Starfield - Navigating Cosmic Frontiers and Unseen Barriers

Player faces a stop sign in a desert


Player faces a stop sign in a desert

Another day, another Starfield drama arises. This time, fans are concerned over the presence of invisible walls in Starfield. We will examine what this means, why fans are complaining, and whether it matters for the game overall.

When open-world games have barriers or invisible walls, it limits where can be explored. Players like to feel completely free to go where they choose and travel to any depth or height available. For a game the size of Starfield, will this be an issue?

Starfield Invisible Walls

Barriers or invisible walls in open-world games can often make you feel you are being boxed in if the play area is too small. Developers naturally want to avoid this issue, but it is often necessary to focus the player on the main objective or places of interest, as well as to keep the play area confined while feeling alive.

Player and vasco robot look across a planets wilderness
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Credit: Bethesda
See that mountain? You can climb it

Starfield has once more stirred up some drama via leaks from players who have got the game early, reporting about Starfield having an invisible wall issue. these reports have stemmed from online forums where in-game screenshots have come out showing the text:

Boundary reached, open the map to explore another region or return to your ship.”

Also, video leaks on YouTube displayed a player facing a similar constraint while walking around a desert planet. The boundary reached message suggests that there is no playable area beyond a set point outside of your ship. Whether this is explained in-game as simply untraversable land or even hazardous terrain is unknown at this point.

player climbs a rocky hill with a city just ahead
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Credit: Bethesda
Barrier to entry?

Most Bethesda games have similar invisible walls that display a message explaining you cannot go any further. How this will affect Starfield's immersion is a question that needs to be answered.

Over on Twitter (X.com), Jez Corden responded to the outrage with the following in defence of these limitations:

"This is actually not entirely accurate."

"Just wait for the reviews. The half truths being spread are being done in bad faith sometimes."

"Like I said, it's not accurate info nor the full story. Can't say more than that really. Wait for the review embargo to lift."

So while there may be some element of truth behind Starfield's invisible walls, we may not have the full picture to form an opinion on yet. If anything, with the 1000 planets available, a limitation to available play space to keep focused will be welcomed!

While you are here, get ready for launch with us, make sure you have read up on the controls for Starfield, and then pop over to our ultimate prep list to ensure you have the smoothest journey into space.

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

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