Starfield performance: Potential stuttering, crashing and freezing fixes
How to solve those pesky Bethesda bugs and explore the galaxy in peace.
While the Starfield performance issues at launch are not as notable as they were in previous Bethesda games such as Fallout 4 and Skyrim, there are still some annoying bugs that cause stuttering, freezing and Xbox Series X crashing.
With the game now having been out on Game Pass for a little while, it is still early days (even with that early access period) and there are a few bugs to be wary of. One of the worst offenders has been stopping people get into the game at all!
After many hours spent in the game – and with plenty of help from across the web – we now have the know-how on how to fix some of the worst bugs in Bethesda's massive space RPG.
Keep on reading for some Starfield performance fixes that should solve a number of your stuttering, freezing, and maybe even Xbox Series X crashing woes.
Potential fixes for Starfield performance issues
You're too early
One early issue that primarily affected Starfield early access players (that is now dissipating) revolves around the start-up screen for Starfield. When initialising the game, a pop-up screen will appear with the below message:
"You're too early. We know you really want to get started but you'll have to wait a bit longer. Check Microsoft Store for the launch date."
Now that Starfield has launched globally you should be able to jump in no problem.
If not, test your internet connection or try reinstalling the game and, fingers crossed, you should be in.
Players are also reporting that being persistent with the launch screen will eventually break through.
Restart the game
It might seem simple, but by rebooting the game, it gives the system a chance to clear its memory and reset its software. Restarting your PC or Xbox could help, too.
This can clear out any potential bugs that have infiltrated gameplay – such as any terrifying pop-ins regarding NPCs – at that moment in time. Just remember to save.
Check for updates
We expect Bethesda to be rolling out patches for Bethesda on a pretty regular basis.
The first day one patch is now live across both Xbox Series X/S and PC, with improvements for general gameplay and various bugs included. Make sure to install this before playing or quitting the game altogether to get the latest patch downloaded.
Load up an earlier save
We get it. There's nothing worse than losing progress in a video game. All that time spent for nothing. Ah, the frustration.
In some cases, however, it can save a lot of aggravation by just reverting back to a prior save. That's why it's always recommended to save regularly so you only lose a few minute's worth of progress instead of a few hours.
If it's anything like older Bethesda games, too, it might be worth clearing out some of those auto saves that you just don't use anymore.
Install on an SSD
If you haven't already done so, it's definitely worth installing Starfield on an SSD on your PC. Both the minimum and recommended specs tell us that installing on an SSD is required, but that doesn't stop some people from trying.
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Switch off background tasks
Make sure you aren't running too many applications in the background when you try to play Starfield. Close anything that's putting a strain on your PC that doesn't need to be on when you're playing a game, including antivirus.
Turn the graphics down
This fix sounds simple because it is. You might be getting bad stuttering and fps problems in Starfield because your graphics settings are up too high for your PC to handle.
Pop that resolution down, lower the textures and do anything within the game's settings to get more out of the frame rate.
Read more on Starfield:
- Starfield review - our final verdict
- 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
- 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 factions - all possible groups
Update graphics card driver
Make sure your graphics card driver is up-to-date! New PC games often need a GPU driver update to make sure they're running smoothly.
Disable full-screen optimisations
One fix for Starfield performance issues on PC could be to disable its full-screen optimisations. To do this, follow these steps:
- Find where Starfield is installed
- Locate the Starfield.docx file and right-click on it
- Head to 'properties'
- Click on 'Disable full-screen optimisations'
Once this is done, restart your PC and try the game again. Fingers crossed this fix improves some performance issues.
Starfield audio cutting out
You may have to wait for a proper fix from the development team for this one, but a number of the general fixes above could help you out. It's always worth restarting your PC or game, turning off programs running in the background, disabling features such as dynamic resolution, upscaling, V Sync, Motion Blur, and anything else that lessens performance.
Starfield Xbox Series X crashing
If Starfield is crashing on your Xbox Series X or causing the console to freeze, you can temporarily fix the problem in a number of ways. Try any of the following general fixes if the game or your console crashes:
- Exit the game, close it and restart
- Restart the Xbox
- Make sure your internet connection is up and running properly - reboot your router if not (Game Pass players)
- Uninstall and reinstall the game
- Play offline if not on Game Pass
- Disable auto saves and/or delete old save files you don't use in-game
- Close other games and applications running in the background
If none of those fixes work, we'd suggest you turn the game and console off and try again later or wait for an official update from Bethesda. Remember to report a problem on the Xbox if these crashes keep happening.
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