Bethesda to add new Starfield gameplay options and survival mode in 2024

Bethesda to add new Starfield gameplay options and survival mode in 2024

Bethesda celebrated the end of 2023 by posting some fun stats about Starfield, but also took the time to reveal that its new space game would be receiving some big updates next year, including new "gameplay options" and "survival mechanics".

Details are thin on the ground at the moment, but we do know that updates will be released about every six months, and will include "new ways of traveling", city maps, and official mod support. The gameplay options seem the most interesting though, with players apparently being able to customize large parts of their playthroughs, changing carry weights, vendor credit amounts, ship damage, and other variables. It looks to be a more fine-tunable difficulty setting.

The survival mechanics are likely to catch your eye too, but it might be wise to not expect these to be a fully-fledged survival mode, like you might find in No Man’s Sky. It’s possible we’ll see something like the survival modes from Fallout 4 and Skyrim, where players must eat and rest to stay healthy, with a probable inclusion of air meters. Though if it went as far as to include temperature meters or radioactivity levels, that would be a big step in the right direction for a lot of players.

It’s not hard to imagine that Bethesda had 2023 pegged as the Year of Starfield. Unfortunately, the world had different ideas, and while it still has its dedicated followers, Starfield has dropped significantly. Active player count on Steam has cratered, dropping from an all-time peak of over 330,000, to struggling to breach the top 100 most played, embarrassingly dropping below stablemates Fallout 4 and Skyrim.

Granted, this doesn’t include player counts from Game Pass players, and as many have noted; it’s a single-player game, of course people have stopped playing it. But so are Skyrim and Fallout 4, and those continue to be games with very active playerbases.

In short, Starfield is a game that desperately needs extra work to attract players back. Will Bethesda’s planned changes make the difference and bring back the crowds? Starfield wouldn’t be the first space game to make a dramatic recovery after a disappointing launch, and we’ll be keeping our fingers crossed.