It's incredibly rude to play a game for over a hundred hours and then demand more stuff be added to it. And yet… that's exactly what I'm gonna do.
Despite Todd Howard saying Starfield was meant to be played for a long time, I've had my fill after just a few weeks. That's an odd feeling to have about a Bethesda RPG: I was sunk into Oblivion, Skyrim, and the Fallout games for months before I felt like I needed a break. I want to spend more time in Starfield, but despite those 1,000 planets it just doesn't have the same gravitational pull as Bethesda's earlier sandboxes.
But just because a game has been released doesn't mean it's finished, so I've been thinking about what changes and additions might bring me back to Starfield for more, beyond just the DLC that's planned. Here are six things I'd love to see added to Starfield in the next year.
Top priority: official mod tools
I know mod tools are already in the works and that they're coming in 2024. But whatever the schedule for mod tools is, Bethesda should accelerate it. Getting Starfield's creation kit to modders should be not just a priority but the top priority, because if anyone can add hundreds of hours of playability to an RPG sandbox, it's modders.
There are already thousands of mods for Starfield, but for the truly deep, intricate, and complex mods we have for Skyrim and Fallout 4—mods like Sim Settlements 2 for Fallout 4 or Enderal for Skyrim—official tools are needed. The sooner Starfield gets mods that add entirely new characters and quests, complete overhauls of game systems, and entirely new systems built by modders, the better.
Enhanced spaceship building
If there's one thing (almost) everyone can agree on, it's that Starfield's spaceship building system is pretty great. Players have shown they simply do not get tired of building creative and cool ships piece by piece, from itty bitty ladybugs to ridiculously huge star destroyers.
But the ship building system could use a few tweaks. Some modules, like the medical bay, look extremely cool and suggest that it could be used as, y'know, a medical bay. But it's really just for looks and doesn't function like a hospital room that can cure afflictions (I know the feeling: I spent thousands of credits to hire an actual NPC doctor to work on my ship, only to find out she couldn't actually heal me.) Adding a storage room module doesn't actually increase the max storage capacity of your ship, either. Modules shouldn't just be appealing to look at, but functional.
A ship walkthrough preview—so you could check out how the interior looks and the modules line up without having to exit the builder—would be welcome, too. Heck, even just sprinkling in a few dozen more ship parts would give builders hours more entertainment. And ship-sharing, so players can easily download and fly each other's ships, feels like a no-brainer. Starfield's ship building community are the biggest champions of the game. Keep them happy!
Not everyone wants a survival mode in Starfield, but those who want it really want it. I am among them. Even more than Skyrim and Fallout 4, Starfield would be perfect for a survival experience if it overhauled several aspects of the game. Oxygen, for instance, wouldn't just be a replacement for stamina, but an actual, measurable, breathable resource.
Just imagine being marooned without a ship on some nearly-barren moon and having to scrape together the resources to build a small survival hab. Water and oxygen would all need to be harvested to stay alive, alien critters and plants harvested and farmed for sustenance and crafting, medicines would need to be synthesized to cure serious wounds and diseases. Robots could be built and maintained to help with chores, and maybe eventually you could cobble together a transmitter to intercept some passing cargo drones for supplies, or eventually flag down a rescue ship.
(Or maybe I should just play Stranded: Alien Dawn again).
A deeper outpost system
I liked building my little planetary base, but I never felt any interest in spending time there. As King Gath, creator of Sim Settlements 2 told PC Gamer, Starfield's base building just doesn't have the same appeal of Fallout 4's settlement system, where you provide for your settlers' needs. In Starfield, once you hire an outpost crew member, they're just there forever and you really never need to think about them again.
It just feels a bit lifeless and dull, not like the bustling, thriving space colony I'd hoped for. Even just a few little changes, like having settlers intermittently show up and ask to join your colony (like they do in Fallout 4) would add a lot. It'd make your base feel like a little bubble of human life on a desolate alien planet.
Another romanceable companion
I realize this is a tall order unless it's already in the works as part of some DLC—adding romance means tons of writing, dialogue, voice acting, and quest-building—but there's a problem at the center of Starfield's romance options and it's that everyone you can date is a total square. If you break the law, you'll break their heart, and have to suffer a bunch of arguments and recriminations. That's fine if you're roleplaying a goody two-shoes, less so if you're a shady type.
While it's great that there are multiple romance options inside the Constellation faction, it's a disgrace that there aren't romance options available at the other factions. If you want to be a space pirate or evil corporate stooge or even just an opportunistic murderer, there are companions and hirelings who won't bat an eye—but none of them can be romanced. I hope this changes someday. Even space scoundrels need a little love.
Space station creation
I can't really think of a solid reason to include space station construction in Starfield, but who cares? It'd be cool, and adding cool things to games is always a good idea. There's already a ship building system, just alter it to include space station parts and you're halfway there.
Not only would constructing it be fun, but having a base in orbit around a planet would be a great chance to host visitors. You know how you can hail a space station before you dock with it? Imagine other ships doing that with your station. Visiting traders, mysterious strangers, and sure, maybe even hostile pirates (pretending to be harmless visitors over the comms) could drop by while you're chilling on your space station. Plus, the view out the windows of the planet you're orbiting would be, frankly, stellar.