I'm now hooked on Starfield, and it's all thanks to its recent game-changing upgrade (2024)

I'm now hooked on Starfield, and it's all thanks to its recent game-changing upgrade (1)

I tried to like Starfield when it first launched, I really did. I'd enjoyed all of Bethesda's past RPGs in some form or other but, as PC Gamer's Starfield review indicated could happen, I found myself oddly cold, held at arm's length from the developer's biggest-ever virtual creation.

I'd tried restarting the game multiple times, building different characters and attempting to explore different aspects of its vast offering of in-game activities to see if that would make it stick, but each time my initial enthusiasm faded away and, pretty quickly, I'd find myself playing something else.

Honestly, there was a point a few months back where I'd relegated Starfield to the vast pile of games that I'd tried, but would never go back to. I'd even started a replay of Fallout 4 to fill the Bethesda itch that Starfield had failed to scratch.

But then, out of the blue, Starfield got the upgrade I'd seemingly been waiting for. Lost among the furore over the recently released $7 DLC mission was the game's new Creations centre, powered by Bethesda's release of the Starfield Creation Kit, a free piece of software that lets regular gamers make mods for the game and then share them with others.

And, let me tell you, while mods for Starfield had obviously existed before Bethesda launched Creations, with me myself downloading a few from trusty old Nexus Mods, they had been far from ideal. Especially because when I played Starfield back then, I'd played it across three different systems, my main gaming PC, my gaming laptop, and occasionally on an Xbox Series X.

This meant that, not only did I have to download my mods on every PC every time I added one, but they also wouldn't work on Xbox. Basically, it was a deal breaker, as I'd spend more time curating mods and getting Starfield on each system ready to play than actually playing the game.

I'm now hooked on Starfield, and it's all thanks to its recent game-changing upgrade (2)

Why Starfield Creations is a game-changer

Creations, though, solves that problem instantly. This is because when you download a mod from its in-game menu of Creations, it ties the mod in question to your Bethesda account. This then means that when you boot the game up on another system, and go ahead to launch your cloud save game, your list of Creations is automatically consulted and, if you don't have them installed on this machine, then you're simply offered the option to press a single button and have them all downloaded.

This makes keeping your mod list updated across multiple systems so easy, and if I spot a new Creation that I want to use, I don't have to spend some of my (very limited and super valuable) gaming time to download them all again.

Crucially, many of these Creations have immediately made Starfield a much, much better game for me and, being candid, are the reason why I'm now hooked on playing it. The mods I'm running change Starfield in small ways, but they iron out all the wrinkles that made me drop it originally, as well as adding new stuff that make the game more fun to play. Even better, while there are some paid Creations, the vast majority of them are totally free. You can download them in seconds and have them running in your game within minutes. Here's a few of my favourites.

I'm now hooked on Starfield, and it's all thanks to its recent game-changing upgrade (3)

Some of the free Starfield Creations I'm running right now that are making the difference

The Wondrous Weightlessness [All Resources Edition] by Trainwiz is a super simple mod that makes resource items in your inventory not take up any weight. Suddenly, instead of being bored to tears, having to spend ages constantly being encumbered and ferrying resources back and forth between myself, my ship and vendors, I can just actually make things with those resources (you know, the actual fun part) and not constantly worry about the tedium. Thanks to this mod, I'm now crafting exciting weapons with top-level parts and customising them to my taste, which is something I'd previously struggled to do due to the grind of resource management.

Here are more examples. Smarter Spacesuit Auto-Hide by Deebz hides your spacesuit while inside a sealed starship or safe, breathable planet, so you don't have to keep taking it on and off again. For those of us who like to role-play seriously in RPGs, this change is so welcome. Now I'm not ordering a Flat White at TerraBrew while wearing a full-on military-grade spacesuit.

Then there's the Improved Follower Behaviour mod, also by Deebz, that simply reduces the distance to you that your companions keep. This means no more losing a companion in the beyond, or finding yourself fighting an army while your mate is six rooms away, faffing about. Now, with Sarah Morgan et al fighting at my side, combat encounters feel more realistic and dramatic.

I'm now hooked on Starfield, and it's all thanks to its recent game-changing upgrade (4)

There's the excellent Avontech Shipyards by kaos_nyrb, a fantastic mod that adds a ton of new ship parts from the company Avontech that can be used at any ship builder. These parts look great and add a level of advanced alien-tech cool to Starfield's roster of more industrial ship parts, even if most are mainly cosmetic. The Ship Pieces Unlocked mod by SayHelloToMrBullet also makes ship building more intuitive and clear, as it unlocks the ability to see all ship parts at any time. You still need to have the relevant perks to buy them of course, but now planning for how your ship is going to get upgraded is so much easier.

While we're on cosmetics, I'd like to call out the a6 Exclusive Clothes mod by A6addon, too, which simply allows you to craft 48 outfits at any Industrial Workbench for one cosmetic. Suddenly there are so many more great outfit options for your character and your companions, too. Oh, and I can't not mention Starfield Hair+Beards by zone79, which provides so many more options for character customization as well.

Finally, I'd also like to call out Simple Dynamic Boostpacks by shadedness, which gives players more options to customise their boostpack to their liking, as well as the Starborn Gravis Suit by Bethesda itself, which not only looks kick-ass but also boasts some truly excellent defensive specs, the latter meaning that frustrating difficulty spikes in the game are now ironed out some, while also unlocking the ability to go to more dangerous (and interesting!) systems earlier in the game. It's a mod that grants more freedom of play right out of the gate.

I'm now hooked on Starfield, and it's all thanks to its recent game-changing upgrade (5)

And there's much more, too

So, yeah, I'm really digging Creations and how well Bethesda has implemented it into the game. It's helped me iron out some of the frustrations that were stopping me from enjoying Starfield, while also offering plenty of exciting new content that is just nice to have. What I've described above is just a fraction of the total mods on offer right now, too, so I'd suggest anyone who found themselves bouncing off Starfield to give the game another shot now, as Creations could be the game-changer for you, as it has been for me.

Of course, I think the most praise should be reserved for the talented modders who are out there creating content and, well, fixes for Bethesda's game completely free of charge. Without these modders, the Creations system would be nowhere near as good as it is now, so I tip my hat to each and every one of them, as they've been the true game-changer in me finally clicking with Starfield. Here's hoping that Bethesda is also learning from the Creations being made for its game, specifically the numerous fixes and gameplay tweaks, as if it does then it sure would help smooth out the launch of its next big-budget RPG.

Robert Jones

Print Editor

Rob is editor of PC Gamer magazine and has been PC gaming since the early 1990s,an experience that has left him with a life-long passion for first person shooters,isometricRPGs and point and click adventures. Professionally Rob has written about games, gaming hardware and consumer technology for almost twenty years, and before joining the PC Gamer team was deputy editor of T3.com, where he oversaw the website's gaming and tech content as well its news and ecommerce teams. You can also find Rob's words in a series of other gaming magazines and books such as Future Publishing's own Retro Gamer magazine and numerous titles from Bitmap Books. In addition, he is the author of Super Red Green Blue, a semi-autobiographical novel about games and gaming culture. Recreationally, Rob loves motorbikes, skiing and snowboarding, as well as team sports such as football and cricket.

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