Space travel and planets are separate realities in Starfield…which could be good

Ben Bayliss2 minute read

Starfield will not include seamless travel where players can take off from a planet and fly up to space which could be a good thing for accessibility and approachability. Speaking to IGN (via Eurogamer) Bethesda Game Studios’ Todd Howard detailed that players won’t be able to fly seamlessly from space to any of the planets in the game.

According to Howard, the feature isn’t “that important to the player” and it was decided early on that “the on-surface is one reality, and then when you’re in space it’s another reality.”

Additionally, Howard explained that flight combat is inspired by the likes of FTL and MechWarrior which would point to a mixture of ship management and free manoeuvrability of the ship. We saw an example of the space flight in action during the gameplay reveal at the Xbox Bethesda Showcase which looks to be similar to Star Wars Squadrons from my personal comparison.

Watch Starfield: Official Gameplay Reveal - Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase 2022 on YouTube

While it seems as if separating flight and grounded exploration into two realities was done because it’s “not that important” to players, it can also point to being a good thing for accessibility and approachability.

The fact that players in Starfield wouldn’t have to engage in any complicated take-off travel procedures could be good for mobility accessibility for example. Meanwhile, the fact players may not experience the perspective, motion blurring, and camera shaking of leaving and entering the atmosphere of a planet may be good for cognitive approachability.

As for the flight combat, I’m personally not keen on the whole 360º space combat gameplay, so I would hope that the space reality is one I can opt in and out of where I see fit. I’d much prefer to explore the over 1000 planets available in Starfield than spin around in circles amongst the stars.

At the moment, Starfield accessibility has not been detailed, however, we did run an analysis on the lengthy gameplay video that was shown during the showcase.

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Ben is the one in charge of keeping the content cogs at Can I Play That? turning. Deafness means that he has a focus on discussing captions, but with experience in consultancy and advocacy, he covers what bases he can. Having written about accessibility in video games at DualShockers, GamesRadar+,, Wireframe, and more he continues his advocacy at CIPT. He was actually awarded a Good Games Writing award for an article he wrote here! He enjoys a range of games, but anything that’s open-world and with a photo mode will probably be his cup of tea. You can get in touch with him at:

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