Thanks to their large fanbases in PC gaming, Bethesda titles are modded so often than it's almost a tradition. From Buzz Lightyear in Fallout 4 to Posh Mudcrabs in Skyrim, fans sure know how to have fun with the game.
And this year's Starfield is no exception. In fact, with over 1,000 planets across 100 star systems, the possibilities are vaster than ever before.
As Todd Howard has now confirmed (via Famitsu) that official mod support for Starfield will arrive in 2024, we're expecting the interplanetary floodgates to open next year. However, fan have created some excellent mods already.
How to use Starfield mods
To use Starfield mods, first make a backup of your save in case something goes awry and then head over to Nexus Mods and download and install the Vortex Mod Manager, which you will need a Nexus Mods account to do. Vortex will automatically detect compatible games and Starfield will appear under the 'Latest Extensions' tab on the right-hand side, and you want to press the 'Install' button just underneath.
Click on the 'Games' tab, then 'Select a game to manage', then press on Starfield.
Now you will be able to go back to the Nexus Mods site and download any Starfield mod with your browser prompting you to open the file via Vortex. With all that, your mod should be installed and good to go!
Individual mods may have specific instructions, so be sure to read the whole mod page before committing.
Read more on Starfield:
- Starfield review - our final verdict
- Starfield missions list - how far are you?
- Starfield tips and tricks - how to get started
- Starfield romance - all potential relationships
- Starfield character creation - all your options explained
- Starfield digipick - how to lockpick
- How long is Starfield? The hours you'll need
- Will Starfield ever come to PS5? Developer comments
- Starfield cast - all voice actors
- Starfield companions - who to recruit
- Starfield soundtrack - how to listen
- Starfield storage guide - don't be overburdened
- Starfield FOV - change your point of view
- Starfield FPS - developers explain 30fps
- Starfield PC requirements - specs needed
- Starfield performance - potential fixes
- Starfield factions - all possible groups
The best Starfield mods we’ve seen so far
After much post and pre-launch controversy regarding the inclusion of only AMD’s FSR 2, modders have come to save the day - and mere hours into the launch of early access, 'PureDark' on Nexus Mods uploaded Starfield Upscaler, which implements Nvidia’s DLSS and Intel’s XeSS upscaling solutions.
DLSS, in particular for those running Nvidia cards, offers a much more temporally stable image – especially when the camera is moving.
You may have noticed when using FSR 2 that the image appeared shimmery, especially on the edges of objects. DLSS doesn’t have this at all, and oftentimes it can offer better image quality than a native resolution.
Frame generation is currently behind a paywall by way of Patreon but alternative solutions exist.
Less Spongy Enemies
Less Spongy Enemies does exactly what it says on the tin. If you're unhappy with the amount of ammo lost on those hostile animals, bombarding you as soon as you leave your ship on a new planet, then look no further than this mod.
A bit of a cheat in an RPG, but it's only a game.
Move or Disable XP Bar
How annoying is that XP bar, right in the centre of the screen, just above your crosshairs? You'll know when you've levelled up, and a constant reminder of your XP changes the way you play the game - we recon for the worst.
If you're grinding it can be useful, but for any other scenario use this mod to get rid of it.
Starfield Frame Generation
Starfield Frame Generation from 'LukeFZ564' adds DLSS 2 and DLSS3 Frame Generation for people who have Nvidia RTX 4000 Series cards.
Starfield is very CPU-intensive and DLSS 3 Frame Gen helps get those frame-rates higher, making for a markedly smoother-looking output.
To use it, you can adjust the in-game resolution and dynamic resolution to adjust the parameters that DLSS draws from.
Neutral LUTs – No Colour Filters
With the advent of screen technologies such as OLED, where every individual pixel emits its own light, people have begun to appreciate more contrast and deep blacks in media - but curiously for a game set in space, Starfield has quite raised black levels, owing to its own colour-correction, which makes for a quite washed-out image at times.
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For those who don’t like this effect, Neutral LUTs from 'fadingsignal' on Nexus Mods removes Bethesda’s colour grading for a more natural appearance.
It’s quite astonishing how much of a difference this makes. Many dark rooms are far more readable without being awash with artistic intent.
We ourselves have a handy-dandy guide on how to change your Starfield FOV on PC as, curiously, the game doesn’t include a FOV slider - making for some claustrophobic visuals.
You can manually adjust your first and third-person FOV on an individual basis if you want different FOVs for each.
Special-K HDR Retrofit
Starfield on PC doesn’t have a native HDR (High Dynamic Range) solution and instead relies on Windows’s Auto-HDR functionality to provide nice bright highlights and deep blacks.
Special-K HDR Retrofit allows you to inject HDR into any DirectX 11-12 game and for a game like Starfield – it really feels like a necessity.
Planets and stars will pop so much more against the solitary darkness of the cosmos. Muzzle flashes from weapons will almost be blinding in dark rooms, too, but like any good mod, the values are completely adjustable.
A word of warning, however: you need an HDR-capable display and Special-K isn’t available through Vortex Mod Manager, but it has a very comprehensive installation guide.
Setting it up can be tricky, but if you can get through it you will be treated to a visual spectacle, especially when paired with Neutral LUTs.
This handy StarUI mod from 'm8r98a4f2' makes is great for those wanting to get more information from their inventory menu. Instead of jumping in and out sub-menus, it's all laid out making it that little bit easier to scroll through the hundreds of items you pick up. Simple but effective.
Perhaps understandably, Bethesda doesn’t want you to cheat your way through Starfield and unlock achievements unfairly - but given how modders are having to take it into their own hands to improve elements of the game, simply being barred from achievements by using the console hasn’t gone down well.
Enter Achievement Enabler from Priqrade on Nexus Mods, which does exactly what it says on the tin. Using the in-game console won’t disable achievements from being unlocked anymore, so if you are tinkering but in a way you feel isn’t giving you an unfair advantage – this is the mod for you.
DualSense – PS5 Icons
Prying Starfield from the clutches of Xbox is 'EASKATER' on Nexus Mods with their DualSense – PS5 Icons mod, which replaces the UI elements and button prompts that will usually show Xbox buttons with PS5 controller icons.
If you are playing with a DualSense (or DualShock) controller, this just makes Starfield a little bit more seamless and won’t leave you confused and lost – especially in the shipbuilder with its oodles of buttons.
Compact Inventory UI
Being on a PC, you are most likely using a monitor that you are sitting quite close to, so readability isn’t so much of an issue when compared to those playing on a TV.
However, Starfield’s UI has clearly been designed with playing from a distance on a TV in mind, so the UI elements are quite large to accommodate this.
Compact Inventory UI from 'Stentorious' on Nexus Mods adjusts the size of the individual items in your inventory so that more of it can be displayed on your screen at once. Given how much stuff you’ll no doubt be lugging around, this mod feels like a no-brainer to include.
When installed, you’ll be able to see seventeen items instead of the default twelve.
Let's be honest, Starfield's water is pretty crummy - and is one of the most egregious graphical let-downs in the game.
'TechAngel85' has saved the day, though, with their Realistic Water mod - which massively overhauls how water is presented in the game.
They're not even finished, as they have confirmed that when the full mod toolkit is released, they'll expand the scope of the project to be more akin to Realistic Water 2 for Skyrim.
Dark Mode for Terminals
If you're playing in a dark room or have opted for an HDR implementation, you might find the terminals in Starfield to be blindingly bright.
Dark Mode for Terminals by 'animandan' does what dark mode does for your phone and makes terminals and screens far easier on the eye. It's almost so glaringly obvious to include this that it's surprising this wasn't a feature by default.
It's fair to say that Starfield is extremely cinematic... sometimes to its own detriment. While the first few times you take off in your ship are special, every subsequent time can feel drawn out. To skip these altogether – including docking cutscenes – the Ship Skip mod by 'Bub' is a must-have for quality-of-life improvements.
If you can't be bothered typing in all the console commands for Starfield, Lazy Cheats by 'RockJB' streamlines the process - by simply typing commands like "money100", for example, you can get 100,000,000 credits.
If you suffer from repetitive strain injury or mostly play with a controller, this can be a great way to save your wrists and time.
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