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Starfield: a great game hidden behind a lousy interface that may make you angry, persist because there is gold

The frustrations and shortfalls of the interface will eventually be mitigated once you understand the shortfalls and can navigate your way around the menus. It took me about 10 hours before I stopped being frustrated with the ridiculous menu system and started enjoying the game. Love the game, hate the UI.

Note that this game is not for ADD console monkeys who need full stimulation every 5 seconds. If you want to rush through the main storyline, cutting all the dialogue short to move on, just to “beat Starfield” then you’re likely to have a significantly less fun time.

In-game help is exceptionally poor. What do any of the stats mean on the suits and packs? Phys, Engy, Em. Space suits, backpacks: thermal, airborne, corrosive, radiation. Information kiosks in New Atlantis are just a couple paragraphs of text, no maps.

The town/local area maps are pathetic or non-existent.

In space maps are a pig: what systems are nearby, does this system have a settlement? Known activity? Which faction claims control? How can I get back to that star system I visited? New Atlantis isn’t on the star map … where is it? I want to visit the kiosk but there is not spaceport option to land at New Atlantis.

Fortunately, the missions let you bypass the maps completely. Mostly.

Comparing items / upgrading star ship parts: Oh this value is higher, by how much? difference or percentage increase would be nice.

Ship has all these nice storage units that do nothing. You need to find the cargo terminal inside the ship so you can store things. Found the cargo terminal, well just waving over the console opens the cargo list, E doesn’t open but takes the first item, OK: that’s me but I hate it.

The interface is not consistent. Enter, mouse-click, E, R are functionally vastly different in different contexts, and needn’t be.

An orange circle with a drop means cold?! Toxic gas affects me in a space suit?

Shop – artificial scarcity. Only five med packs in the entire section of the city? No bandages or other misc meds?

Also – artificial money weighting: a med pack costs about three times what you will get from the kiosk for an automatic weapon.

Items list sorting (Z) seems somewhat arbitrary, this is probably better explained but why.

Take off, landing, docking are cut scenes. Fast travel feels like it ruins the whole immersion. And the game FORCES you to fast travel very early on, or it will leave a dialogue on your screen for the whole run and subsequent interactions with NPCs

In spaceship – distance to target isn’t always displayed.

Docking with a station or ship can be ridiculous when trying to work out where the docking port is located.

So many bugs, but you can save often.

For people holding off buying … wait a year or so for Bethesda to sort this out and to drop the price.

Compare this game to Baldur’s Gate 3 – a highly complex and detailed game that has a simply amazing interface that has depth and ease of use that is astounding, supplying you all the information at every step so you can make reasonable choices. As compared to the clumsy interface that shrouds information in Starfield where you just have to shrug, make guesses, and hope things work out.

Don’t pick everything up. Food is essentially useless.
You do need resources for building bases (mostly aluminium) and crafting. Collect ZERO WIRE!
Let your companions to carry extra junk.
The ship has a cargo hold, drop things there.
CLEAR out the cargo hold often, yes it is a chore but it fills up and suddenly mid-mission you are full and plot a mission back to the nearest place to sell – and that’s just a nightmare.
There is a safe in your room at the lodge where you can store stuff.
You can sell things at the kiosk or general store, but they run out of money and will give you zero for anything you sell thereafter – with the response that you’re not getting full value. Not being clear that zero is definitely not full value.
Sell your weapons at Centaurian Arsenal in New Atlantis, they have 50K to buy your stuff.
You can trade at kiosk / vendors directly from your ship cargo hold.
Only store things you want to sell in your ship’s cargo hold, everything else in your base, boxes or floor.
Get medical supplies in the Residential District from Reliant Medical in New Atlantis. BUY them every time you visit!
Heal by sleep on beds in ship, at lodge, inside an enemy base (when no enemies about) = complete heal.
Weapons in racks in your ship will just disappear – do not use.
Floor of ship seems to be secure “infinite” storage, better than weapon racks.
Outpost: use a scanner from space to find a spot with aluminium (and maybe also iron) to build your base.
Vasco doesn’t take up a crew slot.
Capslock lets you walk slowly and recover O2, even when encumbered.
NPCs will have many lines of long pointless dialogue, normal click will skip.
“AID” object can have a lot of interesting benefits – there’s juice that can make you negotiate better. Use these!
When in scanning mode (F) you need to get close and tap E to scan flora/fauna. Some fauna get very bitey so rapidly tap E as you approach then move away quick when done!
SKILLS: Boost pack, lock pick

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