If you’re anything like me, you were a little underwhelmed by Starfield’s outpost systems. We’re eight years out from Fallout 4, but the process of plonking down habitats and mining rigs on the games’ fifty bajillion planets didn’t feel much different to building tin sheds for the Wasteland’s countless hapless farmers back in 2015. If only we could build our own space stations. My own orbital prison hulk would really hit the spot.
Reader, some dreams do come true. Thanks to the efforts of a modder named Vex, the Spacestations for Outposts mod (spotted by GamesRadar) will let you build “fully working star stations” in the dead void of space. What’s more, they assembled it from code that was “already in the game” but that was a little broken, and doesn’t that just set your mind to wondering about what Bethesda’s plans are for the game’s DLC?
Once you’ve got the mod installed, you can start assembling your space base by creating a “spacestation control pad” at one of your terrestrial outposts. You can then use that—via an admittedly slightly janky process—to build a space station using the same basic system you would use to create a ship. Once you’ve modified it to your liking, all you have to do is jet off into space and dock with the thing. Or try to, anyway. Docking is a little dodgy at the minute.
It’s honestly very impressive, especially given the fact that full modding support for Starfield has yet to come out, so I can forgive the fact that it’s a little bit wobbly right now. It’ll probably remain that way until Bethesda gets around to putting out proper mod tools, as Vex says the issue with docking is “an issue with something deeper in the code I currently cannot edit.” Lord knows I’m no modder, but that sounds like something you need a proper toolkit for.
Or, hey, maybe you don’t? I am fully into baseless speculation territory here, but you have to wonder if Bethesda doesn’t have official plans for all those loose strings of code that Vex used to make the mod, right? Putting out an official space station builder DLC—in the vein of Skyrim’s Hearthfire DLC—seems like an obvious move to make, especially given how vocally fans have been asking after it. Maybe Vex won’t ever have to fix their mod at all, because Bethesda will head them off at the pass with some kind of official Death Star builder. We can but hope.
Until such a day comes, though, we have to rely on mods. If you want to install this one, you should probably just download and enable it via your mod manager of choice (though Vex notes you might need to download and enable the Plugins.txt enabler).
If you want to install the mod manually just like your great grandparents did, though, you can extract the contents of it to your Starfield folder in steamapps/common, grab that Plugins.txt enabler, head to the Starfield folder in AppData, then add “*StarstationTest.esm” to the Plugins.txt file. And if you do it that way, congratulations, you have my unyielding respect as someone else who also likes to make their life difficult for no reason.