Your Starfield level determines much more than just how powerful your Spacefarer is, here's all you need to know about your character level.
Your Starfield level is a rough approximation of your character’s abilities, experience, and combat effectiveness. Your level is determined by the total number of experience points (or XP) you have earned, with each level requiring a greater amount of XP.
Each time you level up, you get to pick one of the available Starfield skills. Every increase in level may additionally, as in other Bethesda titles, provide you with some stat or proficiency bonuses. It’s unclear if there is a level cap as there has been in previous titles like Fallout 3, but the more recent trend (such as with Fallout 4) has seen the removal of a maximum level.
But leveling up won’t just boost the player. It’ll change the world around you.
Here’s all you need to know about Starfield levels:
How to increase your level
Leveling up allows the player to purchase a number of Starfield skills, but finding enough XP to get you over the threshold isn’t always straightforward.
We know that visiting Starfield locations nets a small XP boost, but so too will defeating creatures and completing missions. One level 2 Crimson Fleet Pirate nets 5XP in the Starfield trailer, so you might have to hunt quite a few of them to reach the next level.
Star systems have levels too. One of the first systems you encounter, Alpha Centauri, is shown to be a level 1 system, which suggests that it’s designed for low-level characters. However, the levels can go much higher. Todd Howard has confirmed that every system will have a system level to show players roughly what level they need to be to tackle it – the example he gave was of a level 40 system.
In previous titles like the Elder Scrolls Series and Fallout, it was less clear if an area was too high-leveled for your character until you were already a ragdoll on the floor. With the new Starfield level system, players will at least be informed ahead of time.
Much like in Fallout 76, enemies have levels, and the monsters we’ve seen range in level from 1-75. With a system level already being confirmed by Todd Howard as being “40”, we can assume that similarly leveled opponents will make an appearance.
However, it is unclear how player level might affect enemy level and variants. To use Fallout as an example, lower level players would only encounter radroaches and bloatflies unless they wandered into a higher-difficulty area. But as the player character level rose, not only did enemies ramp up the damage, but also the variety. Radroaches became Glowing or even Legendary Radroaches, and bandits went from using baseball bats to using missile launchers.
As with previous Bethesda RPGs, you can earn XP by discovering locations, killing enemies, successfully lockpicking, and likely also by passing speech checks and completing Starfield missions.
Your Starfield level might also act as a gate to certain pieces of content. Fallout 4 begins spawning certain types of equipment only when the player meets specific level thresholds. With system levels being confirmed, we might only see higher-level weapons and armor on more difficult worlds.