Starfield’s inevitable community patch has arrived on the scene

Bethesda’s games are complicated beasts, filled with all sorts of cheese wheels and sweetrolls and duct tape for you to pick up and do physics crimes with. It’s not a surprise, then, that the games have their fair share of bugs that evade the notice of Bethesda’s official patches. That’s why we have community patches—Morrowind’s Patch for Purists, Oblivion’s UOP, Skyrim’s USSEP—and now Starfield’s got its own one, too.

The Starfield Community Patch hit Nexus Mods yesterday, despite the fact the game hasn’t put out full modding tools yet, and “aims to make the game better for everyone by offering up fixes in a free and collaborative manner”. It tries to fix things relating to “Misplaced objects, script errors, inconsistencies in item properties, faulty missions/quests, game-breaking exploits, missing attributes (such as tags, header flags, etc.), [and] spelling errors.” So a fair bit, then. Given that the game is still in active development by Bethesda, I’m kind of curious to see what will happen when the fan patch’s fixes butt up against the studio’s own.

What it doesn’t do is make balance changes or implement tweaks “not in keeping with the original vision for [the] game,” which I’m all for. A danger with patches like this is that the subjective decisions of modders about what a game “ought to be” can sneak in under the guise of a bugfix. 

For instance, the reason Morrowind’s Patch for Purists has become the de facto community patch is for precisely that reason: Its forebears all did things like tweaking which main stats the game’s skills were tied to. It’s undeniable that some of those changes made logical sense, but they went too far to really be considered “fixes.”

Anyway, you can find numerous places to pick up the Starfield Community Patch over on its dedicated website. The makers recommend using a mod manager, either Vortex or perennial favourite Mod Organizer 2, to install it. If you don’t believe in all that for some reason and are determined to do it yourself, you can just extract the mod’s zip file into the directory your Starfield.exe is in, then add * StarfieldCommunityPatch.esm to the game’s Plugins.txt. After that? A somewhat more bug-free future. 

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