Bethesda Game Studios director Todd Howard has confirmed that upcoming sci-fi action-RPG Starfield will be locked at 30FPS to maintain consistent performance throughout the game.
Howard’s comments came in an interview with IGN following Sunday’s Starfield Direct, a deep dive showcase that provided some much-longed-for answers about the game, which is one of the most anticipated releases of recent memory.
I think it’ll come as no surprise, given our previous games, what we go for. Always these huge, open worlds, fully dynamic, hyper detail where anything can happen. And we do want to do that. It’s 4K in the X. It’s 1440 on the S. We do lock it at 30, because we want that fidelity, we want all that stuff. We don’t want to sacrifice any of it.
Much is being made online about the 30FPS framerate cap. The previous first-party Xbox release, Redfall, also shipped without a 60FPS performance mode. And as we all know, that game suffered a dismal launch and has gone on to become one of the worst-reviewed games of 2023 so far. Redfall will get a 60FPS mode in a future update, though it is not known when that will happen.
It’s uncertain if Starfield will get the same treatment, though at present it appears the 30FPS cap might be permanent. To be clear, the framerate cap applies to Xbox Series X|S consoles only, and not PC. The game will run up to 1440p resolution on Series S and up to 4K on Series X. Howard emphasized that it was a creative choice.
Fortunately in this one, we’ve got it running great. It’s often running way above that. Sometimes it’s 60. But on the consoles, we do lock it because we prefer the consistency, where you’re not even thinking about it.
And we don’t ever want to sacrifice that experience that makes our games feel really, really special. So it feels great. We’re really happy with how it feels even in the heat of battle. And we need that headroom because in our games, really anything can happen.”
Watch the Starfield Direct in its entirety here.
Featured image via IGN.