The Combat System in Starfield takes bits and pieces from Bethesda's other titles and introduces new gameplay mechanics of its 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 Beginners Guide



Starfield Review - No Spoilers




Starfield Combat

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. 

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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.

O² and CO² in Starfield

Running in Starfield consumes O², which works as Stamina in many other RPGs or Action RPGS. The O² gauge can be found in the lower left part of the screen, and will start draining as soon as you start running. Once the gauge depletes completely, the CO² gauge will start filling up and if it fills up completely, the player will start to take damage.

Players will have to stop running, in order to regain O², and be able to run again.

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.

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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.

Pay attention to the Planet Hazards

Players will visit an astounding number of planets while traversing through the many systems available in Starfield. Many of these planets, will not be as welcoming, and their hostile environment may deal damage to the player. In order to reduce or mitigate this kind of damage, pay attention to the different armor values of your Spacesuit and Helmet.

Stealth in Starfield

Players familiar with the other famed Bethesda titles, such as Fallout or The Elder Scrolls, know that stealth is one of, if not the most, powerful approaches to combat. Being able to attack Enemies from the shadows or without being detected, can simplify many battles as well as avoid taking unnecesary damage. 

Players should look for vantage points if holding long range weapons such as Sniper Rifles, to deal damage from afar and without being noticed. Certain mods, such as Suppresors, lean heavily on the stealth style of play

Weapon Mods in Starfield

Weapons in Starfield can have a certain number of mods allocated, which in turn boost some of their stats. For example, players can add a larger mag in a weapon to increase the amount of ammo it can carry before needing to reload it. Or they can add an improved laser sight, which increases the accuracy percenteage of a weapon. 

The amount of weapon mods a Weapon can have is determined by the weapon type, and also the weapon name is changed by the amount of mods it has installed.

Modding weapons is an excellent way to lean a weapon you like towards your playstyle.

Is combat in Starfield better in first person or third person?

Starfield gives players the option to select between first person mode and third person mode. This comes down to personal preference and will not diminish the experience in any way, but however, regarding combat, players may find using the third person point of view a bit easier than the first person one. In first person, players will have a better immersion sense and will feel as the playable character, but in combat, this POV may make certain actions, like dodging enemy attacks a bit more difficult.

On the other hand, playing in third person, grants players a wider vision of the battlefield, thus allowing them to see enemies at different positions in an easier way, as well as making dodging attacks a less difficult task.


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. 

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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.

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, because of the increased maneuverability it grants to players.

This allows players to have a more vertical approach to combat, rather than the standard one, allowing for wilder strategies and some think outside the box moments regarding the use of jetpacks.

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Pickpocketing NPCs in Starfield

Players can pickpocket Enemies while they are alive. Following Fallout's pickpocket mechanics, 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.

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Zero Gravity in Starfield

In Starfield, there are some sections in which players will be subjected to Zero gravity areas. This will change the rules of normal combat since firing ballistic weapons will actually push players backwards, but energy weapons, on the other hand, will allow for more stable shooting during this sections. Mind your surrounding as you enter combat in zero gravity areas, or switch to energy powered weapons to avoid environmental hazards.

Space Combat in Starfield

Space Flight Combat

You have a wonderful and exciting opportunity to embark on an amazing space travel adventure, where you become the captain of your very own spaceship. This means you get to explore different planets and experience the vastness of outer space firsthand. Even though the space game has only a few limits, the game developers have given special importance to battles that happen between spaceships. So, yes, Starfield includes space combat, and your piloting skills will play a crucial role. Furthermore, you will need to cleverly manage the power allocation system to engage in fights effectively or skillfully avoid them.

In this game, you have the amazing ability to control the distribution of power to various parts of your spaceship. For example, if you want your ship to go faster, you can increase the power allocated to the engines. Alternatively, if you want to make quicker jumps between destinations, you can allocate more power to the grav drives. If you have an interest in participating in combat, you can divert power to the Starfield weapons and shields. Additionally, there are special abilities available within Starfield that can assist you during space battles. It is highly recommended to unlock the Targeting ability if you excel in aerial combat and dream of dominating the entire solar system. This particular ability allows you to focus on enemy spaceships and target their important systems. It proves particularly useful when the enemy assigns power to their engines or grav drives to make a speedy escape, or when you aim to disable their shields to launch a successful attack. Once you manage to defeat enemy ships, you can gather valuable items from them and salvage whatever is left.

One truly remarkable aspect of space combat in Starfield is the unique opportunity to dock your spaceship with enemy spaceships and engage in intense, up-close battles. This allows you to directly confront the opposing crew, eliminate them, and ultimately claim their ship as your own. The thrill of these face-to-face encounters adds an extra level of excitement and personal challenge to your spacefaring adventures.

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.

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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.

Allocating System Power in Starfield

While traversing the space on your ship. you will notice 6 different categories on the bottom left of the corner. These six systems require power to be used, and players can allocate power to each one of them by holding LEFT Alt and navigate them with W,A,S, and D. The amount of power players can allocate depends on the different parts of the ship. The Frontier, the first ship players gain access to have the following systems.

  • LAS  
  • BAL
  • MSL
  • ENG
  • SHD
  • GRV

The first three (LAS, BAL, MSL) represent weapons. Note that depending on the damage type they affect enemy ships differently. Energy affects shields, ballistic affects hull, and EM, affects sytems.

The second three systems are ENG for Engine, which affects speed and acceleration through outer space. Note that the mass of your entire ship will also affect performance. SHD stands for Shield module, which helps protect your ship from incoming damage. Finally, GRV stands for Graviton Loop Field Array AKA Grav Drive, is used to jump to other star systems. Players can upgrade it to increase jump range.

During combat, certain systems may be less useful than others, and even depending on the situation they found themselves in, players may want to priotize certain systems. This gives an strategic edge to space combat, as well as certain planning to develop strategies depending on the situation that unfolds.

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.

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Docking is also available with enemy ships. After dealing enough damage to the enemy ship's shields, players can board the ship, and interact with the enemy crew. Either by engaging in Combat or by dialogue.



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