Starfield ship combat, controls, and skills explained

Starfield Ship Controls Flight Boost System How To Use Combat Weapons Skills Best

Your ship fleet plays a major roles in how your journey unfolds in Starfield. Many elements of the game are designed around what you can do with a specific ship build, so it’s important to familiarize yourself with all possibilities. Ship combat and controls are something you’ll need to figure out particularly fast in Starfield, and we have the tips and explanations you’ll need.

Note: For more guides from ships to crafting to combat, check out our Starfield page.

How ship controls work in Starfield

The movement and directional controls are simple enough. Your travel speed is measured by a gauge on the left-hand side of the ship HUD and you can accelerate and decelerate. Your turning and maneuverability improve at slower speeds. There’s also a basic boost ability, measured by a rechargeable gauge on the right-hand side of the ship HUD.

Additional ship controls include the ability to roll to avoid enemy fire, free look to better see your surroundings without it affecting the directional trajectory, and 3rd person ship-view camera modes if that’s what you prefer.

Starfield Ship Controls Flight Boost System How To Use Combat Weapons Skills Guide

Image by PC Invasion

Ship sub-systems are what give Starfield ships a little more character in the piloting department without being too complicated. You’ll notice these system controls on the bottom-left corner of the screen when in flight. There are six options in total which include three weapon systems and three flight systems.

The flight systems include engine power, shield strength, and grav engines. Below these systems you’ll notice a bar with available energy points. Different ships will have different energy system distribution options. You can designate these points to the different systems based on your needs, including mid-combat if you need an extra edge.

The more points you put into the engines, the faster the ship will be. The more you put into shields, the more damage you’ll be able to take before taking hull damage. Grav engines benefit from shorter jump charge times, making this something to focus on for getaways and when hauling cargo in a ship ill-suited for combat.

Starfield Ship Controls Flight Boost System How To Use

Image via Bethesda

How ship combat works in Starfield

There are five different weapon types available as upgrades, but you’ll start with Lasers, Ballistics, and Missiles. There are also EMP weapons and Particle Beams. Your ship can only have three at any given time, so you’ll need to balance your weapons for different threats accordingly. There are also auto-cannons, but most weapons are manually fired.

Use Lasers and Particle Beams against shields for greater success. Once you expose a ship’s hull, you can then produce greater damage with Ballistics and Missiles. EMP weapons help to disable ships so they have difficulty fighting back and are easier to cripple and board.

You can also lock on to enemy ships to improve aiming and fire tracking weapons such as missiles. Keep in mind you can also fire all three of your weapon systems at once if you need to do extra damage in quick succession. Different skill perks also improve your abilities in ship-on-ship combat, which we’ll cover in the next section.

Ship Skill Points are game changers

Mastering ship combat controls and flight mechanics is important in Starfield, but Skill Points are what take you to the next level as a pilot. You’ll gain damage and weapon effectiveness advantages, improved movement, stronger shields, and more. Skill Points that apply to ship combat can be found in the Tech tree of the Skills menu.

Two Skills immediately stand out as must-haves for new Starfield ship captains. These are Weapon Control Systems and Piloting. Unlocking the first tier for Weapon Control Systems allows you to target specific systems on enemy ships and cripple their combat effectiveness. Piloting unlocks Thrusters, which allow for greater maneuverability during combat.

There are also plenty more powerful skills that you’ll need for endgame and higher-difficulty combat. Explore the rest of the Tech Skills tree for more enhancements to your abilities as you progress further in the game.

Now that you’re familiar with the basics, check out some of our advanced guides which cover further aspects of what you can do with ships and how everything works. links –

Kevin Foley
About The Author
Senior Staff Writer with PC Invasion since 2020, advocate for playing on the hardest difficulty options, and a graphics fanatic. Kevin's go-to gaming genres are shooters, RPGs, tactical strategy, and environmental puzzlers. His favorite franchises of all time include Halo, Mass Effect, Portal, KotOR, Super Smash Bros., Fortnite, and The Elder Scrolls. When he's not writing about games, he's investigating PC tech to see how it can improve gaming experiences.