Bethesda’s space epic is coming out in a matter of days and fans are already wondering whether Starfield’s new worlds will have boundaries or not.
The game has “over 1000” planets for players to travel to and explore. Each planet will have procedurally generated elements with hand-crafted locations sprinkled in among them. How well Bethesda manages to deliver on its promises remains to be seen. The marketing has been careful about using the word “seamless” regarding planetary travels, causing some fans to wonder exactly how it will all work.
Some gamers have gotten early copies of the game and are explaining just how the worlds and boundaries work. We won’t have sure answers until the game actually releases, but early leaks give us a good idea of the answers to these questions.
Will Starfield worlds have boundaries?
Yes, Starfield worlds will have boundaries, if the game’s early leaks are to be believed.
This may put off some gamers who want to walk across any planet they find. According to the leaks, it takes between 10-30 minutes of walking in one direction to reach a boundary. That’s a 10-30 minute run in each direction before players hit any of the dreaded invisible walls.
A recent leak showed the player running in a straight line for almost 10 minutes on a desert planet before hitting such a boundary. There is a pop-up that triggers there and reads, “Open the map to explore another region, or return to your ship.”
Fans commenting on the YouTube video are worried about the immersion-breaking message. Some call it unfortunate, while some argue that no one would run in a straight line while exploring unless they were purposefully trying to find such a boundary.
It could be a size-based restriction, with smaller planets being fully explorable. Or it could be a hardware and engine limitation. This is all speculation until the full game releases soon.
Can you run freely around a planet in Starfield?
Technically no, players cannot run freely around a planet in Starfield. At least not without returning to the ship and landing again.
The game uses the ship’s take-off and landing animations to load another “tile” of explorable space. The good news is that the already-explored tile and its points of interest remain intact. So players could theoretically take off and land to generate additional explorable and cohesive areas around the planet.
While gamers can fast-travel to any discovered location, they are bound to the latest generated tile. So there is no running back to a POI if it’s not located on the current tile.
The game can be preloaded right now on Xbox, and on August 31 on Steam. Starfield early access begins on September 1, and the game’s full release date is set for September 4, 2023.