How to Loot Destroyed Ships in Starfield
Image via Prima Games.

How to Disable Enemy Ships in Starfield

Like a sitting duck.

Getting into dogfights in Starfield is a surprisingly fun venture, one with some decent nuance to it that’s satisfying once understood. Sure, you could just pepper an enemy with laser fire until their ship explodes into a million tiny pieces, but there are much easier ways to handle the job. Here’s how to disable enemy ships in Starfield.

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How to Stop an Enemy Ship in its Tracks in Starfield

Starfield Targeting Engines
Screenshot by Prima Games

There are actually several ways you can disable a ship in Starfield, but the easiest way to do so is to destroy its engines. To do this, you’ll want to take down the enemy’s shield and then focus all fire toward the engines. If you have at least one point in the Targeting Control Systems skill, then you’ll even be able to enter slow-motion and target the engines directly. Once the engines no longer function, shown by a red ENG symbol below their health bar, they won’t be able to move and should make for easy prey.

The other way you can disable enemy ships involves taking down each of its other parts. Each of the following ship components can also be shot enough to be disabled and no longer function:

  • Shields.
  • Grav Drive.
  • Weapon 1.
  • Weapon 2.
  • Weapon 3.

Why Would You Want to Disable an Enemy Ship in Starfield?

Starfield Ship Dock
Screenshot by Prima Games

Disabling enemy ships serves two purposes. The first and most immediate is to hinder that ship’s combat and maneuverability severely. Any edge in space is a good edge, especially when it comes to engines. Speaking of which, the second purpose comes through disabling engines.

Once non-functional, you’re able to dock with that ship and board it. Killing all enemies on board will prevent that ship from being a threat, but you can also enter the cockpit if you wish to hijack the ship and have a sweet new ride.

Tips for Disabling Ships in Starfield

Disabling a ship in Starfield can be a bit tricky. We’ve gathered a few tips and tricks to help you do this.

  • There’s no guarantee a ship will get disabled before it explodes. However, if it does explode, you’ll still get loot, just significantly less. To loot a shipwreck in Starfield, center your cursor on the shipwreck itself until you get a prompt to loot it. On PC, this will be the “E” key or “A” on Xbox and X” on Playstation.
  • Aim for the shields and engines. This is the fastest, best way to disable a ship.
  • You can only disable a ship once their engines are completely down, so focus on them.
Tip:

The Targeting Control Systems skill can net you plenty of advantages in ship combat. Here’s a breakdown of each rank of the skill:
Rank One – Unlocks Ship Targeting Functionality.
Rank Two – Reduces lock-on time by 15 percent, reduces target-locked ship’s attack speed by 25 percent.
Rank Three – Reduces lock-on time by 30 percent, increases critical striking a target-locked ship by 10 percent.
Rank Four – Reduces lock-on time by 60 percent, deal 20 percent more damage to target-locked ships.

If you’re looking into more about ship combat, check out our guide on how to upgrade your ship in Starfield.


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Author
Shawn Robinson
Shawn is a freelance gaming journalist who's been with Prima Games for a year and a half, writing mainly about FPS games and RPGs. He even brings several years of experience at other sites like The Nerd Stash to the table. While he doesn't bring a fancy degree to the table, he brings immense attention to detail with his guides, reviews, and news, leveraging his decade and a half of gaming knowledge. If he isn't writing about games, he's likely getting zero kills in his favorite FPS or yelling at the game when it was 100% his fault that he died.
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Michael Dawson
Michael Dawson is a skilled writer on pop culture, video games, and film/TV. He has 8+ years of experience writing on various topics and for multiple publications. He loves Elden Ring, Zelda, Mario, Metal Gear solid, competitive games, horror, and indies.