Starfield: a beautiful screenshot showing the waterfront in New Atlantis.

Oh, Starfield. We all had such hope for you. You’re not a bad game, of course, but there was definitely some lost potential there. Still, you won a Steam award which is nice, and you’re kicking off the new year with the game’s first major update.

Originally due to come out on Wednesday, Bethesda released a major patch for Starfield to Steam Beta yesterday, which aims to fix a number of bugs. If you take a look at the official website, you’ll see exactly what version comes with.

A quick scroll down the list shows there’s been a boatload of fixes to the game. There’s some general stuff, such as patching out corruptions to save files on PC, improvements to things like reflections and shadows, and some much-needed tweaks to quests and “random encounters.”

But is it enough?

Bethesda says this latest update comes with “over a hundred fixes and adjustments” with some quality-of-life shenanigans thrown into the mix as well. The post on the Starfield website also asks fans to keep sharing feedback on the off-chance a particular fix people have been waiting for isn’t in this version.

While squashing bugs is always appreciated in games, it’s probably going to take a lot more than that for people to start taking an interest in Starfield again.

We’ve been told by the developer that new implementations and features are coming at some point – including new ways of traveling – so that’s something to keep in mind as we barrel on into 2024. But it’s tough to say whether any and all improvements will be able to rescue Bethesda’s new game from disappearing into the proverbial black hole.

Starfield version patch notes



  • Fixed player character’s eyes remaining closed instead of blinking in third person view.
  • Addressed rare cases where small animation pops could be seen in third person.


  • Fixed incorrectly invisible creatures on some planets.
  • Fixed an issue that could occur on some enemies causing them to stand instead of falling to the ground.


  • Fixed crew members and companions positioning near the cockpit after fast traveling to the ship.
  • Companions: Fixed a possible control-lock when talking to a companion without entering a dialogue while simultaneously trying to exit the ship.


  • Fixed an issue that prevented Windows users saving if their username featured certain characters (PC).
  • Fixed rare save game corruptions on PC (MSS and Steam).
  • Fixed an issue that could lead to a control lock or a crash after loading a quicksave while in the targeting mode.
  • Fixed player marker following the camera on the surface map.
  • Fixed a rare issue that could prevent access to the main menu on when prompted to “Press any button to Start” (Xbox).
  • Body type should no longer reset to default when loading a Starborn save from the main menu.
  • Fixed flickering on Neon’s Trade Tower elevator panel.
  • Improved the appearance of the Ryujin Kiosk material during nighttime.
  • Fixed rare issue with how Cydonia’s panel could display the hours without incident.
  • Added Optimizations to cloud syncing of save games (MSS/Xbox).
  • Improved how crowds behave when desired target is reserved.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause airlock doors to sometimes appear floating in sky when arriving at locations.
  • Fixed unintended text appearing on the shipbuilder’s UI.
  • Fixed game session not properly resuming from shutdown in Energy Save mode (Xbox).
  • Various stability improvements.


  • Improved widescreen support (32:9, 21:9 and 16:10).
  • Added support for stars displaying sun disk geometry.
  • Shadows can now be seen on planet rings from planet surface.
  • Improved eyes and skin on crowd characters.
  • Improved reflection on water.
  • Improved contact shadows on character skin (Xbox and PC Medium/High/Ultra).
  • Improved contact shadows on character cloth (PC High/Ultra).
  • Improved contact shadows on first person (PC Ultra).
  • Improved lighting in character generation menu.
  • Reduced the appearance of some minor artifacts during cutscene camera transitions.
  • Fixed flickering on a number of VFX (Sandstorm, corrosive liquid pools, waterfall).
  • Fixed a rare issue where the camera would lock while in handscanner mode whenever watching flying fauna (Xbox).
  • Fixed potential control lock when opening a game menu a moment before triggering a dialogue with another character.
  • Addressed various shadow popping, flickering and artifact issues.
  • Improved the visibility of the sun’s lens flare during sunrise and sunset.
  • Fixed a rare issue where foam or grime would not show up.
  • Fixed rare flickering VFX that could occur in space (Xbox Series S).
  • Fixed rare hair flickering (Xbox Series X/S).
  • Fixed occasional flicker on digiframes and TV screens.
  • Adjusted the appearance of bloom when activating the handscanner.
  • Improved the appearance of clouds during weather transitions.
  • Fixed rare cases where alignment of grass and wind could appear disconnected. 
  • Reduced bloom intensity effect while motion blur is active (PC).
  • Addressed issues with concealment effect not always applying when using the handscanner.
  • Fixed visible edge of the ocean in the distance when seen from a very high point of view.
  • Fixed rare white flickering dots around characters’ hair during cut scenes.
  • Fixed a readability issue in the Starmap when using large menu font mode.
  • Fixed inventory menu occasionally failing to generate previews when using a mouse (PC).
  • Fixed a brief Depth of Field issue that sometimes occurred when aiming, alt-tabbing or leaving a dialogue screen. 
  • Fixed occasional lighting transition issues after loading or exiting a location.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause intermittent bands to appear in distance fog.
  • Fixed a rare issue that could cause fog color to appear inconsistent.
  • Fixed a rare issue that could cause rocks to disappear near the player on the surface of a planet.
  • Fixed a crash that could occur when switching to DLSS with dynamic resolution active (PC).
  • Fixed flickering and delayed shadows sometimes occurring after unpausing the game.
  • Fixed various FSR2 and DLSS artifacts (noise, black dots, ghosting).
  • Fixed flickering when using the handscanner with DLSS enabled.
  • Fixed initial lighting conditions when landing on a planet.
  • Improved lighting at 73 locations.
  • Fixed various geometry, texture, and ghosting issues.


  • Fixed a rare missing terrain issue that could occur after fast traveling to an outpost near New Atlantis.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause bulldozed objects to reappear when returning to an outpost.
  • Fixed an issue that caused hazard damage to remain even when the hazard was removed by bulldozing in outposts.
  • Fixed an issue where outpost’s cargo links would be removed from the terminal list if connected, disconnected, then reconnected to another cargo link during the cargo ship landing sequence.
  • Fixed an issue where weapon cases built by the player in an Outpost would populate with weapons and ammo after reloading the game.


  • Fixed a rare issue that could cause the Phased Time power to remain enabled.
  • Fixed the extreme speed that could occur in zero G when using the Phased Time power.
  • Solar Flare Power now accounts for critical hits.


  • Absolute Power: Fixed missing slate in the safe preventing from completing the optional objective “Locate Evidence to Extort Ayumi Komiko”.
  • Background Checks: Fixed possible control-lock that could occur if caught by security.
  • Derelict Ship: Fixed an issue preventing the player from reaching the pilot seat if they did not have access to advanced locks.
  • Drinks on the House: Fixed rare occurrence where the door to Sub 12 could remain locked.
  • Echoes of the Past: Fixed Delgado getting stuck at bottom of stairs during “Continue Exploring the Lock” that could occur if The Lock was left during Delgado’s history dialogue.
  • Echoes of the Past: Resolved an issue that could cause Mathis’ and Delgado’s guns to be invisible.
  • Eye of the Storm: Fixed an issue that could cause data transfer to not start after placing the Data Core.
  • Eye of the Storm: Fixed an issue where the docking prompt would be missing on the Legacy ship if the player undocked with the Legacy and then reloaded a save before having started the mission.
  • Executive Level: Fixed an issue where players could get stuck on a chair in the Ryujin Industries HQ conference room.
  • Failure to Communicate: Fixed an issue that prevented the player from finishing the quest if they downed all the members of the defense pact (Alban Lopez, Jacquelyn Lemaire, and Chanda Banda).
  • Further Into the Unknown: Fixed a rare crash that could occur when trying to dock with The Eye.
  • Groundpounder: Fixed an issue where the door to Lezama could sometimes be locked if the player left the location during the quest and came back later.
  • Hostile Intelligence: Fixed blocked doors in the Steam Tunnels room where the Terrormorph transformation occurs.
  • Into the Unknown: Fixed a rare issue that could prevent the quest from starting after completing The Old Neighborhood.
  • Into the Unknown: Fixed a rare issue where a Temple location might not populate when receiving the “Go to” objective.
  • Legacy’s End: Fixed an issue that could prevent interacting with Delgado when he was behind the glass inside in the command center of The Key.
  • Legacy’s End: Fixed a debris pile where to player could become stuck while trying to reach the Mess Hall.
  • Missed Beyond Measure: Fixed a dialogue between Sarah and Walter not playing at The Lodge.
  • No Sudden Moves: Fixed companions not following player during personal quests.
  • On The Run: Fixed various issues related to Mei Devine becoming inaccessible the objective updated to “Listen to Mei Devine’s Introduction”.
  • On The Run: Fixed a possible control lock when sitting at the table to talk to Jade MacMillan.
  • One Small Step: Fixed a rare issue that could prevent Lin / Heller from exiting the airlock.
  • Operation Starseed: Fixed a bad view that could occur if the Beagle was boarded after a long idle.
  • Power From Beyond: Fixed an issue that caused missing Starborn temples and scanner disturbances that could prevent obtaining all Starborn powers from that universe.
  • Rough Landings: Resolved an issue that could occur during the “Meet up with Milena Axelrod” objective that could prevent ships from appearing at the desired location.
  • Shadows in Neon: Fixed an issue that could occur when repeatedly using the door to Jaylen Pryce’s office before he progressed to Neon Core.
  • Supra et Ultra: Fixed a control lock that could occur when entering the Flight Simulator while a guard is attempting arrest.
  • Tapping the Grid: Fixed inaccessible junction boxes that could occur after the Hunter attacks the Lodge.
  • The Best There Is: Fixed an issue that could prevent objective from advancing when talking to Naeva and Jasmine in the engineering room.
  • The Empty Nest: Fixed and issue that could cause Sam Coe’s gun to be invisible when inside Jacob’s house.
  • The Heart of Mars: Fixed another location that could potentially prevent recovering The Heart of Mars.
  • The Pale Lady: Fixed rare case of inaccessible ship crew log data slate making it impossible to complete the encounter.
  • Top of the L.I.S.T.: Phil Hill should now accept survey data for Sumati.
  • War Relics: Resolved an issue that could prevent Kaiser from moving to the mission site.
  • Where Hope is Built: Fixed a crash that could occur with a specific set of player behaviors.


  • Fixed another case that could cause an asteroid to follow a ship in space.
  • Fixed ship hatch being marked inaccessible after swapping to a new home ship.
  • Fixed an issue where the ship could end up in an unintended state by simultaneously attempting fast travel during a grav jump.
  • Fixed a view issue that could occur when fast traveling during ship targeting mode.
  • Fixed an issue that could occur when entering Ship Targeting mode immediately after selecting a Grav Jump.
  • Fixed an issue that caused non-functional ladders to appear when the player modified their ship with a Taiyo All-In-One Berth Top A and a Deimos 1×1.
  • Fixed an issue where the Legendary ship could take too long to resume firing after the weapons were repaired.
  • Space combat should now match ground combat difficulty increase with successive trips through the Unity.
  • Fixed an issue where loading an exit save made while docked to a space station could cause names of ships to change.
  • Fixed marker not pointing to the current home ship after performing a save/load between different ships.
  • Fixed in issue that could cause the Frontier to incorrectly appear if a non-home ship was removed from a landing pad.


  • REJUVENATION: Rejuvenation skill VFX no longer replay whenever the handscanner is opened in third person.
  • SURVEYING: Fixed surveying challenge progress issue with mineral resource.
  • TARGETING CONTROL SYSTEMS: Fixed inconsistencies with level 3 and 4.


  • Fixed incorrect reload amounts that could occur when consuming a Trauma Pack.
  • Fixed FOV and zoom issues with weapon scopes.
  • Fixed weapon sound effects occasionally continuing to play after killing an enemy.
  • Fixed turret state not being restored properly after and save and load.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause the helmet light to not reappear in third person after a save and load.
Andrew Heaton

Andrew has been a gamer since the 17th century Restoration period. He now writes for a number of online publications, contributing news and other articles. He does not own a powdered wig.

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