How to Create a Trait mod for Starfield




Caveats off the bat, this will not involve scripting and we are limited in what we can edit and create without scripting. I will probably do a scripting tutorial eventually, but no promises. We can still do alot of things without it though.

Setup our .esp in the creation kit

  1. Open the creation kit.
    • It may take a while, especially on HDDs.
  2. In the top left click the folder icon.
    • This gives you a list of .esps to pull data from.
  3. Double click the Starfield.esm master file.
    • You can use the other master files too if you want, they are likely for DLC content.
  4. Then click ok.
    • This will take even longer to load.
  5. Once that is done we want to name and create our mod.
  6. In the top left click save/ floppy disk icon. Name the file something your users will recognize.
    • I reccomend the mods name and your author name.
    • But it can be anything you want.

Load and edit an existing .esp – You obviously dont need this section in your first modding session.

  1. In the top left click the folder icon.
    • This gives you a list of .esps to pull data from.
  2. Ussually you still want to load data from the master file, so double click it and make sure it’s checkbox has an X.
  3. Next select the mod file you wanna load.
    • In the image I am using my TerrificTraitsByDigineaux.esp
  4. With your esp selected, click “Set as Active File” and then clock “OK”
    • This will take some time to load and may appear as if it’s forzen or not responding.
    • Just leave it alone and go do soemthing else.

Where are the Traits?

  1. Look for the window labeled “Object Window”.
    • This is a hierarchical list of every object Form in the game.
    • In this context Object is a programming term for a type of data and can be anything from an image, to an entire character, which is made up of it’s own heirachy of objects.
    • Don’t worry you don’t really need to know that. Just know when i say Object or Form i mean an entry on the right hand side of this window.
    • Traits are a perk Type and traits are perks with the trait checkbox selected.
    • It makes more sense when you see it i promise.
  2. In the top left of this window is a text filter box.
  3. Inside it enter “trait”
  4. Next in under that expand the “Actors” Category
    • In the creation engine Actors refers to characters. Ussually NPCs, but it sometimes includes the player too.
    • An RTS might refer to these as units and Unity Game engine systems often refer to them as Entities.
  5. Your window should now look similar to the image. Though lacking my DigiTraits of course.
  6. You can open and view the data for any of these Trait Objects by double clicking or right clicking and selecting edit. similar to a desktop file browser

How do Traits work?

  1. We are going to use AlienDNA as a template. You can make any changes and experiement and poke around. Just be sure to click “Cancel” when your done, to remove any changes.
    • This will show you how perks and their data is structured by offical bethesda devs and demonstrate a few essentials on how to use the creation kit.
    • I also highly reccomend following this guide to create a new trait, rather than editing an existing trait as it means your mod will be compatible with anything.
  2. Open “TRAIT_AlienData”
    • Note towards the bottom that “playable” and “trait” are checked. This is how the engine knows to put them in character creation menu
    • The ID is what the engine uses to identify it and should not be changed without good reason
    • The name and description is what the player sees in game. You can change those as much as you want.
  3. Click on the “Benefits” Tab under the ID box.
    • The entry table is where you tell the engine what this perk should do.
    • Currently it adds the Trait_AlienDNA_Ability, which is a spell object. I will touch on spell entires in the next tutorial.
    • The other Entry Point modifies spell magnitude. that is the strength of spells.
  4. Double click or edit the spell magnitude entry.
    • In the top right of this window is where you can pick the effect, choose how to modify it and specify values to modify it by.
  5. In the bottom left are conditions.
  6. Check out the spell and effect tabs
    • The entry point is only in effect while the conditons are met
    • The tabs determine the target of the conditon
    • For example the spell tab checks if the spell has the keyword for food or drink. So only spells with those tags will be affected by the 0.8x spell effect magnitude multiplier of this perk entry.
  7. You can also double click or edit these conditons to have a look at how they are constructed

Creating a Trait

  1. Click cancel on the trait window to ensure no changes are saved.
  2. Reopen the alien dna trait
  3. Change the ID to “TRAIT_Juggernaut”
    • You may also wish to add a tag that identifys the author and or mod this object is in.
    • I ussually prefix or suffic “digi”, as in the the image.
    • This can make it esier to find your objects later and for easier for advanced users and other modders to troubleshoot, edit,extend or add to your mod.
  4. Now click “Apply”
  5. We want to turn this into a new Form So click “Yes”.
  6. A new perk Object Form with our name should have apeared in the object windows list.
  7. If you now save this mod and enable it in your load order you should see the trait in character creation.
    • Of course at the moment it’s identical to alien DNA and so the trait list will just show 2 alien DNA entries. so lets fix that.
  8. Open the trait again if it isnt already an change bothe name amd description. You should apply changes and save often.
    • Remember to click apply, close the window and save the mod again
    • I named it “Juggernaut” and used the following description ” You know how to get optimal defense out of your armor. Unfortunately it also increases it’s encumberance in combat and while sneaking. +50% armor rating, but +50% armor weight in combat and while under 90% HP”
    • You can put whatever you want though.

Make it do stuff

  1. Lets move to the Benefits tab of the trait
  2. We wont be using any abilities, so right click the ability entry and select delete.
  3. The existing entry point can also be deleted or you could use it as a base template. I will be deleting it for this tutorial.
  4. right click in the perk entry box and click “add” to create our first entry.
  5. Checkmark the Entry point in the top right
  6. Directly below it is another filter box which works like the one in the object window
  7. Type “armor” into the box.
  8. in the drop down below that select “Mod Armor Rating”.
    • This the total armor rating value of the player
  9. In function pick “Multiply Value”.
  10. Set the value to “1.5”.
    • This means the armor rating will be multiplied by 1.5x
    • Thats +50% for those of you who suck at maths
  11. But we only want this active when the player is standing still and in combat.
  12. So add a new conditon to the box in the bottom left
  13. In condition function search for moving and select “isMoving” from the dropdown.
  14. On the right the value corresponds to the movement state which you can reference form the link below.
    • Most things from the fallout and skyrim creation kits is the same, so that wiki is pretty useful. But theres also a tonne thats not documented and alot that never will be.
  15. Set the value to 0 for not moving
  16. Thats our armor buff done. you can apply, save and test it in game if you wish.

And Or multiple Conditons

  1. Next lets give our juggernauts a penalty to armor weight when they are missing HP or in combat.
  2. Create a new perk entry on our trait.
  3. right click in the perk entry box and click “add” to create our first entry.
  4. Lets multiply it by 1,5x again
    • you can also use numbers less than 1 to make armor lighter. just not sub zero.
  5. Next add a new condtion. “IsIncombat” with a value of 1.
  6. Make sure to tick “OR” on the right of the conditon window. this toggles the conditon to or logic instead of and.
  7. Set the entry point to “GetHealthPercentage”.
  8. But this time we want the value to be less than 0.9, so that its active when the player has less than 90% HP.
  9. So change the comparison symbol to < and the value to 0.9.
  10. Now your juggernaut will have 50% heavier armor when missing hp or in combat.
  11. But keep in mind this only updates when your inventory changes.
  12. But you could untick or, meaning the juggernaut would need to be in combat AND missing HP for the weight gain to apply.
  13. For more info on conditons read up here: and here:

Thats the basics. Check back in a week or so for a guide on creating and adding spell effects via traits. Which allows us to alter alot more stuff. If you make anything with this, id love to check it out. feel free to advertise it in the comments. You can also download my trait mod and open it up in the creation kit to see how it works. Just remember to credit me if you use my mod.