New Starfield Update Will Finally Add These Widely Requested Features

Getting lost in Neon will be a thing of the past.

Bethesda Game Studios

On the heels of the somewhat contentious release of Fallout 4’s Next-Gen update, Bethesda Game Studios announced that some long-awaited quality-of-life features are finally being added to their space-faring role-playing game.

Starfield’s fourth major update will add a wave of new features according to a video update from Bethesda, including new planet surface maps that will communicate a more detailed view of explorable celestial bodies like terrain, vegetation, and the locations of man-made structures. The update will improve how players get around the game’s major cities by adding UI markers for shops, fast travel points, and other points of interest.

Bethesda will also give players more control over how they want to experience Starfield. New difficulty modes and setting sliders will let them adjust everything from combat encounters, how XP is distributed, carrying capacity, and the damage players dole out and receive. More customization options are being added for players who opt into the game’s interesting twist on new game plus, allowing them a chance to roll a character with different traits and new appearance.

For the sickos who spent hours in New Atlantis’ ship ports getting their rigs just right, the developer is adding not just new ship pieces, but an entirely new element to the creation suite: customizable interiors. They’ll now be able to furnish their ships with chairs, carpets, posters, and visual decor to make space travel a little cozier.

Lastly, Starfield is getting a handful of presentation and performance options. Console players will now have a 60 frames per second mode for smoother, more responsive action. Conversations with NPCs can now be had without Bethesda’s signature zoom-in thanks to a toggle for the dialogue camera.

Bethesda also teased what additions are on the game’s event horizon: new quests, and the oft-request land vehicles. The latter in particular is something players have wanted since launch, as the on-foot-only approach to planet exploration slowed a crucial, frequent pillar of the game’s loop to a crawl.

Bethesda is adding land vehicles to Starfield, which could make late-game planet exploration less of a slog.

Besthesda Game Studios

Wednesday’s announcement was a welcome surprise for Starfield players. It was proof that the Maryland-based developer is listening to the community, and is working hard to improve their first original game in more than 30 years.

But as exciting as these additions are, one can’t help but wonder why the features weren’t added to the game closer to launch. Starfield received a mixed reception when it finally hit digital storefronts last September, and much of that was because of many missing quality-of-life features. The aforementioned absence of land vehicles, clunky UI and inventory system, and a lack of performance options all held back an otherwise wonderfully ambitious role-playing game.

It goes without saying that a substantial amount of work obviously went into Starfield’s promising new update. But when Bethesda releases a patch for an older game (one that did more harm than good on certain platforms) after promising big changes and fixes every six weeks for their newest one, you can’t help but wonder why Starfield wasn’t more of a priority these last seven months.

Thankfully players won’t have to wait much longer for these long-overdue additions. Bethesda says Update 4 will drop on May 15. Other features, like the planetary land vehicles, and the game’s first expansion, Shattered Space, are expected later this year.

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