Starfield framerate being locked to 30fps is "a creative decision"

(Image credit: Bethesda)

The Starfield framerate will be locked to 30fps on Xbox Series X|S.

Speaking on an IGN livestream, game director Todd Howard confirmed that while the game will play in 4K resolution on the more powerful Xbox and 1440p on the Series S, "we do lock it at 30[fps] because we want that fidelity, we want all that stuff. We don't want to sacrifice any of it."

Howard went on to say "fortunately, this one, we've got it running great." More than simply poking fun at the releases of some of Bethesda's older games, he says that the team has managed to get Starfield "running way above" that 30fps mark, sometimes as high as 60fps. That's probably good news for PC players, but the Starfield framerate will still remain locked on console because "we want the consistency, where you're not even thinking about it. We don't ever want to sacrifice that experience that makes our games feel really, really special."

Howard suggests that Bethesda is very happy with the current state of Starfield, and that "even in the heat of battle," that framerate decision appears to be paying off. Not least because "we need that headroom, because in our games, really, anything can happen."

Elsewhere, Xbox's Phil Spencer gave some more information about the Starfield framerate. Speaking to Giantbomb, he explained that "there's render time per frame, and teams can either go horizontal, or go deep on a frame, and it's a creative choice. We obviously have games that are running at 4K, 60[fps] on the platform. It's not a platform issue, it's a creative decision."

Last night's Starfield Direct certainly lived up to that, showing a huge amount of freedom to explore and create. Most relevant to Howard's comments, however, is the freedom in combat, which runs the gamut from stealth-fueled sneaking all the way to the jetpack-fueled lobbing of various explosives.

We learned an awful lot about Starfield last night, from the existence of its first expansion, Starfield: Shattered Space to the fact that it features the biggest city Bethesda has ever built. And there's little doubt that Bethesda has left plenty of secrets hidden for now.

Starfield Premium Edition includes 5 days of early access.

Ali Jones
News Editor

I'm GamesRadar's news editor, working with the team to deliver breaking news from across the industry. I started my journalistic career while getting my degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick, where I also worked as Games Editor on the student newspaper, The Boar. Since then, I've run the news sections at PCGamesN and Kotaku UK, and also regularly contributed to PC Gamer. As you might be able to tell, PC is my platform of choice, so you can regularly find me playing League of Legends or Steam's latest indie hit.