Players Claim Xbox Artificially Inflates Starfield Playtime


starfield portal starfield logo man on planet facing rings and star

A minor controversy regarding Starfield playtime inflation was stirred up recently on X. In a post on X(formerly known as Twitter), user @TWTHEREDDRAGON accused Xbox of inflating hours on Starfield and bragging about a 40-hour average for players. He reposted another tweet from a user that showed in-game save file hours being significantly lower than the ones on the Xbox Stats Screen.

starfield playtime discrepancy between save file and xbox
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The next image showed a user on Reddit complaining about this same issue with various other titles. The crux of the accusation on Xbox here is that they artificially increase your playtime to make their numbers look better. But is that what's really going on? Let's look into it.

According to several other users who have playtested the hour tracking system on Xbox, this "issue" seems to stem from the Quick Start feature. Essentially, it lets you put the console to sleep while pausing your game state. When you boot it back up, you return to exactly where you were. What happens is that Xbox tracks these hours left in suspension as part of the active play time due to how the Quick Start feature works.

The result is much higher playtimes across all games, not just Starfield. That aside, these numbers don't really matter as far as the average playtime claim of 40 hours is concerned. This is because Bethesda has its own internal counters to keep track of player numbers, and the average it draws from includes PC players. As a result, the Xbox Quick Start playtime inflation should not affect the calculated average playtime.

We have some accurate numbers on the average time to beat Starfield, and based on all the achievement stats, it's not hard to estimate actual playtimes.

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