Before Starfield even launched, in-game sandwiches had become a popular topic online thanks to an early teaser trailer and other videos from Bethesda. Now that the game is out (for those who paid for early access) we can collect and eat sandwiches in Starfield ourselves. And…wait a minute, it only heals four points of health. This beautiful snack is worthless!
After years of trailers and teasing (and some last-minute leaks) Bethesda’s latest and biggest open-world RPG is finally here. As you might have expected, Starfield is a big, complicated, and sometimes overwhelming video game with loads of menus to dig through, quests to complete, ships to steal, and trash to collect, and so much more. If you need some help navigating all this, you can check out our tips for playing Starfield. However, I can give you another tip right now: Don’t waste your time eating sandwiches (or most other food items) in Starfield.
Look around Reddit and you can spot players discussing sandwiches—and other food items—in Starfield, and how worthless they are. Sure, they look good. This is probably some of the best-looking food ever seen in a Bethesda RPG! But most food in the game, even the hyped and fabled sandwich, isn’t actually all that useful. Most food items only heal a few points of HP when consumed. That’s not very helpful considering you start the game at around 250-300 HP (depending on what perks and traits you give your character). Meanwhile, med packs heal for four percent of your health (or more) making them vastly more useful.
And while it’s true that some food and drink items in Starfield provide small buffs, like extra damage or the ability to persuade people more effectively, it’s odd just how many don’t give you bonuses and instead feel like inventory clutter.
Now, some have pointed out that after getting shot 20 times by a laser rifle, it’s unlikely that one, five, or even 20 sandwiches would help heal those wounds—the idea being that Starfield is just being realistic. But if the reason food is so worthless is down to realism, then we need to talk about the fact that no human being can fix laser or bullet wounds by sleeping for an hour, either. Yet you can do just that in Starfield. Come to think of it, no human could probably eat 20 or more sandwiches in the same session, either.
You might be thinking that food items are more useful as you level up and unlock or improve certain perks. This is technically true. For example, one perk grants you up to 40% more health from food items. But because stuff like fruit and sandwiches barely heal at all, that increase isn’t all that useful. Players who have already invested far more time into the game than I have report that even with maxed-out food bonuses, you’ll still likely want a medpack and not some snacks to heal your latest combat wounds.
If all the food in the game, even with perks, isn’t very useful for healing, why is it even in the game at all? Does Bethesda just like trolling people?
One theory is that the game had a survival mode planned but that it wasn’t implemented before launch. Maybe? But I also think that ignores how this is a common trope in Bethesda games. Food items have long been kind of worthless in Fallout and Elder Scrolls. I remember shoving 20 Nuka Colas into my face in Fallout 3 when I was low on stimpaks.
Instead, I see it as part of the role-playing experience. Bethesda wants to create large worlds that players can get lost in. Watching NPCs pick up and eat food, things that you can steal and eat yourself, adds to that experience. It also lets you roleplay as someone who is vegetarian or vegan. And when people begin really digging into Starfield, I imagine all these food items will be used in various mods and survival modes created by talented and skilled modders.
In some ways, it’s Bethesda providing its fans with all the toys and assets needed to create more content and keep people playing this game until the heat death of the actual universe.
So yes, the sandwiches in Starfield—along with most other food items—aren’t very useful. But that’s fine. They aren’t really there to heal you anyway; just to make the world feel more lived-in and immersive. Or just eat 50 sandwiches if you really want to heal after a big fight. That’s the beauty of Starfield: You can do practically whatever you want.