Starfield Two Ships Shooting At Each Other
Image: Bethesda

How to target engines in Starfield

Pew Pew with more accuracy.

One of my favorite things in Starfield outside of exploration is being able to engage in aerial combat — in space. Bethesda Softworks has made this mechanic fleshed out, you won’t be just fighting but also being diplomatic. If you’re like me and really roleplaying the pirate aspect of the game, you’ll be docking with other ships more often than not. This can enable you to get more resources via contraband which can be hard to get through colony sensors, so read this guide on smuggling contraband for help with that. What makes space combat fun and dynamic is that you don’t need to be aggressive, and that’s by going after parts of the ship.  If you want to take down a ship with more creativity, this guide will show you how to target engines in Starfield.

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Starfield: How to target engines

Before going any further, make sure you have the Target Control System Perk skill unlocked. You won’t be able to hit the engines without it. It’s an early perk to unlock so you can get it right away before doing anything else.  Additionally, it seems that having the FILE NOT FOUND background can help make things a little easier since it benefits piloting ships. Even if you don’t choose that background, targeting engines can still be done.

Starfield Target Control System Perk Selected

Screenshot via PC Invasion

Assuming you have the perk unlocked, head into space and get into some trouble by finding a ship to fight. Once you’re in combat, a bar will appear in the viewpoint circle. While still looking at the ship you’re engaged with, wait for the bar to fill up all the way. When that’s done, a prompt will come up which enables you to get into a closer targeting mode. This mode lets you see each section of the ship akin to Fallout. From here, navigate to the ship’s engine and begin shooting. It won’t outright blow up, so you’ll have to make a few more shots.

After, when the engines are gone, the ship won’t be able to move. This is where you can begin docking and take the rewards onboard. 

Starfield is available now via Xbox Game Store.

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Raza Malik
Raza is a Contributing Writer who's been at PC Invasion since March 2023. After he earned his Media Arts degree at Niagara College, he went on to grow his portfolio by working at such publications as GameRant. While he plays a wide array of different types of games, Raza enjoys discussing open-world games, shooters, and live service games. Some of his favorite series include Assassin's Creed, God of War, and the Diablo series. On the side, he enjoys editing videos, and creating content for his side project Marching Into Madness.