With a game as big as Starfield, you’re bound to find something you love in it. Whether you’re in it for the writing or just want to chill out in space, there are a lot of hooks that have a good chance of grabbing you. However, it’s only natural that something so huge would also come with its own suite of annoyances. While I enjoyed my playthrough, I had several moments during my adventure where I wished Bethesda would go back in and patch in some quality of life improvements.
Usually, that would be some wishful thinking, but it’s actually possible here. That’s because Bethesda games are havens for modders who take matters into their own hands. The base version of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is solid, but the real fun happens when you start downloading mods. Those can be helpful tweaks that adjust annoying UI quirks or wild ones, like an infamous mod that turns all dragons into Thomas the Tank Engine. When I look at Starfield’s vast universe, I see a blank canvas waiting for a community of fans who will fill it in.
After completing my adventure, I’m already keeping a running list of mods I’d download in a heartbeat were someone to make them. Consider this my unofficial wish list for either Bethesda or the modding community — whoever gets there first.
Planet exploration can be a bit of a drag in Starfield. It involves touching down on a random chunk of land and very slowly walking between very spread out points of interest. It’s laborious and has really killed my desire to check out more planets. There’s something that could bring me back in an instant, though: space motorcycles. With so much blank space to traverse, it almost feels like Bethesda’s barren planets were built for vehicles. Whether it be a bike or a rover, getting the ability to race around a planet’s surface and launch off of cliffs would be a genuine game changer that would fix one of my biggest complaints about the experience.
“Encumbered” status effects are a pet peeve of mine in just about any game. That’s a common condition in RPGs like this where you begin to move slower the more items you’re carrying. Starfield has that, but it makes that status effect even more obnoxious. When you’re carrying too much stuff, you drain oxygen faster. When you run out, you start to build up CO2 and begin to take damage. It’s a steep penalty that can kill the pace of the adventure, as you either need to be constantly menuing to dump items or making frequent stops to regain health. A mod that removes the status effect, or at least gets rid of the pain, would go a long way.
Before Starfield launched, I was excited to live the life of an explorer. I had dreams of going to distant planets and cataloging every alien and plant. Unfortunately, Bethesda wasn’t as excited about that idea as I was. While you can scan flora and fauna, there’s no way to actually see that data anywhere in-game. It’s a major disappointment that’s stopped me from exploring. A mod or update that would give me something akin to The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom’s compendium would be a godsend, giving me a more tangible way to collect data and track my research journey.
There are 1,000 planets to explore in Starfield — but god help you if you’re trying to return to a specific one. The RPG doesn’t have many good ways to remember which planets contain important sites. There isn’t an easy way to find where the outposts you’ve built are and you’re a bit out of luck if you forget where a hub city like Akila City is. There were several times during my playthrough where I wished I could simply type in a planet I was looking for and find it, or at the very least get some way to filter for specific results. I have to imagine that it won’t be long until someone creates a quality of life improvement like that.
Though Starfield mostly deals with human enemies, there are a handful of robots to fend off in the adventure. And while it’s fun to fight one, I’d rather ride one. That might not be a total pipe dream. Bethesda has teased that mechs played a role in the history of the game’s universe, but it doesn’t really follow up on such a tantalizing tidbit. If the studio isn’t planning to add mechs to the game in a future update, I’m hoping the modding scene is inspired to add some themselves, bringing a bit of Armored Core 6 to the universe.
My biggest hope for Starfield’s modding scene is much broader. As it stands currently, there simply isn’t much to do on most planets. They’re empty stretches of land with only the occasional cave to explore or resource to collect. I already know that the modding scene must be itching to get their hands on those blank spaces and fill them in. I’m dreaming of mods that will add random settlements to planets. Hell, maybe someone will turn one moon into a Thomas the Tank Engine habitat. I have no idea what the ever-creative Starfield community could do with so much space, but I’m equally excited and terrified to find out.
Starfield is available now for those who pre-ordered it. It’ll fully launch on September 6.