Starfield groups star systems by level so players know where to go

Starfield
(Image credit: Bethesda)

Starfield's director has outlined the game's level gating system.

It's not uncommon in RPGs, or open-world games, to find harder areas that require a higher player level. Starfield is no exception to this rule, game director Todd Howard has recently revealed, when speaking in a podcast (opens in new tab) earlier this week.

"We do level the systems," Howard said, after speaking about the vast number of star systems in Starfield. "When you go to a system you'll see 'oh this is like a level 40 system,' and us being able to at least control the scale is how we ended up with the hundred-ish systems we have."

"It'll be like when you at a map on a game, it'll be like 'this is the area for low-level players, this is level one.' So we do this on a star system basis," Howard concluded. This is the first time the veteran Bethesda Game Studios developer has actually spoken about the way the outer world systems work in Starfield, and how Bethesda steers the player in a certain path throughout the star systems.

Earlier this year in August, it was revealed Starfield has over 100 systems with over 1,000 individual worlds in total. Considering the massive amount of disparate locations Starfield has on offer, it's not surprising at all that Bethesda would step in to gently guide the player through the huge amount of worlds and areas the RPG has to boast.

Then again, this is arguably the first time Bethesda has done any real kind of level gating by area. Modern Fallout and Elder Scrolls games don't explicitly tell the player what level they should be for any given area, but rather imply the existence of imposing locations, whether that's with a daunting bandit fortress or gloomy dungeon. Starfield is Bethesda's first new IP in 25 years, and the studio is trying something a bit different.

Check out our ongoing compilation of all the Starfield Skills we've uncovered from footage so far. 

Hirun Cryer

Hirun Cryer is a freelance reporter and writer with Gamesradar+ based out of U.K. After earning a degree in American History specializing in journalism, cinema, literature, and history, he stepped into the games writing world, with a focus on shooters, indie games, and RPGs, and has since been the recipient of the MCV 30 Under 30 award for 2021. In his spare time he freelances with other outlets around the industry, practices Japanese, and enjoys contemporary manga and anime.