If you're jumping into Starfield today thanks to its early access period, you might be wondering what the situation is with the game's FPS (frames-per-second).


The developers have made some preordained choices in the Starfield FPS department, so you won't really get to choose what frame-rate you want.

Whether a game is running at 60fps (or higher) or 30fps is often something that’s used to bash or promote said game and/or console it’s on. No matter how silly this may seem to you, some insist that it really does matter.

Of course, 60fps and above is ideal, but dropping that frame rate down can help ensure a higher resolution and better visuals. Where does Starfield fit into the conversation?

Read on to find out if Starfield is confirmed to be capped at 30fps or not on Xbox and PC and to see what the development team has had to say on the matter.

Is Starfield capped at 30fps?

Starfield is capped at 30fps on Xbox Series X/S, it has been confirmed by Bethesda boss Todd Howard. It’s currently unclear whether or not the sci-fi epic will be locked to 30fps on PC, however- and unlikely that it will be.

Many other titles on the market offer performance modes that allow gamers to sacrifice the visual fidelity of a game to increase its frame rate, but it looks like this isn’t going to be the case in Starfield.

The choice of Todd Howard and the rest of the Starfield development team to cap the game at 30fps might have something to do with in-game sandwiches, at least in part...

Why are they capping Starfield at 30fps?

Starfield is capped at 30fps on Xbox Series X/S to retain the highest graphics and resolution and allow players to do everything they’d expect in a Bethesda title in as smooth a way as possible.

Speaking to IGN, Bethesda boss and game director Todd Howard explained that the controversial Starfield 30fps decision was made to keep the game 4K on Series X and 1440p on Series S. The studio decided “to lock it at 30[fps]” because it wanted “that fidelity”.

He details how a Bethesda game is known for having “always these huge, open worlds, fully dynamic, hyperdetail where anything can happen”. The development team wants to make that happen because it wants “all that stuff”.

Howard added that Bethesda doesn’t “want to sacrifice any of it” and it’s locked because the development team prefers “the consistency” a locked frame rate offers over one that’s going up and down.

Finally, he adds that Bethesda needs “that headroom because in [its] games, really anything can happen”. This is best explained by some sandwiches.

In a Bethesda title, the player is able to do whatever they like, and this can include stockpiling a huge number of a particular item - sandwiches were shown in the game’s direct as an example.

Digital Foundry producer John Linneman took to Twitter to explain how 60fps would be difficult to achieve when players are able to leave massive piles of in-game items lying around - including sandwiches - in a massive open world game such as this.

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It just goes to show that the freedom to do what you like in a resolution and detail that’s wanted on current-gen hardware comes at a respectable cost to frame rate. It’s not so simple as to flick a 60fps switch in development, after all.

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