I knew going in that Starfield would be a massive game. Todd Howard proclaimed over 1,000 planets for us to explore, and he wasn’t wrong. It’s a gigantic universe filled with many unique characters, quests, and factions. That’s not to mention the insane amount of loot to scoop up at every turn. But, as is common with any game of this scope, there were some tidbits I wish I had known beforehand to make my first playthrough easier. Hopefully, they can help you, so here are 10 things I wish I knew before starting Starfield.
- You’re Not Stuck With Your Character
- Get The Constellation Lodge Armor Set Early
- Take Skills to Improve Oxygen Levels
- Choose the Right Skills
- Persuasion Opens So Many Doors
- Companions Make Perfect Storage
- Hunt Every Alien to Extinction
- Cut Your Speed to Turn Faster in Ship Combat
- Save The Game Often
- Get Accustomed to Fast Travel
You’re Not Stuck With Your Character
If you’re the type who will willingly spend an hour in character creation, just like my wife does in every role-playing game, then chances are you’re never quite happy with the outcome. Does that sound about right? If so, then Starfield offers a solution.
If you do not like your hairstyle, the way your nose sits on your face, or your character’s overall build, then the Enhance! shops scattered throughout the main cities of Starfield can help. These cosmetic surgery stores offer you a chance to redo some of the character creation steps. You can’t change everything, but there’s quite a bit available, especially cosmetic options, from the get-go.
Get The Constellation Lodge Armor Set Early
Did you know that in the basement of Constellation Lodge, tucked way in the back, there’s a locked display case with a set of armor? It’s true! Simply head down the stairs beside the entrance to the crafting stations and then work through the underground levels. It’s backed into a corner deeper in the basement.
It’s locked with a Master Lock, so you’ll need to increase your Security to pick through it, but if you can, it’s a fantastic set of armor. Most of the armor in Starfield looks bulky and bland, but this one is sleek and aesthetic.
Alternatively, if you aim through the crack in the display case door with enough precision, you can snag it without lockpicking. It might take a few tries, but it’s doable.
Take Skills to Improve Oxygen Levels
You will spend a lot of time running—a lot. And if you’re running with a full backpack, your O2 levels will diminish rapidly. Before long, you’re building up CO2 and then dying. It’s a vicious cycle that doesn’t improve until you’ve invested a few skill points and increased your level.
You should invest a point or two into Fitness at the earliest opportunity. It’s a physical skill that increases the amount of oxygen available. The highest tier will decrease the amount of oxygen you use while sprinting, while the rest of the levels increase the total oxygen available.
Choose the Right Skills
Starfield features a staggering number of skills to flesh out your build. If you want to play a stealth sniper, you can improve detection rates. If you want to become the ultimate pirate and steal and loot spaceships, the option is there. But early on, you may not know what build suits your playstyle best.
No matter because there are a few recommended skills you should take anyway. These include:
- Ballistics: Increases the damage dealt by physical damage weaponry.
- Piloting: Allows you to pilot better and stronger ships.
- Medicine: Improves the efficiency of first aid items.
- Surveying: Increases the efficiency of the scanner.
- Weapon Engineering: Increases weapon stats and unlocks research projects.
Persuasion Opens So Many Doors
I’m typically the type of player to attempt stealth until things go wrong, then blast the doors down and leave no one standing in an open-world game. If you’re similar, you should learn early on that persuasion is a beneficial skill. It can open so many doors, alter numerous interactions, and completely change the course of some quests altogether.
Unfortunately, persuasion is tough without popping a Hippolyta for the boost or investing quite a few skill points in increasing your persuasive skills. Is it worth doing? Absolutely. I highly recommend you immediately put a skill point into Persuasion, then work on its challenges to increase its tier.
Companions Make Perfect Storage
When playing a Bethesda role-playing game, I typically fly solo. Why? Because the companion AI is generally inadequate and downright annoying. How many times must they block a doorway before I run them down?
But in Starfield, the AI is somewhat improved over past titles and makes fantastic storage. Unlike you, the companions from Constellation, especially Vasco, won’t succumb to the overweight status. You can load them up with any of your goods, including weapons, armor, and resources, and then walk away without worry. It’s an excellent way to farm a planet of its resources before heading back to your newly constructed outpost.
Hunt Every Alien to Extinction
Don’t let conservation hear me say this, but hunting down aliens is a lot of fun. Even better is, alongside the entertainment of landing on a planet and going on a wild hunt, picking up the numerous resources they drop. Many of Starfield’s fauna will drop rare and elusive resources used in research and crafting.
Seriously, the next time you stumble upon a Kreet Stalker or Metropus Floater, gun them down and check the loot. You’ll find resources you can’t find elsewhere.
Cut Your Speed to Turn Faster in Ship Combat
I’ve never been on for flight or space simulator games. They excite me and entice me, but I’ve always firmly planted my feet on the ground. As such, while flying a spaceship in Starfield, it took me some time to adjust to the captain’s chair.
During combat, enemies will quickly gain the upper hand if you don’t understand your ship. More specifically, it would be best if you learned how to maneuver. When an enemy whizzes by your cockpit, cut your speed to zero, then turn to meet them head-on. With reduced speed, your ship will turn and accelerate in the opposite direction quicker. It’s a fantastic method for keeping the pressure on.
Save The Game Often
A huge thanks to our very own Nikola Loncar, who brainstormed the final two points on this list.
He makes a fantastic point that you should save often while playing Starfield. There are so many unique pathways and decisions to make that, despite your best efforts, you may find yourself dissatisfied with the outcome of a specific action. Instead of starting a new game and grinding to reach the same point, make a save just before significant events.
Even better, make a save every few minutes using the quicksave option. Hit F5 when playing with the mouse and keyboard to quicksave the game.
Get Accustomed to Fast Travel
Unfortunately, as Nikola found out the hard way, there is no method to manually fly and land a ship on any planet in the game. You will always sit through a loading screen to land. While this is fine for those running the game on an SSD, as Bethesda intended, others may find the load times egregious.
Furthermore, while it would have been incredible to manually enter the atmosphere of any planet in the game and touch down ourselves, this is a role-playing game, not a space simulator. In the latter, something like this would make more sense. But Starfield focuses more on the quests and characters than any realism.