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Starfield’s May update is live now, packing new options, updated maps and more

If Starfield dropped off the playlist for you, you might want to have another go, as the May update has arrived.

Back to the stars

Launched in September of last year, Starfield was something of an oddity. It was a marquee title for Bethesda for sure, but while it excited many fans, it also seemed to turn a bunch of those fans off. That was due to the usual bugs, but also a universe that didn’t seem to catch fire with its target audience. But whether you still play in Starfield’s massive sandbox or not, you might want to check out the upsdate that’s just landed.

The May update is a biggie, and includes improvements in a number of arenas, plus some brand new stuff. Now Updated Surface Maps will deliver a “marker” system for easier navigation, there are further possibilities for the customization of your ship’s interior, there’s a New Game Plus mode to dig into, and a host of quality of life enhancements.

What’s not included are the new land vehicles, though Bethesda says to hang on for those, because they’re still very much on the way. The full May update is out now however, for both the Xbox and PC editions of Starfield, and the launch notes are below. Want more info? Click here to check out the official site.

Updated Surface Maps

Surface maps are improved and replace surface dots with terrain markings. These markings combined with visual points of interest on the map makes navigation and pinpointing locations much easier.  

Additionally, new markers have been added in the major cities to show the locations of vendors and each of these markers acts as a fast travel point. Players can immediately warp to these destinations from their Scanner or the surface map. 

New Gameplay Options 

The new update also gives players more freedom and flexibility to customize their gameplay experience. Players can now adjust vendor credits and carry capacity or access ship cargo from anywhere through the player inventory. For players looking to finetune the difficulty, new survival features are added like adjusting the effects of food and environmental hazards as well as new combat settings to make space combat harder and run-and-gun combat easier, for example. Finally, there’s a new Extreme difficulty above Very Hard.  

These settings can be tuned to focus on the style of gameplay players enjoy the most.  

New Ship Interior Customization Tools 

In Starfield, the player ship is home. The May Update expands interior customization available to ships. There are also new completely empty hab modules to decorate from scratch, allowing players to further customize their ship’s layout with more openings available for doorways. 

Xbox Series X Display Settings  

Xbox Series X players can now choose between prioritizing visual quality or performance. 

For each of these, a Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) Display running at 120hz or above is highly recommended.  

  • Frame Rate Target: Players can now choose between **30, 40, 60 or an Uncapped** frame rate on VRR displays. Players without a VRR display running at least 120hz will still be able to select from 30 or 60. Screen tearing may occur at times when selecting 60 on a non-VRR display.  
  • Prioritize: Players can now prioritize between **Visuals and Performance** while trying to maintain the frame rate target. Performance mode is suggested if choosing a frame rate target of 60 or above. Prioritizing Visuals keeps the highest resolution while maintaining full detail for special effects, lighting, and crowds. Prioritizing Performance lowers internal resolution and detail for special effects, lighting, and crowds. Both modes may adjust internal resolution dynamically when scenes or action get heavier as well. 
  • VSync: Players can now toggle between VSync off or on. Choosing off will separate the game frames from the monitor’s refresh rate and may result in screen tearing. Toggling On will synchronize the frame rate to the monitor’s refresh rate avoiding screen tearing but limiting number of frames. 

New Game Plus Trait Respeccing 

Replayability is huge in Bethesda Game Studios games, and in Starfield the universe expands even more with New Game Plus. Now, after players enter the Unity, they will have the option to change both their appearance and Traits. This gives players the opportunity to continue refining their characters visually, and experiment with different playstyles after every play-through. 

Quality of Life Improvements 

In addition to the major features in this May Update, there are also numerous quality-of-life improvements like the ability to toggle the dialogue camera off so players can watch scenes play out from their chosen perspective. There are also new tabs in the Container and Barter menus, making it easier to see where you’re navigating to when quickly cycling through the menus. 

Looking Ahead 

Major features are on the horizon, including a land vehicle for speedier planetary exploration, official mod support for Starfield, and the massive Shattered Space expansion. Stay tuned in the coming months for more news on these! 

About Jason Micciche

Jason's been knee deep in videogames since he was but a lad. Cutting his teeth on the pixely glory that was the Atari 2600, he's been hack'n'slashing and shoot'em'uping ever since. Mainly an FPS and action guy, Jason enjoys the occasional well crafted title from every genre.

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