Combat is turn-based with a simple action point system - one AP allows you to move a certain distance, fire a weapon, or cast a simple spell. Other actions, such as some spells, throwing grenades, etc., may cost 2 or more AP. Since the Shadowrun universe mixes high-tech weaponry, melee-oriented street samurai and magic, there is a nice array of different attacks, buffs and debuffs available to the player between the different types of runners. Each individual runner may not have that many different options each round, but with a group of four that matters relatively little. Paying attention to positioning is encouraged by a simple cover system that grants you a directional defense bonus. Using single-use amulets, Shamans may conjure spirits to aid them in battle transferring some, or all of their AP to the spirit in the process. Spirits, of which there are various kinds, each have their own set of attacks and spells.
Interestingly spirits can escape control of the shaman (the more easily the longer you keep them or the more AP you give them), and turn against the group. The more technically inclined can instead control drones, which work in a similar way to spirits. In some scenarios you may need to jack into the matrix to reach your objective, and the game will switch back and forth between the real world fighting and the activity in the matrix. This all adds up to a pretty neat TB combat experience, when you finally encounter some challenging and interestingly designed fights in the late parts of the game. In the early stages, the encounters are generally rather easy, and as a result a bit boring. The difficulty curve may vary considerably based on your character choice and choice of companions. My own experience is based on playing a shaman, rather a weak class. Playing a Street Samurai will probably give you a far more powerful character in the late game, and therefore less of a challenge.