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How to fix Starfield’s audio bug

Facing missing audio or wonky, echo-y dialogue? Here’s how to fix it

The player speaks to Sarah Morgan in Starfield Image: Bethesda Game Studios/Bethesda Softworks
Nicole Carpenter is a senior reporter specializing in investigative features about labor issues in the game industry, as well as the business and culture of games.

Some Starfield players — including me — are experiencing a strange audio bug that causes missing dialogue and sound effects alongside echoed sound distortion. The issues appear to be impacting Starfield on Xbox Series X.

The audio issues seem to begin randomly. Sometimes, there will be no dialogue or sound effects at all — just Starfield’s scored music. Other times, I can hear dialogue but it’s totally distorted, like I’m listening to people talking underwater. It’s not a game-breaking bug, but it doesn’t make Starfield a lot harder to play; having no sound effects means I’m missing helpful audio cues, while the echoed dialogue is just absolutely annoying.

Starfield developer Bethesda Game Studios has not commented publicly on the issue, nor has it responded to Polygon’s request for comment. Thankfully, there seems to be a quick and easy trick to fixing this issue: Do a hard restart on the game. You’ll want to make sure you fully close Starfield with a hard exit instead of using Xbox’s quick resume feature, which suspends the game rather than actually closing it.

To do the hard close, push the Xbox button on your controller to open the menu. Highlight Starfield in the menu and click the menu button (the small, right-center controller button with three lines). From there, select “quit” to fully close the game. Once you start up Starfield again, the audio issue should be resolved. If it’s not, fully close Starfield again and give your Xbox console a restart, too.

The bad news is that this isn’t a permanent solution. I’ve experienced the audio bug twice now. At least it’s an easy fix! We’ll update this story should Bethesda roll out a permanent fix.

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