With Starfield officially releasing last week, and with a ‘mostly positive’ review score on Steam, gamers seem to be enjoying this title. There’s a lot of scepticism around the start of the game, with many players reporting a relatively slow introduction, but beyond this, Bethesda seem to have delivered. Much of the high praise comes in the form of Bethesda’s specialty – side quests. Where gamers are finding a vast number of varied missions to throw themselves into on every single planet that you physically have access to.
However, one of the big problems that everyone is seeing consistently, is performance. In a Bloomberg interview, the reporter asks “Why did you not optimise this game for PC?”. Todd Howard responds with “Um, we did. It’s running great. It is a next-gen PC game, we really do push the technology, so you may need to upgrade your PC for this game. But it’s got a lot of great stuff going on in it, and the fans’ response is awesome”. The truth of this statement is up for debate, as benchmarks illustrate some pretty major issues in larger, more open areas of the game.
On PC, those with even an RTX 4090 can expect performance that sits below the 100FPS mark at times, especially in these unoptimised spaces. Although performance does improve when the physical size of the map decreases, and there’s less going on, there were still times at 1080p and 1440p we we’ve seen sub-60FPS, which is frankly ridiculous.
So do you need an upgrade? Probably not. If you’re already utilising modern hardware, such as Radeon 6000, or RTX 3000 upwards, this game should theoretically be running with no problems at high framerates. However, much like every Bethesda game, Starfield’s initial release is a bit of a mess for a whole lot of users, especially on the performance side. We’ll either have to wait for Bethesda to release some more patches that optimise the performance of this new title. Or, an alternative situation is that we’ll have some modders release a ‘community patch’ that fixes the game.
For those looking to unlock some stronger framerates in this game, we recommend dialling back your settings to medium-high, turning off settings like dynamic scaling, render resolution scaling can be lowered, and turn on FSR where available. Along with a few other settings, you’ll be able to leverage some smoother gameplay in some of these more intense areas. But if there’s one thing for certain, you definitely don’t need a GPU upgrade, Bethesda just need to pull themselves together and fix their clearly unoptimised game.