Bethesda has reactivated the info trickle on its upcoming space RPG game Starfield, albeit a little, and in the latest splash of info, we learn that Starfield ships will run on fuel. However, director Todd Howard says that while Starfield is at least “hard” sci-fi adjacent, you won’t be able to run out of fuel and get stuck in space.
In the first episode of “Constellation Questions,” Howard explains that the Starfield team struggled with how to handle long-distance space travel in a more grounded sci-fi setting. Howard says he’s read scientific papers about “space bending” to reach warp speeds, but ultimately the developers wanted to avoid making space travel too punishing for him. player: “In a hard sci-fi video game, you die in space, cold,” he says.
In different iterations of Starfield’s gravity drive system, Howard says, ships would inevitably head in the wrong direction and be unable to reach any habitable planets or stations.
“Your ship would run out of fuel and the game would simply stop,” he says. “You just want to get back to what you were doing.”
Fairly recently, Howard explains, the team changed the design of the gravity drive so that it automatically limits how far you can jump based on how much fuel your ship has. This is somewhat similar to how frame shift controls work in Elite Dangerous – the power of your engines sets a limit to your maximum interstellar jump distance, and this limits the stars you can select when planning your routes on the galactic map.
So it looks like you’ll only be able to launch jumps in the Starfield map when you have enough fuel to reach your chosen destination – you won’t run out of gas in deep space with nowhere to go.
“Maybe there will be a future update or mod that will allow that, but that’s what we’re doing now,” says Howard.
The quick video also provides some new details about Starfield’s character creation and attributes, so it’s worth sticking around throughout the chat.
We’ve got plenty more great space games on PC, and be sure to check out our Starfield towns guide, which includes every known location in the game to date. Starfield’s release date is expected to be in the first half of 2023.