How to lock on to ships and target engines in Starfield

How to lock on to ships and target engines in Starfield
Images via Bethesda

Written by 

Dani Cross


15th Sep 2023 11:27

It is important to learn how to lock on to ships Starfield and target engines, as it will let you quickly defeat your foes in space.

It's not something you have access to from the start of the game though, so you'll need to unlock it. Luckily, it doesn't take too long to unlock it in the game, so you'll soon be targeting ships and taking out their systems with ease.

Continue reading below to find out how to access ship targeting functionality and unlock the ability to lock on and target systems in Starfield!

How to lock on to ships in Starfield

The targeting skill used to lock on in Starfield
Click to enlarge

To lock on to ships in Starfield, you'll need to grab the Targeting Control Systems skill. This skill will unlock ship targeting functionality for your ship at tier 1.

Then, whenever you're in a fight with an enemy in space you will be able to lock on to their ship. You can do this by training your sight on a ship until you get the pop-up that you've locked onto it. From there you can enter targeting mode with the X button and fire away.

Further tiers of the Targeting Control Systems skill will give you greater accuracy when targeting ships. Here are all of the bonuses you will gain at each rank of the Targeting Control Systems skill:

Rank Bonuses
Rank 2
  • Lock-on time reduced by 15%
  • Target-locked ships fire 25% slower
Rank 3
  • Lock-on time reduced by 30%
  • 10% critical hit chance on a locked-on ship
Rank 4
  • Lock-on time reduced by 60%
  • System damage increased by 20% when in targeting mode

How to target engines in Starfield

Locking on to an enemy ship and targeting the engine in Starfield
Click to enlarge

In order to target enemies in Starfield, lock on to an enemy ship and select one of the bars at the bottom of the screen in order to focus on that section. You will see the enemy systems pop up on your screen after you lock on, and each bar represents a different system.

One of them will be the engine, so scroll to that, select it, and fire away with your weapons. You should be targeting the engine specifically, which will almost certainly speed up their destruction.

You can choose to target different systems if you prefer. You can target their weapons, for example, which will prevent them from firing back at you. However, in a lot of cases, it's quicker to just target the engine and take them out.

So, that concludes everything you need to know about locking on in ship combat in Starfield, letting you know how to target your foes and take them down faster.

Check out more guides on our Starfield homepage, or check out how to join the UC Vanguard and start their faction questline.

Dani is a Guides Writer for GGRecon. She graduated from university with a degree in Broadcast Journalism, then worked as a freelance writer before joining the GGRecon team as a full-time writer in 2023. In her opinion, the best game of all time is Elden Ring – but her favourite is Halo: Reach, a game that created lifelong friendships and somehow started her down the path to a career in media. She’s also way too invested in Pokemon cards, and a big fan of guinea pigs, cats and other cute creatures.

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