Starfield is starting to get negative reviews on Steam

Starfield's flawed user interface, tedious exploration, and inconsistent gameplay mechanics have led to increasing negative feedback.

Starfield's sales aren't as high as most expected them to be, which might be a problem.

The Steam user reviews of Starfield, Bethesda Game Studios' newest role-playing game, has begun its descent. The first IP from the studio in over two decades, which garnered significant attention before its full release, is disappointing players in various ways.

One of the primary complaints stems from Starfield's user interface. The game's UI is easily its Achilles heel, as it makes managing the plethora of items, resources, and stats essential for gameplay cumbersome. The base-building mechanic, although promising, ends up being a convoluted mess for players. There's a consistent lack of clarity around which raw materials are required for which structures, and the game doesn't help users understand what manufactured materials entail. As a result, it's easy to find yourself trapped in a frustrating loop of trial and error. The inventory system isn't any good either. With the vast amount of items one can accumulate, players struggle with understanding what they should keep or sell, exacerbating the already complex gameplay.

Comparisons to Bethesda's previous iconic release, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, surface, but not in the way the developer might hope. Instead of learning from past mistakes, Bethesda doubled down on one of Skyrim's few glaring flaws - its interface. The changes in the interface seem random and unnecessary, further complicating an already daunting system. This, combined with poor optimization and extended loading screens, has considerably hampered the gameplay experience.

While Starfield boasted high Early Access numbers, they didn't improve much as soon as the game came out.

However, the woes don't stop with the UI. The design choices for exploration feel puzzling and outdated. The choice to design planets similarly to the original Mass Effect, where you'll land in planets with zero vehicles to help you explore, is perplexing. The act of walking between Points of Interest on vast, often barren terrains is a chore, leaving you feeling underwhelmed. This dated approach doesn't make Starfield feel like a game that came out on current-gen consoles - it's more like The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion in this aspect

Starfield's economy could use some work as well. Selling spacecraft, one would assume, would fetch more credits. But, in Starfield, the value of a spacecraft seems oddly low. This skewed sense of in-game economy often makes some tasks, like combating pirates, more profitable than others that should logically have higher stakes and rewards.

Moreover, despite being marketed as a space exploration game, Starfield seems to limit the player's actual experience of traveling through space. It lacks the thrill of take-off, flight, or landing as it relies on loading screens more often than it should.

As massive as Starfield's universe is, it's starting to look like it's a relatively niche game.

It's clear that Bethesda had a grand ambition. With countless locations and numerous gameplay systems, they aimed to give players a vast universe to explore. While this was a commendable goal, in practice, it seems that this expansive and never-ending scope resulted in many areas of the game feeling empty and uninspiring. The handcrafted sections of the game shine, but the extensive reliance on procedurally generated content dilutes the overall experience. It's as if Starfield punishes you for exploring the world than rewarding you for it.

Feedback indicates that the enjoyment curve of Starfield is erratic. It's a roller-coaster of emotions that sees players slog through the first few hours before the real fun begins. Then, the inherent flaws become more noticeable, making the overall experience tedious.

Ultimately, Starfield is a mix of Skyrim and Fallout but set in space. This isn't inherently bad. There's a market for such a game. But, it's clear the game doesn't meet the heightened expectations of many.

The good news is that most of Starfield's flaws are fixable.

Starfield's flawed execution, outdated mechanics, and underwhelming exploration elements hold it back from reaching the stars.

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  1. Oblivion, Skyrim, Fallout Space?

    Naaah, it more obvious than that- it's Fallout 76 in Space, by a bunch of tired designers, using a tired engine, with a tired 16 x... 1000 planets of hype. Biggest achievement is showing up the 10/10, 100%'er paid for and lying Critics/Influencers for what they are.

    1. I played the game. I think some aspects of it are great but you can tell it was made by people who just wanted to get it done and move on which is a shame.

  2. They will continue to rise after what that modding community did. They don't allow a mod to remove pronouns but they allow you to have a CHILD BRIDE in Skyrim. The gaming industry in the west is in a downward spiral. I am sticking to Japanese titles.

    1. Of course the Snowflake Right can't handle proper English being used in a game. Multisyllabic words scare you too, don't they pal?
      I got news for you, wojack. The East is just as 'tainted' as the west, and the Japanese obsession with lolicon is no better than your claims of child brides in Skyrim (for which you have no proof).

      Go back to your Trump Infested basement and tell your mom to go easy on the uncrustables, her gut is starting to chafe in bed.

    2. If pronouns are not a big deal, why do they care so much if we choose to remove them from a game that we purchase? Apparently that's the big, woke line, that they try to force you to think like them, and not cross. Those that mock people saying, "wOrDs ArE sCaRy, HuH?", are already sheep apart of the twisted-thinking herd, to which they've been too far brainwashed to think for themselves, and do as the media tells them.

    3. Ah yes, because the Japanese are at the forefront when it comes to defending minors. They totally don't depict very young people in highly sexualized ways in their media!

    4. Removing pronouns does to trans, nb, and gender nonconforming people, exactly what it would do if you removed all of any color people from the game. It would allow segregation, marginalization and discrimination. As it is you.... YOU choose your pronouns. If you don't like them then pick different ones. If you want a mod for it than make it yourself. Mod communities have community standards. They pay to host your content on their site. If you don't like it. Don't cry just go somewhere else. Humans have pronouns. It's not liberal anarchist woke propaganda its basic language use.

    1. Narrative is cool. In fact, looks like a nice game press site. Different that the rest that if not using humor tend to be boring.

  3. Well, my biggest complaint is that Starfield is crack. Got on last night at close to midnight for a short session and the next time I looked at the time it was 3:30.

  4. Can't say I'm really surprised. That's usually Bethesdas biggest weakness when it comes to these games lol it's definitely a fair criticism. Mods have already been made to fix a lot of problems, and the game just came out. It just makes me disappointed that a simple modder was able to improve these features in just a few days of the game being out, whereas Bethesda has been developing this game for years and didn't want to do it themselves.

  5. I think it's funny people really expected star citizen but with a Bethesda storyline lol all the complaints people have, go buy star citizen and play that. The op complained about not landing or taking off and load screens and this that and the 3rd. Games exist with all those mechanics so go play them. This is a Bethesda rpg at it's best I haven't been this invested in a game since skyrim's original release for pc and 360. I play these games for the ridiculous amount of quests and the great story and def not disappointed.

  6. sounds nothing like the game im playing. people are just entitled and want easy. ships arent alot of profit bc 1) its easy and quick 2) you loot the guys u kill and the ship itself. article is sooo misleading it makes me wonder if this was a copy/paste or the writer didnt play the game rofl

  7. I think the game is great! I'd rather have a 2 second loading screen to get down to the surface of planets then acting taking 5 minutes just to land somewhere. The same would be said for taking off, this game is way to big and the space ships don't travel much faster then today's current ships. Also space 99% of the time is gonna be you just going to the destination with almost nothing in-between. I don't mind the UI either I find it much easier to read then both fallout 4 and Skyrim's see through UI. Also all the information for each item is displayed in a way I like unlike fallout 4's and Skyrim's.

  8. Most of the criticism is from people who haven't actually played the game.

    Sony fanboys on playing the same games over and over and over and over again.

  9. A bunch of salty ponies still hating on a great game! Bet if this was a Sony exclusive it would have gotten a 9. Something and it would have been the best thing since sliced bread......,gtfooh.

  10. Well...mass effect did give you a vehicle and even in the first one it was fun racing around mostly empty planets.

    In any event, all these criticism are certainly valid but in the other hand it's a Bathesda game, what we're you expecting?
    I'm enjoying it for what it is and I imagine I'll be playing it for a long time despite it's obvious faults.
    Modders have already fixed a few of the issues mentioned on PC and I can only imagine what they will do once mod tools are released.

    I bought it knowing it was fallout in space, if I want to play No Mans Sky, I'll play it.

  11. The xbox soyboys are crying so hard right now🤣🤣🤣.....The pronouns are a joke....It's hilarious watching their TDS.....Aparrently if say one obvious con about Starflop your"re automatically labeled a sonypony or fanboy......Im really starting to think these soyboys were born stupid or they're taking lessons....I mean they do have their whole lives to be stupid...But maybe they should take today off 👍👍....

  12. While I agree with some of this posts points I do disagree with the game feeling boring or tedious. Yes the UI may be a bit wonky and the crafting system leaves a lot to be desired however the ship combat and story are immersive and make you want to finish the storyline. What I mean is you can't roll all our favorite games into one without have a few problems pop up. I suggest giving Bethesda some time and they will some out the rough patches just like they did with other games.

  13. I just saw the steam store page and it day 77% 44,877 are positive reviews wtf is this talking about. This is 10:55am 09/12/2023

  14. If you bought the Steam version, and you're complaining about the UI rather than just modding in a better one, you deserve to have a bad time.

  15. Lol, people act too much over this. The article is correct and some people did have high expectations because of other space games. It did cause that assumption for this game. Reason I agree with some of those people and disagree the crazy praise for it.

    If they keep getting high praise for this stuff they might make it worse as time passes for new games they make. Being starfield is the same as fallout and skyrim just space. Without the proper exploration bit.

    Or correct RPG variety in weapons. Found the double barrel low level and it beats everything even much higher level enemies. Bugs especially everywhere and glitches, Crashes a lot on series X after a bit, it became a back and forth fast travel thus loading screens galore for quests, outposts and houses are basically the same as the other two games but more annoying stuff to make and find, skills are nice variety and thankfully high level cap for them.

    But slows down in leveling because of tedious back and forth fast travels. I do read faster from the subtitles and still with the story, just it gets boring and trying to stick with it because I do enjoy it. But has much flaws like previous games from their broken and outdated engine. I don't hate it but don't love it either. Is why I'd say it should've been like a rating for 5 or 6/10. Not promote them or encourage them to make more like it that will get worse as they keep making them. Bethesda has good people but can't let them high ups or other people get lazy with it, let alone more conflict within gamers which will only get worse like the small amount in these comments section. Reason I avoid triple A games anyways though. Being I play starfield via gamepass and see if they fix everything later on or add good DLC to compensate for some issues. Hopefully won't have same issues for other highly anticipated skyrim game. Having much less expectations for that one.

  16. No offense but sounds like a review from someone who hasn't played Skyrim or fallout and I genuinely hope they push out more content for it and built it bigger it's huge don't get me wrong but it's the type of content I want to keep playing for years as I did with oblivion fallout 3 New Vegas f4

  17. Negative review on... steam ... Yeaap, That sure carry alot of weight, alright.... where every dingdongs with a phone can suddenly play journalist, I wonder though with all that rants, moans and groans about almost every games in Steam.... yet... nobody ever asked for a refund? I guess whining is just trendy.

  18. I’ve enjoyed the game everyday since the Sep 6th when it hit game pass. I’m playing Starfield on Xbox Series X displayed on LG 55 C1 & the game has been visually striking this bum ass writer most just be another Sony Dk eater with his whack bs trying his best to turn ppl off the gm.

  19. Holy crap how many people can be so impatient with new games, it takes time to fix stuff if only the average person knew what programmers have to do to fix bugs, everyone would shut up and enjoy that it isn't worse than it is.

  20. I don't understand how anyone is saying the game is poorly optimized. Unless you're daft and installed it on an hdd (look at Bethesda's official specs, it REQUIRES an ssd) this game runs fine. And before anyone starts telling me I have a monster pc, I'm running starfield on a 4770k with a gtx1660(which according to official specs I shouldnt be able to do lol)... so either y'all just trying to run the game on ultra with the wrong specs or you're using an hdd. Would be nice if people stopped saying it's poorly optimized when they have no clue what they are even talking about. And are the menus annoying? Kinda, but not particularly more annoying than skyrims (you want annoying menus play fallout 4). Loading screens? I actually still have no idea what anyone is talking about, at most I'm watching a loading screen for 5-10 secs MAX. It's not the game tbh it's y'all that want it to be something it was never going to be. But keep thinking it's people being paid to tell you the game is good and that its worth buying. Sure influencers get money for making vids. But what? You're going to buy a game because an influencer told you? People grab a brain and think for yourselves. If you like the game, you like it, and if not; no one is forcing you to buy it or like it. You can chose to not like something, in fact there are several things I didn't like in starfield but I barely even noticed them, so why bother trashing on it for those thing if they are hardly affecting my gameplay experience. If it's so bad that you can't play it, don't.

    1. I have it on an ssd, and not a shit one, loading is fine but performance sucks for my specs, definition of poorly optimised, I don't even have super old gear 3080 (last gen basically top of the line) and 5600X (again last gen but not bad) so why can I not even get 60fps? with medium settings (even tho I am cpu limited so settings don't really matter since all but like 2 only really affect gpu). why am I getting stutters? why isn't this a problem with any other new game I've bought?

      most games at 1080p I get a bare minimum of 80fps and if not 150+fps so how is starfield not poorly optimised when it performs notably worse?

  21. It's a great game but that coming from someone who love Skyrim and yes fallout 76. Both have their flaws but they are both addictive too. I just hope with all the complaints and lynch mobs, the devs take a little more time when releasing an answer to the problems.

  22. I can't even maintain 60fps with a 3080 and 5600X, which is well above recommended, menu animations feel rediculously choppy alwhen getting 100fps in menus, game is constantly stuttering, and because the limit is cpu and there are only like 2 settings that affect cpu rather than gpu I can't even improve the performance, I literally can't focus on the game cause the performance is constantly distracting me, and in the first city kinda getting motion sick from constant stuttering and sub 60fps.
    and that's just performance the menu system is clunky and awkward to navigate with a mouse, the amount of settings that don't exist (there is mouse acceleration/smoothing but no in game setting come tf on, you can make a file to get rid of it but still), the first update is adding settings that should have been in the game to start with come on it's not 2005 there's no excuse for these basic settings not being in a pc game, the space travel feels absurd with how slow you go and the fact you rapidly lose speed like you're in honey (from a peak boost speed of ~600 to cruising speed of ~150 in like 3 seconds) just gimme a hyperspeed gear or smth so I can fly around the system and actually feel like I'm travelling through space 🙁

    I've only played up to the first city, so not really experienced the rpg elements yet but I just couldn't really enjoy it because of what I said above, I couldn't imagine how awful it would be to play on recommended or god forbid minimum specs, I mean my cpu is a whole gen up and can't even maintain 60fps.

    I just wish I had purchased it directly on steam so I could refund it but I got it on humble for the 15% discount cause without that I couldn't rationalise buying it, after hearing good things about gameplay and it having stable performance I was convinced it would be worth it but the performance is iffy at best, the gameplay was alright tho.

  23. My biggest problem 20hrs in is most of what's written here, money unbalance, loot balance. The worst for me that will make me stop playing is the planet exploration and how long it takes to reach places you are going. The quests are okay and the voice actors are okay, but there's too little fun and too much prep for that fun. My main gripe is no grappling hook or vehicle to cover 1000meter runs from one poi to the next, I just got tired of running and jumping. NMS did it way better even at launch. Combat is manageable but always feels weird somehow. I'll come back to Starfield after a year or two of updates. But I feel my motivation is spoiled by the mediocre everything. Their problem is that they didn't excell in any one category imo and failed the most important ones. The skills should have been ripped from Skyrim or something I don't like the setup or how long it takes to get some essentials.

  24. I'm not looking to create controversy, but I have to say I'm genuinely impressed with this game. With over 48 hours of playtime logged, I'm continually amazed by the discovery of new quests. What really stands out to me is not just the sheer volume of content, but the richness and variety of the quests. I know at the end it's mostly going from one location to the next and shoot bad guys but the story that drives it and the locations are cool.

    I get why some folks complain about the game feeling empty, but it's kinda funny that a lot of them also rave about No Man's Sky, which isn't exactly bustling either. Makes you wonder how people judge emptiness differently depending on the game.

    1. Nms is worse. Yes they added a lot of content. But amount of actual npcs in Starfield and stories are much more interesting. Also NMS is in no way better for crafting, its just much more complex, but it stills pushes you to travell all over the place for resources, plus refining materials takes ages, i also used a lot of mods for it to speed it up. We just need some vehicle in Starfield and some more stuff on planets, rest of it is fine, at least i find it more enjoyable and much less tedious and boring than NMS.

  25. Those that are shi**ng on the game are just console peasants. With M2 drive, yes there are transition loading screens and cutscenes but they last short. Fast travel is fast, and yes, we do need some vehicle to explore and some more interesting stuff on planets. But still shooting is fun, there are mini quests on planets, and on settled worlds tons of npcs with quests or conversation that makes game and its world alive. Inventory is a bit overwhelming but mostly for people that never played fallout 4, because this game mechanic is almost exactly the same, we get items combine them for building, there is also sort button (if some haters did notice) and also tag button for items we need. We can also avoid scanning by just travelling immediately to Den or Crimson Key to sell illegal goods. I already got ton of money around 200000 i think. Stealing ships is very easy, and money return rate with its cargo plus selling it is probably 50% if we take into account registering it. Its like this for example ship worth for example 20000- register around 10000, plus illegal cargo can go up to 30k.or more, not counting tons of guns items, and i also noticed the bug some common junk cargo like globes and similar respawns in ship inventory so we can sell it non stop. Don't know whats confusing and messed up with the game!? I only found that i would need a lot of perks if I wanna upgrade everything and make OP character. For now good 7/10 from me, it also needs better optimization, but i gonna get new gpu so it gonna be much better, but they also need to patch it up to work better.

  26. Like most Bethesda games, I suspect Bethesda's looking to the mod community to fix their most glaring issues. On the other hand, I'm looking forward to Kinggath's Sim-Outposts and Worsin's Spaceship Garage. *fingers crossed*

Ray Ampoloquio

Ray Ampoloquio // Articles: 5871

Ray is a lifelong gamer with a nose for keeping up with the latest news in and out of the gaming industry. When he's not reading, writing, editing, and playing video games, he builds and repairs computers in his spare time. You can find Ray on Twitter and LinkedIn.
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