Starfield update 2024

Starfield’s First 2024 Update Brings Stunning Lighting Improvements

A couple of months ago, Bethesda told fans what they can expect to see update-wise for Starfield in 2024. They teased city maps, official mod support, and new ways to travel. All packed in updates that will be spaced out about every six weeks. Today, we see the first significant update in 2024. The headline here will be improvements to lighting. 

Some of these improvements are subtle, but others are huge. Folks on Reddit posted before and after pictures showing some of the stark changes

In the patch notes, Bethesda specified several changes/improvements made to the graphics related to the lighting engine:

  • Added support for stars displaying sun disk geometry.
  • Shadows can now be seen on planet rings from planet surface.
  • Improved eyes and skin on crowd characters.
  • Improved reflection on water.
  • Improved contact shadows on character skin (Xbox and PC Medium/High/Ultra).
  • Improved contact shadows on character cloth (PC High/Ultra).
  • Improved contact shadows on first person (PC Ultra).
  • Improved lighting in character generation menu.
  • Fixed initial lighting conditions when landing on a planet.
  • Improved lighting at 73 locations.

There are also fixes for various flickering issues and delayed shadows that sometimes occur.

Today’s patch has a lot more, including crash fixes, improvements to Outposts, quest fixes, and much more. You can read the full patch notes here.

Bethesda is also sticking to its about every six-week cadence for patches.

“As we noted last year, we’ll continue to have a steady stream of updates about every six weeks, so if you don’t see your issue addressed below, don’t lose faith! Keep sharing your feedback and issues so we can do our best to prioritize.”

Six weeks from now would put the next patch around mid-March. For mod support, previous Bethesda titles received the toolset three to five months after launch. Mid-March would put us at around six months since launch. So March would make sense. I’m curious if we’ll see any marketing buildup for the launch in February or if Bethesda just drops the tools one day. 

Besides the much anticipated official mod toolset, 2024 will also bring city maps, new travel options, more ship customization options, and expanded difficulty settings. Plus, Starfield’s first major expansion, Shattered Space, is slated for a 2024 release. It’ll be busy times for Bethesda and fun times for new/returning Starfield players.