Starfield might be the most talked about sci-fi game right now, but it’s far from the first, and there’s a lot it could learn from its predecessors. Despite its rocky launch, No Man’s Sky has become one of the best and biggest space sims up to date. Starfield has great ship modding and combat, but there’s room for improvement. NMS would be the perfect source of inspiration. Numerous free updates have added countless features to the game and transformed it into something larger and grander than fans could’ve imagined. Here are the five biggest No Man’s Sky mechanics that Starfield needs, ranked from cool possibilities to desperately needed additions.
5. Fleet Management
What’s better than having one spaceship? Having a dozen at your beck and call. In No Man’s Sky, the player can assemble and manage a personal fleet of frigates. The player can then send these handpicked vessels on a variety of expeditions. These range from combat patrols to scientific investigations. When the frigates complete their journey, they return to the player’s freighter to hand over whatever they’ve collected along the way. In addition to being a steady stream of passive income and loot, the frigate management system just adds another strategic layer that Starfield could benefit from. Fleet management is one of the most underutilized No Man’s Sky mechanics. It would be nice to see a fuller version of it here.
4. Personal Refiner
Players familiar with crafting mechanics in Fallout 4 will have a good idea of what to expect in Starfield. Find the appropriate type of crafting bench, spend resources, and construct a new piece of equipment. It makes sense that much of this technical work would require a specialized work area, but it would be convenient if some steps could be completed on the go. No Man’s Sky allows just that, thanks to the personal refiner. This suit installment enables the player to refine resources at any time, transforming otherwise useless rocks into useful upgrade materials. Even if this upgrade just worked like a traveling Fabricator and required the player to do every other aspect of modding from a workbench, that would still be a welcome improvement.
3. Squadron Pilots
Are you sick of pirates ganging up on you in Starfield? No Man’s Sky allows you to recruit pilots to serve in your own personal squadron. Instead of taking on every nefarious spaceship by yourself, you can do it with the help of several AI pilots. They’re not the most useful assistants, but every little bit helps. If nothing else, it’s cool to watch them fly beside you, adding a cinematic flair to otherwise lackluster space battles. Given how incredible dogfights in Starfield already look, having a team of wingmen to back you up would make the game that much better. In terms of No Man’s Sky mechanics that Starfield lacks, this might be one of the coolest.
2. Freighter Base
Base building is a big part of both sci-fi games, but in No Man’s Sky, it’s mostly optional. You can have one perfectly crafted master base, a dozen tiny refueling sites scattered amongst your favorite planets, or a freighter that serves as a traveling HQ. Some players choose to ignore planetary base building altogether in NMS, preferring to live full-time aboard their freighters instead. Internal customization mechanics allow the player to tailor these flying bases to their exact specifications. Fitting this mechanic into Starfield would be a giant undertaking, but the reward would be more than worth it. Having a flying megabase to serve as a substitute Lodge’s stationary hub would work wonders for Constellation.
1. Smooth Flight Transitions
When you lift off from a planet or jump between star systems, it’s a bit jarring to hit a black wall and loading wheel, especially if you’re used to the seamless transitions of NMS. The limitations of Starfield’s engine are one likely culprit, and because of that, true seamlessness is unrealistic. That said, even a simple graphic would be a massive improvement. Starfield could be one of the most immersive sci-fi games of all time, so it’s frustrating for one’s immersion to be broken due to lackluster mechanics. NMS uses a variety of clever visual tricks to smooth flight transitions. Adopting some of them would work wonders for Starfield’s already mesmerizing gameplay.
Starfield is available now for PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.