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Quick Start

This page is a quick rundown of major Starfinder rules that work slightly differently than they do in Pathfinder.


Much like in Pathfinder, you can take a standard, move, and swift action each round, or you can take a full action. You also get a single reaction each round.

Standard Actions

Making one attack, casting a spell, activating an item, or using a special ability is a standard action. Some specific standard actions are outlined below.

  • Combat maneuvers (bull rush, dirty trick, disarm, grapple, reposition, sunder, and trip) require a successful melee attack roll against your target’s KAC + 8 and do not provoke attacks of opportunity.
  • New combat options include covering fire and harrying fire.

Move Actions

A move action allows you to move up to your speed. Some other specific move actions are outlined below.

  • Taking a guarded step to move 5 feet without provoking an attack of opportunity is a move action. There is no “5-foot-step” as a free action.
  • Reloading a weapon is normally a move action, which includes retrieving the needed battery or ammunition.

Swift Actions

Swift actions are rare in Starfinder. Some specific swift actions are outlined below.

  • Changing your grip on your weapon, such as from carrying a rifle in one hand to having it ready to fire in two hands.
  • Dropping prone.

Full Actions

Rather than full-round actions, Starfinder uses full actions. A few full actions work very differently than their Pathfinder equivalents.

  • In Starfinder, anyone can make a full attack as a full action. This allows you to make two attacks, both at a –4 penalty to your attack roll.
  • As a charge, you can move up to double your speed in a straight Line“>line and then make a single melee attack. When you charge, you take a –2 penalty to your attack roll and AC.

Reactions & Attacks of Opportunity

A reaction is a special action you can take when it’s not your turn, but only after a defined and concrete trigger. The most common reaction is an attack of opportunity. Only three actions provoke an attack of opportunity.

  • Leaving a threatened square.
  • Making a ranged attack.
  • Casting a spell (unless the spell says otherwise).

Weapons and Armor Class

Weapons and Armor Class work a little differently in Starfinder.

  • All weapons indicate their damage type with an abbreviation—1d4 P means piercing damage, 1d6 F means fire damage, and so on.
  • You do not need to confirm critical hits. If you roll a natural 20 and the total exceeds the enemy’s AC, you deal double damage and also inflict any additional effect listed in the weapon entry (such as “knockdown” or “burn 1d6”).
  • Armor Class is broken into Energy Armor Class (EAC) and Kinetic Armor Class (KAC)EAC is your AC against energy attacks such as lasers and some spells, while KAC defends against bullets, knives, and so forth. There is no touch AC, and flat-footed is simply a condition.

Taking Damage

In Starfinder, your Stamina Points, Hit Points, and Resolve Points are all important resources involved in taking and recovering from damage.

  • When you take damage, it reduces your Stamina Points (SP) first, then Hit Points (HP).
  • Out of combat, you can rest for 10 minutes and spend 1 Resolve Point (RP) to regain all your SP.
  • Starfinder does not track negative Hit Points. Instead, when you reach 0 HP, you are unconscious and dying and lose 1 RP at the end of each turn. If you would lose a Resolve Point due to this process and are already out of RP, you die.