Starfield May Update: Everything new in the RPG’s biggest patch yet

Kurt Perry
Spaceship landing on alien planet in Starfield May Update.

Starfield’s May Update has arrived, introducing a range of gameplay improvements and quality-of-life changes in what is easily the RPG’s biggest update yet.

Bethesda’s latest RPG was released in September 2023 with a relatively positive reception, but other fans were more concerned by its technical shortcomings.

It’s those very shortcomings that Bethesda has addressed in its May Update, by implementing a range of both quality-of-life and gameplay improvements. This update was praised during beta testing and is now available for all.

So, here’s everything new in the Starfield May Update, including better ship customization, the ability to respec skills, and so much more.


All new content in Starfield May Update

The Starfield May Update is the RPG’s biggest update yet introducing tons of new features and quality-of-life improvements.

Here’s what you need to know about this patch:

Map overhaul

Updated surface map of New Atlantis in Starfield May Update.

One of the biggest changes in Starfield’s May Update is the new 3D surface maps. Gone are the old surface dots and in their place are detailed 3D maps that make it far easier to see where you are and what’s around you.

This map overhaul also adds improvements to the marker system. These new markers make it easy to see where different vendors and points of interest are and can even be interacted with to fast-travel to different locations, making traversing large areas more convenient than ever.

Ship customization

Starfield's newly improved ship customization options.

Ship building is being improved with interior customisation options being expanded in the May Update. Borrowing ideas from the existing outpost customization, shipbuilding now gives you the freedom to decorate the interior of your ship as you see fit.

It also includes a new empty hab module that comes with no furniture inside, allowing you the chance to unleash your creativity and customize your ship’s interior from scratch.

Character respeccing

The respec interface added in the Starfield May Update.

In hopes of improving Starfield’s replayability, Bethesda has finally added the ability to respec both your appearance and Traits. To do so you’ll need to enter New Game Plus.

With this update you can now be an introvert from Neon in one playthrough and then an extrovert follower of the Enlightened in another. This change makes it possible to reimagine your character’s backstory and appearance without having to start a new save.

Customizable difficulty

New gameplay settings in Starfield May Update that let players customize the game's difficulty.

All kinds of new gameplay settings have been added in the Starfield May Update to make the game more enjoyable, letting you fine-tune the experience to make Starfield as easy or difficult as you want.

Selecting harder gameplay settings increases XP gains and makes leveling skills up faster. Conversely, making the gameplay easier reduces the XP earned from all activities and quests.

The new gameplay settings are as follows, with all of these being configurable:

  • Enemy Combat Damage
  • Player Combat Damage
  • Enemy Ship Damage
  • Player Ship Damage
  • Aim Assistance
  • Ammo Weight
  • Carry Capacity
  • Cargo Access Distance
  • Vendor Credits
  • Medial Item Healing
  • Food Healing
  • Sleep Healing
  • Sustenance
  • Combat Affliction Gain
  • Affliction Treatment
  • Affliction Prognosis
  • Environmental Damage & Afflictions
  • Environmental Damage Restoration
  • Save on Rest
  • Save on Wait
  • Save on Travel

Xbox Series X graphics settings

New Xbox Series X graphics settings in Starfield May Update.

Xbox Series X players are definitely getting treated in the Starfield May Update as some new settings have been added. Most notable, is the ability to set a Frame Rate Target of either 30, 40, 60, or uncapped FPS and to prioritize either visuals or performance.

These new options allow you to customize Starfield’s visuals to look how you want. Those who prefer silky frame rates at the cost of visual fidelity can opt for that while others who value graphics above all else have that option too.

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