Armor Upgrades

A creature can personalize armor by purchasing and installing armor upgrades, described below, which add bonuses or customized abilities to armor. Some individuals keep a collection of upgrades at hand, swapping them out as needed (requiring 10 minutes to replace the unit and resecure all connections). Explanations of entries for upgrades’ statistics follow.


For a technological armor upgrade that requires charges to function, this entry lists the maximum size battery the upgrade can hold. The batteries that upgrades hold can be recharged as normal using either a generator or a recharging station. A magic armor upgrade that can be used a certain number of times runs on magical charges; these charges are integral to the construction of the item and can’t be replenished with generators or batteries. Charges for a magic item either refresh each day or never refresh.


This entry lists how many charges are consumed when the armor upgrade is used. This might be per activation or a certain duration. If an armor upgrade uses a certain number of charges over an interval, the upgrade’s abilities can be shut off before that amount of time has passed, but it still uses charges for the full interval. For instance, an upgrade that uses charges at a rate of 2 per round would still use 2 charges if activated for half a round.

Upgrade Slots

Each suit of armor contains a certain number of upgrade slots. This represents the maximum number of times the armor can be modified while still functioning. If you install upgrades beyond the maximum, the armor and all upgrades attached to it cease to function until you remove enough upgrades to bring the armor down to its maximum number of upgrade slots or fewer.

Some upgrades use more than one upgrade slot.

Magic Upgrades

Some armor upgrades are magic or a hybrid of magic and technology. This is indicated next to the upgrade’s name. If neither magic nor hybrid is listed after an item, it’s a technological item.

Armor Upgrades Descriptions

Specific armor upgrades are described below.

UpgradeLevelPriceSlotsArmor TypeBulk
Infrared Sensors 1 200 1 Any L
Quick-release Sheath 1 325 1 Any L
Radiation Buffer 1 200 1 Any L
Tensile Reinforcement 1 150 1 Any -
Automated Loader 2 750 1 Powered 1
Jump Jets 2 1000 1 Light Heavy L
Force Field, Brown 3 1600 2 Any L
Backup Generator 4 2100 1 Any 1
Exit Pod 4 1750 1 Heavy Powered 2
Targeting Computer 4 2250 1 Any -
Electrostatic Field 5 3000 1 Any -
Jetpack 5 3100 1 Light Heavy 1
Load Lifter 5 2550 1 Any 1
Thermal Capacitor 5 3600 1 Any -
Filtered Rebreather 6 4600 1 Any 1
Force Field, Purple 6 4550 2 Any L
Phase Shield 6 4325 1 Heavy Powered 1
Deflective Reinforcement 7 7500 1 Any 1
Sonic Dampener 7 7150 1 Any L
Force Field, Black 8 10500 2 Any L
Haste Circuit 8 9250 1 Light Heavy L
Electrostatic Field 9 13000 1 Any -
Forcepack 9 13100 1 Light Heavy 1
Force Field, White 10 20000 2 Any L
Electrostatic Field 12 35000 1 Any -
Force Field, Gray 12 40000 2 Any L
Thermal Capacitor 12 36250 1 Any -
Spell Reflector 13 47950 1 Light Heavy 1
Force Field, Green 14 80000 2 Any L
Titan Shield 14 75000 1 Powered 2
Thermal Capacitor 15 120000 1 Any -
Force Field, Red 16 180000 2 Any L
Force Field, Blue 17 280000 2 Any L
Force Field, Orange 18 400000 2 Any L
Spell Reflector 18 360000 1 Light Heavy L
Force Field, Prismatic 20 1000000 2 Any L

Automated Loader

This device attaches to powered armor and consists of a small robotic arm and a storage compartment that holds up to 2 bulk of ammunition and batteries. You can activate the automated loader as a move action to reload or recharge a weapon that’s mounted to the powered armor (but not to replace the batteries of the powered armor itself). Abilities that let you reload faster than a move action don’t apply to an automated loader.

This upgrade can be installed only in powered armor.

Backup Generator

You can connect charged electric items such as batteries to this miniature generator to recharge them. The electricity comes from the kinetic energy of your movement, which generates 1 charge every 10 minutes of movement. No more than one item can be plugged in at a time, and the generator doesn’t produce charges when you’re resting or otherwise stationary.

Deflective Reinforcement

This upgrade gives your armor a uniquely slippery texture. Your armor grants you DR 5/—. In addition, your armor check penalty is reduced by 2 when you attempt an Acrobatics check to escape.

Electrostatic Field

This field over your armor grants you electricity resistance, and any creature that touches you or deals damage to you with a melee weapon takes electricity damage. The resistance granted and damage dealt depend on this upgrade’s type, as noted below.

Exit Pod

This body harness fits into a suit of powered armor or is built into the frame of heavy armor, allowing you to exit the armor as a move action instead of as a full action. Entering the armor is no faster with an exit pod.

This can be installed only in heavy armor or powered armor.

Filtered Rebreather

This upgraded rebreather supplements your armor’s ability to provide fresh air and filters out common toxins and poisonous vapors. Armor with this upgrade can provide fresh air for a number of weeks equal to its level. You also gain acid resistance 5 and a +2 bonus to saving throws against poison and disease.

Force Field

You can activate or deactivate your armor’s force field as a standard action. Once active, the device generates an invisible force field around you, including all your worn and carried items. The force field blocks solids and liquids but not gases or light (including laser beams). You can breathe while the field is active, but you can’t eat or drink.

While a force field is active, you gain a number of temporary Hit Points depending on the force field’s power. All damage dealt to you is subtracted from the force field’s temporary Hit Points first. A force field has fast healing, meaning that it regains temporary Hit Points at a fixed rate each round at the end of your turn, up to its normal maximum. If the force field’s temporary Hit Points are reduced to 0, it is inactive until the end of your next turn, when its fast healing restores some of its Hit Points. The charge capacity, amount of temporary Hit Points granted, and rate of fast healing vary according to the force field’s color code. A force field has a usage of 1 charge per round.

More powerful force fields also have a fortification ability, which gives a percentage chance that a critical hit is treated as a normal attack, dealing normal damage and not applying any critical effect. You roll your fortification percentage chance before the critical hit’s damage is rolled. If a force field is inactive, its fortification ability does not function. A suit of armor cannot support more than one force field upgrade.

ColorCapacityTemp HPFast HealingFortification

Forcepack Hybrid

A forcepack grants you a fly speed of 60 feet (average maneuverability). You can use this for “cruising flight” at a usage of 1 charge per minute, but you are flat-footed and off-target while doing so. Changing from normal flight to cruising flight, or back, is a standard action. A forcepack can’t lift you if you’re encumbered.

This upgrade can be installed only in light or heavy armor.

Haste Circuit

You can activate the haste circuit as a swift action to gain the benefits of a haste spell until you spend another swift action to deactivate it or it runs out of charges. A haste circuit’s charges replenish each day.

This upgrade can be installed only in light or heavy armor.

Infrared Sensors

You gain darkvision with a range of 60 feet.


You gain a fly speed of 30 feet (average maneuverability). You can use this for “cruising flight” at a usage of only 1 charge per minute, but you are flat-footed and off-target while doing so. Changing from normal flight to cruising flight or vice versa is a standard action. A jetpack can’t lift you if you’re encumbered.

This upgrade can be installed only in light or heavy armor.

Jump Jets

You can activate jump jets as part of a move action in order to fly during your movement. You can fly up to 30 feet (average maneuverability) with a maximum height of 10 feet, or you can fly up to 20 feet straight up. You must land at the end of your move action. Jump jets can’t lift you if you’re encumbered. This upgrade can be installed only in light or heavy armor.

Load Lifter

This set of artificial muscles increases the amount of bulk you can carry while wearing your armor by 3.

Phase Shield

You can activate this upgrade to generate a glowing, translucent blue shield on one of your arms that helps you block incoming attacks. Activating or deactivating the shield takes a move action. While the shield is active, you gain a +1 enhancement bonus to EAC. The phase shield interferes with your ability to use the arm it’s installed on, so while the phase shield is active, you can hold an item in that hand but not use it or make attacks with it.

This can be installed only in heavy or powered armor.

Quick Release Sheath

This articulated compartment can hold a one-handed weapon of no more than light bulk. You can activate this upgrade as a swift action to put the item in your hand as though you’d drawn it.

Radiation Buffer

This device grants a +2 bonus to your initial saving throw against radiation in addition to any bonuses from your armor’s environmental protection. This doesn’t provide any bonus to saves against the secondary effects of radiation.

Sonic Dampener

This device muffles the incidental sounds you make, and sonic attacks lose power in your vicinity. You gain sonic resistance 5 and reduce your armor check penalty by 1 when making Stealth checks.

Spell Reflector

You can activate a spell reflector as a reaction when you’re targeted by a spell. This does not affect spells that include an area you are in or affect you in other ways; it affects only those that target you specifically. The spell is reflected on its caster, as if the caster had been the target. The type of spell reflector determines the highest level of spell it can reflect. A spell reflector’s charge replenishes each day.

This upgrade can be installed only in light or heavy armor.

Targeting Computer

This targeting computer helps you compensate for poor visibility conditions. Ignore concealment on attacks you make. This doesn’t have any effect against targets with total concealment.

Tensile Reinforcement

When calculating your armor’s hardness and Hit Points, treat it as if its item level were 5 higher.

Thermal Capacitor

This upgrade regulates heat, protecting you from extreme temperatures. You can exist comfortably in conditions between –50° and 170° F without needing to attempt Fortitude saves. In addition, the armor grants cold resistance and fire resistance. The amount depends on the capacitor’s type, as listed below.

Titan Shield

This emitter generates a wide, unidirectional energy shield that protects against incoming attacks. You can activate or deactivate the shield as a move action. When you activate it, choose one edge of your space. The shield extends along three continuous edges in a straight line centered on the chosen edge. The shield provides cover against attacks coming from the far side of the shield but not against attacks originating from the side you’re on.

If you move, you can reposition your shield, moving it to a different edge of your space. You can also spend a move action to reposition the shield without leaving your space.

This upgrade can be installed only in powered armor.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Starfinder Core Rulebook © 2017, Paizo Inc.; Authors: Logan Bonner, Jason Bulmahn, Amanda Hamon Kunz, Jason Keeley, Robert G. McCreary, Stephen Radney-MacFarland, Mark Seifter, Owen K.C. Stephens, and James L. Sutter, with Alexander Augunas, Judy Bauer, John Compton, Adam Daigle, Crystal Frasier, Lissa Guillet, Thurston Hillman, Erik Mona, Mark Moreland, Jessica Price, F. Wesley Schneider, Amber E. Scott, and Josh Vogt.