Starfield won't let you ride aliens or go fishing, so modders: you know what to do

Sci-fi Aliens with astronaut
(Image credit: Bethesda)

Attention all prospective Starfield modders! You officially have your first few assignments.

Starfield guides

Starfield's shipbuilding tool screens and customisation

(Image credit: Bethesda)

Starfield factions: Find a cause to quest for
Starfield cities: See the big spaces in space
Starfield companions: Collect cosmic comrades
Starfield traits: Give your hero some history
Starfield ship customization: Make your spaceship special

In an interview with Kinda Funny Games posted today on YouTube, Todd Howard was asked a bunch of direct questions about Bethesda's space RPG. In several cases the answers to those questions were, unfortunately: "No."

One question had to do with how we'll be getting around in Starfield when we're not in our spaceships. "Is there a land vehicle, or an option to maybe mount some of these wildlife creatures to use as a land transportation mode of transport?" Kinda Funny's host asked.

"There is not," Todd Howard said bluntly. 

This answer isn't a huge surprise, more of an unfortunate confirmation. In the 45 minute Starfield Direct gameplay video earlier this month, we certainly would have seen land vehicles at some point if they were in the game, but none were shown. We also got a look at Starfield's Xenosociology skill that gives you the options to control alien animals, but while you can make them flee, frenzy, or follow you, there's no option to ride them. 

"We want to design [Starfield] so it feels good on foot. But we do have the boost pack," Howard said, referring to the jetpack he refuses to call a jetpack. "The boost pack almost acts like this vehicle, it's super fun, where you can fly through… and then the low gravity planets are just really really special in the game."

I'm sure jetpacking around in Starfield will be fun, but it's not a replacement for a land vehicle. The lack of land rovers doesn't make sense, either: you're telling me that in the Starfield lore, humans have conquered faster-than-light space travel but they never invented the car? And frankly, there's just something badass about landing a spaceship on a planet, then lowering a ramp and driving a buggy out of it and across an alien world, like you can do with Elite Dangerous' SRV and Star Citizen's land vehicles.

Another question from Kinda Funny co-host Gary Whitta about fishing—"Fishing or no fishing?"—led to a slightly more vague answer. "It depends on your definition of fishing," Howard said. "So, is it collecting fish? Killing fish?"

"Is there some kind of rod that I can put into a lake and pull out an alien fish and then sell it or cook it or something?" Whitta asked.

"That is one thing we do not have," Howard said.

I feel like that confirms the existence of alien fish, and the ability to hunt and kill them with weapons (and scan them into your galactic encyclopedia) but not actually a fishing minigame or activity of the sort you find in other RPGs.

On the plus side, there are modders, and modders have added working motorcycles to Skyrim and rideable deathclaws to Fallout 4, so I'm pretty confident adding land vehicles and ridable dinos to Starfield will eventually happen, too. As for fishing, it did eventually and officially come to Skyrim 10 years after launch, so I have hopes it'll make its way to Starfield as some sort of update—though hopefully it won't take quite as long.

You can check out the Kinda Funny Xcast interview with Todd Howard in full here, or jump right to the answer about the lack of land vehicles here and the fishing bit here.

Christopher Livingston
Staff Writer

Chris started playing PC games in the 1980s, started writing about them in the early 2000s, and (finally) started getting paid to write about them in the late 2000s. Following a few years as a regular freelancer, PC Gamer hired him in 2014, probably so he'd stop emailing them asking for more work. Chris has a love-hate relationship with survival games and an unhealthy fascination with the inner lives of NPCs. He's also a fan of offbeat simulation games, mods, and ignoring storylines in RPGs so he can make up his own.