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Starfield's spaceship combat is more than just holding down a trigger and hoping for the best

Bang bang boom boom

A spaceship flies through space orbiting a blue planet in Starfield
Image credit: Bethesda

I'd rather just saunter around space looking at pretty planets in Starfield, but I guess in a game as big as Bethesda's sci-fi behemoth they want fighty fighty spaceship battles. During the Starfield Direct that ran just after tonight's Xbox Game Showcase, the folks over at Bethesda explained just how ship combat works, and it's more than just holding down the trigger and aiming in the right direction.

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Part of piloting your ship comes down to power allocation, a system where you can assign different amounts of power to part of your ship. Some space cowboy just flip you off? Chuck all your power into shields and weapons and have a shootout. You can also switch from a first-person pilot seat to a third-person view outside the spaceship, so you can manoeuvre your ship more easily.

You can also unlock skills that give you an advantage in combat. An example given was the targeting control systems skill that lets you target an enemy ship's specific sub-systems. It was difficult to see this in action in the trailer, but it looked like the player's spaceship had the option of targeting the enemy ship's shields and engines. When you're done blasting the enemy ship to bits, you can then loot the remains of the debris.

If you want to get real nasty, you can actually dock and board an enemy ship, shooting everyone on it. If you clear it out, the ship is basically yours and it gets added to your fleet. So, if you see any ships flying around that take your fancy you can just GTA-style shoot the captain, chuck them out of the pilot seat, and nick it for yourself.

So that's how spaceship combat in Starfield works. If you'd like to read up on other newsy bits from the showcase you can through our handy Starfield tag.

NotE3 and Summer Game Fest 2023 is over for another year. You can find out all the latest news by visiting our E3 2023 hub, or you can catch up with our round-up posts of everything that was announced at Summer Game Fest, the Xbox Games Showcase, the PC Gaming Show, Day Of The Devs, and our top highlights from the Wholesome Direct.

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