clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Your biggest Starfield questions, answered

Can you buy a house? Be an alien? What can you really do in Starfield?

The Starfield artifact with many pieces floating around in the center of a large library-like room Image: Bethesda Game Studios/Bethesda Softworks via Polygon

There is a lot to do in Starfield, whether you want to build ships, live a life of crime, or maybe just be a good guy going through space. With all that customization, it can be easy to get lost in the sauce and confused by many of the options.

For your sake, we compiled some of the questions we had both before starting Starfield and had as we played, which we answered (to the best of our abilities) below. We even pulled some questions and answers from our launch day AMA — which is more expansive and has more niche questions — so you should check that out, too.


What’s Starfield about?

You are a space miner who gets wrapped up with a group looking for these mysterious space artifacts, which leads to other mystical inhuman events. We don’t want to spoil things for you, so all you need to know is that you are just a miner who is looking for some precious artifacts around the galaxy.

Is Starfield more like Skyrim or Fallout?

Definitely more like Skyrim, but with shooting. (There’s no V.A.T.S or shooting assist like in the Fallout series.)

OK, well, how is the shooting in Starfield?

Surprisingly good! Bethesda shooters aren’t exactly known for being butter-smooth, and while it’s not as precise as, say, Halo Infinite, the first-person shooting in Starfield is akin to a mid-tier Xbox 360 shooter — aka, perfectly passable.

Do I need to really like Bethesda games to like Starfield? Or will I like it if I just like space?

Starfield is, through and through, a Bethesda game — a staggeringly large scale RPG that focuses more on creating a sense of place than anything else. If you’ve bounced off the studio’s previous games, you’ll likely tire of Starfield too. Yes, the game has impeccable midcentury NASA space vibes, but vibes can only get you so far.

an assault rifle, a flight manual, a sandwich, and other sundry objects sitting on a desk in Starfield Image: Bethesda Game Studios/Bethesda Softworks

How long does it take to beat Starfield?

If you’re curious about how long it takes to beat Starfield’s main campaign, a few of us at Polygon have completed all of the story missions in 20 hours. But it’s tough to say when you’d ever be “done” with Starfield, given all the faction quests, random missions, and errant exploration that comprises the game. Bethesda’s Pete Hines told Xbox On he’s 165 hours in his most recent playthrough yet claims he hasn’t remotely scratched the surface.

Can you be an alien in Starfield?

Visually, no, you cannot be a cool beast or alien in the same way you can play as different races in Skyrim. You can have Alien DNA, which is a trait you pick in character creation.

Does Starfield feature a lot of crafting?

Not much, really, but you do have the option to build various workbenches and complete research projects to unlock more. It takes a lot of work and a lot of skill points to be able to make things as useful as med packs, though. And you can never craft ammo.

Is there romance in Starfield?

There are four confirmed romance options available, all of which are members of Constellation, and even if you don’t want to commit to any single character, all of their respective companion quests can be fully explored.

Do enemies in Starfield scale to your level?

The quick answer is no, not as far as we’ve seen. You can easily run into high level enemies early on in your Starfield experience, and we were underleveled for much of the story. Some main missions had enemies ranging from level 1 to level 36 — which can really catch you by surprise if you don’t quicksave often. Still, there was never an enemy so high-leveled that we couldn’t take them out while 10-15 levels under.

A pilot in a cockpit in Starfield Image: Bethesda Game Studios/Bethesda Softworks

Can I build a house in space?

Yep. Well, you can buy a house in space. You can even start with a house if you pick the Dream Home trait.

What happens if you die in Starfield?

If you die in Starfield, your body will pathetically ragdoll onto the ground and you’ll reload from your last save. That said, save (and quicksave) often if you like to get yourself into tricky situations.

Can you build a ship from scratch in Starfield?

No. Using the Ship Builder at a spaceport only allows you to modify a ship you already own. You have to start with a preexisting ship and can’t build one from the ground up.

Are there laser guns in Starfield?

Starfield will start you off with “ballistic” weapons (guns that use metal bullets, just like ours do, but just look kinda sci-fi), but you will eventually get weapons that shoot lasers. These aren’t exactly Star Wars blasters, and adhere more to Starfield’s hard sci-fi aesthetic than you’d maybe want. It’s more like you’re shooting light out of an oblong battery with a trigger and a scope, but it’s still pretty cool.

Can I get a lightsaber in Starfield?

Speaking of Star Wars, it’s absolutely understandable to want a lightsaber or some kind of laser sword in your space game. But while we have found a space sword in Starfield, it’s made of metal. Sure, it wouldn’t be surprising if Bethesda hid a super powerful lightsaber-like weapon as an easter egg somewhere in the game, but we haven’t found it yet.

How important is it to play through the main quest in Starfield?

There are some important gameplay features tied to the main story quest, so you’ll want to do it first, or at least hit a certain point in the game before you start running off to do side quests. (You’ll know when you get there.)

A promotional screenshot of New Atlantis in Starfield. Image: Bethesda Game Studios/Bethesda Softworks

How do skills and skill points work in Starfield?

You gain a skill point every time you level up, but you can’t just spend them all willy nilly. There are several skill trees and, as skill trees usually work, you can’t just grab the stuff at the end of the tree without grabbing a few along the way.

You can also use skill points to upgrade your skills several times, but you’ll have to complete little missions for each skill before you can move it up a rank. For example, to upgrade your Ballistics skill, you’ll need to kill a bunch of enemies using a gun.

Is there New Game Plus?

Yes, Starfield features a New Game Plus mode, and it’s — no spoilers here — absolutely wild. Some players who’ve finished the game suggest mainlining the entire campaign from the jump, and that the real game begins in New Game Plus. Others say to play it like you would a typical Bethesda game. Our suggestion? Follow your heart.


If you have more questions, feel free to ask them below and we can answer what we can! The game is huge and there’s a lot we haven’t gotten to yet, but we’ll do our best.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for Patch Notes

A weekly roundup of the best things from Polygon