One could argue that the ability to pause The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim during a dragon battle to shove a few cheese wheels down your gullet for a full heal is immersion breaking, but here at GamesRadar+, we call it tradition. Unfortunately, that tradition appears to be all but dead in Bethesda's latest release, Starfield, according to early impressions from the community as well as our own experience with the game.
In a Reddit post with more than 7,000 upvotes, a Starfield player shows off a carelessly arranged mountain of sandwiches and bemoans the dramatically nerfed healing power of food. "Can we talk about food for a second? Why is it that eating this many sandwiches would only heal like 1/4 of your health?" asks rabbitkingdom.
Can we talk about food for a second? Why is it that eating this many sandwiches would only heal like 1/4 of your health? from r/Starfield
Another Reddit thread from Quique1222 reasons that "you need to eat an ungodly amount of food for it to make a real difference in your health bar," with replies pointing out that, yes, you can't just stuff a bunch of food into your inventory to literally and figuratively cheese your way through tough fights.
Basic foods like sandwiches are only good for a few points of HP in Starfield, and that's just not enough to justify the inventory weight. Compare this to the stronger recipes in the likes of Skyrim, where extremely lightweight food could passively restore hundreds of hitpoints or stamina points, or be downed in batches for a big instant heal that saves you a potion. Starfield's med packs, meanwhile, a far more practical use of your inventory weight comparatively, to the point that many players are foregoing food almost entirely.
That said, Starfield's food isn't entirely useless. Cosmonauts with gastronomical skills can use recipes to craft all sorts of food and food-related items, like Chunks, to not only get healing boosts but also buffs to XP gains, O2 recovery, persuasion, and more stats. More advanced food can also be bought from vendors in various cities, so it's not limited to chefs. Still, the days of cheese wheel cheese-healing are as dead as the cold, desolate husk that is Earth in Starfield's terrifying vision of the year 2330.