Starfield Developer Q&A - Everything We Learned

Todd Howard being interviewed by Lex Fridman
Credit: Lex Fridman


Todd Howard being interviewed by Lex Fridman
Credit: Lex Fridman

Will Chen and Emil Pagliarulo, two developers from Bethesda that have been working on Starfield, answered fan questions on a recent Discord session. The Starfield Q&A, which lasted an hour, answered 16 questions fans had asked about Starfield.

With the game only two weeks away, a lot remains unknown about Bethesda's hugely ambitious RPG. How will space combat work? How does travel work outside of a planet?, and is there cross-save functionality between Steam and Xbox?

Perhaps we could see some more light shed on things before the game launches. Earlier today, Bethesda announced that Starfield had gone gold, along with an update on when you can preload the game.

We have cherry-picked, and edited for clarity, the best things we learned about Starfield during the Q&A with the developers.

You Can Own Houses

We already know you can have a family home by choosing the Kid Stuff trait for your character. This trait provides you with parents and a home to visit on a peaceful planet, at a monetary cost.

A player outpost on a planet
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Credit: Bethesda
Where will you settle down?

When asked about the possibility of purchasing a house or property in Starfield, the directors both responded with a resounding yes. These questions are coming hot out of the gate!

Will Shen: "Yep! There's housing in different cities that the player can get. Some you have to purchase, and some are rewards for specific quests."

Emil Pagliarulo: "Sure can! You can purchase a dwelling in all the major cities in the game. And there's at least one that you get specifically for completing... something."

You Can Become A Space Pirate

Eagle-eyed fans spotted a starship being scanned for contraband before landing in the Starfield Direct. Since then, we have all wondered just how smuggling would work. Well, over to the Starfield developers for an answer.

A Crimson Fleet member stands in their HQ
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Credit: Bethesda
The Crimson Fleet - Perfect for pirates

Will Shen: "Certain items are considered “Contraband”, and you’ll need to smuggle them past security ships that are in orbit of major settlements."

Emil Pagliarulo: "There are specific items that are considered Contraband, meaning they’re pretty much illegal everywhere. And yes, you can hide them using special ship modules you can purchase. So, you know, don’t get caught with those harvested organs. The economy is fixed, but prices of bought and sold goods can change based on the Skills you choose."

But You May End Up Behind Bars...

Committing nefarious deeds such as smuggling or theft, may land you in a spot of bother. Skyrim famously loves to send you to jail for any wrongdoing committed in front of the guards. Starfield, it seems, will have a similar consequence for breaking the law.

The player sneaking up on a NPC
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Credit: Bethesda
Don't get caught!

Will Shen: "Yes, you can elect to go to jail or pay a fine when you’re arrested (or even resist arrest and try to escape)."

Emil Pagliarulo: "Yup. The Settled Systems is more like Skyrim than Fallout 4’s Commonwealth in that regard. Ya bancha criminals! There’s civilization, there’s government, and there are laws. And in a couple cases, we actually explore the themes of crime and punishment in our futuristic universe."

Or Go The Peaceful Route

Not every player loves slicing and blasting their way toward the objective. Dialogue and conversation options can often be relied on to escape sticky situations in Bethesda games. A pure Pacifist Build doesn't seem to be available for the more zen-like players among us.

A cosmonaut looks to a ringed planet
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Credit: Bethesda
Give peace a chance

Will Shen: "I can’t guarantee every mission can be completed in pacifist mode, but we do have a couple of systems that will help."

Emil Pagliarulo: "So, we talked about this very early on during pre-production, whether or not we would fully support a “non-lethal” playthrough. We realized that, for various reasons, that wasn’t totally feasible."

And You Will Be Able To Make Plenty of Friends

Companions are a firm favourite amongst Bethesda fans; they make the journey more enjoyable. Well, some do, anyway. Exactly how many companions you can recruit for your crew, was another question the developers answered during the session.

Barrett hands the player a watch
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Credit: Bethesda
Can we be friends?

Will Shen: "There are over 20 named characters who can join your crew."

Emil Pagliarulo: "Over 20 total, and we really focused on the members of Constellation. What Will said. lol"

Other Things We Learned

That wasn't all we learned from the Q&A, there were several more points discussed, and plenty was still left unspoken. Here is a look at some of the other standout sections of the answers-

  • Kid Trait will use the way you look to make your parents
  • Four companions are members of Constellation
  • The crew don't get paid regular salaries - one up-front cost instead
  • Crew won't level up and come with selected traits based on rank
  • No usable mechs

So there we have it, the best things we learned from the Starfield developers when answering fan questions. Hopefully, we learn more about the game in the short time left before launch.

While you are here, why don't you check out one of our other articles, like our Starfield beginners guide and get ready to play, or learn when you can preload the game?

For all things Starfield, stick with us at Starfield Portal.

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