What Starfield players hate about the game is a constellation of issues like poor performance, limited space exploration, and abysmal user interface. Let’s dive into the most popular player complaints about Bethesda Game Studios’ long-awaited RPG.
Starfield has truly conquered the gaming landscape…with heated controversies. The space RPG coming from Bethesda promised interstellar wonders. But its shortcomings cast a shadow over its starry veneer, as even the staunchest of Bethesda fans are unhappy about the game’s most aspects.
That being said, Starfield has moments of brilliance, especially when you’re delving into the thrilling faction quests or find yourself in a random encounter. But it also comes with cosmic hiccups that are just too big to ignore.
12 Things Starfield Players Hate About the Game
Starfield is still the perfect game for those who fancy Bethesda’s RPG formula, as it unifies the Fallout and Skyrim experience with a sci-fi setting. But…it is just nothing more than that. It depends too much on the legacy of Skyrim and Fallout and doesn’t push that medium forward one bit.
However, many people who are fans of Bethesda’s earlier works are just happy with that. For those fans, Starfield is Skyrim in space, and that’s perfect.
On the other hand, the space RPG comes with such distinctive shortcomings that they are impossible to ignore even by the most staunchest fans. This list will cover the glaring issues of Bethesda’s highly-anticipated RPG.
From its endless loading screens to lousy space exploration, here are 12 things Starfield players hate about the game.
1. Starfield’s Spacefaring Elements Are Virtually Non-existent
Starfield’s spacefaring elements are just there to create an illusion of a space voyage. But this skybox that the game calls space doesn’t feel genuine because it is impossible to land on a planet or take off from a planet in Starfield.
Let’s say that it is understandable due to the title’s outdated game engine. But it is impossible to move forward in space, let alone travel to another planet.
Instead, Starfield puts you in a skybox where you can float around with your ship, which you can spend hours building and crafting. But this lackluster exploration mechanics renders the incredibly detailed ship-building system of the game utterly useless.
On the other hand, the piloting, power allocation system, and the random encounters in space are actually great. But because of the minimal space exploration, these features don’t get to shine a bit.
As a Bethesda RPG, Starfield is a highly rewarding game you’ll surely play for years to come. But as a space exploration game, it is below even the lowest expectations.
2. Planet Exploration Gets Repetitive Due To Similar Points of Interest.
Starfield generates an explorable area every time you land on a planet. This creates room for a more personal experience, as the procedural generation system creates a different sandbox for each player.
This randomization system is one of Starfield’s core elements. But it loses its luster pretty fast once you get the hang of it.
Even though some places in Starfield’s planets are specially tailored, the majority of the planets are filled with locations that are incredibly similar to each other.
It would be unfair to expect a sense of exploration similar to Skyrim or Fallout in Starfield due to its massive scope. But Starfield’s infamous 1000 planets leave much to be desired regarding content and exploration.
It is possible to bump into a few interesting places and see Bethesda’s expertise in environmental storytelling. But the incentive to travel to another planet and explore its caves, denizens, and abandoned outposts gets weaker at every stage.
3. Bethesda Clearly Skipped Over Starfield’s Inventory System
The SkyUI mod for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim was quite popular mod for those who played Skyrim on PC. It added so much depth to the game’s inventory system, making it faster and more intuitive. It enhanced the gameplay experience and offered a better management system than the vanilla tool.
Not installing SkyUI wasn’t that big of a deal for Skyrim players, though. Even though the game’s inventory system was designed for console players, you could still use the vanilla version.
That’s definitely not the case with Starfield, though. Almost every UI and menu of the game feels complicated and turns simple tasks into tedious chores.
For example, it is tough to manage your inventory due to the incredible amount of clutter. The lack of information about the items you carry makes the process even more unbearable.
On one hand, you can understand that they went for a more sterile and minimalistic approach. On the other hand, it becomes impossible to put up with it after a while due to a plethora of items and factors.
An example of this would be the item categorization system. In Starfield, food, medicine, and all types of boosters are in the same category. Since there isn’t a shortcut button to eat food during combat, you need to pause the game and open your inventory constantly.
The pain doesn’t end here, though. Because then you need to scroll down through a miasma of edible and injectible items to find a simple food. You can’t categorize these items as well. Either you try to put up with this baffling system or leave yourself to the trusted arms of the modding community, which we’ve been familiar with when it comes to Bethesda games.
It is worth noting that Bethesda plans to improve the game’s quality of life. In a recent tweet, they said they would add an “eat” button to save you from constantly opening your inventory. But the fact that this is a part of a post-launch update is just mind-boggling.
4. The Endless Barrage of Loading Screens…
One of the worst things about Starfield is its loading screens. Although a lot faster than the ones in the previous games, Starfield’s loading screens are incredibly invasive. They drag the game away from offering a seamless experience.
If you installed Starfield on an SSD, the loading screens don’t take that much. But the issue is not how long they take; it is their incredible volume.
The loading screens are an inherent part of Starfield. Almost everything in Starfield triggers a loading screen. Entering your ship, leaving your ship, traveling to another planet, getting on the elevator…
They also make Starfield feel like an outdated game below 2023’s standards. Even though the developer made them a lot faster, the limitations of the good old Creation Engine 2 become more apparent as you play the game.
5. Planet Exploration Is Underwhelming, and It Desperately Needs Land Vehicles
While you can build and fly with colossal ships in Starfield, you just can’t explore its planets with land vehicles. To be fair to Bethesda, studio head Todd Howard did mention that the game would not offer means of land transportation.
According to Howard, adding land vehicles to the game would affect the pacing of planet exploration. It would also change “how fast the players see the things on the planet.” So, the excruciatingly long development process of their latest RPG didn’t include this feature.
Indeed, there is still hope for some land transportation in Starfield, thanks to the mods. But Bethesda’s choice of omitting this mechanic ultimately means one thing. They didn’t want players to see how sparse most planets in Starfield are.
If you walk to explore the planet, you have to spend more time to see that it is just filled with a couple of dull points of interest. However, having land vehicles would accelerate this process. So Bethesda decided it would be “more immersive” for players to spam their boost packs to explore an area constantly.
6. The UI Is Lackluster and Unintuitive
Starfield players hate the UI as much as they hate the inventory management system. That’s because doing just about anything on Starfield’s menus feels long-winded and time-consuming.
The unpolished UX often feels cumbersome as you need to switch between menus even for the slightest task. From traveling between star systems to checking an item you just looted, a great chunk of your time is spent on Starfield’s menus.
Considering how often you go into the menus and the inventory, Starfield’s user experience just feels poorly made.
7. Starfield’s NPCs Give Some Uncanny Valley Vibes
Starfield’s character models are far below the visual standards of the current gaming landscape. Even Bethesda would agree that their character models are not very pretty. In fact, they seem like mannequins with really vibrant eyes.
That said, some models look realistic and even appealing (hey, Sarah) under good lighting. For example, most of the characters in your ship during space will probably look alright.
But when it comes to facial animations, Starfield is really giving some uncanny valley vibes. That’s why most Starfield fans thought the developer could do better after nearly eight years of development.
8. Even Accidentally Opening the Console Can Disable Your Starfield Achievements
This might be one of the most annoying Starfield bugs out there. Accidentally pressing the console key (tilde) can put your achievements at risk. A great number of players shared that they weren’t able to unlock new achievements after enabling the console.
Typically, Starfield warns you about using console commands, stating that the achievements will be disabled once you enter a command. That said, a certain bug doesn’t even care if you entered any commands. It simply disables achievements as soon as you hit the tilde key.
Apart from accidentally pressing the key, you also might need to enter the “unlock” command to open a bugged door. Although not as buggy as their previous titles, Starfield can also place you underground or between a building’s walls.
That’s where you might need to enter some console commands to save you from being stuck. While this is clearly an anti-cheat measure implemented by the developer, it is obviously made poorly.
On another note, remember that you can enable achievements if they are disabled. The Achievement Enabler on Nexus Mods will fix the issue right away. You can also revert to an old save as the disabling feature locks itself onto the save files.
9. Bugs and Glitches Galore
Although not as many as Bethesda’s earlier games, Starfield also has its share of bugs and glitches. It doesn’t have many game-breaking bugs, unlike Cyberpunk 2077 or other titles with disastrous launches.
Remembering the catastrophic state of Fallout 76 during launch, the developers actually did a much better job with Starfield. Considering the game’s massive scope, it might be the cleanest game in Bethesda’s portfolio.
Nonetheless, it is definitely not devoid of any bugs and glitches at all. Although they don’t break the game often, Starfield’s bugs prove that it is a Bethesda game through and through.
During your playthrough, You will see a fair share of stuck NPCs, animation glitches, enemies without weapons, and objects without textures. Most of them are hilarious. So, let’s cut Bethesda some slack on this one.
10. Starfield’s Performance Is a Cosmic Letdown
Starfield’s low FPS issues caused a great number of players to steer clear of it. Seeing how poorly Starfield runs even on high-end systems, that’s only natural. Especially in big areas like New Atlantis, the performance worsens as the frame dips and constant stutters galore.
On the other hand, Todd Howard doesn’t feel like Starfield has “bad” optimization. The mind behind the studio’s latest RPG said they optimized Starfield. He added that “it is a next-gen PC game,” so “you might need to upgrade your PC.”
Howard’s reply sparked controversy in the gaming landscape since even the most ambitious systems couldn’t handle Starfield’s cities. The studio head said it was “running great as well,” while the game can’t maintain 60 FPS most of the time.
11. There Are No City Maps in Starfield
One of the most significant drawbacks of Starfield is its lack of maps for cities. The lack of a city map means you must memorize the vendors’ location and other important places.
To be honest, Starfield actually has city maps that kind of show the important places in the cities. But players deemed it unintuitive and utterly useless.
Because the current maps look like an unfinished topography report of the city, instead of offering a layout of the place, its stores, and landmarks, it only has large and uninformative icons. Considering how often you will visit the stores in different cities, all of these start grinding your gears.
Fortunately, Bethesda shared that they have received a ton of feedback regarding the city maps. The studio also shared that they would love to do them in the future.
Until then, players will have to make do with the mods or memorize the locations of stores and other important places.
12. Starfield’s Enemy AI Is Below the Current Standards
Starfield’s combat AI often feels like a relic from a bygone era of gaming. The enemies are incredibly predictable, failing to maintain some tactical intelligence. They are just bamboozled when you are running towards them or running 10 feet away from them.
Since Starfield has no VATS system, the combat encounters turn into shooting practice, with bullet sponge enemies that don’t even realize you’re in front of them.
On the other hand, Bethesda did a great job in weapon design, as the game’s arsenal is rich with exciting weapons. It is also safe to say that they upped their game regarding gunplay compared to Fallout 4 and Fallout 76.
But due to the poor enemy AI, you might want to change the difficulty to Hard in Starfield. Thanks to some overhaul mods, the Spacers, and Ecliptics in Starfield can also turn into partially challenging adversaries. But we wish for the day when a Bethesda game launches with a solid enemy AI out of the box and doesn’t need help from the modding community.
As a long-time Bethesda fan, I am pretty familiar with their games’ blatant problems. That’s why I can’t stop being mad at Starfield, as it was supposed to be the culmination of the studio’s years of tailoring immersive RPGs.
Frankly, I don’t like being on its procedurally generated planets or constantly clicking the fast-travel buttons for some interstellar cruising. But I also don’t want to quit Starfield and crave more daily sessions.
In short, Starfield has some prominent flaws that shouldn’t have been there after eight years of development. At the same time, the brilliant combination of Bethesda’s RPG formula with a sci-fi setting is nearly bulletproof. It is a mixed bag of brilliant moments and star-studded disappointments.
What I think most Starfield players would agree is that If it weren’t for the mods, the future of Starfield wouldn’t seem so bright. That said, we all know we will keep playing it for years, just like we did in Skyrim.