Bethesda's upcoming sci-fi RPG Starfield takes inspiration from the beloved indie spaceship simulator FTL, and its in-game footage has given us a solid understanding of exactly how it plays out.

Inspired by the indie game, Starfield's space combat will involve redirecting power to your ship's various subsystems mid-flight. Game director Todd Howard told IGN in early June that he will be transferring power between the various modules on his ship to keep his weapons and systems running.

"Your ship has multiple power systems," Howard said. [There's] a peu de FTL là-bas en termes de mise de puissance dans trois systèmes d'armes différents, puis vos moteurs et vos boucliers, et le lecteur grav est ce Qui vous permet de sauter et de sortir de certaines situations auxquelles vous devez mettre de Energia.

As spotted on Reddit (opens in a new tab), Starfield's recent gameplay preview shown during Xbox's Summer Game Fest and Bethesda Showcase appears to demonstrate exactly how this power play works in-game. the screen shows what looks like several ship modules, each with a power indicator.

(Image credit: Bethesda Softworks)

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Engine power, shield, and gravity drive are displayed, along with three other modules: LAS, BAL, and MSL. These can be lasers, ballistics and missiles. It appears to transfer power between them using the D-pad and has room to maximize output to modules or pump power to them in discrete units.

Power management mechanisms have become common in space simulations. Elite: Dangerous has a similar control system that allows you to prioritize the power output of specific ship modules, distributing it around damaged components and power failures. We have yet to see if Starfield will include such a responsive system.

Power management isn't the only thing Starfield will have in common with FTL. You'll also be able to board enemy ships, though the process is a bit more hands-on than the indie game's automated combat.

"You can dock with other ships, you can disable them, you can board [them]," Howard said. “Actually, there are missions that involve that. You can steal the ship. There's dialogue in space, there's star stations you can visit, there's smuggling of all the stuff we want."

Elsewhere in the interview, Howard said that Starfield's space combat was also inspired by the MechWarrior robot fighting game. He said the development team was inspired by the slower pace of this game when it came to designing energy systems and being able to line up shots accurately, rather than being inspired by a "nervous fighter."

Howard's mention of a gravitational pull is also interesting. We already know that Starfield will include faster-than-light travel in one form or another, but the notion of boosting your ship's propulsion suggests that you'll be able to launch yourself into hyperspace in the middle of a fight. You could sail at the speed of light whenever you want.

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