Archives of Nethys

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Chapter 7: Equipment

Source Starfinder Core Rulebook pg. 164


Source Starfinder Core Rulebook pg. 168
An adventurer’s weapon can be all that stands between them and death. Weapons primarily deal damage, and some have additional special properties. Some weapons also cause specific critical hit effects, which are listed in the weapon tables and described beginning on page 182. See Critical Hits on page 245 for information.

Holding and Wielding Weapons

Melee weapons are categorized by how many hands are required to properly wield them. For ranged weapons, all small arms require one hand, longarms and heavy weapons require two hands, and special weapons are categorized by the number of hands required to wield them.

You can attack with a weapon (or threaten an area with it, for all melee weapons except unarmed strikes) only if you are wielding it with the correct number of hands. When the rules refer to wielding a weapon, it means you are holding a weapon with the correct number of hands and can thus make attacks with it. For example, if you are holding a small arm in your hand, you are considered to be wielding the weapon. If you are carrying a longarm in one hand or wearing a holstered weapon, you are not wielding it. You can carry a two-handed weapon in one hand, but you can’t make an attack with it while doing so.

Changing how you hold a weapon is a swift action. You are only considered to have as many hands as your race has actual functional hands or similar appendages (two for most races, but four in the case of kasathas and some other characters). Even if you could hold two weapons in the same hand, you can’t use the hand to wield both weapons. For example, a human with a power battleglove on one hand can still make ranged attacks with a longarm, but he can’t make melee attacks (and thus does not threaten any spaces) while doing so. As a swift action, the human can switch to hold his longarm with only one hand, allowing him to make attacks with the battleglove, but while doing so he can’t make longarm attacks.

Weapon Sizes

Weapons are built to be easily held and used by both Small and Medium creatures. Weapons can be built for use by smaller creatures but generally cost twice as much (since they require special miniaturization technology). Weapons can also be built for use by larger creatures with no increase in price. A Small or Medium creature trying to use a weapon built for a creature that is Tiny or Large suffers a –4 penalty to attack rolls. Weapons designed for creatures Diminutive or smaller, or Huge or larger, generally cannot be effectively used by Small or Medium creatures.


Weapons often employ electrical charges (typically stored in batteries), cartridges of ammunition, or individual missiles. A weapon’s capacity measures what size battery it uses or the number of cartridges it can hold, and its usage is how much ammunition it uses with each attack. You can use launchers to fire their corresponding missiles, which must be loaded individually. Reloading a weapon or inserting a new battery (including ejecting a spent cartridge or battery if necessary) takes a move action.

Weapons that use standard ammunition (arrows, charges, darts, mini-rockets, petrol, rounds, scattergun shells, etc.) are sold preloaded. For weapons with other forms of ammunition (such as grenades), ammunition must be purchased separately.


This type of ammunition includes bullets (often called rounds or shells), bolts, darts, mini-rockets, pellets, and other physical projectiles with any necessary casing and propellant. Cartridges are typically either contained in a multi-cartridge magazine or loaded into the weapon individually; a weapon is assumed to come with enough magazines that you can load spare ones for reloading the weapon in battle. If you buy more cartridges than can be held in a single magazine of your weapon, the purchase includes additional magazines of the same capacity, up to the number needed to fit all your cartridges into magazines. The same rules apply to petrol for flame weapons.

Rounds are standardized by weapon type. For example, small arms all use the same size of round, but you can’t use a small arm round in a longarm. Most projectile weapons fire one cartridge per attack unless they have special firing modes that shoot multiple cartridges in a short time.


This ammunition powers energy or projectile weapons using charges stored in batteries. Since each energy weapon varies in intensity, stronger weapons use up more charges per shot. You can restore a weapon’s charges by attaching it to a generator or a recharging station (see Professional Services on page 234) and thereby recharging its battery, or by swapping out its battery for another fully charged battery.

Recharging a weapon’s battery from a generator takes 1 minute per charge restored, and using a recharging station takes 1 round per charge, but swapping out a battery takes only a move action. Most batteries can hold 20 charges, but some high-capacity versions made of rare materials can hold more (see Table 7–9: Ammunition).

A weapon’s battery cannot be recharged to hold more charges than its capacity. A weapon that holds a high-capacity battery still works when a lower-capacity battery is inserted into it, but if a battery has fewer charges remaining than the minimum number required to fire a shot, the weapon doesn’t fire.

In addition to weapons, batteries can be used to power a wide array of items, including powered armor and technological items.


This special ammunition is loaded and fired one at a time, and it includes arrows and explosive rounds fired from launchers. Some weapons that fire missiles have the quick reload special property (see page 182), allowing you to draw the ammunition and fire it as part of your attack or attacks. Attacks with missile weapons often have the explode special property (see page 181).

Improvised Weapons

If you’re using an object that wasn’t meant to be used as a weapon, treat it as a club. You don’t add your Weapon Specialization bonus damage (if any) when attacking with an improvised weapon. At the GM’s discretion, the object might deal a different type of damage or not be treated as archaic (see page 180), and in rare cases a GM might decide a nonweapon functions as a specific weapon (such as an industrial grinder functioning as a fangblade). In such cases, attacks with the weapon take a –4 penalty to the attack roll because of the awkward nature of attacking with something designed for another purpose.

Targeting Armor Class

Whether you compare an attack roll to the target’s Energy Armor Class (EAC) or Kinetic Armor Class (KAC) depends on the type of damage the weapon deals. In rare cases, a weapon’s damage type can be magically altered with weapon fusions (see page 191), but this never changes whether a weapon targets EAC or KAC.

If the weapon deals only energy damage, the attack targets EAC. Energy damage generally includes acid, cold, electricity, fire, and sonic damage, though it also potentially includes magical or exotic untyped energies.

If the weapon deals only kinetic damage, or if it deals both energy and kinetic damage, the attack targets KAC. Kinetic damage generally comes from attacks that deal bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing damage, as well as damage from crushing, constriction, or the impact from falling.

For more about EAC and KAC, see Armor Class on page 240.

Weapon Damage

The energy and kinetic damage types are described below, including the abbreviations for each that appear in the weapon tables in this chapter. Weapons that deal multiple types of damage have an ampersand between the types (such as “B & E” for a weapon that deals bludgeoning and electricity damage). For such weapons, half the damage dealt is one type, and half is the other (if the damage done is an odd number, select one damage type to round up, rounding down the other damage type normally).

Energy Damage

The following types of damage are energy damage. Other, rare forms of energy damage exist, and such weapons specify whether they target EAC in their descriptions.
  • Acid (A): Damage dealt by corrosive substances and effects.
  • Cold (C): Damage dealt by ice and cryogenic energy.
  • Electricity (E): Damage dealt by lightning and other electric shocks.
  • Fire (F): Damage dealt by flames, lasers, and extreme heat.
  • Sonic (So): Damage dealt by loud noise or damaging frequencies.

Kinetic Damage

The following are types of kinetic damage.
  • Bludgeoning (B): Damage from blunt force.
  • Piercing (P): Damage from spikes, bullets, and punctures.
  • Slashing (S): Damage from blades, claws, and sharp edges.

Weapon Types

The weapons in the above sections are grouped into types, and they are further divided into categories within each type. Most weapons belong to both a weapon type and a weapon category. For example, a zero pistol is both a small arm and a cryo weapon.

Weapons of the same type are of similar size and have similar mechanical properties. Weapon types include basic melee, advanced melee, small arms, longarms, heavy weapons, sniper weapons, grenades, and special weapons. Ammunition and solarian weapon crystals are also listed here.

The weapon tables linked above are arranged by weapon type, as described in the sections below.

Weapon Categories: Weapons fall into subgroups that indicate how a given weapon deals damage. Weapon categories include cryo weapons, flame weapons, laser weapons, plasma weapons, projectile weapons, shock weapons, and sonic weapons. When a weapon doesn’t fall into a specific category, it is listed in the weapon tables as an uncategorized weapon. The weapon descriptions on pages 183–190 are arranged primarily by weapon category.

Weapon Special Property and Critical Hit DCs

Source Starfinder Core Rulebook pg. 181
Some weapons that explode or cause critical hit effects (see page 182) allow the target to attempt a saving throw. The DC of such a saving throw is typically equal to 10 + half the weapon’s item level + one of your ability modifiers. Unless stated otherwise, the ability modifier corresponds to the ability score you’d normally use to make an attack with that weapon (Dexterity for a ranged weapon, and Strength for a melee or thrown weapon). Any penalty you would normally take to your weapon attack roll also applies to this DC, including penalties from the weapon’s range increment.

Weapon Fusions

Source Starfinder Core Rulebook pg. 191
A weapon fusion is a small, prepackaged add-on that can be attached to any weapon to infuse it with magic. Adventurers use weapon fusions to customize their weapons for a specific enemy or to increase a weapon’s overall effectiveness. Weapon fusions are magic unless stated otherwise. While this causes the weapons they are installed in to be considered hybrid items, in truth the weapon and the fusion still operate separately. An ability that affects a magic item could affect the fusion installed in a weapon, but that would not prevent the weapon’s core function from operating normally unless the weapon was also independently a magic device. The hybridized fusion (see page 194) is an exception to this rule, as noted in its description. Weapons with fusions are considered magic for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.

Installing and Transferring Fusions

A fusion can be installed in a chosen weapon (including a grenade) or piece of ammunition when it’s purchased or at any point afterward. It’s also possible, though difficult and fairly expensive, to transfer fusions from one weapon to another. Any character trained in Mysticism can transfer a fusion to a new weapon; When transferring a fusion to a higher level weapon, this costs the difference between initially purchasing the fusion for each of the two weapons. Characters trained in Engineering or Mysticism can also install fusions, if necessary (for instance, if the PCs find an unused fusion as part of a treasure cache, or in the case of a character who used Mysticism to craft a fusion; see page 235 for more about crafting items). In either case, installing or transferring a fusion takes about 10 minutes of uninterrupted tinkering.

Fusion Seals

It is also possible to place a weapon fusion into a physical object, called a fusion seal, which can then be affixed to a specific weapon and even moved among different weapons. A fusion seal affects only weapons of a given level or less, as noted in parentheses after the name of the fusion seal. For example, a holy fusion seal that could be applied to any weapon of 10th level or lower would be written holy fusion seal (10th). Any decisions that must be made when a fusion is added to a weapon are made when a fusion seal is created, and they can’t be changed.

A fusion seal’s cost is based on the highest-level weapon the fusion seal can affect, and it is equal to 110% of the price of a weapon fusion for a weapon of that level. Removing a fusion seal and transferring it to a new weapon takes only 1 minute and does not require any specific skill training, but the fusion doesn’t function until the seal has been in place on a weapon for 10 minutes. A fusion seal can’t be added to a weapon if doing so would cause the weapon’s total level of fusions (including the level of the fusion seal) to exceed its item level or if the weapon is not a legitimate choice for the fusion within the fusion seal. Grenades, ammunition, and other consumable items can benefit from fusion seals, but the fusion seal is destroyed when the item is used.

A fusion seal can take the form of nearly any medallion or symbol, and when affixed to a weapon, it can even alter the aesthetics of that weapon. A thundering fusion seal might cause a weapon to be etched with storm clouds, runes of weather, or possibly even symbols of a god of storms if affixed by a worshiper of such a god. However, these alterations of appearance are not enough to conceal a weapon’s basic function or type (a heavy reaction cannon with a vorpal fusion seal is still clearly a heavy reaction cannon, even if its appearance is altered to feature skulls and symbols of the Devourer). Fusion seals that alter weapons to feature a specific group’s iconography are often used by organizations as a way of unifying the appearance of their members’ weaponry.

Item Level

Each weapon fusion has an item level, and a fusion can’t be placed on a weapon that has a lower level than the fusion’s item level. Once it is attached to a weapon, a weapon fusion uses the weapon’s item level for any of the weapon fusion’s level-based effects.

Multiple Fusions and Multiple Targets

You can place multiple fusions on the same weapon, but only if the weapon’s item level is equal to or greater than the combined total of all the fusions’ item levels. A weapon cannot hold or benefit from additional fusions beyond this limit. A fusion that applies an effect to attacks applies it to all targets for spread weapons, automatic fire, explode weapons, and other effects with multiple targets.


The price of a weapon fusion depends on the item level of the weapon into which it’s being installed. Installing a fusion into a 7th-level weapon costs more than applying the same fusion into a 6th-level weapon, for instance. Installing a fusion into a grenade or a piece of ammunition costs half the normal price of a weapon fusion for a weapon of the same level.


Source Starfinder Core Rulebook pg. 196
Armor is usually the easiest and most cost-effective way for creatures to protect themselves. Whether you are skimming through space aboard a mercenary vessel, attending a diplomatic meeting on a space station, or descending to a planet’s surface to explore, armor provides you with protection against attacks and hostile environments.

Modern armor is made of many different substances, including carbon fiber, ceramic, fabric, metal, and polymers. Most are constructed from a combination of materials, and some even use archaic materials such as animal hide. Creatures wear armor to protect themselves, but also to express their personal style.

Most suits of armor consist of a helmet, gloves, boots, and a bodysuit that offers head-to-toe protection. Unless otherwise specified, the boots include a functionality that can anchor your feet to a solid surface in a zero-gravity environment, allowing you to orient yourself or return to normal footing when needed (for more about moving in zero-g, see page 402). A personal comm unit (see page 218) is integrated into every suit of armor.

Reading Armor Tables

Each entry on the armor tables starting on page 197 describes a single suit of armor, with the following statistics.
  • Level: The armor’s item level (see page 167).
  • Price: This is the price in credits of the suit of armor.
  • EAC Bonus: This is the bonus your armor adds to your Energy Armor Class, which protects against attacks from laser weapons, plasma cannons, and the like (see page 240).
  • KAC Bonus: This is the bonus your armor adds to your Kinetic Armor Class, which protects against projectiles, most melee weapons, and other solid objects (see page 240).
  • Maximum Dex Bonus: You normally add your Dexterity modifier to your Armor Class (for both EAC and KAC), but it’s limited by your armor. Your armor’s maximum Dexterity bonus indicates how much of your Dexterity modifier you can add to AC. Any excess Dexterity doesn’t raise your AC further and is simply ignored for this purpose.
  • Armor Check Penalty: You take a penalty to most Strengthand Dexterity-based skill checks equal to this number. See Chapter 5 for a more complete list of which skills apply.
  • Speed Adjustment: While wearing the armor, your speed is adjusted by this number.
  • Upgrade Slots: You can improve your armor with magic and technological upgrades. This entry shows how many total upgrades your armor can accommodate. Some armor upgrades are larger or more complicated and take up multiple upgrade slots (see page 204.)
  • Bulk: This is the bulk of the item (see page 167).

Wearing Armor

A character’s class and feats determine what kinds of armor they can wear. Further details about wearing armor are below.

Armor Proficiency

If you are wearing armor with which you are not proficient, you take a –4 penalty to both EAC and KAC (see page 240). A character who is proficient only with light armor can wear heavier armor effectively by selecting the Heavy Armor Proficiency feat.

Donning Armor

The time required to don or remove armor depends on its type. Light armor requires 4 rounds to don or remove, while heavy armor requires 16 rounds to don or remove.

Armor that is at least 8th level but less than 16th level takes half the normal time to don or remove. Armor of 16th level or higher takes one-quarter the normal time to don or remove, to a minimum of one full action.

Modern suits of armor are designed so that you can don or remove armor without assistance.

Don Hastily

You can hastily don armor in half the normal time, to a minimum of one full action. The armor check penalty, maximum Dexterity bonus, and armor bonus for hastily donned armor are each 1 worse than normal.

Armor Size

Armor comes in different sizes for different creatures, and you might have to adjust a suit of armor to fit you if it wasn’t made for your race. A ysoki can’t effectively wear armor made for a human, and a kasatha needs to adjust armor that was made for a two-armed creature. If it’s in doubt whether a creature can fit the suit, the GM decides whether the armor needs to be adjusted. When you buy armor new, the purchase price includes any adjustments.

Adjusting Armor

If you get secondhand armor that wasn’t tailored for you, you can have it adjusted, which requires a successful Engineering check (DC = 10 + 2 × the armor’s level). Alternatively, you can spend 10% of the armor’s purchase price to have it adjusted by a professional—typically an armorsmith or anyone with multiple ranks in Engineering.

Environmental Protections

Space can be an inhospitable place, with countless dangerous worlds within it. Unless otherwise specified, all armors protect you from a range of hazards to ensure that you can survive for at least a few days if you must make emergency repairs to the hull of a starship, explore an alien world, or endure exposure to an environmental breach in a space station. Some armors do this through an environmental field (a minor force field specially attuned to pressure and temperature that does not reduce damage from attacks), while others can be closed with helmets and airtight seals. The most common environmental dangers are detailed in Environment beginning on page 394.

Activation and Duration

A suit of armor’s environmental protections last for a number of days equal to its item level. Activating or deactivating these environmental protections takes a standard action if you are wearing the suit (assuming the armor was properly donned). If you have access to a suit that is unattended or worn by a helpless creature, you can turn on its environmental protection as a full action, but turning it off requires a Computers check to hack the system, treating the suit as a computer with a tier equal to half the suit’s item level (the base DC to hack a computer is equal to 13 + 4 per tier).

The duration of a suit’s environmental protections does not need to be expended all at once, but it must be expended in 1-hour increments. Recharging this duration requires access to a functioning starship or an environment recharging station (publicly available in most technologically advanced or average settlements) and takes 1 minute per day recharged. Most of the recharging stations that replenish devices, such as batteries and power cells (see page 234), also recharge armor’s environmental protections, and using them to recharge suits is typically free of price. All other functions on a suit of armor with no duration remaining still work normally.

Breathing and Pressure

All armor can facilitate self-contained breathing, protecting you against vacuums, smoke, and thick, thin, and toxic atmospheres (including any airborne poison or disease). Self-contained breathing functions underwater and in similar liquid environments. This protection allows you to breathe in a corrosive atmosphere (see page 395) to prevent suffocation, but it isn’t strong enough to prevent a corrosive atmosphere from dealing acid damage to both you and your armor. A suit of armor with an upgrade that grants acid resistance reduces any acid damage taken from a corrosive atmosphere normally. Any vision impairment from the environment (such as smoke or water) still applies.


Armor protects you against low levels of radiation (see page 403) and grants a +4 circumstance bonus to saving throws against higher levels of radiation. Armor of 7th level and higher grants immunity to medium radiation levels and provides a +6 circumstance bonus to saving throws against higher levels of radiation. No armor’s bonuses apply to saves against radiation sickness, regardless of the level of radiation exposure that caused you to contract it.


Armor’s environmental protections reasonably protect you against both cold (temperatures as low as –20° F) and heat (temperatures as high as 140° F). This prevents you from having to attempt most Fortitude saving throws to avoid damage from the environment, and it prevents you from taking damage from breathing in most environments. This does not protect against cold or fire damage from other sources or against environments that deal damage without allowing a Fortitude saving throw or breathing the atmosphere (such as lava).)

Powered Armor

Source Starfinder Core Rulebook pg. 203
Unlike light and heavy armor, powered armor requires its own battery, and comes with a fully charged battery at purchase. Powered armor uses the same type of batteries as other items, including charged weapons, and the battery for a suit of powered armor can be recharged as normal using a generator or recharging station (see page 234), or it can be replaced with a new battery when spent (see Table 7–9: Ammunition for battery pricing).

Using Powered Armor

Powered armor augments the wearer’s Strength and has weapon mounts on which ranged weapons can be installed. More about using powered armor is below.

Entering and Exiting

Getting into or exiting a suit of powered armor requires a full action. Unless noted otherwise, a suit of powered armor has an electronic lock preventing anyone from opening it without knowing the passcode. The passcode can be determined with a successful Computers check (DC = 15 + double the armor’s level).

Powered Armor Proficiency

Characters can gain proficiency with powered armor by taking the Powered Armor Proficiency feat (see page 160) or at 5th level through the soldier’s guard fighting style. Lacking proficiency in powered armor comes with more significant drawbacks than with other types of armor. If you are wearing powered armor with which you are not proficient, you take a –4 penalty to both EAC and KAC, you are always flat-footed and off-target, and you move at half speed. If the armor has a special form of movement (such as a fly speed), you cannot use that movement.

Powered Armor Descriptions

The following explains powered armor’s statistics entries. Specific suits of powered armor are described on page 204. Each suit of powered armor’s price is listed in Table 7–16: Powered Armor.

EAC and KAC Bonuses

These are the bonuses the powered armor adds to your Energy Armor Class, which protects against attacks from laser weapons and the like, and to your Kinetic Armor Class, which protects against projectiles and other solid objects.

The cockpit of powered armor is too small to fit a person wearing heavy armor. If you’re wearing light armor while in powered armor, you gain the higher of the EAC bonuses and the higher of the KAC bonuses between the two suits of armor, and you take the worse maximum Dexterity bonus and armor check penalty. Powered armor is normally designed to be operated by any roughly humanoid creature of Small or Medium size—only creatures not matching those criteria must have the armor tailored to fit them (see Adjusting Armor on page 196).

Maximum Dexterity Bonus

You normally add your Dexterity modifier to your EAC and KAC, but it’s limited by your powered armor. A suit of powered armor’s maximum Dexterity bonus indicates how much of your Dexterity modifier you can add to your AC. Any excess Dexterity bonus doesn’t raise your AC further.

Armor Check Penalty

You take a penalty to most Strength- and Dexterity-based skill checks equal to this number.


Rather than using your normal speed, the powered armor has a maximum land speed of its own. In some cases, powered armor has additional movement types as well.


When wearing powered armor, the armor determines your effective Strength. You use it for all Strength-based rolls. Even if your Strength is higher, you’re limited to the armor’s Strength.


When you make an unarmed melee attack with the powered armor, it deals damage equal to the armor’s listed damage value plus its Strength modifier.

The special unarmed strike made with powered armor does not count as archaic and can be improved by the Improved Unarmed Strike feat.A character with multiple unarmed strikes can choose which to use, though note that Large or larger powered armor requires the use of all of a character’s hands, and that may restrict some characters to certain unarmed strikes.


A suit of powered armor has the listed size, so you may take up more space when you’re wearing it.

Some suits of powered armor list a reach in parentheses after size. Powered armor with a reach greater than 5 feet allows you to attack creatures within that range in melee even if they aren’t adjacent to you. Add the reach of the powered armor to the reach of any weapons you wield using the powered armor.

Capacity and Usage

Powered armor requires a great deal of electricity to function, and it has a battery capacity and usage value.

A suit of powered armor’s battery capacity indicates the number of charges its battery holds. This battery can be recharged as normal using a generator or a recharging station (see page 234), or it can be replaced with a new battery (see Table 7–9: Ammunition). You can put a battery with a smaller charge capacity into powered armor, but you can’t recharge one to hold more than its maximum number of charges.

Powered armor’s usage indicates how long a single battery charge runs the armor. For example, a character in a battle harness with a fully charged battery can use that powered armor for 20 hours before its battery needs to be replaced or recharged. Once you have entered a suit of powered armor, you can tell how many battery charges it has remaining, if any. You can turn a suit of powered armor on or off as a standard action, and you do not need to use all charges for a suit of powered armor consecutively, but you must use them in 1-charge increments.

If you’re in armor that’s out of power, you are flat-footed and off-target, you don’t benefit from the armor’s Strength or damage, and you can’t attack with it or cause it to move. None of its mounted weapons (see below) or upgrades (see Armor Upgrades below) function, even if they have their own power sources. You can’t attempt any Strength- or Dexterity-based skill checks, and the armor’s maximum Dexterity bonus is +0 (or the armor’s regular maximum Dexterity bonus, if lower). You can still exit the armor.

Weapon Slots

Ranged weapons can be installed in most powered armor. The maximum number is equal to the powered armor’s weapon slots.

Upgrade Slots

You can improve your powered armor with technological and magical upgrades (see below). This entry shows how many total upgrades your powered armor can accommodate. Some larger or more complicated upgrades take up multiple upgrade slots.


A powered armor’s listed bulk refers to its bulk when it is picked up or carried as cargo, and it does not count toward your own normal carrying capacity. When you’re wearing powered armor, you use that armor’s Strength to determine your carrying capacity. Count everything you’re wearing, everything the powered armor is holding, and any armor upgrades and weapons mounted to the powered armor against this bulk limit.

Armor Upgrades

Source Starfinder Core Rulebook pg. 204
A creature can personalize armor by purchasing and installing armor upgrades, described below, which add bonuses or customized abilities to armor. Some individuals keep a collection of upgrades at hand, swapping them out as needed (requiring 10 minutes to replace the unit and resecure all connections). Explanations of entries for upgrades’ statistics follow.


For a technological armor upgrade that requires charges to function, this entry lists the maximum size battery the upgrade can hold. The batteries that upgrades hold can be recharged as normal using either a generator or a recharging station (see page 234). A magic armor upgrade that can be used a certain number of times runs on magical charges; these charges are integral to the construction of the item and can’t be replenished with generators or batteries. Charges for a magic item either refresh each day or never refresh.


This entry lists how many charges are consumed when the armor upgrade is used. This might be per activation or a certain duration. If an armor upgrade uses a certain number of charges over an interval, the upgrade’s abilities can be shut off before that amount of time has passed, but it still uses charges for the full interval. For instance, an upgrade that uses charges at a rate of 2 per round would still use 2 charges if activated for half a round.

Upgrade Slots

Each suit of armor contains a certain number of upgrade slots. This represents the maximum number of times the armor can be modified while still functioning. If you install upgrades beyond the maximum, the armor and all upgrades attached to it cease to function until you remove enough upgrades to bring the armor down to its maximum number of upgrade slots or fewer.

Some upgrades use more than one upgrade slot, as noted in the Armor Slots entry in Table 7–17: Armor Upgrades.

Magic Upgrades

Some armor upgrades are magic or a hybrid of magic and technology. This is indicated next to the upgrade’s name. If neither magic nor hybrid is listed after an item, it’s a technological item.


Source Starfinder Core Rulebook pg. 208
Many explorers and mercenaries modify their own bodies with technological or biological gear called augmentations. These are modifications to your body that give you special abilities and bonuses. Once installed, they become a part of your body and generally can’t be affected by abilities that destroy or disable objects or target technological items or creatures. As far as attacks and abilities are concerned, a cybernetic or vat-grown arm is no more (or less) vulnerable than your original biological limb.


All augmentations have a system entry indicating the part of the body into which it must be installed. You can’t have more than one augmentation on the same part of your body.

In some cases, such as with augmentations installed in limbs, you can install an augmentation into a single general type of body part, such as any single one of your feet or hands. In these cases, the augmentation lists the acceptable body parts into which the augmentation can be installed. You can install a single augmentation on each limb of which you have multiples. For example, if you’re a kasatha, you could install a separate augmentation on each of your four hands, as long as each of those augmentations requires only a single hand.

If an augmentation requires multiple limbs for installation— such as climbing suckers, which require all feet, or a speed suspension, which requires all legs—the augmentation’s systems entry indicates that requirement. The augmentation’s description will also indicate whether a limb-based upgrade requires the replacement of a limb or the augmentation of an existing limb. In the case of augmentations that specifically replace a lost limb, such as a polyhand or a prosthetic limb, you cannot attach such an augmentation to an existing limb, due to the way these upgrades are manufactured.

Common Systems: Although exceptions do exist, most augmentations require installation into one of the following body systems: arm (or all arms), brain, ears, eyes, foot (or all feet), hand (or all hands), heart, leg (or all legs), lungs, spinal column, skin, and throat.


Getting an augmentation installed requires the services of a professional cybernetic surgeon or someone with ranks in Medicine equal to the level of the augmentation. A session with a cybernetic surgeon usually takes 1 hour per level of the augmentation. The price of such implantation procedures is included in the prices listed for each augmentation.

Removing Augmentations

You might want to have an augmentation removed, usually because you want to install a different one in the same system of your body. This removal usually occurs during surgery to install new cybernetics. Biotech usually kills off the old augmentation while it’s integrating with your body, allowing you to purge the dead biotech naturally. Because augmentations are coded to your body, it’s not possible to resell an old augmentation, nor can you reimplant one into a different person. The price of a new augmentation includes the price and time to remove the old augmentation.


Most augmentations work continuously. Those requiring some degree of control are plugged into your nervous system, and you can turn them on or off as a standard action unless otherwise noted. For example, you could activate or deactivate cybernetics in your eyes to observe different visual phenomena.


Source Starfinder Core Rulebook pg. 213
Computers control most of the modern tools and conveniences in the Starfinder universe, from simple door locks to advanced overminds controlling all incoming and outgoing traffic from a spacedock. Almost anything can be found hiding inside their mainframes, from the plans for wondrous new technological marvels to some of the darkest corporate secrets imaginable. That said, most computers consist of simple information and control systems. Gaining access to computers in order to reach their files and control modules is a common occurrence in the game—and even sometimes required. The following rules are designed to give GMs the tools necessary to design computer systems that are both interesting and challenging.


Each computer system is made up of various simple statistics that tell the GM how the computer functions, what it knows, what it controls, and what it can do to defend itself. This information is presented in the following terms.


The computer’s tier indicates its overall technological sophistication, from 1 to 10. A tier-1 computer might be something as simple as a common datapad, a door lock, or a lighting controller, whereas a tier-10 computer represents the systems managing the engine core of a space station or the mainframe of an Aspis Consortium intersystem office. A computer's effective item level is equal to twice its tier (or 1 for computers of tier 0 and lower). Note that the workstation of a tier-10 computer mainframe might itself be only a tier-3 computer, but it cannot in any way access or control the full mainframe, even if hacked; it can interface with only the components to which it has been granted access. Thus, access to the mainframe itself and features it controls requires hacking its tier-10 defenses.

The tier of a computer determines its base price and the base DC to hack into its system using a Computers check. Both of these are modified by the modules and countermeasures installed on a system (see Modules and Countermeasures below). The base DC to hack a computer is equal to 13 + 4 per tier.

User Interface

A computer’s control module is the input device and display designed to allow you to enter commands into and receive data from the computer. In the Pact Worlds, most user interfaces include a keyboard, view screen, microphone, and speakers, to allow typed, spoken, or gesture-based commands to be given to the computer and to deliver graphic or audio data from the computer. These kinds of user interfaces come free with any system, and a computer can have as many as ten user interfaces per point of bulk the computer has (though normally only public systems or computers used by large companies do this).

It is also possible for a user interface to exist only as a broadcast device (such as a comm unit), or even to have another smaller computer act as a user interface (using a control module). You can set a computer to use this kind of user interface for free when you buy it, though you must pay for the additional device separately, or you can install (or remove) user interfaces using the disable or manipulate module task of the Computers skill to alter a user interface. Such additional user interfaces do not count against the total modules a computer can have.

You can use a hacking kit to access a computer without using a user interface, but this requires you to have physical contact with the computer or to make contact through an infosphere or similar network that is linked to the computers.


Computers can be extremely small, but miniaturizing such units without sacrificing computational power or durability increases a computer’s price. At base, a computer has a bulk equal to its tier squared. Computers with light bulk or negligible bulk can be worn easily on the wrist or clipped to communications devices and used without having to hold them in a hand. Any computer with a bulk of 1 or more must be held or set on a sturdy surface to be used. Computers with a bulk of 25 or more are not designed for portability, and normally they are permanently mounted to furniture or a vehicle or starship. You can reduce the size of a computer with the miniaturization upgrade (see page 216).

Access and Authorization

Computers are designed for users to quickly and easily gain access to their files and functions. A computer may have unsecured access, which allows anyone able to interact with its user interface to perform basic functions. In such cases it usually has secured root access, so more crucial features remain available to only a select few. A computer can have unsecured root access, but this is normally only the case for a newly-purchased computer, and the first owner is expected to establish secure root access as soon as possible.


Access means you are able to use all the basic functions of the computer, which generally includes retrieval of any information not stored in a secure data module (see page 215), the ability to send and receive messages from other devices or systems connected to the computer (which may include access to a planetary infosphere), and control of any minor functions (such as door controls, entertainment systems, light switches, and other common household devices) controlled by the computer.

In most cases, it is obvious at a glance whether a computer’s user interface has unsecured access or whether it is necessary to attempt a Computers check to hack the system.

Root Access

Root access is a more advanced form of access that allows you to use all of a computer’s functions and modules, bypass or set conditions for its countermeasures, and look at, copy, add to, and delete any of its secured data. With root access, you can also grant a specific individual with access the ability to use a specific module or countermeasure you control that would not normally be available to the base access level.

You can gain root access only when a computer is first purchased, when it is granted by another creature that already has root access, or when you make a successful Computers check to hack the system and beat the computer’s normal DC by 20 or more. Normally, root access applies to a computer as a whole, but modules behind a firewall can have their own separate root access permissions.

Secured Computers

Most systems attempt to balance access and security with a two-step verification process to confirm authorized access, entailing both a physical security key (which might be nearly any tangible object, such as a keycard, palm print, or even another computer) and a password (often a fairly long string of characters entered through a keyboard, but also potentially a voiceprint or song, a telepathic command, or a riddle easily understood if you know the context).

Characters who are authorized, have the security object, and know the password can access a computer and use it for its intended purpose without needing to hack into it. Both a security key and a password can limit a character’s access to only some modules or tiers of a computer and don’t allow the user to access other functions. If you attempt to hack a computer, you gain a significant advantage if you acquire its security key or password, each giving you a +5 bonus to Computers checks to hack. However, the access granted by such security measures can easily be revoked by someone who already has access to the computer if that individual knows you have somehow obtained a security key or learned a password. Similarly, if you use either a security key or password to gain a bonus to a Computers check and then fail that check by 5 or more, the system automatically locks access against further attempts from the specific security credential used, which no longer grants its bonus to future checks.

Basic Functions

Computers are good at storing data, making calculations, manipulating and sorting information, performing rote tasks, and combining these tasks (often in the form of apps or programs). A computer may be set up to perform any of these functions in a general way, and it’s impossible to define everything a computer can possibly do. In general, computers can be treated as tools that streamline tasks that would otherwise demand significant bookkeeping, computation, sorting, tracking, or viewing, as long as the needed data can be input. Such tasks are normally part of a computer’s basic functions (though the data they need might well be kept behind a firewall, in a secure data module, or both), and ultimately it is up to a GM to determine a computer’s total capacity for performing such basic functions.

A basic function can also control a simple device such as a fire-suppression system, remote door, or a video camera— anything with simple on and off functions. New basic functions of this type can be added with a successful DC 10 Computers check, though the GM has final say on what an appropriate basic function is for a computer. Anything more complex that would normally require a creature to operate must be controlled through a control module (see page 215).


Modules define what a computer is capable of doing beyond its basic functions. Computers can have any number of modules. These typically fall into one of four categories: control, secure data, spell chips, and upgrades. Control modules can operate a device or object that is in some way linked to the computer, such as a video camera or even a connected robot. A secure data module contains a vast amount of information, from technical blueprints to financial ledgers or perhaps personal correspondence. Spell chips are special magic items that allow a computer to generate spell effects. Finally, upgrades are simply improvements to the computer system that increase the difficulty of hacking the computer, expand its reach, or make it faster and easier to use. For more information about common computer modules, see Modules on page 215.


Countermeasures are specific actions that occur if someone tries to hack into a computer system. Some spring into action only if someone attempts and fails a Computers check to hack the system, while others activate whenever anyone tries to access the machine in any way. The most basic countermeasures simply remove access from a user or specific user interface, whereas more advanced countermeasures might alert robot sentries or even emit a lethal shock. A computer can have a maximum number of countermeasures equal to its tier. For more details about common computer countermeasures, see Countermeasures beginning on page 216.

TierPriceDC to Hack

Crafting Equipment and Magic Items

Source Starfinder Core Rulebook pg. 235
Rather than buying mass-produced, mass-marketed equipment, characters with the right skills can construct their own equipment. This takes time, and due to the economies of scale enjoyed by multisystem corporations and shops with dedicated construction machines and drones, it does not save you any money. However, it allows you to acquire exactly what you need, as long as you can meet the construction requirements.

A player character can create all the items presented in this chapter as long as he has the skills, materials, tools, and time needed to construct it. He must have a number of ranks in the appropriate skill equal to the item level of the item to be created. For weapons, armor, vehicles, and technological equipment, the appropriate skill is Engineering. For magic fusions and magic items, the appropriate skill is Mysticism. For hybrid items, you must have the required ranks in both Engineering and Mysticism. For drugs, medicinals, and poisons, the skill can be either Life Science or Physical Science. For any food or drink, the appropriate skill is Life Science. For computers, you can use either Computers or Engineering, and you can construct a computer with a tier equal to half your ranks in the skill. For items that are not considered any of these categories (such as most clothes, tents, and so on) either Engineering or Mysticism can be used. At a GM’s discretion, an appropriate Profession skill can be used for a narrower range of items. For example, a character with Profession (weaponsmith) might be able to make technological, hybrid, and magic weapons and weapon fusions, but no other items.

Crafting items requires you to have access to tools and a workshop or similar space. Most starships have an appropriate area set aside, and such space can be rented at the same price as lodgings in major cities (with the size of the lodging being equivalent to the size of the workshop, which limits the size of items that can be constructed and how many people can work on a single item at one time). Creating an item normally has a base time of 4 hours. If your number of ranks in the appropriate skill to craft an item exceeds that item’s level by 5 or more, you can craft that item in half the base time. If your ranks exceed the item level by 10 or more, you can create the item in onequarter the base time. Objects larger than a Medium creature take twice as long to craft for each size category larger.

To create an item, you must have UPBs with a total value equal to the price of the item to be created. At the GM’s discretion, you can scavenge similar items for parts, allowing 10% of the scavenged item’s value to count toward the UPBs needed. Even magic and hybrid items are created using UPBs, as the Mysticism skill is used to form the materials into runes and specific implements for rituals utilized in the creation of magic devices.

Custom-built equipment has a few advantages over massproduced items. If you have a skill that allows you to repair an item you crafted, you can do so in half the normal time. When determining the hardness, Hit Points, and saving throws of an item you have crafted, treat its item level as if it were 2 higher. (For more about calculating these values, see Breaking Objects on page 409.)