Starfield mod turns space travel into an actual series of loading screens by getting rid of all the ship landing and take-off scenes

Starfield ship landing on the surface of a bright planet
(Image credit: Tyler C. / Bethesda)

For one Starfield modder, every short animation of your ship landing and departing from planets that you're forced to watch is time you could've spent actually playing the game. So, they cut out every transitional space travel scene to please all the players who are tired of seeing them every time you want to travel somewhere new.

Ship Skip is a mod that makes Starfield's space travel a little more honest. It deletes the short animations where you see your ship dock, undock, land, or takeoff and skips right to the loading screen. It effectively transforms Starfield into the "series of loading screens" experience that people jokingly described it as when they found out you can't actually land your ship manually.

It works as intended for both the Steam and Windows Store versions of Starfield. Installation is fairly simple, but you should know going in that it has some bugs the developer is currently working on squishing. When you board enemy ships, you can get stuck in an animation loop, and your ship's docking extension will stay out after you dock.

The modder, Bub200, says they're hoping to speed up the animation of your character sitting down in the cockpit and an alternative version of the mod that lets you simply skip the animations whenever you'd like. You can actually see their slightly unsettling animation experiments over on their Ko-fi.

Ship Skip - Instant Station Docking and More by Bub"

Playing Starfield with the Ship Skip mod is more jarring than it is without it. You click a location and near-instantly appear there. It's extremely slick when you're in a rush to continue a mission or check an outpost, but I miss having a moment to take in the location before I set foot on it. The landing animations were basically establishing shots for each new planet and the world feels even smaller than it already did without them.

But once you've seen a planet or a city once, you don't need to see it over and over again. There's definitely value in speeding up the process if it's going to end in a loading screen anyway. Personally, I'll wait for whenever Bub200 is able to offer the version that lets you choose when to skip the scenes. Starfield already struggles to give you the feeling of space travel, so I'm going to hold onto what little sensation it has left.

Like many of the best Starfield mods right now, Ship Skip is essentially a shortcut around something that keeps you away from the things Bethesda does well, like exploration and conversations. While I appreciate these sorts of mods, I do wonder what it might be like to see them go in the other direction. Give me a mod that hides the loading screen and simulates what it's like to fly and land on a planet. For me, Starfield needs more space, not less.

Associate Editor

Tyler has covered games, games culture, and hardware for over a decade before joining PC Gamer as Associate Editor. He's done in-depth reporting on communities and games as well as criticism for sites like Polygon, Wired, and Waypoint. He's interested in the weird and the fascinating when it comes to games, spending time probing for stories and talking to the people involved. Tyler loves sinking into games like Final Fantasy 14, Overwatch, and Dark Souls to see what makes them tick and pluck out the parts worth talking about. His goal is to talk about games the way they are: broken, beautiful, and bizarre.