Starfield, Bethesda’s new space RPG, is vast, and I’ve spent plenty of hours just running around its planets and cities exploring. And all this exploring and looting has been a lot of fun! But it would be better yet if I could turn on some tunes while mining space rocks or exploring barren ice planets.
After a five-day paid early access period, Starfield is finally available to all on Game Pass on either PC or Xbox. According to Xbox, the game is already Microsoft’s “most played, next-gen exclusive.” In fact, six million people have already jumped into Bethesda’s digital galaxy to explore this new massive, open-world RPG. So it feels weird to ask for a big game to have more in it, but wouldn’t it be nice if all these millions of players could turn on some classical music or (let’s use our imaginations) alien tunes while they explore? I think so.
One of my favorite features in Bethesda’s Fallout games is the inclusion of radio stations that you can listen to while exploring the wasteland. Listening to some Ink Spots while butchering a horde of ghouls with a laser rifle was a perfect fit for Fallout’s mix of classic Americana, nuclear horror, and retro-futurism. But the radio stations didn’t just fit the vibes of Fallout, they also helped make exploration a bit more fun. A lot of time in Bethesda RPGs is spent wandering alone through big, mostly empty areas. It was always nice in Fallout that I could pop on some tunes while I dug through the ruins of an old military base or slowly made my way to the next pocket of decimated civilization.
Starfield, while not set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, does still feature a lot of mostly barren planets that are sprinkled with abandoned outposts, research facilities, and caves. Hiking across these empty worlds, mostly alone, reminded me greatly of my hours spent in Fallout 3, Fallout 4, and New Vegas. And I’ll admit that at least a few times now, I’ve stopped walking and had a moment when I wanted to flip on the radio to help break up the silence. But there is no radio in Starfield.
Sure, I could just play tunes in the background, but I’d much prefer music that exists in the game. It would feel more immersive and Starfield could mute or pause the music when it needed to
I understand that it would be trickier to make a radio work in Starfield, or at least, trickier to explain it. But I also think it would be neat if some planets had different radio stations based on how close you were to other civilized planets or space stations. Or maybe, if radio doesn’t fit this world or its lore, we could go with a Guardians of the Galaxy approach and give our main character music they can play via their ship or suit computers or something.
Ultimately, I know it’s very unlikely that Bethesda will patch or update Starfield to add something as big (and probably expensive) as radio stations playing music. So instead, I’ll wait for modders to come to the rescue. And while they’re in there adding Fallout’s radio stations, maybe someone can add in VATS, too?