Starfield promises ‘all new gameplay options’ and ‘new survival mechanics’ in 2024

Today Bethesda posted a recap of the year Starfield has had in the form of a few fun facts: in 2023 players visited a collective 1.9 billion planets, spent 26 million hours building ships, and ate more than 18 million battlemeal multipacks. (Weirdly, no sandwich tally was provided.)

The same post also sheds more light on the major updates Starfield will receive in 2024, including an expansion. Beginning in February Starfield will receive updates “roughly every six weeks,” with those updates including new features we’ve already been teased with like “all new ways of traveling,” official mod support, and city maps.

While not elaborating more fully on those items, Bethesda also teased even more changes coming to Starfield in 2024, including the somewhat vaguely described “all new Gameplay options,” which sound like a way to tailor your next playthrough.

“With these new settings you’ll be able to alter your gameplay to allow for an easier or more challenging experience that will expand beyond our normal ‘Difficulty’ setting,” the post reads. “These will allow you to easily customize carry capacity, cargo access distance, ship damage, vendor credits, how you suffer afflictions, new survival mechanics, and more.”

More customization is always a good thing, but I’m most curious about the “new survival mechanics” mentioned. I assume it’s not a full-blown survival mode because otherwise the post would have just said that. I do wonder if it might involve how spacesuits are used while exploring hazardous planets. 

If you recall, back in September Todd Howard revealed that Starfield’s planetary survival systems were originally “very punitive” and “we just nerfed the hell out of it.” Could this be a swing back to that sort of more challenging exploration experience, which required certain spacesuits to be used on certain planets depending on their attributes, like radioactivity or extreme cold and heat? 

Unfortunately no more information is given, so we’ll have to wait until next year to learn more about the new survival systems planned. That’s not all that’s coming in 2024: Starfield’s first expansion, Shattered Space, is also in development, promising “story content, new locations, new gear, and much more.” 

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