Starfield borrows a lot of its mechanics from its post-apocalyptic cousin Fallout 4, including the weapon modification system. While the weapon modding system isn’t as freeform as Fallout’s, Starfield still lets you customize your guns to your heart’s content with scopes, magazines, different ammo types, and more. Some weapons are called “Calibrated” or even “Refined” though, and that’s something that you can’t unlock through a weapon workbench. What do these words mean in Starfield?
What Are Calibrated Weapons in Starfield?
Put simply, Calibrated gear is an upgraded version of a normal weapon or spacesuit. A Calibrated gun will do more damage and high higher stats across the board, even without any mods installed, and a Calibrated spacesuit or helmet will have higher base defense and damage resistance. Think of them like higher-rarity versions of your existing gear.
In Fallout 4 and Fallout 76, you could modify your weapon’s Receiver to make it Calibrated and increase its stats. That is not the case in Starfield. The only way to get Calibrated gear in Starfield is to loot it from enemies or buy it from vendors. Calibrated weapons and armor will start to appear more frequently on your adventure as you reach level 10 or so, replacing most of the standard versions of the guns you’ve encountered so far.
Starfield’s take on Calibrated (and Refined plus any other name modifiers you see) is a way to keep all of its weapons and spacesuits viable as you level up and visit more dangerous parts of the galaxy. Rather than having basic weapons like the Eon pistol or Maelstrom assault rifle become entirely outclassed by their more advanced counterparts, they simply get a raw stat increase in their Calibrated forms to keep them competitive.
Refined Starfield Gear Explained
Eventually, Calibrated weapons and spacesuits will be replaced by Refined and Boosted gear as you reach higher and higher levels in Starfield. This way, you can keep using basic weapons like the Rattler pistol or Old Earth Hunting Rifle with your broken endgame build. While it’s unfortunate that you can’t upgrade existing weapons to their Calibrated or Refined tiers, it does help keep the loot chase exciting in Starfield.
Related: Does Starfield Have a Level Cap?
Think of the Calibrated and Refined features like modifiers that you find on legendary weapons and gear. Every gun, spacesuit, or helmet you find has a chance to be one of the higher available tiers. This way, you won’t be able to keep one overpowered weapon for the entirety of your playthrough. While standard weapons will still remain viable until the end credits of Starfield (it’s not a particularly hard game), there are several better options out there among the stars.