Explore Starfield’s barren planets at 60 fps on Xbox Series X starting this month

Starfield, the excellent Digipick puzzle game surrounded by 80 hours of sci-fi mediocrity, is getting a performance update on Xbox Series X that unlocks frame rates above 30 fps. Starfield‘s May update adds the option to target 30 fps, 40 fps, 60 fps or an uncapped frame rate — for displays that support VRR running at 120hz. Displays without VRR will have the choice of 30 fps or 60 fps.

The May update also includes the ability to prioritize visuals or performance at each frame rate target. Visuals mode means the game will do its best to maintain a high resolution and full detail in lighting, special effects and NPCs, while performance lowers the resolution and clarity of those same details. Of course, both modes adjust the game’s base resolution alongside heavy on-screen action.

Bethesda recommends performance mode when playing at 60 fps and above. For Xbox Series X players with 120hz VRR displays, Starfield‘s settings now default to 40 fps, prioritizing visuals.

The May 1 display updates bring the Xbox Series X version of Starfield closer to its PC counterpart in terms of customization options. The Xbox Series S edition remains capped at 30 fps. This is the version I played when I reviewed Starfield last year, and while a frame rate upgrade won’t make the game less bland, its combat scenes would definitely benefit from a boost to 40 fps, at least. It’s a shame that the most popular Xbox Series console isn’t seeing any frame rate love in today’s update.

Additionally in the May update, Starfield‘s surface maps have been overhauled in order to increase legibility on all platforms. The new design shows top-down 3D images of terrain, buildings, and objects like trees and rocks, which makes a lot of sense for, you know, a map. The original surface map tries to make landscapes out of white dots on a bright blue background, so this is a welcome improvement. The update also allows players to customize their difficulty options on the ground and in ship battles, and it adds navigation markers to the environment when walking around a planet.

This is Bethesda’s fourth and largest Starfield update since the game came out in September 2023. It’s all scheduled to go live by May 15.

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