Ships in Starfield have 6 unique systems, which are displayed as abbreviations on the bottom left of your HUD.

However, while there is a brief tutorial at the beginning of the game, it isn’t always obvious what each abbreviation means.

Considering how important they are in the heat of battle, it’s crucial that you know what each one means. Fortunately, we’ve broken them down into a handy table to help make space combat that little bit easier.

What Do All Starfield Ship Abbreviations Mean?

There are 6 different abbreviations that you will find on your ship’s HUD while flying around in space. They each relate to a different system on your ship that helps with combat.

Here is a breakdown of what each abbreviation on your ship means in Starfield:

LAS – LaserThis relates to your laser weapons, which are good at breaking down enemy shields. The more points put into LAS, the stronger your laser weapons are.
BAL – BallisticsThis relates to your ballistic weapons, which are best at destroying enemy hulls once their shield is down. The more points put into BAL, the stronger your ballistic weapons are.
MSL – MissilesThis relates to your missile weapons, which are good at completely obliterating enemy hulls once their shields have been destroyed. The more points put into MSL, the stronger your missiles will be.
ENG – EngineThis relates to your ship’s overall speed when maneuvering in space. The more points you put into ENG, the faster your ship can go.
SHD – ShieldThis relates to your ship’s shields, which are an added layer of protection before your hull is damaged. The more points you put into SHD, the higher your shield’s HP is.
GRV – GravityThis relates to your ship’s Grav Drive, which you can use to jump to another system if combat gets too tricky. The more points you put into GRV, the faster your Grav Drive charges.
The systems on a ship in Starfield
From left to right: Lasers, Ballistics, Missiles, Engine, Shield, Gravity

You’ll allocate points on the fly by first removing them from one system and then adding them to another.

On Xbox, this is done with the D-Pad; on PC, it’s done by holding down LeftAlt and using WASD. 

It is important to know what each system does, as you’ll need to manage each one carefully in the heat of battle. Understanding each abbreviation will allow you to switch between them seamlessly.

Former Staff Writer
Whether it's an indie platformer or a 100-hour JRPG, Tom loves talking about games. So much so, he made it his career. Since starting in 2020, he's covered a wide range of topics at sites including TheGamer and The Game Crater.