Starfield PC Tweaking Guide
Following the wave of highly positive critic reviews, the latest RPG from Bethesda Game Studios has made a powerful debut on Steam, boasting an impressive 245,000 concurrent users today. Remarkably, this surge in player numbers is solely attributed to owners of the Starfield Premium Edition, priced at a premium $100, and it’s all transpiring before the official launch scheduled for September 6th.
Bethesda Game Studios (BGS) has built a storied reputation for captivating the hearts of modders within the PC gaming community, and Starfield is no exception. Even though the official modding tools won’t be released for a few more months, that hasn’t deterred the community from tirelessly concocting a plethora of tweaks and proto-mods aimed at enhancing the gaming experience in every conceivable way. The recent unveiling of the Starfield Script Extender is set to further streamline the process for modders, opening up exciting possibilities for the game’s future.
Performance remains a key concern for players diving into the expansive universe of Starfield. While the game doesn’t exhibit the stutters and hiccups that have plagued recent PC game releases, it does demand significant system resources owing to its ambitious scope. Consequently, players are actively seeking ways to optimize their Starfield mod experience.
Reports have surfaced suggesting that manually enabling Resizable BAR for NVIDIA GeForce GPUs might yield a modest boost in performance. However, these claims remain unverified as of now. If you’re eager to experiment, a comprehensive guide to the entire process is available for those willing to explore this potential enhancement.
For those who find themselves stuck with a configuration that falls just short of Starfield’s minimum requirements, Bulwarkhd has ingeniously crafted a Performance Texture Pack. This pack strategically reduces the standard texture resolution from the resource-intensive 2K down to a more manageable 1K or even a budget-friendly 0.5K. The result? A considerable decrease in the consumption of your precious VRAM, while still allowing you to traverse the depths of space.
To embark on this optimization journey, follow these steps:
- Installation: Begin by copying the mod’s Data folder into your trusty Documents\My Games\Starfield directory. Ensure that your StarfieldCustom.ini file resides in the same folder. If, for some reason, you don’t already have this file, go ahead and create it.
- Configuration: Open the StarfieldCustom.ini file and make sure it includes the following lines:
These configurations are essential to enable the mod’s functionality and keep your Starfield experience smooth and efficient.
Now, if you’re truly determined to wring every last drop of performance from your gaming rig, there’s another trick up your sleeve. Nexus Mods user Erok has kindly shared a set of optimized graphic preset .ini files catering to different performance levels: Low, Medium, High, and Ultra.
Here’s how you can take advantage of these presets:
- Download: Acquire the graphic preset(s) that pique your interest.
- Installation: Simply copy the preset(s) you desire into the main Starfield folder.
- Adjust On-the-Fly: For the magic to happen, you might need to switch presets while you’re in-game. Doing so ensures that the changes take effect immediately, and you can tailor your Starfield experience to your hardware’s capabilities.
By following these steps, you’ll not only explore the universe in all its glory but also do so smoothly, even on hardware that might have initially seemed ill-suited for interstellar adventures. Happy gaming, explorer of the cosmos!
In the ever-evolving world of gaming, advancements in graphics and performance enhancements have become paramount. For NVIDIA and Intel GPU owners, the introduction of the NVIDIA DLSS Super Resolution and Intel XeSS mods has been nothing short of revolutionary. These modifications have not only breathed new life into gaming experiences but have also significantly elevated the performance of both NVIDIA and Intel GPUs.
But that’s not all. If you happen to be among the fortunate few wielding the powerful GeForce RTX 40 Series graphics card, there’s even more to look forward to. A DLSS 3 mod, available for download, promises to further enhance frame rates and overall gameplay. It’s a tantalizing prospect, especially for those seeking the pinnacle of gaming performance.
As for the DLSS 3 mods, there are currently two prominent choices in the modding community, each offering its unique take on improving gaming visuals. The first, crafted by the skilled hands of PureDark, comes at a premium price. On the other hand, the second, masterminded by LukeFZ, is graciously offered for free. However, it’s essential to exercise caution when experimenting with these mods, as they might occasionally lead to crashes during loading screens or while navigating menus.
Turning our attention to the visual aspect of gaming, “Starfield” stands as a shining example of Bethesda’s dedication to pushing the boundaries of gaming technology. This sci-fi masterpiece is powered by the latest iteration of the Bethesda Creation Engine, hailed by developers as the most significant leap forward in their technology’s evolution.
The improvements in “Starfield” are immediately evident, with animations that breathe life into the game’s characters and a breathtaking Global Illumination-powered lighting system that sets a new standard for in-game visuals. These advancements mark a significant departure from the visual standards set by previous Bethesda titles, showcasing the developer’s commitment to delivering an unparalleled gaming experience.
Nonetheless, even in its early public release stage, some players have noted certain areas where “Starfield” could see further graphical refinement. Many have observed a distinctive yellow/green tint to the game’s visuals, as well as elevated black levels. While these elements may be part of the developer’s artistic vision, some players have expressed a desire for greater control over their gaming experience.
Currently, there is no in-game option to adjust the gamma settings. However, resourceful gamers have found a workaround by modifying the “StarfieldCustom.ini” file. By adding the following lines:
[Display] fGamma = 2.2
You can restore the gamma to a more standard 2.2 value, potentially providing a more visually balanced experience for those seeking it. This level of customization underscores the dedication of the gaming community to refining and perfecting their gaming experiences, even in the earliest stages of a game’s release.
For a more comprehensive fix, there are several ReShade presets already available on Nexus Mods:
These presets will generally make nights darker, enhancing the overall visual experience of your game. Depending on the chosen ReShade preset, there may be a minor performance impact, typically in the range of 5% to 10%. It’s important to note that you can always access the ReShade menu to selectively disable any additional shaders that don’t directly relate to color correction, should you prefer a more streamlined experience.
Starfield, by default, doesn’t natively support High Dynamic Range (HDR) displays. However, an ingenious solution comes from the esteemed modder Ershin in the form of the ‘Starfield Native HDR’ mod, which attempts to provide a workaround.
You have two installation options at your disposal. If you’re using the Starfield Script Extender (currently exclusive to Steam), you can follow these steps: First, install ReShade, and then place the NativeHDR.dll and NativeHDR.toml files inside the following directory: steamapps/common/Starfield/Data/SFSE/Plugins.
Alternatively, if you’re using the Ultimate ASI Loader, here’s what you should do: Begin by installing ReShade, and then move the NativeHDR.dll and NativeHDR.toml files to the root directory of your Starfield installation.
Configuring the Starfield Native HDR mod happens directly within the NativeHDR.toml configuration file. The most critical decision you’ll need to make is whether to use scRGB or HDR10. While the former offers greater precision and theoretically superior results, it’s worth noting that it may not be compatible with the DLSS Frame Generation mod if you’re also using that. Additionally, you’ll need to choose between PumboAutoHDR or Lilium’s HDR as the shader to complete the setup process.
With these options, you can fine-tune your Starfield experience to suit your preferences and hardware, ensuring that you get the most out of the game’s visuals.
On the visual effects front, Team EVE has released the EXE (Effect Textures Enhanced) mod, which aims to overhaul all of the game’s FX. It is a work in progress, but you can already check it out after a very simple installation process: copy the files to your C:\Users\yourusername\Documents\My Games\Starfield folder.
The first Starfield High Definition Texture Pack mod is already being worked on by Epiphany Absolute. As explained by the author, the texture resolution is being doubled with the help of AI upscale, increasing the resolution from 2K to 4K. Of course, this project is very much a work in progress. The following upscaled textures are currently included: Grass-Aquatic, Grass-Bladed, Grass – Flowers, Grass – Forest, Grass – Rocks.
Epiphany Absolute uploaded another High Definition Texture Pack mod for ships a few hours later. The installation process is the same. Again, keep in mind that only these ships have been overhauled so far: Discovery, Hopetech, Pirate, Ship Common, and Starborn.
Enhancing Your Starfield Experience with Gameplay Mods
As Starfield took the gaming world by storm, many players found themselves grappling with a new challenge – stealth. Compared to previous titles by Bethesda Game Studios, stealth in Starfield seemed exceptionally challenging. It appeared that the developers had fine-tuned the ‘senses’ of non-player characters (NPCs) to an extreme degree.
However, dedicated modders have come to the rescue, offering creative solutions to address this issue. Two notable mods, created by Zzyxzz and Ixion XVII, have emerged to tweak and enhance the stealth gameplay in Starfield.
Better Out of Line of Sight Sneaking by Zzyxzz
Zzyxzz’s mod, aptly named ‘Better Out of Line of Sight Sneaking,’ tackles the heightened hearing accuracy of enemies when you attempt to hide behind obstacles. By default, the game sets this accuracy level at 0.4, making it quite challenging for players to maintain stealth. Zzyxzz’s mod, however, reduces this value to 0.33, bringing it more in line with the stealth mechanics of previous Bethesda Game Studios (BGS) titles.
To enable this mod, you’ll need to make some tweaks to your StarfieldCustom.ini file. Simply add the following lines:
In addition to these changes, you must also copy the provided ‘SneakSoundLosMult.txt’ file into the main Starfield folder.
Gameplay Tweaks and Fixes by Ixion XVII
Ixion XVII’s ‘Gameplay Tweaks and Fixes’ mod is a comprehensive package that not only addresses the heightened NPC hearing accuracy but also makes several other adjustments to enhance your overall Starfield experience. These changes include reducing NPC view cone detection from 190 to 170 and decreasing enemy vision in exterior environments by 5%.
Much like the previous mod, implementing ‘Gameplay Tweaks and Fixes’ requires editing your StarfieldCustom.ini file. Insert the following command under the [General] section:
Moreover, don’t forget to place the ‘GameplayTweaks.txt’ file into your Starfield installation folder to ensure the mod functions as intended.
Less Spongy Enemies by Zzyxzz
Zzyxzz, the mastermind behind the first mod mentioned, also offers a solution to another gameplay challenge – the health bonuses that NPCs receive as they level up. In the default game, NPCs receive a health bonus of 20 with each level. Zzyxzz’s ‘Less Spongy Enemies’ mod gives players the flexibility to tweak this value down to 15, 10, 5, or even 0, making combat encounters more manageable and varied.
To apply this mod, you’ll need to update your StarfieldCustom.ini file once more. Include the following line:
Just as before, remember to copy the ‘LessSpongyEnemies.txt’ file to your Starfield installation folder to activate the mod and enjoy a more dynamic gaming experience.
With these mods in your arsenal, you can tailor your Starfield gameplay to your liking, whether you prefer a stealthier approach, more balanced combat encounters, or a combination of both. Happy modding, and may your adventures in the Starfield universe be filled with excitement and satisfaction!
An interesting mod created by Nexus Mods user powerofthree enables friendly fire of all NPCs, ensuring more realistic combat. The ‘Enemy Friendly Fire‘ mod requires the Starfield Script Extender (and thus owning the game on Steam) and can be installed simply by copying its contents inside the steamapps/common/Starfield/Data/SFSE/Plugins folder.
Quality of Life
Starfield, like many games developed by Bethesda Game Studios (BGS), offers a deep and complex gaming experience. However, some players might find certain aspects of the game less accessible or responsive than they’d prefer. To enhance your gaming experience, we’ve compiled a list of quality-of-life tweaks and mods that can make your journey through the cosmos smoother and more enjoyable.
1. Faster Game Launching with ‘Undelayed Launching’ Mod
One common frustration for gamers is the time it takes to launch a game, often hindered by lengthy intro sequences and warnings. Thankfully, the ‘Undelayed Launching‘ mod, created by Seb263, streamlines the process by skipping the Bethesda logo and health warning screens. You can manually apply these tweaks to your StarfieldCustom.ini file as follows:
Additionally, copy the Data\Interface folder into the main Starfield directory to complete the mod installation.
2. Custom Field of View (FOV)
If you find the default FOV of 75 too narrow, you can adjust it to your liking by modifying the StarfieldCustom.ini file:
Feel free to experiment with these values to achieve your preferred FOV. You can also change the FOV for spaceship gameplay with the following:
3. Faster In-Game Menus with ‘Undelayed Menus’ Mod
To make in-game menus more responsive, the ‘Undelayed Menus‘ mod by Seb263 doubles the menu refresh rate from 30FPS to 60FPS, eliminates fading effects, and speeds up the execution of ‘press to exit’ buttons. As with other mods, copy the Data\Interface folder into your Starfield directory and ensure your StarfieldCustom.ini file includes:
4. ‘Smooth Ship Reticle’ Mod
For those who crave smoother spaceship HUDs, ‘Smooth Ship Reticle’ by alexbull_uk boosts the responsiveness of the default 30FPS to up to 120FPS. Installation is straightforward, following the same steps mentioned earlier.
5. ‘Immersive Tactical Hud’ Mod
For a more immersive user interface, consider using the ‘Immersive Tactical Hud’ mod by franchfroise. This mod removes enemy health bars, enemy names, hip-fire crosshairs, reduces the size of crosshairs and the level-up indicator, relocates the experience bar, and enhances hit markers and crit notifications. Installation is identical to the previous mods.
These quality-of-life tweaks and mods can significantly enhance your Starfield gaming experience by improving accessibility, responsiveness, and immersion. Enjoy your journey through the vast reaches of the cosmos!
Want a more immersive user interface? ‘Immersive Tactical Hud‘ by franchfroise is the mod for you. It removes enemy health bars, enemy names, hip-fire crosshairs, shrinks crosshairs and the level-up indicator, relocates the experience bar, and improves hit markers and the crit notification. The installation is exactly the same as above.
On the other hand, Stentorious’ Simple Compact Inventory is a remarkable enhancement that can revolutionize your gameplay experience within the vast universe of Starfield. This ingenious mod opens up new possibilities by increasing the number of viewable items in your inventory to an impressive total of 12. However, what truly sets it apart is the inclusion of an optional file that introduces a groundbreaking sorting mechanism based on the Value:Mass ratio of items.
This groundbreaking sorting option, a brainchild of the talented modder TomLikesGuitar, has been warmly received by the Starfield community. In fact, TomLikesGuitar has gone a step further by offering a separate mod that introduces yet another highly sought-after sorting option, this time focusing on the Value:Weight ratio. With these two sorting options at your disposal, managing your inventory in Starfield has never been more efficient or enjoyable.
To harness the full potential of these mods, the installation process is straightforward. Simply extract the Data folders from the respective mod archives and integrate them seamlessly into the main Starfield folder. However, to ensure a smooth and error-free experience, it’s crucial to make one last configuration tweak. Open the StarfieldCustom.ini file and verify that the following lines are present:
Lastly, for a finishing touch to your enhanced inventory experience, consider integrating McGuffin’s IconSortingTags. This ingenious addition introduces a visually appealing element to your Starfield inventory and loot window, making it easier than ever to discern the nature of your possessions or potential loot items. Like the previous mods, the installation procedure remains consistent, ensuring that your Starfield adventure is both functional and aesthetically pleasing. With these remarkable mods at your disposal, you’re well-equipped to embark on an unforgettable journey through the Starfield universe.