Starfield will have space magic, it seems. How far will its powers go?

Hand being raised to cast magical ability
Starfield magicry: The field is strong with you (Image credit: Starfield Direct)

Across science-fiction series, "magic" has been commonly used alongside wondrous, experimental machines. Most of these abilities are rooted in some sort of technology, like the lost glowing circular portals of Stargate or the biotic skills of characters in Mass Effect. While others, perhaps being explained by physiology, are closer to literal magic. I'm looking at you, Star Wars. 

Whatever the explanation may be, Starfield has potentially entered the science-fantasy realm. It's looking to spice up the otherwise grounded experience with what seems to be its version of Dragon Shouts from Skyrim. 

So far, the only power we know of was teased at the very end of the Starfield Direct. Where the player seemingly froze the enemies around them and lifted them off the ground using a hand motion a la Neo. This hints that Starfield players could, indeed, have access to some supernatural abilities.

How many of these abilities are there? Can we customize them? These are the questions we, unfortunately, have no answers for, but stick with me. If you do, let me geek out, and we'll have some fun. I'll outline some basic abilities I'd love to see, alongside various ways a potential "magic" leveling system could help us personalize said abilities.

Starfield is gunning for a September 6 launch exclusively on Xbox and PC, and has already solidified its place as one of the most anticipated upcoming Xbox games and most anticipated upcoming PC games. If it launches in a solid state, it could create magic for Microsoft. What about player magic, though? We have some ideas. 

Throwing Black Holes

Black hole

(Image credit: Dima Zel/Shutterstock)

First up, give us the ability to throw people into a single molecular point. As Wikipedia defines it, a black hole is a region of spacetime where gravity is so strong that nothing, including light or other electromagnetic waves, has enough energy to escape it. Sounds pretty cool, right? 

Snap your fingers, and a small black object the size of a thimble but carrying the mass of a mountain appears, your enemies hurtling towards it. All light around you begins to warp, sandwiches around the source disappearing faster than you can steal them.

You could make this even crazier by allowing players to increase the range or perhaps granting passive immunity to the effect. Give the player a choice, more incredible carnage or more safety. Melee players could also see a benefit, with a self-centered black hole that brings the entire room of swash-buckling space pirates within range of your fists and other armaments. 

The classic: Force Lightning

Palpatine using force lightning

(Image credit: Disney)

Most people reading this have seen Emperor Palpatine roasting Luke before. Give Starfield players the same unlimited power. Shock till they drop.

Granting dual-wielding capabilities for double the damage or allowing the lightning to arc across multiple enemies could generate more chaos. Are enemies taking cover? Use the dark side to chain from a computer console to the enemy hiding behind it. The possibilities of reactive environmental elements could be a game changer if something like this made its way into the game.

Thinking with portals: Teleport

Portal opening showing teleportation

(Image credit: nerdcaster)

Up front, this one sounds mediocre, but it's really about how it's used, not what it's used. This ability could trivialize taking the bridge of an enemy ship. Take a moment and play back the scene of the player-character taking over the cockpit during the Starfield Direct. Now imagine, rather than using your weapon, you just teleport them outside? Once you're done, engage engines, and let's see what space roadkill looks like. 

Even better, teleporting them to a random location would be more amusing. As in, anywhere in the game. While you wouldn't get to see the outcome. I'd imagine they ended up in the middle of a jail cell whenever I transmitted a space pirate.

Space Fus Roh Dah!

Dragonborne shouting fos roh dah

(Image credit: Bethesda)

I'm ripping this one straight from Skyrim, but this makes more sense when considering the physics-based improvements that Bethesda has made to the creation engine. 

Reportedly, they've dumped the havoc component and re-engineered the entire system. This was highlighted during the melee combat sequences when the player sprinted toward an enemy only to hit the equivalent of a home run with an uppercut.

While the changes someone could make to this are minimal, it would still get a laugh out of me every time I sent adversaries into a crater. Not to mention, you need a way to annoy city guards again.

Let's do the Time Warp again

Dimensional clock in space

(Image credit: Reddit /u/WKme0w2)

What if you could turn the sands of time by rotating your hand? Forward and backward. Reverting animals into eggs or turning bandits into well-aged skeletons is fit for the United Colony Smithsonian. Tell me you don't want to pull a Hulk and turn someone into a baby inside their suit.  

A fair trade-off that would make sense could be the items you'd otherwise scavenge become rusted, unusable, or cease to exist. You reversed the age of someone 40 years; conceivably, the weapons they carried only existed for 5. Say goodbye. Queue, "Let's do the time warp again.."

That's telekinesis, Kyle

Kinesis module in dead space

(Image credit: thenerdstash)

Think Dead Space, but a little less graphic. Picking up objects and heaving them is satisfying, especially with a pleasant thud to accompany it. Let's spice this up.

Giving items the ability to pierce through and ignore armor could be an idea. Another would be to bestow the player the authority to manipulate more substantial objects. I've seen enough films to know what a shipment container can do when plunging on someone. We might also see this as some extraordinary firearm.

Remote Energy Manipulation

Six people manipulation energy

(Image credit:

Turn the tides of intergalactic battles with an instant power surge to all your systems or just one. Give characters a full meter to ballistic systems, shields, or laser weapons. Getting away from an entire armada may become feasible with a boost to 100% engines for a few million kilometers.

The twist, control hostile vessels instead. Make them a sitting duck by powering down their engines, disabling their shields, or taking ballistics away. Toy with them to your heart's content. Foes and civilians alike.

Wrapping up

(Image credit: Bethesda Softworks)

Beyond the brief tease at the end of the Starfield trailer, we don't know for sure the scale and scope of "magic" in the game. The actual source of these potential abilities is still up for debate, but there has been quite a fair bit of discussion on the topic already. The most popular theory is that the alien artifacts bestow these powers upon you. Touching these otherworldy objects grants a geophysical trait, as pointed out by u/devon371011. It's also possible that geophysical traits are part of a bigger picture, with other trait types yet to be unveiled.

Then there's also the possibility that some or all of these powers are psionic and implanted via technology. As pointed out by u/shy-lo, what we saw in the Starfield Direct was something powered via a Neuroamp. Our potential, which is already unlocked via technology, is amplified in acquiring these artifacts.

I'm inclined to go with the former or a quirky combination between them. Gravity effects were a highlight of the presentation; it seems they'll be part of technology and what we've dubbed "magic."

All in all, these are just some dreams and ramblings of a Starfield fan. What the end product might be is anyone's guess. Like you, I can't wait to find out more come launch or sometime earlier. When we do know more, I'll share every detail we have. Until next time, into the Starfield.

Michael Hoglund

Michael has been gaming since he was five when his mother first bought a Super Nintendo from Blockbuster. Having written for a now-defunct website in the past, he's joined Windows Central as a contributor to spreading his 30+ years of love for gaming with everyone he can. His favorites include Red Dead Redemption, all the way to the controversial Dark Souls 2. 

  • Phillip68
    Windows Central said:
    Starfield magical abilities have been teased. Until we have more information, here are some ideas of what we might see.

    Starfield will have space magic, it seems. How far will its powers go? : Read more
    I think the powers have something to do with the artifact you find pieces of in the game. The more pieces you find the more powers you start to develop. The other people that found the pieces before you did probably didn't have the right genetic structure to get any powers out of it.

    Many years ago before anybody knew much about Starfield. One guy claimed that he had info on it and leaked it. One was that the game took place in between Fallout and Elder Scrolls. I don't remember what the other leaked info was about it but that one got stuck in my head. I doubt that it is true though.