Starfield Ships Will Have Fuel But They Can’t Run Out


Ships in Starfield will have limited fuel for players to manage, but running out of fuel and drifting helplessly through space won’t be possible.

Spaceships in Bethesda Game Studios’ Starfield will apparently have limited fuel, but thankfully players won’t be able to run out of gas in the middle of space. The exciting sci-fi RPG will be the studio’s first new property in order 25 years, leaving fans with many questions about both lore and gameplay mechanics. Starfield boasts an open world of over 1,000 planets to explore, and managing fuel will be an important part of traversing the game’s virtual galaxy.


While much of Starfield remains a mystery, including the title’s exact release date, an extended gameplay showcase did reveal a lot about the title back in June. The extensive gameplay glimpse teases the sci-fi epic’s massive scale, with every single planet apparently offering a wide range of content for players to tackle. The first-person shooter combat is much faster and more visceral than Bethesda’s Fallout games, and robust RPG elements let players establish a planetary settlement or customize their ship and its crew. Fans of Fallout or The Elder Scrolls will find Starfield gameplay and RPG mechanics familiar, but it’s clear that the game will push the envelope compared to the beloved developer’s past projects.

Related: Space Exploration Is Gaming’s Next Big Open-World Pursuit

A new interview with Starfield director Todd Howard, posted to YouTube by Bethesda Softworks, reveals that the player’s ship will actually have limited fuel as a resource. While answering questions from the community Howard reveals that players could once run out of fuel mid-flight, stranding them in space and effectively ending the game. This proved frustrating, so now the fuel system simply puts a limit on how far players can fast-travel using their ship’s gravity drive. This mechanic keeps fuel and resource management a key part of Starfield’s more realistic take on sci-fi without punishing players for exploring the galaxy.

Starfield Won’t End Exploration For A Gas Station Stop

Starfield has taken certain steps to promote gameplay over realism, with the fact that players can’t fly ships directly onto planets being one key mechanical limitation. Early in development Todd Howard and his team decided that letting players transition seamlessly from space to a planet would take a massive amount of time and resources to achieve. These resources would be better spent in other areas to ensure that spaceship gameplay and on-foot planetside gameplay are both appropriately engaging and robust. This system may not be particularly immersive, but Howard likely feels that it just works.

While running out of fuel would give Starfield more realistic space exploration, it would also be extremely frustrating for players to be left drifting helplessly through space. Todd Howard and the team at Bethesda Game Studios have seemingly arrived at a compromise, with low fuel preventing gravity drive jumps but not limiting normal flight. This system will make fuel an important resource in Starfield without leaving players dead in the water.

Next: Starfield Is Taking Inspiration From Oblivion In The Best Way

Source: Bethesda Softworks/YouTube

  • Starfield Database


    Original Release Date:

    Bethesda Game Studios

    RPG, Open-World, Sci-Fi

    PC, Xbox Series X

    Bethesda Softworks

    Not Yet Rated


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