No one was quite sure how Starfield’s space travel worked. This is a post No Man’s Sky world, where players could seamlessly see a planet, fly to it, land on it, and get out to explore.
That’s not quite the level of seamless exploration that Starfield, Bethesda’s next big RPG launching this week, offers, however.
Thanks to one patient game developer and streamer, Alanah Pearce, we have proof of what happens when you fly to another planet.
The problem is that space is very big. Starfield uses grav-drives to warp you around between planets and systems, and doesn’t really expect you to manually fly between points of interest. Is it even possible to fly close to a planet without just fast-traveling to it?
Alanah spent seven real hours flying to the planet Pluto in the Sol system.
Why Pluto, which is technically no longer a planet? It’s the closest one to reach, and features the slowest orbit.
One cool Starfield factoid: all the planets have real orbits. So if you point your ship at a planet and go, you’ll have to slightly adjust for the constant orbit of that celestial body.
Which meant Alanah could doze, but not fully sleep while attempting this herculean task.
It took her seven hours to finally reach the surface of the planet from the closest drop point in space. There’s no crashing or landing, however. Her ship simply clips right though the empty sphere. Pluto becomes invisible while inside it, as if it were never there.
The anticlimatic ordeal can be seen on Alanah’s twitch channel.
The video leads to two conclusions: planets exist in space as real spherical objects, but they’re simply empty images floating around. To land, you have to engage the fast-travel system.
Starfield is out September 6 on PC and Xbox Series X/S. It’s rated M for Mature.