- Starfield’s space exploration has received criticism for its lack of seamlessness and constant loading screens, but players can eliminate the need for menus when traveling between planets by using the ship’s scanner and finding it in the stars.
- Landing on a planet in Starfield can also be done outside the menu by using the scanner tool, allowing for a near-seamless landing experience and directing players toward engaging content like dungeons, factions, and adventures.
- Despite its limitations, Starfield still offers enjoyable space travel through ship customization, smuggling contraband, battling pirate fleets, and exploring on foot in story-heavy zones or procedurally generated worlds.
One of the greatest criticisms that Starfield faces in Early Access concerns the game’s space exploration, but one method may help players looking to make interstellar travel more immersive. While Starfield‘s major Factions are every bit as interesting and expansive as its marketing implied, fans have been less keen on the way Starfield functions as a space simulator. Mired with constant loading screens, this lack of seamlessness in the experience of driving their starship from planet-to-planet has soured some Starfield players on what is otherwise a deeply engaging Bethesda sandbox.
Though many players have praised Starfield‘s ship customization, citing it as the best feature of the game, actually getting to fly that ship in space is uncharacteristically restrictive from what the community has come to expect from a Bethesda title. The confusing world map and unsettling background NPCs in Starfield are all issues that will likely be fixed by modding in the coming months, but its approach to space exploration is a compromise that Starfield players will ultimately have to accept.
There are ways to eliminate the most annoying aspect of interstellar travel, as contrary to common belief, Starfield doesn’t require the player to go through the UI in order to travel from one planet into the other. As demonstrated by Huggan00 on Starfield‘s official subreddit, making use of the ship’s scanner and pointing at the player’s potential destination offers up an option to make the grav jump without needing to open the menu.
Moreover, landing on a planet can be done entirely outside the menu as well. By using Starfield‘s scanner tool inside the ship, players can point at any of the planet’s key areas, whether it’s a barren world or New Atlantis, and complete the landing near-seamlessly. Though it may not offer the kind of experience seen in No Man’s Sky or Star Citizen, this method helps in funneling the players towards the content that Bethesda excels at: pillaging dungeons filled with loot, joining memorable factions, and getting on random adventures.
Being able to build and customize ships in Starfield, smuggle contraband items, and taking on powerful pirate fleets shows that space travel can still be enjoyable in the game. Despite its limitations, Starfield players can still live out their fantasy of being an interstellar explorer – so long as they accept that the majority of that exploration will be on foot, whether in story-heavy zones or one of Starfield‘s many procedurally generated worlds.
Starfield is now available on PC and Xbox Series X/S.
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