The ‘biggest Starfield update yet’ is coming to Steam beta next week, but it actually looks pretty small

Bethesda announced on Twitter today that the “biggest Starfield update yet” is headed to beta testing on Steam next week. This isn’t the start of the big gameplay updates Bethesda promised in December, though: Instead it looks to be a pretty standard patch, making “more than 100 fixes and improvements” to graphics, gameplay issues, and quest bugs.

 “This update contains a multitude of fixes to Quests. Eye of the Storm issues such as being unable to dock with the Legacy or data transfer not starting, and Temples not showing up in Into the Unknown, will no longer prevent Constellation from exploring the cosmos,” Bethesda tweeted. 

“Additionally, this update brings stability improvements and numerous graphic improvements ranging from additional widescreen support to improved textures, lighting, and shadows.”

Issues with sun disk geometry (whatever that is), planet ring shadows, bulldozed objects that reappear when you return to an outpost, inaccessible ship hatches, and asteroids that are apparently still following some players around like lost puppy dogs will also be addressed in the update.

We even got a before-after picture showcasing some of the visual improvements coming, and yeah, it definitely looks better. These extraterrestrial vistas make for some pretty sweet eye candy too.

Other fixes and improvements include sun disk geometry, planet ring shadows, bulldozed objects reappearing when returning to an Outpost, ship hatches marked inaccessible, and another fix for asteroids following ships. The full update notes will be posted next week when the Steam… 12, 2024

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All the same, this biggest update yet feels a little small. The major gameplay updates Bethesda committed to in December 2023, including new survival mechanics and “all new ways of travelling,” aren’t currently slated to start flowing until February, and this patch looks like a standard fixer-upper, and that’s led to a bit of disappointment in the responses to the announcement on Twitter: There’s plenty of happiness that work is continuing, but some fans are waiting for more substantive changes.

(Image credit: shawncox1130/Umbracone/Jett2Tomorrow)

The full lowdown on this patch won’t be revealed until next week so it’s possible that our socks (or at least one of them) will be knocked off, but I suspect Starfield players looking forward to the really big stuff will have to wait a little longer yet.

The update will hit the Steam beta branch first, on January 17, so you’ll need to be opted in if you want to try it out in advance. Bethesda didn’t specify exactly how it will work, but the previous Steam beta update for Starfield, which saw the addition of official DLSS support, required an entirely separate build of the game: Beta players could continue playing from wherever they were in the live game, but progress earned in the beta build would not carry over. My guess is that it’ll be the same for this update beta, but I’ve reached out to ask and will update if I receive a reply.

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