Starfield Persuasion Guide: How to Succeed in Persuasion

This guide talks about how the Persuasion mechanic works in Starfield, and shares some tips on how to improve success rates at persuading someone.

Starfield Persuasion cover

Persuasion is one of the innate skills in Starfield. Persuasion often provides a peaceful alternative to an otherwise hostile or disadvantageous encounter. Certain interactions with NPCs can give players the chance to persuade them to do something in favor of the player through one of the dialogue options.

Read ahead as we talk more about the Persuasion mechanic in Starfield and share some tips on how to improve this skill to get better success rates at it.

How does Persuasion work in Starfield?

Similar to most role-playing games, the Persuasion mechanic relies on randomness, or the RNG to find out whether or not a player would be successful in persuading an NPC to do what they are asking. In Starfield, all players have the ability to persuade NPCs through what is called in the game as speech challenges, which is another layer of mechanic wherein players get to have a bit more control as to how they want their persuasion to go.

Not all NPC interactions will have a Persuasion option. Certain scenarios, such as negotiations or conflicts, will often have a persuasion opportunity, and it often shows up through a dialogue option that is marked with [Persuade]. Choosing this option will put players into the persuasion mechanic, where they get to choose from more dialogue options that could potentially persuade the NPC they are talking to.

During the persuasion mechanic, players are given three to four dialogues to choose from. Each of these dialogues has a corresponding + number and a color ranging from green, yellow, and red. There is also the persuasion progress bar below and the turn counter.

If a persuasion check succeeds, then players get to turn the conversation in their favor. If the check fails, then players are locked out of the persuasion option again and will have to deal with the consequence or choose the other available dialogue options from before. Save scumming or reloading a previous save will allow players to retry the persuasion check again since the success rate of the persuasion options is based on RNG.

Persuasion Dialogue Options

Starfield Persuasion Dialogue Options

The + numbers attached to each option denote how many bars will be added to the progress bar should the chosen dialogue succeed. The color tells the likelihood of the option to succeed, with green as most likely, red as least likely, and yellow as somewhere in between; the colors also correspond to the numbers, with a higher number often getting a lesser chance of succeeding.

Persuasion Progress Bar

The progress bar shows the difficulty of the persuasion attempt; the more bars there are to fill, the more difficult the attempt can get. When a persuasion dialogue succeeds, the progress bar will be filled depending on the number of bars the dialogue has; otherwise, it won’t be filled and the player uses a turn.

Persuasion Turn Counter

The turn counter shows how many attempts can be made to persuade the NPC. Persuasion checks usually have three turns. Each attempt will use up a turn regardless of whether it succeeds or fails, with the exception of the final turn. During the final turn, if the attempt fails, then the entire persuasion check is failed. On the other hand, if an attempt succeeds during the final turn, then the player gets to choose another dialogue. This continues on until the player succeeds the entire persuasion check or fails it.

How Auto-Persuade works

Auto-Persuade is another option that is present during a persuasion check. Once used, it will pick the dialogue option with the highest point and give it a boost with its success rate.

Auto-Persuade has a meter that has to be filled before it can be used, and to fill it, you will need to make successful attempts at persuasion, although there have been instances where getting a successful attempt did not add up to the meter, whereas failing an attempt actually added to the meter.

The meter on the Auto-Persuade option carries over to your next persuasion check.

Special Guaranteed Persuasion Options

Starfield: Special Guaranteed Persuasion Options

In certain instances, an additional dialogue option will appear during a speech challenge which will often provide a high number of bars for the persuasion meter. These options are usually obtained by gathering info about the NPC being persuaded through completing optional objectives in a side quest. These special dialogue options have a light blue color and is preceded by a bracketed text, usually a name of a person or an object.

Critical Success during Persuasion

There is a very small chance that a critical success happens upon choosing a dialogue option, which immediately persuades the NPC even without filling up the persuasion bar. It appears that the chances of getting one increases the more consecutive successful attempts are done.

How to Improve Persuasion in Starfield

There are a couple of ways to improve the chances of persuading NPCs in the game. The first and more permanent option is to put a point and improve the Persuasion skill, the other temporary option is to consume alcohol. There is also the option to wear outfits that provide the same boost.

Persuasion Skill

The Persuasion skill can be found under Tier 1 of the Social category and this skill improves the success rate of persuasion attempts. The skill provides a 10% increased chance of success at base, and ranking it up to Rank 4 improves the boost to 20%, 30%, and 50%, respectively. Some backgrounds can give an initial point towards this skill upon creating a character, such as the Diplomat, Industrialist, Sculptor, and Space Scoundrel.

To rank up and upgrade the Persuasion skill, you will need to get certain numbers of successful speech challenges or attempts. The best way to do so is to head over to a major city’s bar where you will find potential companions that can be recruited. Most of them will ask for a fee, but they can be persuaded to waive that fee.

There is also a cheesy way to grind the Persuasion ranks quickly. Talk to the person, then get into a speech challenge with them, and once you get a successful attempt, back out from the conversation and talk to them again. The speech challenge will restart, but your successful attempt will still count towards the progress of your skill. You can simply repeat this process until you have fully ranked up your skill to the max.

Consuming Alcohol

Most alcoholic beverages in the game provide a boost in persuasion success rates for a few minutes, in exchange for a decrease in O2 recovery. The rates of the buff it provides range from 6% to 20% increased success in persuasion. Some examples are:

  • Hippolyta – +20% success rate for 5 mins.
  • Chandra Chardonnay – +12% success rate for 5 mins.
  • Chandra Pinot Noir – +12% success rate for 5 mins.
  • Chandra Cabernet Sauvignon – +12% success rate for 5 mins.
  • Supernova – +12% success rate for 5 mins.


There are some outfits that provide a buff that increases persuasion success rates when worn. For example:

  • Fitted Business Suit – +10% success rate
  • Corpo Sleek Suit – +5% success rate
  • Fashionable Suit – +5% success rate
  • Green Fashionable Suit – +5% success rate