On August 16, 2023, Lead Quest Designer Will Shen and Lead Designer Emil Pagliarulo answered some of fans’ most burning Starfield questions in the form of a Q&A on the official Bethesda Game Studios Discord server.
In total, Will & Emil answered 16 questions ranging from character creation, the game’s systems, buying property, and a few matters of opinion. While there wasn’t much to the Q&A, their answers did reveal a few tidbits of information we didn’t know prior.
Buying Premade Houses In Major Cities
While Starfield boasts expansive base building, players who aren’t into developing an outpost from scratch are in luck. The first question asked during the Q&A was whether or not there would be houses or property for sale in cities.
“Yep! There’s housing in different cities that the player can get. Some you have to purchase, and some are rewards for specific quests,” answered Will.
Emil shared that players would be able to purchase a dwelling in all major cities and said at least one would be awarded to the player for “completing… something. 😊”
Do The Crime, Pay The Time
As shown in the Starfield Direct, players who commit criminal acts will have a wanted level associated with the system in which the crimes were committed. If caught, players will have to pay the price, but what’s the cost?
According to Will and Emil, players can either choose to go to jail and serve in real-time, or they can use credits to pay a fine that absolves them of their sins.
“Yup. The Settled Systems is more like Skyrim than Fallout 4’s Commonwealth in that regard. Ya bancha criminals!” Emil stated, “There’s civilization, there’s government, and there are laws. And in a couple cases, we actually explore the themes of crime and punishment in our futuristic universe.”
Contraband and the Fixed Economy
One fan asked about smuggling and how players can use smuggled goods to turn a profit. Both Will and Emil shared that certain items are marked as “Contraband” and that different ship modules will help hide those items from security ships.
However, Emil also revealed that Starfield will have a fixed economy, so you won’t have to worry about crashing the market or waiting for a better price. In fact, Emil also stated that prices of goods can change based on Skills.
Faction Storylines & Being A Double Agent
Starfield has shown off a few of its factions, and players are interested in exploring how they interact with one another. During the Q&A, one fan asked if you could be a double agent, joining multiple factions and feeding info to the others.
Will stated, “All of the playable factions can be completed independently. The Crimson Fleet storyline does feature you being an undercover agent inside the Fleet on behalf of UC SysDef, but whether you betray the Fleet or UC SysDef is a choice you will get to make.”
Companion Number, Salary, & Perks
There were a few questions asked about Starfield’s Companions, including the number of companions, if you have to pay them for their work, and how customizable they are. And all were answered by the gracious devs.
Number of Companions
As for the total number of companions, Starfield boasts over 20 named NPCs that can join your crew, man stations, and come with you on adventures. That said, both Will and Emil made it clear that the four members of Constellation will have the most story and interactions with the player.
“In addition to the companions, you can also hire generic crewmembers to work at your outpost or on your ship,” stated Emil.
One fan asked if players would have to pay their crew members to work at outposts. Luckily, it seems as if work comes relatively cheap in Starfield. Players only have to make a one-time payment to hire a crew member, and certain speech skills can help lower that price.
Emil explained why they chose a one-time payment method by stating, “We actually experimented with paying them regular salaries but ultimately decided to just have the one cost upfront. There’s a lot to do in Starfield, and we wanted to minimize what the player had to constantly keep track of.”
Customizing Companion Perks
Lastly, a fan asked if players would be able to customize the perks their crew members have to better fit their needs in the field. Sadly, players won’t be able to change their companions’ skills, but they may not want to.
“All crew start with a set of perks at specific ranks. So you might meet a character that’s especially good at rifles, and you hire them to watch your back. Or you might meet an Astrodynamics expert that will increase your grav jump range when assigned to your ship,” Will stated.
Emil claimed that crew mate perks don’t level up, but they come at different ranks. He answered, “[Skills] stack with yours, when relevant. Some are there for flavor, to highlight the companions’ backgrounds and interests. But you’ll really feel the benefit of the ship- and combat-related ones. Getting a boost to your shields, or seeing your companion laying down fire with a weapon they’re proficient in, are pretty sweet moments.”
Those were the most interesting pull-outs from the Starfield Discord Q&A. For those interested in the full list of questions and answers, you can find them on the Starfield Wiki.