Wondering how to use your ship thrusters in Starfield? It’s a great way to improve your combat prowess through rapid evasion. Considering all the threats the galaxy has in store, you’ll want to master this early on so you show up ready for the tough fights.
How to use ship thrusters in Starfield
There is a prerequisite to unlocking ship thrusters, so don’t bother until you have the Piloting skill. You’ll find it in the Tech branch of the skill tree. It’s at the top level, so you don’t have to spend a bunch of extra skill points just to access it. Once you have activated the Piloting skill, thrusters automatically become available to your ships. Bethesda does a fairly good job explaining Starfield controls, but ship thrusters oddly aren’t mentioned. The lack of guidance makes the matter of how to use thrusters unnecessarily confusing.
To use thrusters on your ship, hold the right bumper on your controller or press the Space key when using your mouse and keyboard. Combine thrusters with directional and movement controls for tighter turns, or to quickly change course before boosting.
The difference when using thrusters should be night and day. Check out our other ship guide if you realize you still need a general overview still for ship flight controls and combat basics. Once you’ve got your space legs, try out some advanced maneuvers until you feel confident about pulling off such moves in live combat.
There won’t be too much need for thrusters early in the game, when you’re facing off against weaker enemies. However, powerful opponents hit hard against your shields and hull. Whenever I face a dangerous adversary, it seems like multiple ships start right for me while firing lasers and missiles. Thrusters allow me to veer out of their path and pick them off one at a time, without getting rushed. You want to avoid taking damage in general, even if you have a ship capable of shrugging off those early blasts. That way, you’re not sinking credits and resources into expensive hull repairs.
Related: How to repair your ship in Starfield
The added maneuverability thrusters provide is a compelling reason to unlock and learn how to use thrusters early on in Starfield. Ship combat can feel a bit unwieldy at first. You want to be a pro at dogfights before you wish you were.