For all its grandeur and ambition, one of the most lamented aspects of Starfield is its approach to space travel. Instead of delivering a seamless and interactive space exploration experience, players often found themselves engulfed by cutscenes, acting as mere loading screens for transitions. This repetitive method reminded gamers that they were essentially just moving between game levels rather than voyaging in a vast, open universe.
Slower Than Light: Fly in a Star System
Modder 105gun stepped up with a solution to this prevalent grievance. Their mod, rather wordily named “Slower Than Light – Fly in a Star System”, available on Nexus Mods, embarks on two main functionalities:
- It allows players to manually control the speed stages of their ship via hotkeys. This means that, aside from the standard flight speed, players can now leap into warp speed.
- Travel within a star system without the interruption of a loading screen or cutscene becomes feasible. Although this propels players at “hundreds of times” the speed of light, reaching other planets still requires a significant amount of time.
However, there are certain limitations. For instance, the mod currently functions only within a singular star system, and landing on planetary surfaces is not an option. With Bethesda’s Creation Kit on the horizon, 105gun remains hopeful of refining the mod to better assimilate into the game.
A Word of Caution
Before diving into the mod, 105gun advises players to back up their save files. Given that the mod alters various game parameters, especially ship speeds, this is a step toward caution. In general, such preventative measures should be applied before installing any mod.
A Makeover for Landscapes
The Landscape Textures Overhaul pack, now available for Starfield, offers players a revamped experience in terms of visual appeal. The pack redesigns the game’s vanilla landscape and ground textures, aiming to both elevate their quality and resonate with the original textures’ essence. While most textures stay true to the original aesthetics, there are variations in resemblance.
- The overhaul increases VRAM usage between 500 and 700 MB.
- A minimum of 8 GB VRAM is recommended to run the game at a 1440p resolution or higher when using this mod.
Fast Travel Versus Real-Time Exploration
For many players, the allure of a game like Starfield is the fantasy of uninterrupted space exploration. However, the game’s native design leans heavily on fast-travel menus. This means the galactic magnitudes are filled with myriad dungeons, multi-dimensional questlines, and a plethora of activities, all get accessed via these menus and loading screens.
But here’s the silver lining: each solar system in Starfield is technically explorable. The only catch? The enormous interplanetary distances, which at regular game speeds, could take hours to traverse. Enter the Slower Than Light mod, which lets players cover these distances in mere minutes.
Features and Implications
- The mod’s increased speed options are mapped to specific hotkeys, propelling players at speeds hundreds of times that of light.
- There’s an immersive touch to the game, but mod installations might restrict players from earning certain achievements. Fortunately, there are mods to counteract that too.
- Given that Bethesda didn’t design the game for such travel, there are visual glitches and space rendering issues. These can usually be resolved with a simple save/reload.
The Role of Modders in Game Development
The vast popularity of mods for Starfield underlines an essential aspect of modern gaming: player feedback and intervention can significantly enhance a game’s experience. It’s not just about patching issues but adding new layers of depth and immersion that the original developers might not have envisioned or had the resources to implement.
While Starfield, with its riveting storyline, intriguing characters, and abundant content, stands out as one of Bethesda’s masterpieces, it’s the community-driven mods that are truly taking the game to new heights. These mods not only address the core concerns of the players but also pave the way for a more personalized and immersive gaming experience.
Continuing from the immersive modifications, it becomes evident that the gaming community and its passionate modders are shaping the future of gaming. Starfield, being a beacon of Bethesda’s ingenuity, acts as a testament to the symbiotic relationship between game developers and their player base.