The best Starfield religion for you to join

Starfield religions
(Image credit: Bethesda)

Starfield religions, faiths and cults are pretty diverse, with three religions to choose from when you're picking traits: Enlightened, Universal and House Va'ruun, also known as the Serpent's Embrace. These traits have their ups and downs, as all the traits in Starfield do, but you can only pick one and while you can undo it later and go back to being non-religious, you can't pick up new faiths later, so best to be as sure as possible that you chosen religion is right for you. With all that considered, we'll explain all the best religions to chose from in Starfield below, and what you get for each one.

All religions in Starfield

Starfield traits raised universal

(Image credit: Bethesda)

There are three Starfield religions that players can join when picking through Starfield traits.

  • Enlightened
  • Universal
  • House Va'ruun (Serpent's Embrace)

Each of these are represented by different traits you pick during character creation, with specific bonuses and penalties - usually locking you out of any of the other religions, as mentioned above. You can quit a religion later on after joining it, giving up both the positive and negative elements alike, though as far as we know at time of writing there's no way to join up to a new faith after character creation.

Best religion in Starfield

Starfield traits serpent's embrace

(Image credit: Bethesda)

Many might think that the best religion in Starfield to join comes down to a matter of Enlightened versus Universal, but we found that both of these options were pretty underwhelming and hardly worth it. 

Instead, if you're determined to be faithful, we suggest that Serpent's Embrace and House Va'ruun is actually the best choice for a religious faith, despite House Va'ruun being considered a little… cultish, in-universe. The perks it provides are substantial and helpful throughout the entire game, and the cons are very easy to avoid - as long as you use your Starfield grav jump every four hours (which you'll almost certainly do with just some Starfield fast travel), you'll get a respectable, useful buff to both your health and O2 for the whole game.

Raised Enlightened perks, chest location and contents

Starfield religions

(Image credit: Bethesda)

The main draw of the Enlightened faith is the chest of goodies. They have a church in New Atlantis on Jemison, and you can find it by heading to the Terrabrew near the spaceport, and using the elevator on the left of that to go to The Well. Turn to the left when you go out of the elevator to find the House of the Enlightened - then head inside there to find the chest on the left.

The contents of the chest are… not great, but it's fine, because the Enlightened chest is terrible too, so it's fair. Here's what you get for being Raised Universal:

  • Charity in a Godless Universe: Part I (book)
  • Charity in a Godless Universe: Part II (book)
  • Charity in a Godless Universe: Part III (book)
  • Charity in a Godless Universe: Part IV (book)
  • Drink Pack: Water
  • Med Pack x5
  • Penicillin X x2
  • Settler Poncho Outfit

This is the sort of bounty that can be somewhat helpful at the very beginning of the game, and practically worthless if you get it more than ten hours in. We recommend you get it the moment you learn how to fly and grav jump in Starfield, heading to Jemison and New Atlantis for the first time.

Raised Universal perks, chest location and contents

Starfield religions

(Image credit: Bethesda)

The Raised Universal faith offers you a very similar chest of freebies as the Enlightened, with a few minor discrepancies and differences. You can find it in New Atlantis - the easiest way is to leave the Lodge, Constellation's headquarters and follow the park on the right hand side towards the Commercial District. There's a big gold symbol above the door that'll mark it out - then head inside and down the steps to find the chest on the left, just next to the door to the Father's office.

In accordance with parity between faiths, the Universal Chest is also pretty unremarkable:

  • Addichrone x2
  • Boom Pop! Orange
  • Festive Neocity Poncho
  • Med Pack x5
  • Sanctum Universum, Vol 1 (book)
  • Sanctum Universum, Vol 2 (book)
  • Sanctum Universum, Vol 3 (book)

Again, if you do pick the Raised Universal trait, you'll want to get this early on while it's still at its most helpful to you - otherwise you'll realise that there's not much here for you to make use of.

Serpent's Embrace / House Va'ruun perks and advantages

Starfield traits serpent's embrace dialogue

(Image credit: Bethesda)

The main advantage of the Serpent's Embrace and House Va'ruun is that grav jumping in your ship gives you a perk that lasts for four hours, a +25 to both Health and O2, and penalises those stats if you don't grav jump every four hours - but considering it's easy, free and common to grav jump, that's rarely and barely a threat. 

It also unlocks very specific dialogue with the House Va'ruun zealots - all religions have some unique dialogue - but the Enlightened and Sanctum are far less of a general threat than House Va'ruun, so the Serpent's Embrace means you can often pacify others in dialogue!

How to leave your religion in Starfield

Starfield religions

(Image credit: Bethesda)

To quit your religion in Starfield and leave either the Universal or Enlightened churches, players simply need to find the head priest at the locations mentioned above and speak to them, where there'll be a dialogue option to remove the trait (make sure you claim your mediocre chest first, as you'll lose access to it).

To leave House Va'ruun and remove the Serpent's Embrace trait, players go to New Atlantis on Jemison and to the cells of the UC Security Office, where there'll be a fanatic of House Va'ruun in custody called Mir'za. Speak to her and say you are having a crisis of faith to remove the trait.

What do the religions in Starfield believe?

Starfield religions

(Image credit: Bethesda)

If players are interested in lore and roleplaying in Starfield, or just want to know what they've signed up for when they pick a religion trait, here's a very basic explanation of each Starfield religion's beliefs.

  • Enlightened: Not really a religion, the Enlightened are really atheists who focus on humanism and charitable work, trying to help their fellow man.
  • Sanctum Universum (Universal): A more recent faith that believes God is somewhere out in space and They gave us the Grav Drive to help find Them.
  • House Va'ruun (Serpent's Embrace): A fringe cult that worships a deity called the Great Serpent, supposedly seen in a vision by a colonist mid-way through a Grav Jump. The Serpent apparently demands to be worshipped and will one day kill everybody who doesn't do so.

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Joel Franey
Guides Writer

Joel Franey is a writer, journalist, podcaster and raconteur with a Masters from Sussex University, none of which has actually equipped him for anything in real life. As a result he chooses to spend most of his time playing video games, reading old books and ingesting chemically-risky levels of caffeine. He is a firm believer that the vast majority of games would be improved by adding a grappling hook, and if they already have one, they should probably add another just to be safe. You can find old work of his at USgamer, Gfinity, Eurogamer and more besides.

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