- Ship customization in Starfield allows for endless possibilities in design, catering to different playstyles and purposes.
- Knowledge of enemy AI behavior in space combat can be used to manipulate ship design, with asymmetrical structures proving to be effective in evading enemy fire.
- While this strategy is not foolproof and positioning in dogfights still matters, designing an asymmetrical ship may significantly increase survival chances and decrease the likelihood of taking damage.
Starfield delights with its effectively endless possibilities for ship designs thanks to a robust, modular creation system. Plenty of pre-built ships are available to purchase throughout the Settled Systems, but as the player’s mobile base throughout the game, the impressive amount of customization is welcome. Whether getting simple upgrades or being completely rebuilt, ships can be modified for express purposes in a player’s fleet, from cargo hauling to dogfights with space pirates. Characters hoping to excel in ship-to-ship combat may want to rethink their design ethos, though, as a strange quirk in how enemies behave makes odd ship designs ideal for avoiding destruction.
Space combat in Starfield is rather straightforward, but ship design can make all the difference in how to approach such situations. Some players may prefer small and agile spacecraft for outmaneuvering their foes, while others might opt for a gunship laden with autocannons for slinging as much lead as possible. Many options are viable, and many of Starfield‘s best ships will excel in multiple areas, but when designing one to survive any zero-g encounter, going with the weirdest possible design may all but ensure enemies miss their shots.
Starfield Enemy AI Can Be Manipulated In Space Combat
The best ship designs for space combat leverage the tendencies of Starfield‘s enemies. As discovered by Reddit user Solace_of_the_Thorns, opposing ships appear to aim for a center point on the player’s ship, which can easily be manipulated by clever design. Although the exact programming behind how enemy AI target the player’s ship is unclear, just knowing they target a center point makes it easy to exploit with such robust custom ship-building tools. Essentially, the center of the player’s ship is determined by the intersection of the furthest points the body of the ship reaches on the X, Y, and Z axes.
Asymmetrical Starfield Ships Are Best For Space Combat
Knowing how enemy ships target the player in combat, it’s easy to manipulate Starfield‘s AI by designing, as Solace_of_the_Thorns puts it, “an asymmetrical abomination.” Building long structures that jut off the body of the ship along at least two axes will shift the ship’s targetable center away from the actual, physical body of the ship itself. Incoming fire then tends to miss the ship entirely. Putting long struts that emerge from the top and starboard sides of a ship, for instance, causes enemies to aim up and to the right of the ship when flying from the third-person perspective, at a location somewhere between the ends of the two struts that’s just empty space.
This design strategy won’t guarantee survival, nor that every single shot will miss; enemy ship weapons aren’t perfectly accurate, so some shots that would normally miss will still manage to make contact. It’s also dependent on the player’s positioning in a dogfight – if the floating center point of the ship lines up between the body of the ship and the enemy, for instance, the attacker will still be fairly accurate. It’s certainly an odd quirk, but one not necessarily surprising with the relative simplicity of Starfield‘s space combat. Many players are likely to experiment with asymmetrical ship design anyway, but now an incentive to do so has been discovered.