Xbox fans outraged that Starfield will run at 30fps – and why they shouldn’t be


FOLLOWING the Starfield Direct, Bethesda made the announcement that the game would run at 30fps.

This is the case even on the more powerful Xbox Series X, though there will also be reduced resolution on the Series S.

Starfield’s worlds will be vast.

In 2023, gamers are used to big budget games running in 60fps, or giving an option between 30fps mode with better graphics, or 60fps with lower settings.

This announcement had gamers in uproar, with many incredulous that the game will be “unplayable” due to the lower framerate.

We all like our video games to feel reactive to all of our input, and that means what we see on screen matches what we press as soon as we press it.

It’s particularly important in games like Starfield where you shoot at men while you fly over their heads with jetpacks.

However, few games are on the scale that Starfield is, few games have met this level of detail and customisation.

We can compare it to Bethesda’s previous works like Fallout and Elder Scrolls where you are let loose in a large open world.

A lot of games promise an open world filled with things you can interact with, but few manage to pull it off like Bethesda does.

Every NPC in Bethesda’s worlds have their own lives. They continue doing their thing whether you interact with them or not.

For example, if you see someone murdered by a mud crab in Skyrim, you can go to that area days later, and see the body still left there on the ground.

If you interact with the body, looting it of its clothes, it will remain there in that state. In many other games it would disappear as soon as the camera couldn’t see it anymore.

This can’t continue forever, or the game would become unplayable due to all the different factors  being saved in the games’ memory.

However, the long-length that Bethesda games remember details for, creates worlds that feel more realistic and increase your immersion into the game.

Skyrim performs these actions on a single map, but Starfield has over a thousand planets and moons to explore.

Aside from this, the space between planets is filled with derelict ships and enemy vessels that you can explore.

Each area has its own rules about gravity, orbit, weather and more. 

Despite all this, you can still look at the spot on a planet you stood on hours before and see a pile of sandwiches that you were hoarding there.

Starfield isn’t pushing the hardware to the limit in terms of graphics or framerate.

However, it is pushing it to the limit when it comes to how we view open-world games, and what is possible when it comes to them.

There are plenty of games that boast 60fps but are unstable at these levels and run far better at 30fps.

We only don’t complain about them as the choice to lower the framerate feels like ours.

However, if Starfield does everything it promises it will, we’ll soon forget the controversy surrounding its framerate.

And if it doesn’t, then we’ll just end up complaining about all those false promises instead.

Written by Georgina Young on behalf of GLHF.


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