Here's what Skyrim and Fallout modders want to see in Starfield mods

An edited Starfield screenshot with Peter Capaldi's face, a Deathstar, and Thomas the Tank Engine
(Image credit: Future)

While launch day may yet be months away, there's no shame in dreaming about Starfield mods already. I wouldn't be the first to spitball a slew of reskin mods for Bethesda's upcoming space game: everything from Star Wars and Star Trek to Firefly and Battlestar Galactica. Starfield is sure to bring all sorts of wild player-made mods: interface tweaks, balance patches, new companions, combat overhauls, and all the other Herculean feats we've grown accustomed to Skyrim and Fallout modders creating. 

But instead of dreaming up a laundry list of requests, I decided we should just ask the creators of major Bethesda RPG mods what they're hoping to create (or play) this time around. They also tipped me off to their most-wanted features for Starfield's version of the Creation Kit software. Although we don't know the feature list yet, Bethesda's work on an updated Creation Engine for developing Starfield likely means some fresh features for modders too.

Here's what they had to say—and don't worry, there are two mentions of Thomas The Tank Engine here. The meme won't be dying this decade.

Skyblivion for Skyrim project lead, Rebelzize: 

(Image credit: Bethesda)

What features do you want from Starfield's creation engine?

Rebelzize: Not so much a feature, gameplay or mechanics-wise, but more so limitations by the engine. I really hope the new Starfield tools will make it easier for us to import new 3D assets. Currently the pipeline for importing your assets into Skyrim or Fallout is rather time-consuming, unlike in engines such as Unreal and Unity where it's one click away, figuratively speaking, from being usable in your game project.

Other than that, having better tools to create larger scale environments would be fantastic. Being able to generate entire biomes or even being able to paint details such as rocks and trees on the landscapes would be a very welcome addition and allow us to create a new world much more easily. 

What's your biggest Starfield mod wishlist item?

Rebelzize: The great thing about modding, and especially about the Bethesda modding community, is that it creates things you didn’t know you needed or wanted: Thomas the Tank Engine replacer for Alduin, a complete redesign of the user interface for both Skyrim and Fallout, adding local co-op and even multiplayer to a single player game, replacing textures with higher resolution options, making NPCs more unique, or adding new quests.

Making mods is a very personal thing and what I like may not be that interesting to many others and vice versa. The great thing about modding for both creators and users is that it allows us to make the game the way we want it to be. We take something that everyone has and turn it into something personal. 

My top wishlist therefore is that the community gets the tools it needs to make whatever their crazy little minds can think up. For now I am busy wrapping up Skyblivion but once that chapter is over I am excited to both create mods and enjoy the plethora of mods created by my fellow Bethesda modders.

Skyblivion is one of the most ambitious Skyrim mods in development right now, an upcoming recreation of Oblivion inside Skyrim.

Sim Settlements 2 for Fallout 4 project lead, Kinggath: 

Editor's note: I've taken creative liberties and made it a ship destroyer, sorry. (Image credit: Bethesda / Lucasfilm)

What features do you want from Starfield's creation engine?

Kinggath: I think Fallout 4 gave us access to just about everything, except for the UI (HUD, hotkeys, button presses, etc). We have UI mods, but they require community frameworks to pull off in a way that multiple UI mods can coexist. It would be great to have a native framework that Bethesda gives us to start so we could change small parts of the HUD or override what buttons do so we can create better user experiences. 

Especially since Bethesda has brought mods to Xbox where they can't use some of those frameworks. It would be great to be able to give those players the same improvements to gameplay that can come from a good custom interface.

What's your biggest Starfield mod wishlist item?

Kinggath: Aside from Thomas the Tank Engine as a flyable spaceship? I really want a Deathstar. It doesn't have to be Star Wars branded, just the ability to blow up entire planets. We don't usually get the ability to destroy things in Bethesda's games, but I'm hoping their new tech makes it possible—and what bigger thing to destroy than a planet! That's probably odd to hear from the guy who built his reputation on building things up, but we already know we're getting base building in Starfield.

Sim Settlements 2 is the perfect way to start a new Fallout 4 game with its overhauled settlement system and new stories to boot.

Warden of the Coast for Skyrim project lead, TheBawb: 

(Image credit: Bethesda Softworks)

What features do you want from Starfield's creation engine?

TheBawb: Every modding software will have certain limitations to the game’s core mechanics, but overall the Creation Kit is a powerful tool where the modder is mostly limited by their creativity or the time they’re willing to put in. However, there are a few limitations I’d love to see overcome in the new Creation Kit 2 engine.

In the current Creation Kit, an object can only have four lights that cast shadows shining on it at one time. If additional lights that cast shadows are added, the area will flicker as the player approaches. Unfortunately, this limits how well a modder can light certain levels.

Navmesh (pathing) can’t be changed at runtime. For example, if a modder wants to add a platform to the game world after a certain quest is complete, NPCs will be able to use the pathing for it before the platform actually appears. This usually results in the NPCs getting stuck or falling off a ledge. On the topic of navmesh, a more accurate tool for automatically generating it would be highly appreciated.

This one’s relatively minor, but you can’t scale a single axis on an object in the Creation Kit. If I had a rock mesh I wanted to adjust the height of, I can only expand all three axes to do so. Whereas in Unreal I can scale only the Z axis to extend the height. There are external applications that could be used for this, such as Blender, but seeing the functionality in place in the next Creation Kit would be quite helpful for level designing.

Without community tools, Bethesda’s modding software is extremely finicky and crashes more frequently than the crypto market. A more stable Creation Kit, or one that backs up changes before a crash, would save modders a ton of time.

What's your biggest Starfield mod wishlist item?

TheBawb: While I expect a plethora of quality patches, improvements, and texture overhauls, I’m mostly excited to see what the community comes up with as far as new quests and stories. Modding provides a unique opportunity for authors to tell stories that they would otherwise lack the tools to. The possibility for community-designed worlds with their own lore, people, and adventures is truly endless, and from what we’ve seen, even Starfield’s base facial animations look like a great way to help facilitate these stories. I can’t wait to see what other modders are able to accomplish here.

Warden of the Coast is a BioWare-inspired companion mod that adds tons of fully-voiced characters and stories to Skyrim.

Fallout: London for Fallout 4 project lead Prilladog: 

(Image credit: Bethesda / Capaldi)

What features do you want from Starfield's creation engine?

Prilladog: In all honesty, the current Creation Kit is far more robust and intuitive than people give it credit for. Whilst it may be a bit dated and have a steep learning curve, once you have the basics worked out it becomes rather easy to use. At Fallout: London we have managed to get fully working trains, boats, and even elephants which have not been seen before in the vanilla Fallout 4 game just due to some deep diving of its abilities and hard graft self-learning.

So I can't imagine that the new Creation Kit would offer too much more than it is already capable of. Admittedly more documentation would always be a big plus! I guess I would also hope that the new Creation Kit will be somewhat more optimised in its rendering distances and load amount though. I think the biggest jump in tech we would like, if it is at all possible, would be to allow users of the new Creation Kit to work with certain elements which can be found in other engines such as Unreal Engine, specifically around the creation and implementation of 3D assets, as a system like that would make it a lot easier! And if it would allow PBR (Physically Based Rendering) texture systems then I can imagine some truly beautiful mods coming out!

What's your biggest Starfield mod wishlist item?

Prilladog: My answer would be a little self serving, however I would love to see the modding community expand on the ideas which we will include in Fallout: London into that of Starfield. Seeing a British themed planet in space would be very amusing and I think it could carry itself quite well, especially if Starfield keeps to the same humour levels which are expected from Bethesda games. Another idea which would actually fit with a British themed mod would be if one could include elements of Doctor Who. Doctor Who in Starfield? That'd be pretty cool.

Fallout: London is one of the most ambitious Fallout 4 mods in development right now, adding an entirely new map and story across the pond.


Starfield factions: Find a cause to quest for
Starfield cities: See the big spaces in space
Starfield companions: Collect cosmic comrades
Starfield traits: Give your hero some history
Starfield ship customization: Make your spaceship special

Lauren Morton
Associate Editor

Lauren started writing for PC Gamer as a freelancer in 2017 while chasing the Dark Souls fashion police and accepted her role as Associate Editor in 2021, now serving as the self-appointed chief cozy games enjoyer. She originally started her career in game development and is still fascinated by how games tick in the modding and speedrunning scenes. She likes long books, longer RPGs, has strong feelings about farmlife sims, and can't stop playing co-op crafting games.