Starfield‘s FPS-like combat system makes it remarkably easy to survive most fights even if you haven’t been investing in Combat Skills. However, you will eventually want to acquire some better weapons if you want to do more than just survive your various enemy encounters across Starfield‘s massive galaxy. Unfortunately, the best weapons are pretty hard to come by early in the game.
Thankfully, Starfield‘s incredibly open nature means that you technically have access to some incredibly powerful weapons almost as soon as you start your adventure. You just have to know where to look and what you’re looking for.
Before we get into that, though, here are a few points to keep in mind:
– Many of the best weapons in Starfield (Epic and Legendary weapons) can only be acquired by finding them randomly in the galaxy. As such, it’s pretty much impossible to tell you exactly how to find many of those weapons. If you are interested in learning more about farming Legendary gear in Starfield, though, be sure to check out our guide on that subject.
– Though I’m listing prices for some of these weapons that can be purchased, please note those prices may vary based on your Skills and relationship with certain vendors.
– Finally, while you will be able to find most of these weapons as soon as you start the game, some of them do require you to follow certain questlines. However, I limited those items to ones that you should be able to acquire in the game’s opening 10-12 hours or so. We’ll discuss some endgame and New Game+ weapon options at another time.
With that out of the way, let’s look at some of the early-game Starfield weapons that will leave you wondering why you held on to that gray pistol for so long.
The N67 Smartgun is the most powerful early-game weapon in Starfield. At the very least it’s the most powerful early-game weapon in Starfield that will be accessible to every player.
The N67 Smartgun is actually a minigun that you can carry around like you’re Jesse Ventura in Predator. Not only does it boast an absurd firing rate, but it’s shockingly accurate and comes with an invaluable armor-piercing bonus. Anything that gets within this gun’s surprisingly long range will die in just a few seconds. Granted, this thing chews through ammo like nothing else, but it has a massive magazine and uses 7.77mm ammunition (which is one of the most common ammo types in the game). You need this gun ASAP.
Where to Find N67 Smartgun – The N67 Smartgun can be purchased from the UC Distribution vendor on New Atlantis for 38,000 Credits.
This weapon looks like a pistol at a glance, but it’s actually one of the most powerful shotguns in Starfield (especially in the early game).
See, the Boom Boom comes with a special ability that allows it to occasionally fire an incredibly powerful explosive round. Because the Boom Boom also boasts an absurdly high firing rate and a massive magazine (at least for a shotgun), it’s actually fairly easy to trigger multiple random explosive rounds per combat. In other words, the Boom Boom will melt anything that is unfortunate enough to fall within its (relatively short) range.
Where to Find Boom Boom – The Boom Boom can be purchased from the Neon Tactical shop in Neon City for around 18,000 Credits.
As the name implies, the Rapidshot is an automatic shotgun that boasts a significantly higher firing rate than any other shotgun you’ll likely loot in the early parts of the game.
What makes this gun worth going out of the way for, though, is its combination of speed and power. The Rapidshot sacrifices very little power for its incredible speed, which makes it pretty broken early on. Hell, the Rapidshot even boasts better range and accuracy than most other shotguns. This and the Boom Boom are the only shotguns you’ll need for a good chunk of your Starfield adventure.
Where to Find Rapidshot – Rapidshot can be purchased from the UC Distribution vendor in New Atlantis for about 28,000 Credits.
Though its high price tag is prohibitive in the early parts of Starfield, the Poisonstorm is certainly one of the best Heavy weapons you’ll (almost) instantly have access to.
This weapon’s base power is impressive, but it’s the “Poison” enhancement that really makes it special. Being able to poison and slow targets makes some of the tougher encounters in Starfield significantly easier than they would otherwise be. Unless you randomly find a better heavy weapon while looting, this is going to be one of the better boss killers in the early parts of the game.
Where to Find Poisonstorm – You can purchase Poisonstorm from Kore Kinetics in Neon City for about 40,000 Credits.
A good rifle will often be the backbone of your Starfield arsenal. If you just can’t seem to find a good rifle while looting, consider investing in the powerful Buzzcut.
The Buzzcut’s raw stats are good, but it’s this gun’s modifiers that make it so special. This thing not only comes equipped with a variety of stabilizers that make it more effective at slightly longer distances, but it fires armor-piercing rounds at an absurdly high rate. You can safely rely on this gun in a variety of situations, and it’s incredibly cheap compared to similar alternatives.
Where to Find Buzzcut – You can purchase Buzzcut from Neon Tactical in Neon City for about 4500 Credits.
Though some pistols struggle to keep up with the other weapons in the game, a good “magnum” pistol will often be one of your most powerful overall options. Well, Elegance may just be the most powerful pistol of that type you’ll find in Starfield’s opening hours.
Elegance’s powerful “per-shot” abilities are about what you’d expect from this class of weapon, but it’s everything else this pistol brings to the table that makes it so special. Its firing rate is surprisingly high, it essentially ignores most armor, and it even comes with a suppressor for those who have the Skills needed to take advantage of suppressor weapon damage bonuses. You’ll rely on this gun for a shockingly long time.
Where to Find Elegance – You can purchase Elegance from Rowlands Arms in Akila City for about 18,000 Credits.
Most players will want some kind of sniper (or long-range) rile in Starfield, which makes it that much more heartbreaking that such weapons are so difficult to find in the early parts of the game. Thankfully, the Marksman AA-99 offers a fantastic long-range option that is available to anyone with enough Credits.
Although the Marksman isn’t the one-shot, long-range sniper rifle you’ll eventually want to acquire in Starfield, it offers pretty much everything else you’re looking for from a weapon of this type. It has a suppressor, stabilizers, a decent scope, a big magazine, and it even offers a damage bonus modifier while you’re aiming. Actually, this gun’s greatest attribute has to be the ability to use it a longer ranges or while advancing upon an an enemy at closer ranges. It’s one of the most versatile weapons in the early game.
Where to Find Marksman AA-99 – You can purchase Marksman AA-99 from Centurian Arsenal Shop in New Atlantis for about 30,000 Credits.
Assault rifles are slightly overpowered throughout much of Starfield. Even if you’re not specialized in that weapon type, their high rates of fire, impressive range, and accuracy mean that they will kill just about anything relatively quickly. Well, Revenant offers all of those things and so much more.
Revenant’s absolutely massive magazine (150 rounds) and paltry 0.15 Mass rating make it the kind of gun you can carry around and turn to at pretty much any time. However, this isn’t just some value gun that gets by off being “good enough.” Instead, it’s Revenant’s bonkers fire rate, nice accuracy, impressive range, and random ability to make a target bleed that make it the arguably gold standard for one of Starfield’s most powerful weapon classes.
Where to Find Revenant – You’ll find Revant during the Crimson Fleet quest “Eye of the Storm.” Near the end of that mission, you’ll need to interact with a computer in order to complete the “Locate the Vault Control Center” objective. Revenant will be sitting beside that computer. Be sure to grab it as soon as possible, as there is no other place in the game to acquire Revenant and you will not be able to return to this location.
Looking for a powerful pistol and don’t feel like spending all of your credits at a vendor? Deadeye is probably your best option in the early parts of the game.
There is nothing fancy about Deadeye (besides its absolutely gorgeous design), but this pistol has most of the base stats you’re looking for in a magnum. It packs a mean punch, it’s incredibly accurate, it has a decent fire rate, and it even comes with a handy laser sight. Even better, you can get this gun for free very early in the game.
Where to Find Deadeye – Proceed through the Starfield campaign until you go to Akila City with Sam Coe. There, complete the “Job Gone Wrong” quest. After that, speak to Emma Wilcox and ask to join the Freestar Rangers. After completing her quest, she’ll reward you with Deadeye.
Truth be told, Fiscal Quarter’s greatest attribute is its availability. You’ll acquire this weapon for free early into the Starfield campaign, and it will likely be better than whatever comparable gun you’re already using.
Honestly, Fiscal Quarter can last you even longer than that if you add a couple of mods to it. This gun boasts solid or better magazine size, firing rate, range, accuracy, and it even comes with a respectable scope. Nobody is going to accuse it of being overpowered, but it is as solid as they come.
Where to Find Fiscal Quarter – You’ll acquire Fiscal Quarter after completing the “All That Money Can Buy” quest as part of Starfield’s campaign.
Much like Fiscal Quarter, Peacekeeper can be replaced by higher quality comparable weapons you will eventually loot. However, it’s a very nice overall rifle that also happens to be remarkably easy to acquire.
Peacekeeper boasts solid across-the-board stats in every category. Well, almost every category. Its bonus magazine size elevates it above many comparable options in the earliest parts of the game, which is especially nice when you consider that it might be a little while before you find a better 11mm ammo option. It’s just a fantastic “set it and forget it “ gun.
How to Find Peacekeeper – You’ll acquire Peacekeeper after completing the “Groundpunder” sidequest in the Altair Star System. Simply head to that system and respond to the distress call you receive. It’s a lengthy quest, but you can acquire and complete it pretty much right away.
This pistol is an absolute menace and should be considered an essential part of any Starfield player’s arsenal (especially in the early parts of the game).
The first thing you need to know about the Keelhauler is that it is a fully automatic pistol that is only slightly weaker on a per-shot basis than some proper magnums in the game. You will have a tough time firing a more powerful per-shot pistol that boasts this kind of firing rate and this kind of accuracy. The Keelhauler also comes equipped with a few nice modifiers, but its natural strengths are so great that you could remove those modifiers and still be left with one of the most powerful pistols in Starfield.
Where to Find Keelhauler – You’ll acquire Keelhauler after completing the Echoes of the Past quest as part of the Crimson Fleet questline. It’s one of the later quests in that questline, but it’s easy to join the Crimson Fleet and work your way towards it.
Truth be told, this is the weakest weapon on this list by a considerable distance. You won’t get a ton of mileage out of it, and it’s easy to replace or simply forget about.
So why is it here? Well, you’ll want a cutter in your inventory for gathering resources, and Heller’s Cutter is a strictly better version of the cutter you start the game with. It’s more powerful, it’s quicker, and it comes with a nice damage bonus against robots that is actually much more useful than you might think. There is no reason not to grab this weapon early on and keep it in your inventory for whenever you might need it.
Where to Find Heller’s Cutter – During the “Back to Vectera” mission (which is part of the campaign), head to the building directly to the right of the Argos Extractor’s Mining Outpost landing pad. There, you’ll find Heller’s Cutter sitting inside.
The problem with many poison weapons in Starfield is that they don’t fire fast enough to be able to regularly rely on that particular enhancement. Gallow’s Reach doesn’t have that problem.
Gallow’s Reach is basically a poisonous AK-47. It’s a powerful and fast assault rifle that tears through enemy armor and slows the target down as it slowly poisons them. It’s certainly one of the better uses for all that 7.62 ammo that you’ll find in the earlier parts of the game.
Where to Find Gallow’s Reach – During the “No Sudden Moves” quest (part of the campaign questline), go through the door located behind Petrov. Walk through the doors on your left, and you’ll enter Petrov’s office. There, you’ll find Gallow’s Reach hanging on the wall.
Alien creatures aren’t the most common enemy in Starfield, but they can certainly be some of the most annoying. That’s why it’s nice to have a gun that deals bonus damage to those pesky monsters.
The Experiment A-7 is a powerful little shotgun in its own right, but it’s this gun’s whopping +30% damage against aliens modifier that makes it truly special. Most alien creatures in the game will fight you at closer ranges, which means that they’ll walk right into this gun’s kill zone. This thing quickly becomes a planetary explorer’s best friend.
Where to Find Experiment A-7 – You’ll acquire Experiment A-7 during the “Final Glimpses” campaign mission. During that mission, ask Ethan about Scorpions on the planet. Choose the “Persuade” dialog option when available. If you succeed in this dialog option, he’ll give you the Experiment A-7. If not, you’ll miss your chance to get this weapon forever. As such, you might want to make a quick save before you choose the Persuade option.