Starfield: How to Find More Enemy Ships

Engage more hostile vessels in battle in Starfield.

Screenshot by GameSkinny

You might be wondering how to find more enemy ships in Starfield. Battling hostile mercenaries and taking them out does add quite a lot to your XP, leading to quicker level-ups. However, there are instances when space feels empty, and you might be itching for a fight. Our guide helps you locate combat engagements faster if you’re raring to go. Spoilers follow.

How to Find More Enemy Ships in Starfield

I know of two methods that can help you find more enemy ships in Starfield. Conversely, there are two others that can lower the chances of combat engagements. Here’s a quick summary:

  • More enemies: A Hostile Activity on the system map guarantees a combat encounter.
  • More enemies: Building the Armillary on your ship can cause Starborn to attack you more often.
  • Fewer enemies: Acquiring the Mantis legendary ship will sometimes make Spacers to flee in terror.
  • Fewer enemies: Joining the Crimson Fleet faction will make other wandering pirates friendly.

As an aside, I suggest boarding an enemy vessel when possible rather than destroying it outright. A boarding action allows you to fight more soldiers in the ship, which means more XP and loot. You can then destroy the ship once you’re back outside.

I use this method quite often, and I was able to gain a lot of XP and credits. You can also take a look at our ship combat guide for more tips.

Related: Best Items to Sell in Starfield

Screenshot by GameSkinny

Hostile Activity Encounters

You can find more enemy ships in Starfield by hunting down Hostile Activity markers whenever you go to a new system. Simply look for a spacecraft icon and check if it says “Hostile Activity.” If it does, set a course for that planet or moon, and be ready for a fight. If a friendly or neutral vessel is being attacked, you can fend off the pirates or mercenaries to earn some Ship Parts as a reward.

Screenshot by GameSkinny

The Armillary

You can build the Armillary at the end of a main quest called A High Price to Pay. If you build it on your ship, you’re told that there’s a high chance that Starborn will attack you more often. Starborn ships are dangerous due to their speed, firepower, and cloaking device, so be prepared whenever you spot them.

Screenshot by GameSkinny

The Mantis and the Crimson Fleet

Lastly, as far as I can tell, these two facets lower the number of potential enemy ships in Starfield. The original Mantis pilot took out countless Spacers in the past. As such, when they see your Razorleaf craft, they’d likely grav jump to escape.

The Crimson Fleet, meanwhile, is a pirate syndicate. If you infiltrate them, the random pirates that you encounter will be friendly. Attacking them outright might cause repercussions within the faction, unless the ships themselves are part of a quest.

That’s everything you need to know about how to find more enemy ships in Starfield. For more tips and strategies, you can visit our guides hub.

About the author

Jason Rodriguez

Jason Rodriguez is a game review and guide writer from the Philippines. He's basically a rare Pokémon.