Starfield: Difference Between Modified, Calibrated, & Advanced Weapons

Knowing the difference between weapon tiers and rarities in Starfield can get a bit confusing. This guide explains how these mechanics work.


Screenshot by Gamepur

Starfield has a lot of weapons for players to find and use during their space adventures, and at times, it can be a bit confusing how some are better than others. One may be a lower level or of a different rarity, yet be a better option than one you have, or you find a weapon that has tons of perks yet deals much less damage, and it can become tricky to find the best weapons for you.

To help you get to grips with weapon tiers and rarities, we’ve put together this guide that will break down how these two mechanics work in Starfield and what we think you should focus on when equipping your character.

Related: Starfield Complete Guide – Quest, Lore, Story & Trailers

How Weapon Tiers Work in Starfield

Screenshot by Gamepur

Weapon tiers are a type of weapon progression system in Starfield that determines how powerful your weapons are, including their stats like damage. There are five weapon tiers, with each higher level offering a better weapon than the last and a higher value one too, if you decide to sell them off. These are as follows:

  • Base
  • Calibrated
  • Refined
  • Advanced
  • Superior

These tiers are tied to your character level, and as you level up, you will begin to see higher-tier weapons drop more often and become the norm during your playthrough. From what we can gather, Calibrated pops up around level 10, refined is around 20-30, Advanced is 30-40, and Superior at 40 onwards.

It is worth noting that you could get some weapons of higher tier a bit earlier, but it’s at around the levels mentioned when it becomes much more common to see weapons of that tier.

How Weapon Rarity Works in Starfield

Screenshot by Gamepur

Weapon Rarity is a separate mechanic to weapon tiers in Starfield and has no bearing on the weapon’s overall stats. Instead, the rarity of your weapon determines how many extra perks the weapon has attached to it. These are things like extra damage to humans or increased sneak attack damage.

There are four weapon rarities in Starfield, which are as follows:

  • Common – No modifier
  • Rare – One modifier
  • Epic – Two modifiers
  • Legendary – Three modifiers

Unlike the weapon tiers, getting a weapon with a higher rarity is purely RNG in most cases, so you will need to get lucky when exploring or looting to find a weapon of higher rarity.

It is worth noting that with weapon rarities and tiers, it is possible to add on weapon mods using a workbench, which will only make your weapon stronger and more tailored to your playstyle.

Is Weapon Rarity or Tier More Important?

Screenshot by Gamepur

Both of these mechanics are important, as they will determine how strong you are in combat and help you adapt and tweak how you play Starfield. That said, we think you should prioritize a weapon with a higher rarity over the tier.

The main reason for this is the perks you get with higher weapon rarities, as these will often outperform a weapon of higher tier, and will provide more interesting options for gameplay and your guide. Additionally, if you are adding mods to your weapon as well, this will make the higher rarity one even better and could likely outpace the higher tier weapon further and make up for lower stats.