Skip to main content

Digital Trends may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Why trust us?

Starfield is good, but these 6 mods could make it even better

With a game as big as Starfield, you’re bound to find something you love in it. Whether you’re in it for the writing or just want to chill out in space, there are a lot of hooks that have a good chance of grabbing you. However, it’s only natural that something so huge would also come with its own suite of annoyances. While I enjoyed my playthrough, I had several moments during my adventure where I wished Bethesda would go back in and patch in some quality of life improvements.

Usually, that would be some wishful thinking, but it’s actually possible here. That’s because Bethesda games are havens for modders who take matters into their own hands. The base version of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is solid, but the real fun happens when you start downloading mods. Those can be helpful tweaks that adjust annoying UI quirks or wild ones, like an infamous mod that turns all dragons into Thomas the Tank Engine. When I look at Starfield’s vast universe, I see a blank canvas waiting for a community of fans who will fill it in.

After completing my adventure, I’m already keeping a running list of mods I’d download in a heartbeat were someone to make them. Consider this my unofficial wish list for either Bethesda or the modding community — whoever gets there first.

Space vehicles

V rides a motorcycle while shooting at a mech in Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty.
CD Projekt Red

Planet exploration can be a bit of a drag in Starfield. It involves touching down on a random chunk of land and very slowly walking between very spread out points of interest. It’s laborious and has really killed my desire to check out more planets. There’s something that could bring me back in an instant, though: space motorcycles. With so much blank space to traverse, it almost feels like Bethesda’s barren planets were built for vehicles. Whether it be a bike or a rover, getting the ability to race around a planet’s surface and launch off of cliffs would be a genuine game changer that would fix one of my biggest complaints about the experience.

Getting rid of encumberment

A man walking into a dusty town on another planet in starfield.
Bethesda Game Studios

“Encumbered” status effects are a pet peeve of mine in just about any game. That’s a common condition in RPGs like this where you begin to move slower the more items you’re carrying. Starfield has that, but it makes that status effect even more obnoxious. When you’re carrying too much stuff, you drain oxygen faster. When you run out, you start to build up CO2 and begin to take damage. It’s a steep penalty that can kill the pace of the adventure, as you either need to be constantly menuing to dump items or making frequent stops to regain health. A mod that removes the status effect, or at least gets rid of the pain, would go a long way.

Give me a compendium

A space explorer stands in front of a mountain range in Starfield.
Bethesda

Before Starfield launched, I was excited to live the life of an explorer. I had dreams of going to distant planets and cataloging every alien and plant. Unfortunately, Bethesda wasn’t as excited about that idea as I was. While you can scan flora and fauna, there’s no way to actually see that data anywhere in-game. It’s a major disappointment that’s stopped me from exploring. A mod or update that would give me something akin to The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom’s compendium would be a godsend, giving me a more tangible way to collect data and track my research journey.

A planet search function

A scan of planet kreet in Starfield.
Bethesda Softworks

There are 1,000 planets to explore in Starfield — but god help you if you’re trying to return to a specific one. The RPG doesn’t have many good ways to remember which planets contain important sites. There isn’t an easy way to find where the outposts you’ve built are and you’re a bit out of luck if you forget where a hub city like Akila City is. There were several times during my playthrough where I wished I could simply type in a planet I was looking for and find it, or at the very least get some way to filter for specific results. I have to imagine that it won’t be long until someone creates a quality of life improvement like that.

Bring on the mechs

A mech flying in the air shooting missiles at another mech.
Bandai Namco Entertainment

Though Starfield mostly deals with human enemies, there are a handful of robots to fend off in the adventure. And while it’s fun to fight one, I’d rather ride one. That might not be a total pipe dream. Bethesda has teased that mechs played a role in the history of the game’s universe, but it doesn’t really follow up on such a tantalizing tidbit. If the studio isn’t planning to add mechs to the game in a future update, I’m hoping the modding scene is inspired to add some themselves, bringing a bit of Armored Core 6 to the universe.

Filling up planets

An astronaut explores a planet's surface in Starfield.
Bethesda

My biggest hope for Starfield’s modding scene is much broader. As it stands currently, there simply isn’t much to do on most planets. They’re empty stretches of land with only the occasional cave to explore or resource to collect. I already know that the modding scene must be itching to get their hands on those blank spaces and fill them in. I’m dreaming of mods that will add random settlements to planets. Hell, maybe someone will turn one moon into a Thomas the Tank Engine habitat. I have no idea what the ever-creative Starfield community could do with so much space, but I’m equally excited and terrified to find out.

Starfield is available now for those who pre-ordered it. It’ll fully launch on September 6.

Topics
Giovanni Colantonio
Giovanni is a writer and video producer focusing on happenings in the video game industry. He has contributed stories to…
Lunar Lander Beyond makes a classic Atari game even more stressful
Key art for Lunar Lander Beyond.

If you asked me to make a list of the most stressful video games of all time, Lunar Lander would be pretty high up there. The Atari classic is a masterclass in minimalist tension, asking players to land spaceships on rocky planets very gingerly. Those who experienced that game when it launched could probably regale you with war stories about their space-faring escapades, but Atari is about to give players a new panic attack.

Lunar Lander Beyond is a new reimagining of the classic Atari game from developer Dreams Incorporated. It’s an in-depth modernization with flashy animated cutscenes, an XCOM-inspired approach to characters, and lots of little systems that reinvent the classic formula. What it doesn’t paint over, though, is the stress of piloting a fragile spacecraft. Instead, it turns the dial way past 11.

Read more
New PS5 update makes the DualSense’s mic and speaker even better
A DualSense and DualSense Edge sit on a table together.

Sony rolled out another beefy PlayStation 5 update today with the main goals of improving the speakers and mic on the DualSense and DualSense Edge controllers and deepening the number of Share Screen viewer interactions.

According to a PlayStation Blog post from when this update first entered beta testing in February, the speaker on the DualSense controller will now be able to output sounds more clearly at a higher volume. If you've been playing Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, this update is useful because it will make Chadley sound better when they are speaking through your DualSense. Sony also says it's using machine learning to improve noise cancellation on the DualSense's built-in microphone.

Read more
Six months later, Starfield’s modding scene is still lost in space
Promotional art for Bethesda's Starfield.

Shortly after Starfield released last summer, my initial discussions with friends and colleagues about its future tended to skew positive. Within six months, we hoped, Starfield’s empty cosmos would no longer be quite so empty thanks to the same thriving modding scene that's made games like The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim so timeless.

Regardless of whether or not we were being optimistic at the time, our predictions mostly fell flat.

Read more