Only two weeks after launch, it's hard to say who's dissecting Starfield the fastest, speedrunners or modders. Put another check in the modding column, because one of the most popular mods for Skyrim now has a Starfield version. Alternate Start Starfield is here to give you different places to begin your space adventure instead of being some grunt miner. Because seriously, why would I choose the diplomat background if I'm still going to wind up a "dusty?"
Alternate Start for Starfield is inspired by one of the best Skyrim Special Edition mods, Alternate Start - Live Another Life, which lets you begin your quest in ways that don't involve that iconic wagon ride to a dragon attack. It's a great opening, but after 20 playthroughs it's time for something new.
This Starfield version provides new starting points for a list of Starfield backgrounds and eventually plans to support starting points for all four factions, its creator SpaceDov4 explains. There's a Beast Hunter starting point in Akila City and a Cyberrunner on Neon and so on. It means you get to start out by exploring some of the cooler cities than New Atlantis' very prim and polished spaceport.
No matter which background you choose, you'll start out accompanied by Vasco and have possession of the Frontier ship with an active quest to return the artifact in your inventory to Constellation. You can begin the main quest as usual by heading to New Atlantis and meeting Sarah Morgan. Or you can put off the main quest for a while and roleplay your thrilling life as a Neon street rat.
This is a very early iteration of the eventual vision for a complete Alternate Start mod, mind. You're downloading a pack of save files that will give you a premade character without traits. You'll need to use Starfield console commands to give yourself whichever traits you want your character to have and to customize your appearance.
Whether by SpaceDov4 or someone else, I'd bet we'll eventually see a fully bespoke version of Starfield alternate starts with access to character creation during a scripted introduction sequence of some kind. That's a bigger ask though, and will likely come along after modders have gotten their hands on the full Starfield Creation Kit tools that are expected to arrive in 2024.
Unlike Skyrim, where most folks would recommend you play through as intended at least once, I imagine the Alternate Start mod may eventually be recommended for first playthroughs of Starfield. We've noted that Starfield's intro is disappointing, and markedly weaker than Bethesda's other open world RPGs. Most of the Starfield backgrounds are pretty interesting and would lend themselves to cooler opening quests than passing out in a mineshaft.
For what it's worth, there's a second, competing attempt at an Alternate Start mod by Explorium which initially had just two starting point choices but has since added a Crimson Fleet start point and a Martian one.
Things are still moving pretty fast as modders continue to adapt ideas from Fallout and Skyrim, so keep up with the latest Starfield mods as they're developed.