Speech checks have been reworked in Bethesda’s latest title, so be sure to check our guide on how Starfield persuasion works.
Bethesda has a long and varied history with speech checks across the Elders Scrolls and Fallout titles, but Starfield persuasion looks like it’s going in a different direction. If you want access to extra dialogue options and bonuses, mastering your charisma will be the key to opening those doors.
So, whether you’re looking for the right skills to win over your companions or convince one of the many NPCs to give you a better reward, be sure to read our guide on how persuasion has been reworked for Starfield.
Starfield persuasion rework
Previously, speech checks have taken several different forms in Bethesda titles. There were speech pie charts in Oblivion, skill levels thresholds in Fallout New Vegas, and random chance (%) in Fallout 4.
Starfield is different. You’ll start with a number of persuasion ‘points’ per conversation, and several ‘turns’ in which to spend them. Each ‘turn’ presents you with several dialogue options requiring varying amounts of speech points. Where you are trying to be reasonable, you will need fewer points. Where you want to be unreasonable, more points are required.
As in the screenshot below, you can see an example where explaining who you are to the bloodthirsty pirate requires fewer points than trying to intimidate them or convince them that your ship is worthless.
We might see this tactic return in conversations regarding quest rewards. We can presume that fewer persuasion points will be needed to ask an NPC for a small increase to your reward than a larger one.
Reckless Spacefarers might be tempted to go all in on one option in a single ‘turn’, but you won’t have any points left for the following rounds. As a result, you’ll need to carefully balance when and where you spend your points if you want to come out on top.
Fortunately, if you’re not feeling very charismatic, there is an Auto-Persuade option which you can activate with a button press, though we haven’t yet seen this in action.
Boosting your Starfield persuasion
To get the most out of Starfield’s persuasive approach, you’ll want to take the appropriate Starfield background like the Diplomat, or rank up the persuasion skill which grants an increased chance of success on speech challenges.
If you want to further improve your chances, you might want to take the right Starfield companion with you. Todd Howard has stated that companions can take the conversation over if you want them to, though the extent and effect of this has yet to be determined.