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Starfield: Tips for Busy People



A lot of people can spend hours upon hours exploring Starfield’s cities, planets, and secrets. Many others can’t. In this guide I’ll outline some tips that could come in handy if you don’t have a ton of free time, but still want to jump into Starfield.

Starfield is a gigantic RPG with 1000+ planets, a ship building system, companions, quests, an outpost builder, a mind-boggling number of objects to scan and pick up, ship combat, and traditional roleplaying elements like skills and traits. It’s enough to make your head spin.

This is especially true if you consider yourself a gamer, but don’t have a ton of time to play due to work, a significant other, children, or something else entirely. You’re not alone.

Like you, I’m only able to put in a few hours of time (if that) each day, but I don’t allow that to ruin my time. You shouldn’t either because you can still play, and enjoy, Starfield on a time crunch.

There’s no wrong way to play Starfield, but there are some ways you can maximize your time when you’re able to pick up a controller, board your ship, and zip around the galaxy.

With that in mind, I want to outline some tips that should come in handy for those that only have a few hours per night, or per week, to play Starfield on Xbox or Windows.

These are the strategies I’ve employed during my time playing the game and my hundreds upon hundreds of hours playing previous Bethesda titles like Fallout 4, Skyrim, Fallout 3, and others.

Turn Automatic Updates On

This is an important often overlooked tip that could save you a ton of time and help you jump right into the game.

Bethesda will push occasional patches for Starfield. In some cases, these updates will be fairly large and they could eat into your play time.

This is precisely why you should flip automatic downloads/updates on on your Xbox or on Steam if you’re playing or planning to play on a Windows PC. This way your game will update automatically and you won’t have to sit around waiting for a multi-gigabyte download to finish up before you can play.

Keep Your Devices Charged

A pretty simple tip, but you’ll want to make sure that your Xbox controller (or whatever device you use) and headset (if you use one) are charged up and that you have extra batteries handy.

Pick A Good Place to Stop

Once it’s time to call it quits, make sure pick a smart place to end your session. Here’s what I mean by that.

Before you quit out of Starfield and turn off your system, I recommend traveling to the nearest town to sell items you don’t need and store the items you want to keep.

This way you won’t have to waste 10-15 minutes selling and storing your items the next time you play. You’ll be prepared to head out into the world, unencumbered.

I also recommend making a note of what it was you were doing the last time you were playing. I usually jot down a quick note in the Notes app on my iPhone.

If you typically put a few days between game sessions it’s easy to lose track of what you were doing the last time you played. A short little note will help jog your memory.

Have A Guide Handy

One of the most enjoyable parts of Starfield is discovering new cities, planets, items, and characters, but it can pay to have a guide handy.

While traditional hard copy guides have fallen by the wayside, there are tons of online guides out there that will give you pertinent information about characters, loot, quests, and more.

Fextralife and the Starfield Wiki are just two of a great many resources at your disposal. They cover everything you need to know about the game and it’s worth bookmarking them.

While using a guide might feel like cheating, these will save you a ton of time. I mostly use guides for crafting/upgrading (finding some materials can be an absolute pain), but there are times when you might call on a guide for a quest or a direction to a specific location.

It’s easy to get distracted in Starfield and it’s definitely part of the fun. However, if you only have 30 minutes or an hour to play the game, and you want to make progress, a guide will help you figure out exactly where you need to go and what you need to when you get there.

Use the In-Game Help Menu

Online guides are useful, but if you don’t have time to fire up the web, or simply don’t want to, try using the in-game help menu that Bethesda provides.

To access the in-game help guide, go to the System menu which is the same menu where you save your game. The Help section runs down many of the game’s components including Companions, Crime, Damage Types, and so much more.

These guides are extremely helpful and you don’t need to go very far to access them.

Save Your Game, A Lot

Starfield’s a beautiful game, but it’s also very dangerous. You might die and if you’re on a challenging difficulty level, you might die a lot.

If you die, you’ll have to revert back to an older save. And if you’re the forgetful type, there’s a chance that save will set you back. There’s an autosave function, but it saves irregularly.

If you don’t save your game a lot, you might be forced to repeat a long stretch of a quest or a dungeon. Repeating these tasks isn’t ideal if you’re on a time crunch.

If this sounds frustrating, you’ll want to save your game and save it often. You might get some grief from friends about save scumming, but that’s a small price to pay.

Play with a Purpose

When I only have an hour or so to play a game like Starfield, I typically pick something specific to do during that hour.

Sometimes, I use it to focus on crafting or building up my settlements. Other times, I might devote the entire hour to questing or simply exploring the world and seeing what I find. I suggest picking out a quest to do ahead of time so that you don’t have to quit in the middle of it.

It doesn’t matter what you do. The important thing is that you decide what you’re going to do with your 20 minutes, 30 minutes, or an hour, ahead of time.

You’d be surprised how much you can get done, and how much XP you can earn, in a short amount of time if you have a plan (or even a semblance of one).

Have Fixes at the Ready

Starfield is far less buggy than older Bethesda titles, but it’s not perfect. If you play it enough you’ll eventually run into an issue.

Problems have the potential to slow you down. Maybe it’s a bugged quest. Maybe it’s an NPC or an item that won’t appear. Maybe it’s a performance issue. Whatever the case, it has the potential to suck up your time as you try and fix it.

That’s why I recommend having a list of fixes handy so you’re prepared for whatever the game decides to throw at you.

We have a growing list of fixes for Starfield problems right here, but there are a number of great resources out there.

20 Starfield Mods We Want for Xbox

Enhanced Player Heath Bar

Enhanced Player Heath Bar

Let's start with a Starfield mod that's extremely basic, but has a huge impact on gameplay.

Enhanced Player Heath Bar is a popular Starfield mod for PC that simply changes the player's health bar color when health reaches 75%, 50% and 25%.

At 75% health your player's health bar will change to yellow. At 50%, it changes to orange. And if you're at 25% and close to dying, it will of course change to red. 

It's simple, but it's extremely nice at a glance, especially when you're in a particularly tough fight with Terrormorphs or a group of mercs. 

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