I recently found a crashed ship that had an extra slot and some better tech installed so I excitedly scrapped all my ship upgrades, transferred my loot and set about repairing the new ship.

It was a fairly modest upgrade from 18 slots to 19 but it did have a sweet warp drive sigma installed. I dismantled some of the phase beam upgrades and replaced them with the same photon cannon upgrades that I installed on my previous 2 ships. They were +1 impact damage, +1 cooldown and +1 accelerated fire.

This was all going well until, several systems later, I encountered some pesky pirates attacking a poor, helpless Gek trading ship. I immediately boosted over there and set about rescuing the innocent traders only to realise that the new ship was unable to lock on to the enemy ships! I still have the 3 white markers that highlight the ship but they would not lock on, which meant the target that leads the ship did not appear. This happened automatically, as soon as I started to fire my photon cannon, on both my previous ships.

This made actually hitting the ships extremely difficult and I wasn't able to take the pirates down before I ran out of resources to keep my shield up and thus ended the story of Gen 5.

Upon the birth of Gen 6, I was unable to figure out how or why the targeting system was missing from my new ship. It is not mentioned in the description of any of the ship systems or upgrades I currently know.

Did I experience a bug or am I missing an upgrade that allows the targeting system to function?

Edit: I am using patch 1.08 on PS4.

  • In my experience the leading target is just a feature of the game and not anything that had to be installed. Not sure why it would go missing. Commented Sep 12, 2016 at 1:03
  • This is one of the reasons why I only use phase beam for space combat, as it automatically locks on. With enough damage upgrades it will take out ships without too much hassle.
    – nailbones
    Commented Sep 12, 2016 at 2:43
  • @nailbones space combat as a whole has been nerfed. Locking on is more difficult now, regardless of weapon
    – Vemonus
    Commented Sep 12, 2016 at 3:08

3 Answers 3


This was an update to the targeting system that was introduced in 1.08. It now makes targeting less immediate. It's not something specific to your ship, and I do not think it is possible to alter how your targeting system works.

From the reddit thread discussing the changes introduced in 1.08 (since no official patch notes have been released):

space combat has been nerfed -- that the lock-on feature has been tampered with, so locking on is more difficult now.

  • It is possible that I updated from 1.07 to 1.08 between hostile encounters and this is the cause of the problem with the targeting system. Some 1.08 patch notes would be nice ....
    – Colin
    Commented Sep 12, 2016 at 4:49
  • Yeah it's surprising that no patch notes have been released despite this change being live for nearly a week or so. It's like they're emulating Niantic...
    – Vemonus
    Commented Sep 12, 2016 at 4:50

Further to the answer provided by Vemonus regarding the targeting system being altered as part of patch 1.08, I believe I have figured out the changes to the targeting system and how to get it to lock on to ships.

In 1.07 targeting seemed to automatically lock on to ships once you began firing at them. This was indicated by the three white arrows around ships within range changing to red and the leading target would appear.

Patch 1.08 appears to have changed the this so that you are required to manually hit the ship once to activate the targeting system and lock on to a ship. This can be tricky if the ships are not already attacking you as they tend to sweep around their intended target and ignore you, even if you are firing at them, until you actually hit them. If a ship is attacking you they will usually fly at you in a straight line it making it considerably easier to hit them.

Here are some tips for hitting ships and getting the targeting system to lock on and the leading target to appear:

  1. Focus on a single ship to begin with and track it, don't switch targets if a closer ships passes over your line of sight. This will allow you to get behind a ship and follow it, making it easier to hit.
  2. Once you have engaged a ship some of the other ships may switch their attention you making them easier to hit.
    • If the ship is highlighted with 3 white arrows and a white off screen arrow it is not targeting your ship and you have not locked on your targeting system yet.
    • If it is highlighted with 3 red arrows and a red off screen arrow it is targeting your ship but you have not locked the targeting system on to it yet.
    • If you have the leading target and the ship has a double off screen arrow you have locked on to the ship.
  3. Lead your target as best your can and pay attention to your ships crosshair, it will change shape and colour if you are in aiming at the right area.

I've never had a problem targeting enemy starships as you close on an enemy start firing. Your onboard computer will then tell you "engaging enemy ships", a white outline triangle should then appear a little way ahead of your enemy. Fire your phase cannon into the triangle and watch them explode. Then it's next please. I've sent over 200 of them to an explosive end but watch your shield or it will be your turn for the grave. Always carry plenty of oxide; iron, zinc and titanium to recharge but be quick and you should be up for some good space battles, but watch out for sentinel starships the always fight as a 4 ship team. I've taken out quite a good number but I've also been wasted by them on several occasions. A wise man once said "He who fights then runs away, lives to fight another day. Lock and load friend and good hunting.

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