Starfield will run at 30 FPS on Xbox – Todd Howard Confirms

Starfield will run at 30 FPS on Xbox - Todd Howard Confirms

Starfield will not run at 60 FPS on current generation consoles

Yesterday, Xbox and Bethesda confirmed that Starfield will be launching on PC and Xbox Series consoles on September 6th, arriving as both a standalone game and as an Game Pass title on both PC and Xbox. 

Today, Bethesda has confirmed that Starfield will target a 30 FPS framerate on both Xbox Series X, and Xbox Series S, making PC the only platform that will be able to run the game at 60 FPS (when played with powerful enough hardware). 

On Xbox Series X, Starfield will run at 4K 30 FPS, and on Xbox Series S the game will run at 1440p 30 FPS. Bethesda’s Todd Howard has stated that the studio’s decision to target 30 FPS was to enable a higher level of graphical fidelity for Starfield’s large worlds, and to enable consistent performance levels.

Below is what Todd Howard had to say to IGN about Starfield’s framerate target.

    I think it’ll come as no surprise, given our previous games, what we go for,

Always these huge, open worlds, fully dynamic, hyper detail where anything can happen. And we do want to do that. It’s 4K in the X. It’s 1440 on the S. We do lock it at 30, because we want that fidelity, we want all that stuff. We don’t want to sacrifice any of it.

Fortunately in this one, we’ve got it running great. It’s often running way above that. Sometimes it’s 60. But on the consoles, we do lock it because we prefer the consistency, where you’re not even thinking about it.

And we don’t ever want to sacrifice that experience that makes our games feel really, really special. So it feels great. We’re really happy with how it feels even in the heat of battle. And we need that headroom because in our games, really anything can happen.

Above, Todd Howard has confirmed that Starfield has the potential to sometimes run at 60 FPS, likely due to the lower CPU loads of some areas of the game. Had Bethesda tried to run Starfield at 60 FPS, the game’s performance would be inconsistent, resulting in a poor gameplay experience. 

With Starfield, Bethesda is making trade-off. The studio wants the game to run well on Xbox Series consoles, and they want to make their game as large and as interactive as possible. A game as large as Starfield requires a lot of CPU performance, and that means that simply lowering Starfield’s resolution will not create a 60 FPS “Performance Mode” for gamers. That said, is it possible for Bethesda to create a 40 FPS mode for users of 120Hz TVs? Is there enough CPU headroom for that?

Starfield will run at 30 FPS on Xbox - Todd Howard Confirms

Games like Starfield are hugely interactive, allowing players to steal ever sandwich or sweet roll in the galaxy and place them all within a singular location. Add on the game’s base building elements, and there is a lot of room for Starfield fans to place heavy loads on the processors of modern gaming systems.

Based on Todd Howard’s statements, Starfield does not have the CPU headroom to enable a stable 60 FPS mode on Xbox Series systems. This is why Bethesda are locking the game to 30 FPS. This change should give gamers a stable gaming experience. Gamers who want to play Starfield at 60 FPS will need to play the game on PC, and invest in the hardware required to make that framerate possible.

You can join the discussion on Starfield’s console framerates on the OC3D Forums.