starfield ship power allocation explained
Image Source: Bethesda Softworks via Twinfinite

Starfield Ship Power Allocation System Explained: What Each System Does

Timing is everything.

Flying your ship in Starfield is an essential part of how you’re supposed to play the game. Sure, you can’t exactly fly from one planet to another, but knowing how to manage your ship’s power is a valuable way to give yourself the edge in combat situations. Here’s a rundown of the power allocation systems in Starfield and what they all do.

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What Are the Different Systems On Your Ship?

Your ship is going to have six different systems for you to manage the power between while you’re in flight. You can dedicate power to the Lasers (LAS), Ballistics (BAL), Missiles (MSL), Engines (ENG), Shields (SHD) or your Grav Drive (GRV). However, you only have a certain amount of power that you can divide amongst your systems, so you’ve got to stay aware of how much you’re using and for what.

How much power you dedicate to each system will determine how effective those systems turn out to be. If you dedicate more power to the Engines, you’ll be able to travel at higher speeds, and if you dedicate more power to your weapons, then the particular weapons system that you power will be more effective during combat. Below are the different systems you can power and what they do for your ship.

  • Lasers (LAS) – If you dedicate power to your laser systems, then your laser weapons will be more powerful and recharge faster during combat. The lasers are more effective for taking down enemy shields than regular ballistic weapons.
  • Ballistics (BAL) – Dedicating power to the ballistic weapons systems makes your kinetic firearms on your ship more effective during combat, and deal more consistent damage than the recharge rate of the lasers allows.
  • Missiles (MSL) – Putting more power into your missiles makes the missiles deal more damage during combat, also improving the rate of refill for the canisters. The missiles are best used to deal heavy hull damage to hostile ships.
  • Engines (ENG) – If you focus power to your engines, you’ll be able to hit a faster top speed. The more power you give, the faster you can go and the more effective your boost will be.
  • Shields (SHD) – One of the more important systems to power, powering your shields will increase their durability and protect you from getting your hull damaged.
  • Grav Drive (GRV) – Your Grav Drive is used for jumping between star systems, and determines how far you can jump at once. You need to fully power your GRV systems to be able to make a jump.

How Do You Power Different Ship Systems in Starfield?

To change the systems that are being actively powered in your ship, use the Arrow Keys on PC or the D-Pad on Xbox. Make sure that you’ve got enough power to dedicate, then press Up to power that system. If you need to take power away from a system, press Down, and then you can use Left and Right to choose what systems to give power to.

Each system corresponds with something else on the ship’s HUD, so you can actively see how much the power is affecting in each system. For example, you can see your top speed increase as you put more power into the engines, and vice-versa as you take it away. You can play around with the different systems to tune your ship to your preferences.

That’s really all there is to know about the different ship systems and how to power them in Starfield. There are plenty of different ways to modify your ships, and if you want ideas for different ships and modules you can use, be sure to check out some of our other guides.

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Nick Rivera
Nick Rivera graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 2021 studying Digital Media and started as a Freelance Writer with Twinfinite in early 2023. Nick plays anything from Halo to Stardew Valley to Peggle, but is a sucker for a magnetic story.