The art of persuasion is an important aspect of most RPGs, and Starfield is no exception. And since instead of a straightforward skill check, Starfield’s persuasion system is presented as a minigame of sorts, this guide will help you better understand how it works.
Below, you’ll find detailed information on Persuasion — here’s a brief summary of how to use Persuasion in Starfield:
Select the [Persuade] dialog option during a conversation
Pick a persuasion choice (easy green, medium yellow, or difficult red). If successful, you’ll fill the persuasion meter by the value of the choice
Continue making choices until you fill the meter and succeed the Persuasion attempt, or run out of turns and fail it
Persuasion as a Skill
While Starfield has a dedicated Persuasion skill in the first tier of the Social skill group, you don’t actually need it to attempt to persuade someone. The skill merely increases your chance of success. The first rank will boost your success chance by 10%, while the ultimate fourth one will give you an impressive 50% bonus. In order to advance through the ranks, you’ll merely need to keep succeeding in your speech challenges.
How Persuasion Works
When you’re able to persuade someone, you’ll get a special dialogue option marked by [Persuade]. Clicking it will initiate the Persuasion system.
Each Persuasion check has a difficulty rating and a number of turns in which you have to hit it (Image 1). The dialogue options you get while attempting to persuade someone all have numerical values, usually ranging from 1 to 5 (Image 2), and selecting one costs you a turn. The Persuasion attempt has a number of segments you need to fill (visible in the same box as the Turns counter); succeeding at a +2 dialogue choice will fill those segments by 2, and so on.
Clicking on a dialogue option initiates what is essentially a dice roll. And while the game hides the exact specifics of these rolls from us, the general rule is that the lower-value options marked as green are the easiest to hit, while the higher-value red options are the hardest, with the Persuasion skill making you better at passing these checks.
When initiating the same check several times, mainly after loading the game, it’s good to keep in mind that the options you get are randomized to a degree, meaning that each time you start a Persuasion check, there will be a chance for you to get different options with different values.
When the game rolls its hidden Persuasion check, it has a chance to roll a Critical Success, which means you automatically pass the entire Persuasion event regardless of how far you’ve advanced it at that point.
As you keep succeeding in Persuasion checks during a conversation, the Auto-Persuade button will start being encircled by a blue outline. Once it fills up, you’ll be able to automatically pass your next Persuasion check. It takes quite a few successful Persuasion checks to fill it, so don’t expect to do so in a single conversation.
Once you’re down to your last turn, if you keep succeeding in your checks, you’ll be able to keep rolling until you either meet the Persuasion target or fail a check.
In the release version of Starfield, merely hovering your cursor near the edge of the dialogue box during a Persuasion attempt, scrolls it all the way down until you can only see the hardest options. In order to go back up and have access to all the dialogue options, you can simply use the arrow keys to navigate the dialogue box.
It’s helpful to pay attention to how many turns you have left, and how many segments you need to fill. For example, if you’ve got 3 turns to fill 4 persuasion segments, it doesn’t make sense to pick a +5 option (unless it’s an option you really want your character to choose, of course). Do the mental math and try to pick the safest option you can, while still leaving yourself some breathing room in case you fail a check or two. In our example of 3 turns, 4 segments, picking a green +2 is a safe choice — as is, arguably, picking a yellow +3 — while picking a +1, or a red choice, can be a bit riskier.
If a particular check is giving you trouble, remember that you can temporarily boost your Persuasion chance by having a drink. Different types of alcohol increase the chance by a slightly different amount, but it seems to hover around 10% for 5 minutes. The Hipployta chem, on the other hand, boosts your Persuasion by 20% for 5 minutes.
Certain clothes, usually of the corporate type, also tend to offer a Persuasion bonus of 5%.
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