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Starfield: Bethesda will add “all-new” ways of traveling, but when?

starfield fast travel

Bethesda Game Studios has stated that it is working on new features and travel options for Starfield to deliver what was meant to be the definitive space travel gaming experience.

Starfield was touted as an experience where players could enjoy exploring and uncovering the mysteries of space in a variety of ways. In practice, the game’s slow spaceships and limited control over them have seen fans simply fast-travel their way between locations and deal with the loading screens that came with each jump. Even when modders tried to tweak ships’ speeds to make going from one planet to another more seamless, it still didn’t change how space travel in the game was not what fans hoped it would be.

It didn’t help that the developers were very defensive about their creative decisions, to the point of blaming the fans themselves for not being happy with the experience. This oddly adversarial stance left some worried that Bethesda would neglect the post-launch UX changes that many games get. Either that, or they’d just leave the work to modders. Now, the developers have seemingly taken notice of the frustration surrounding travel and are prepared to take it upon themselves to deliver it.

Getting around Starfield’s universe will be better

The developers of Starfield promised new ways to travel in addition to city maps, improved mod support, and fixes for bugged quests.

In a recent note on Reddit from Bethesda developers that accompanied the latest game update, the developers gave players an idea of what’s to come. The team says that there will be new fixes rolling out every six weeks and that fans should “stay tuned” for what’s coming.

“Expect an update early next year that will include a large number of ‘in-progress’ quest fixes as well as FSR3 and XeSS…in-progress quest fixes are much harder to fix and we’ve built a new system to correct those without you having to roll back your save. We’re also hard at work on many of new (sic) features you asked for, from city maps, to mod support, to all-new ways of traveling,” the developers said.

Unfortunately, there’s no timeline regarding when those changes will come and what order Bethesda will tackle these in. The company stressed that it wants to make sure that updates are “safe” before being released and that some things are inherently harder to adjust than others.

The problem with choosing to fast travel in Starfield is that players miss out on random encounters and scenarios that occur in outer space. These encounters are meant to add diversity and immersion to the experience, but the sameyness of flying has people opting to fast travel, compounding those troubles.

How to fast travel in Starfield

Fast travel is the norm in Starfield, though the exact distance and method can vary. As it stands, players can travel to each planet through what is known as a Grav Jump but they cannot manually travel to these planets and cannot land on them.

starfield ship

A spaceship in Starfield is basically a fast travel tool. There is no way to actually complete a trip from one planet to the next, as players cannot fly past the outer orbit of a planet. Landing and taking off ultimately transports the player onto and off of the surface. While games like No Man’s Sky let players see the flames of re-entry and fly just above the surface to choose a landing spot on each planet they visit, Starfield has a system more akin to the comparatively old Mass Effect.

Players can fast travel in Starfield in multiple ways, including:

  • Clicking on their hand scanner and choosing their target planet
  • Choosing star systems from the starmap
  • Setting course via the mission menu 

It’s important to note that the player’s ship in Starfield can only travel as far as the ship’s Grav Drive will allow. The Grav Drive, or Graviton Loop Array, is a ship’s module that allows it to make faster-than-light jumps from one place to another and provides artificial gravity to ships. Upgrading this allows for long-distance travel. In other words, fast travel is integrated into the main gameplay loop and is a factor that encourages players to upgrade their ships and do more fast traveling. 

Some fans are hopeful that Bethesda plans to let players experience landing and taking off and exploring space in ways that have been limited by the previous focus on fast traveling and the invisible barriers between planets. It’s unclear whether this is actually the case, or if the company wants to rigidly enforce its vision for the game.

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Written by Mohamed Hassan

Mohamed still treasures his time playing games on the original PlayStation, speedrunning through the Megaman X games and replaying acclaimed role-playing game Chrono Cross countless times. Since then, his love for JRPGs and platformers has only grown and is among the driving forces behind his passion for writing about video games.

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