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Starfield Weapons & Combat

Setting out on your Starfield journey? Gear up, because the universe packs a punch! As you navigate the vastness, facing varied factions and threats, you’ll stumble upon a galaxy’s worth of weaponry. And trust us, in a game where skirmishes are as common as space dust, you’ll want a reliable piece (or ten) at your side. But with a universe of choices, selecting the right weapon might feel like deciphering alien hieroglyphs. So whether you fancy a face-to-face showdown, prefer the distant sniper approach, or lean into a stealthy takedown, here’s your crash course on Starfield’s weaponry.

How combat works in Starfield

Before we get into the tools of the trade, let’s take a look at how combat works in Starfield. The game introduces a new system that streamlines battles, yet also offers a wider array of strategies to engage foes. While the V.A.Ts of Fallout are gone, you still have an arsenal of advanced weaponry at your disposal, ranging from potent firearms to melee tools crafted for fending off space marauders. Let’s take a look at each of the main types of combat in Starfield.

Starfield gun combat

No matter how hard you might try to talk yourself out of situations, you’ll inevitably face off in a firefight. Whether your weapon of choice is a handgun, rifle, laser, or something with a bit more firepower, Starfield provides you the flexibility of quick shots from the hip or more precise aiming. Several Starfield skills not only enhance the capabilities of weapons, such as Pistol Certification, Rifle Certification, and Ballistics but also refine your proficiency in using them. For instance, the Targeting skill sharpens your shot accuracy without needing to aim.

This makes Starfield’s shooting mechanics lean towards a dynamic run-and-gun style. It’s commonplace to weave between covers during reloads. And while Starfield doesn’t emphasise a conventional cover system, players can still take advantage of environmental obstacles or use the crouch action for protection. If you’re inclined for a more aerial assault, the Boost Pack Training and Boost Assault Training enable a descent upon foes, showering them with a barrage of fire.

Should adversaries get too close for comfort, there’s always the ‘gun bash’ move, where you wield your firearm as a makeshift melee weapon. While this doesn’t pack a significant punch, it gives you that crucial moment to unleash your ammo. For those with a penchant for a bigger bang, tossing a Frag Grenade into the enemy’s midst is an option. And for maximum explosive effect, the Demolitions skill is a must-learn.

Starfield melee combat

The Dueling skill portrays melee combat as a “forgotten craft” that you can breathe new life into, wielding weapons such as the Combat Knife or the Rescue Axe. In comparison to past Bethesda titles, including the melee-centric Skyrim, Starfield’s hand-to-hand combat exhibits notable enhancements. Skills like Boxing and Pain Tolerance pave the way for a well-rounded melee-centric build.

Regardless of whether you’re inclined towards a shoot-first style, it’s wise to keep a melee weapon within reach for those moments when ammunition runs low or you’re cornered in close quarters.

Starfield zero-G combat

Combat takes a unique turn in zero gravity settings. When wielding ballistic weapons such as the Beowulf or the Grendel, the kickback from firing can propel you in reverse as you drift in space. Hence, considering weapons like the Equinox in zero-g scenarios might be prudent, given that they don’t generate any recoil.

Weapons in Starfield

In Starfield, damage isn’t one-size-fits-all. Instead, you’ve got three key categories:

  • Physical
  • Energy
  • Electromagnetic

Craving that old-school impact? Ballistic weapons are your ticket, delivering robust Physical damage. If you’re feeling a bit more sci-fi, Laser weapons unleash pure Energy damage. Meanwhile, EM weapons throw a curveball with Electromagnetic bursts. Can’t decide between retro and futuristic? Particle Beam weapons mix Physical and Energy damage for a stellar blend. And the best part? Switching between Starfield weapons is as seamless as a space glide. Want the nitty-gritty on each? Dive in below:

Starfield Ballistic Weapons

Ballistic weapons deliver physical damage by firing traditional bullets or other projectiles, harking back to your standard firearms. Consistently target an enemy and, once their HP hits zero, they’re out of the game. While these weapons usually have a shorter range, adding a new barrel or scope can give them an extra reach. And fret not about ammunition; basic ammo is abundant, ensuring your weapons are always battle-ready. Ballistic weapons you might come across include:

  • Coachman shotgun – caseless shell ammo
  • Drum Beat rifle – 11mm ammo
  • Eon pistol – 7.77mm ammo
  • Grendel rifle – 7.77mm ammo
  • Kraken pistol – 6.5mm ammo
  • Lawgiver rifle – .50 calibre ammo
  • Maelstrom rifle – 6.5mm ammo
  • Pacifier shotgun – 15×25 CLL shell ammo
  • Rattler pistol – .27 calibre ammo
  • Regulator pistol – .43 ultramag ammo
  • Sidestar pistol – .27 calibre ammo
  • Urban Eagle pistol – .43 ultramag ammo

Starfield Laser/Energy Weapons

Laser weapons unleash energy damage with their high-powered laser beams. While they might sound advanced, their goal is much the same as bullets: drain your adversaries’ HP till they’re down for the count. Boasting a longer range and pinpoint accuracy, these weapons shine even brighter if you’re diligent about collecting those luminous yellow laser ammo packs. Though there seems to be a smaller variety of Laser weapons compared to Ballistic ones, you’ll often stumble upon the likes of:

  • Arc Welder heavy – 3kV LZR ammo
  • Equinox laser rifle – 3kV LZR ammo
  • Solstice laser pistol – 1.5kV Lzr ammo

Starfield EM Weapons

EM weapons in Starfield have a unique function; they’re crafted to incapacitate foes using electromagnetic pulses, offering a less lethal alternative. When you take aim with an EM weapon, you’ll notice a distinct stun bar above their health. Fill it up, and your enemy will be temporarily out of commission. But watch out! That bar depletes over time, and once it’s empty, they’re back in the game. While they’re stunned, you can engage in a chat or even sneak in a pickpocket move. However, be cautious: any physical harm or getting caught red-handed will snap them back to their senses, and they’ll be on the offensive again. It’s worth noting that EM weapons seem to be a rare find, as we’ve only spotted a few such weapons till now:

  • Novablast Disruptor electromagnetic rifle – Heavy Fuse ammo
  • The Brawler’s Equinox – 3KV LZR ammo

What are the best weapons in Starfield

Starfield Weapons

Selecting the top-tier weapons in Starfield isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. Weapon efficacy is somewhat subjective, as it often relates to your unique combat strategies, and let’s not forget the unpredictable nature of weapon drops until you get to explore weapon modifications.

For those who favour up-close-and-personal encounters, shotguns are your best friends. They tend to pack the biggest punch, especially at close range. You can snag a standard Coachman shotgun lurking in the Constellation Lodge’s basement. However, always be on the lookout for enhanced versions that might sport a larger magazine or swifter firing speeds. If you happen upon a Pacifier, you’re in luck—with its base mag holding 7 rounds. A direct approach, closing the distance and unleashing a full mag, usually does the trick. Often, adversaries find themselves on the ground, making your subsequent attacks post-reloading a breeze.

If long-distance battles are more your style, laser rifles should be on your radar. These weapons impress with their range and precision—energy beams tend to stay on target without much scatter or falloff. The Equinox has become a personal favourite for those long-range tussles, and it’s notably more effective than some ballistic rifles with comparable damage. Scopes are a plus; landing a headshot with pinpoint accuracy can ramp up the damage, giving you that upper hand.

Can I assign Starfield Weapons to my Companion?

Starfield Companion Weapons

If you’re journeying through Starfield with a companion by your side, you have the option to arm them with any weapon you deem fit. To equip them, initiate a conversation and select the option to exchange equipment. From there, transfer the desired weapon to their inventory and then select the ‘Equip’ option displayed at the screen’s bottom. Just remember to provide them with the necessary ammunition type for the weapon. The good news? Their ammo doesn’t run out, letting them fire away endlessly. This feature is especially handy for weapons that use scarce ammo types. So if you’re running low on bullets for a potent firearm, think about passing it to your companion.

Starfield Weapon Mods

Using a Weapon Workbench allows you to modify your firearms with various Starfield weapon enhancements, tweaking their performance metrics. Depending on the specific weapon in question, you might find some or all of the following categories accessible:

  • Barrel
  • Laser
  • Optic
  • Muzzle
  • Grip and Stock
  • Magazine and Battery
  • Internal
  • Receiver
  • Skin

Barrel Mods: These allow you to adjust the barrel type. In doing so, they influence several attributes like accuracy, recoil, range, and the speed of aiming.

Laser Mods: By equipping these mods, you can add a laser sight to your weapon, enhancing your targeting capabilities.

Optic Mods: With these, you can select the kind of sight or scope your weapon employs, which impacts how you target adversaries from afar.

Muzzle Mods: These are attachments that bolster the weapon’s stability. They offer the choice to enhance either long-range precision or hip-fire accuracy. However, keep in mind that enhancing one may compromise the other. For those who prefer a stealthy approach, there’s also a suppressor option.

Grip and Stock Mods: If you’re looking for a more tactical edge, these mods let you upgrade the grip. The benefits include refined aim speed, quicker reloading, and augmented stability.

Magazine and Battery Mods: If you’re not content with standard ammunition, these mods are your go-to. Opt for specialised rounds, like armour-piercing, or transition energy weapons to the non-lethal electromagnetic variety.

Internal Mods: Incorporate a unique component to your weapon, boosting various attributes. Whether it’s fire rate, damage, or a combo of accuracy and range, these mods have you covered.

Receiver Mods: These mods give you the flexibility to change your weapon’s firing mode. Whether you prefer automatic, burst, or semi-automatic fire, there’s an option for you.

Skin Mods: These are for the aesthetically inclined. As you journey through Starfield, you’ll come across various weapon skins. With these mods, you can personalise your weapon’s appearance.

Remember, the available mods and their types depend on the specific weapon in question. Moreover, some upgrades require specific Starfield crafting and research milestones. Always ensure you’re meeting the requirements for your desired enhancements.

Written for www.starfieldguide.com. Starfield Guide is a fan run unofficial guide site about Bethesda’s game Starfield. You can tweet us @GuideStarfield, or you can follow our official Facebook, Instagram and YouTube Channel.

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