The Combat System in Starfield takes bits and pieces from Bethesda's other titles and introduces new gameplay mechanics of it's own. From being able to switch between the first-person or third-person view to the return of a mechanic of changing weapons in an instant using the Weapon Wheel, this section will cover various ways and provide detailed information on its combat system. You can find all the relevant information and updates on Combat in Starfield here.
Starfield Combat Basics
Combat in Starfield can be switched between first and third-person, and players will be able to both hip fire their gun and aim down sights, with aiming presumably providing you with better accuracy. While shooting, you'll be able to run, jump, crouch, and even slide. Besides your gun, you will have access to grenades to deal lethal damage in larger areas. It is also speculated that there will be an option to melee.
Defeating enemies will grant you experience points (XP) that will help you level up and gain skill points to invest into several skills. You can spec into skills, namely in the Physical and Combat tree, to improve your ability in combat. Besides skills, crafting and equipping weapon mods will help in increasing your damage output.
Rather than a map, you'll find a radar on the bottom left of the screen, directing you towards notable points of interests and hostiles nearby.
Starfield Weapon Wheel
Throughout the game, it is expected that you'll be able to collect, craft and carry numerous weapons of different types and uses. With this comes the return of the weapon wheel - a quick weapon swap mechanic allowing you to change weapons in a pinch without having to open up the whole equipment menu.
From the gameplay reveal, it seems like weapons will be split into 4 categories - pistols, rifles, shotguns, and machine guns - and you'll be able to assign up to three of each gun in their respective wheel slot.
Using the Jetpack in Combat
Players will have access to a jetpack while exploring planets. A boost meter will appear over your health bar while using it, and it may recharge over time while not using it. This can be used for easy navigation over difficult terrain, to reach an otherwise unreachable resource material, or to gain an advantage in combat. It would be interesting to see if there are special weapon actions you can do while airborne. Shoot your enemies jetpacks and watch as they launch uncontrollably up in the air.
Pickpocketing NPCs in Starfield
Combat footage from the gameplay reveal shows an option to pickpocket enemies while they are alive. Following Fallout's pickpocket mechanics, it is speculated that pickpocketing can also be done on friendly NPCs to steal their items without provoking them. There may even be a skill you can invest in to increase your pickpocketing skills - allowing you to steal items of higher value, get away with pickpocketing more often, or even pop a live grenade in your foe's pockets.
Lockpicking Mechanics in Starfield
Besides being able to loot items and weapons off of defeated enemies, these can be looted from boxes all over the map. Some of these lootboxes will be locked and require you to lockpick them open. However, Starfield's lockpicking mechanics do not follow the conventional mechanics found in other games. Here, the game provides up to four Digipicks that have set shapes. You will have to decide which pick fits in what layer of the lock and when to use them.
Locks will have various security levels, and so again similar to Fallout, it is speculated that you will need to invest in a certain lockpicking skill to successfully pick locks of higher difficulty.
Starfield Spaceship Combat
One key aspect of combat in Starfield is space combat. Spaceships in the game are fully customizable, including weapon systems and shields, and the player will have complete control over them while travelling from planet to planet. Unfortunately, you're not the only one flying through space and you may have to engage enemies flying their own spaceships.
The ship's health is denoted by the integrity of the hull on the bottom right corner of the interface. If added, ships will have boosters, a pair of guns, and homing missiles. You will have to keep the ship's reticle on the enemy ship for a certain period of time before the missiles can lock onto them. The enemy will have access to all these utilities as well and a warning will pop up on your screen if you've been locked on by their missiles.
Fuel contributes an important part of the spaceship's capabilities. Previously, fuel mechanics were more realistic, with ships coming to a halt whenever fuel ran out. However, the development team felt this was too punishing, and changed it so that fuel doesn't ever completely run out during a voyage, but instead limits how far one can go at a time.
Docking Your Ship in Starfield
While navigating outer space, you will be able to dock onto friendly ships and space stations. From there you will have three options - to undock, get up, and board the other ship. Presumably, you'll not only be able to fly your spaceship, but you'll be able to walk around in its interior to interact with your ship's crew, meet new NPCs on new ships and space stations, chart new courses, and gather resources. There may also be a mechanic to replenish your ship's health and weapon supplies while docked on friendly structures.
Docking will also be available with enemy ships, though what you can do from then has not been revealed. You may be able to infiltrate the ship to defeat it's crew internally, or even steal their ships for parts and credits.