Mastering the Art of Persuasion in Starfield: How to Win Persuasion Checks

Anastasios Antoniadis

A comprehensive guide to Starfield’s persuasion mechanics and how to win persuasion checks.

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If you’ve ever found yourself amid a crucial conversation with an NPC in Starfield, desperately hoping your character’s Persuasion skill is high enough to tip the scales in your favor, you’re not alone. Starfield offers a robust and nuanced persuasion mechanic, and knowing how to navigate it can unlock new missions, save you from peril, and much more on multiple occasions (e.g., against Matsura, Shaw, or during a Job Gone Wrong during The Empty Nest).

The Basics of Starfield’s Persuasion Mechanics

Freestar Collective Settler Dialogue with Jacob - The Empty Nest
Image Credit: Bethesda via Meta Game Guides

Understanding The Persuasion Bar & Point System

When engaged in dialogue, players notice a Persuasion bar at the screen’s bottom-left corner. This bar signifies the number of points needed to successfully persuade the NPC. Coupled with this is a turn counter; fail to fill the Persuasion bar before the counter hits zero, and your persuasion attempt fails.

You will have three turns to fill the target’s Persuasion bar. A successful Persuasion check on the third turn will grant you an extra fourth turn.

Dialogue prompts come with point values that add to this bar, and these prompts are color-coded:

  • Green: Easy checks that add +1 or +2 points (+1 in most cases).
  • Yellow: Moderate checks that typically add +3 or +4 points.
  • Red: Difficult checks that can add +5 or +6 points (+6 is the maximum I have seen so far).

Choice of Backgrounds

The Industrialist, SpaceScoundrel, Sculptor, and Diplomat backgrounds all provide a head start in the Persuasion skill during character creation, so choose wisely.

Tips and Tricks for Passing Persuasion Checks

Save Scumming: A Surefire but Tedious Method

Saving your game before a crucial conversation lets you reload if the persuasion attempt fails. It’s not the most elegant solution, but it’s a guaranteed way to get the outcome you desire (guilty as charged here; I do that a lot).

Use Aids for a Chemical Boost in Persuasion Chances

Boosting your Persuasion skill with in-game chemicals can be a viable strategy. Sparkling Wine, Hippolyta, and Paramour offer 8%, 20%, and 25% boosts in Persuasion, respectively, for limited durations. These stack with any existing Persuasion skill level, so they’re worth considering for those trickier dialogues.

ItemPersuasion Boost PercentageDuration
Sparkling Wine (Aid)8%5 minutes
Hippolyta (Aid)20%5 minutes
Paramour (Aid)25%10 minutes
Fitted Business Suit (Apparel)10%N/A

Persuasion Skill Ranks

Persuasion Skill Ranks - Starfield
Image Credit: Bethesda via Meta Game Guides

If you want to follow the Persuasion route to get yourself out of tight situations, getting Persuasion to Rank 4 is highly recommended. Check our guide on how to level up persuasion fast in Starfield to help you.

110% increased chance of success when persuading someone.
220% increased chance of success when persuading someone.
330% increased chance of success when persuading someone.
450% increased chance of success when persuading someone.

Knowing Your Target: An Advanced Strategy

Understanding the NPC you’re interacting with can be just as crucial as your Persuasion level. This is quite an important part when trying to persuade an NPC. While the dialogue option difficulty matters, picking the right options can make a difference.

Tough characters resist Intimidation. Sometimes, you must rely on a character’s pride and heritage and pat them on the back (e.g., when trying to get Solomon’s Maps). Learning to read the character of each NPC will help you choose the most effective dialogue options for each unique situation beyond their difficulty level.

It is even possible to score a critical success by picking the best dialogue option and scoring extra points.

Summary: Your Blueprint for Dialogue Success

The art of persuasion in Starfield is about more than just stacking skill points. It’s about understanding the situation and maximizing all available options. With careful planning, the right skills, and even a bit of luck, you’ll be persuading your way across the galaxy in no time.

So, remember this guide the next time you find yourself in a pivotal conversation in Starfield. Master the mechanics, prepare beforehand, and may your words be as powerful as any weapon in your arsenal.

Originally posted 2023-10-05 00:17:48.

Anastasios Antoniadis
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