “War Relics. The Trickshot’s special perk there is that every fourth shot fires two bullets at once. If you can get the Trickshot, it’s definitely the best Magshot available, but any Magshot will be a worthy addition to your arsenal.
Weapon type: Shotgun
How to get it: Pass a persuasion check during the main mission “Entangled”
The Experiment A-7 shotgun is so good, it is a wonder how it’s so easy to acquire. Fairly late in the main story, you’ll play one of the most compelling missions in the entire game, “Entangled.” When you phase behind Ethan in his security office, you can ask him if he has any tools for dealing with the aliens. Pass a persuasion check and he will gift you Experiment A-7, the strongest shotgun I’ve had the pleasure of using.
This unique shotgun deals 131 damage and already comes with six out of eight mods installed, including a reflex sight, tactical stock, fully automatic, and flechette rounds. It also has the Exterminator perk, which deals +30% damage against aliens — a no-brainer given the context you receive the weapon — but don’t let that fool you, as this shotgun is more than suitable to deal with human foes too.
Weapon type: Rifle
How to get it: Loot from Captain Petrov’s vault on The Scow ship
There’s nothing better than a trusty AK-47. Gallow’s Reach is the unique version of the Old Earth Assault Rifle, which isn’t a bad weapon on its own, but the unique offering blows it out of the water. When you’re on The Scow during the main mission “No Sudden Moves,” you must get into Captain Petrov’s personal quarters. This is easily done after you steal the artifact and shoot Petrov enough to the point where he calls off his guards. Then you can wander round The Scow, looting anything you please. Gallow’s Reach is in Captain Petrov’s room, in a locked safe.
What makes Gallow’s Reach so good is the Poison perk. It “randomly deals poison damage and slows the target,” making it the top choice when dealing with high level enemies that take more than just a couple of shots to go down. Additionally, it comes packed with five mods, including armor-piercing rounds, an ergonomic grip, and a reflex sight.
The Last Priest
Weapon type: Melee
How to get it: Complete the “Infinity’s End” side quest and carry out The Hunter’s orders
This can’t be a list of the best weapons without a melee option, so to that end, we have The Last Priest. This one isn’t available to everyone — you must side with The Hunter over The Emissary during “Unearthed,” which will give you the quest “Infinity’s End.” Without spoiling too much, The Hunter will ask you to do something. You can either do it. Or you can not do it but pass a persuasion check with The Hunter afterwards telling him you did do it. Either of these options will get you The Last Priest as a reward.
There’s not too much to say about The Last Priest other than the fact it has high damage and the Elemental perk, which does a lot of heavy lifting. Elemental “randomly deals corrosive, radiation, poison, and incendiary damage,” for a real cocktail of fun. Perfect for anyone doing a melee-only playthrough.
[Ed. note: Spoiler follow for Starfield.]
Weapon type: Particle Beam Rifle
How to get it: Defeat The Emissary at the end of ‘Revelation’
Finally, we have arguably the best weapon in the entire game, Eternity’s Gate. Again, this one requires siding with The Hunter in Unearthed, then when you eventually make it to the stand-off against The Emissary during the “Revelation” mission, you must defeat them. There is an option to end this peacefully by passing a persuasion check — which is the route I foolishly took the first time around — and doing so means you do not receive Eternity’s Gate, so bear that in mind.
Eternity’s Gate is a legendary particle beam rifle that has three perks and six mods, all of which combined make this a force to be reckoned with. Like the aforementioned Trickshot, the fourth shot of Eternity’s Gate fires two projectiles at once, it has volatile rounds that pack a bigger punch (though do have the chance to fail), and it does +10% damage against humans. It’s worth noting that siding with The Emissary and defeating The Hunter does offer a counterpart to Eternity’s Gate — a legendary laser rifle called Unmitigated Violence — but we found Eternity’s Gate to be slightly better.