Spaceships and Space Combat – Starfield

Starfield is a massive role playing game that takes its players out into the unknown of space. Unsurprisingly, some parts of the game like spaceflight, spaceship customization, and spaceship combat play an integral role in the gameplay. Below is a guide that covers the fundamentals of how to control your ship, what upgrades are available and best for your spaceship, and how to pilot your spaceship during combat.

The first – and probably most important – step of the spaceship guide is learning how to control the spaceship. In Starfield, spaceships can be controlled in both first-person and third-person perspectives. While the feel of these options will vary from player to player, there are instances that suit a certain perspective. In first-person, you are able to feel like you’re inside the ship, which could make it more cinematic and fun for exploring. While on the other hand, third person provides players with a better field of view. This makes third-person more desirable while engaging in space combat.

Throughout the game, there will be occasions when the player can dock their ship to other ships. After docking, players can undock by pressing button xbox y, get up out of their seat by pressing button xbox b, or board the other ship by pressing button xbox x.

starfield spaceship guide docking to ship
In space, no one can hear you dock

Perhaps the most important factor in upgrading a spaceship is what class of ship the player has. Starfield has plenty of different classes of ship for all the different types of explorers out there. You will, however, need to progress the ‘Piloting’ skill in order to fly Class-B and Class-C ships. Different classes of ships are able to utilize higher ranks of parts. That means they have stronger reactors, which translates to larger sizes. This will come in handy as the player progresses and adds companions and other NPCs to their crew.

After the player has a ship, they can dive into the nitty-gritty of buying and upgrading parts for the ship. Players will even be able to build a spaceship from scratch. Different parts make different changes to the layout of the ship and how it functions. Ships with better Grav Drives, for instance, will be able to jump more light years. There are many other stats that are determined by the quality of the ship’s parts. It is worth noting that some parts will require the player skill, ‘Starship Design’ in order to intergrade them to the ship. Here is a list of all the different parts of a ship in Starfield.

  • Cockpit
  • Engine
  • Fuel Tank
  • Landing Gear
  • Landing Bay
  • Weapons
  • Habs
  • Reactor
  • Structures
  • Grav Drive
  • Shield Generator
  • Cargo Bay
  • Docker
starfield spaceship guide spaceship stats v2
Mass is an important characteristic of a ship that limits the amount and quality of parts that can be attached.

There are a plethora of spaceship manufacturers that make different ships and parts. Some of these producers specialize in different things. Some examples are ‘Horizon Defense’ being a manufacturer of weapons, and ‘Reladyne’ making high graded engines. For the more basic parts – like landers – the more expensive a part is, the less mass and more health (hull) it has. This means that spaceships with expensive parts will be able to equip more parts and modules, and be the most protected.

Another aspects of spaceflight that will be most enticing to RPG lovers is the fact that Starfield allows players to fully customize their ships. For starters, players can choose the color of their spaceship. Not only the hue of the spaceship can be selected, but also the saturation and brightness. This allows players to put their own creativity into how their ship looks, which is also be nice while viewing the ship in third-person view.

starfield spaceship guide ship color options
Starfield’s spaceships can stunt their fashion anywhere in the galaxy

Now that the player has their ship in tip-top shape, it’s time to go over how spaceship combat works. Most of the information that is available to a player during combat is on their HUD. This will show players their speed, thrust, shields, hull integrity, ship systems, and if an enemy missile has target locked their ship.

starfield spaceship guide battle shields 1
The spaceship shields (bottom right – currently at 86) will decrease as they take damage. After the shields are completely depleted, the hull is vulnerable.

On the offensive side of things, shooting at other ships is pretty straight forward. The player moves their aiming reticle over an enemy ship and fires their weapons. If the player has the skill, ‘Targeting Control Systems’, a target-lock bar will populate and increase in percentage. After the bar hits 100%, the player can press button xbox x and ‘target lock’ the enemy vessel. If the ship evades the player, then the target lock percentage will go down.

starfield spaceship guide target lock
The face you make when you can target lock, but you’re also locked on by an enemy missile

Ships can be equipped with several types of weapons, including lasers, cannons, missiles, and suppressors (to name a few). Energy weapons like lasers are better for taking down enemy shields, while ballistic damage weapons, like canons and missiles, are better for hull damage. Just like the player’s ship, after weakening the shields of an enemy craft, they are susceptible to hull damage. If enough damage is done to a particular part of an enemy ship, it will become disabled.

starfield spaceship guide combat missile firing
Weapons can be fired simultaneously. Note the critical hit prompt in the top right of the picture

After reading this guide, hopefully players have the confidence and know how to tackle all the challenges associated with space travel. Have any questions, or any Space Combat tips you want to share? Let us know in the comments!

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Kelson H.
Kelson H.

Kelson is a spud head from out west. He is most happy when holding a milky tea with too much honey and playing a sprawling role playing game or reading a fantasy novel. His video game tastes vary but his main genres are looter shooters, RPGs, and real time strategy games.

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