Starfield’s 30fps frame rate is “a choice,” God of War dev says

Starfield's performance is locked on Xbox, Todd Howard says, causing worry about the space sim on PC, but a God of War Ragnarok dev comes to Bethesda’s defense.

Starfield frame rate: An astronaut in a chunky space suit from Bethesda RPG game Starfield

Starfield PC performance has become the subject of some concern after Todd Howard confirmed that the Bethesda RPG game will be locked to 30fps on Xbox Series X. Based on the Starfield system requirements, it’s likely that you will be able to push your PC beyond this frame rate limit, though we’re still waiting on confirmation as to how high the Starfield fps can go on a decent gaming rig. Nevertheless, one fellow game developer, of God of War Ragnarok studio Sony Studio Monica, has come to Starfield’s defense, arguing that 30fps is “a choice” and says little about the game’s overall quality.

There are a few hardware questions circling about Bethesda’s space opus right now – you might be wanting to know, ‘is Starfield Steam Deck compatible?’ But it’s the all-important frame rate that has us most intrigued. We know about Starfield missions and Starfield armor, but Bethesda is yet to confirm just how high we can push the fps on a top gaming PC.

“We do lock it at 30,” Todd Howard said, referring to Starfield on consoles, “because we want the fidelity, we want all that stuff. We don’t want to sacrifice any of it.” The long-time Bethesda director did also say however that Starfield “is often running way above that. Sometimes it’s 60.”

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Following Howard’s comments, in a now-deleted tweet, prominent YouTuber ‘Dreamcast Guy’ speculates that Starfield’s 30fps frame rate is a sign that the game is unfinished – naturally concerning as we near the Starfield release date. However, one game developer, Dannie Carlone, a senior environment artist on God of War Ragnarok, argues that the Starfield fps lock is “a choice” by Bethesda.

“Game dev here,” Carlone writes, adding that they are a “big fan” of Dreamcast Guy. “Wanted to clarify: it’s not a sign of an unfinished game. It’s a choice. 60fps on this scale would be a large hit to the visual fidelity. My guess is they want to go for a seamless look and less ‘pop in.’ And of course, [it’s] your right to dislike the choice.”

Starfield frame rate: A tweet from a God of War Ragnarok developer defending Starfield's frame rate

Carlone also responds to a tweet regarding Starfield’s resolution settings, explaining how varied resolutions may alter the open-world game’s frame rate:

“It doesn’t need to be 4K (which is expensive),” Carlone writes. “It could be 1080p at 60fps or another variable resolution at 60. They want to keep it locked at 30fps 4k and push the visuals to a high level on this scale.”

Dreamcast Guy also responded to Carlone, saying “I still wish the game was 60fps on consoles, but now I understand why it isn’t, at least not yet.”

From what we’ve seen of the Starfield guns so far, combat looks fast-paced and frenetic. Combined with Bethesda’s trademark lustrous environments, it’s certainly arguable that savings on your hardware need to be made somewhere. Of course, if the frame rate on PC is below standard, we did recently learn that Starfield has a dedicated ‘rage quit’ button.

As we wait for the arrival of Bethesda’s next opus, learn everything there is to know about Starfield backgrounds. You can also start your space odyssey early by checking out Starfield character creation and planning your custom build now.