Starfield's big May Update with detailed surface maps and new 60 FPS option for Xbox is here

Starfield's big update for May is here, bringing a new detailed map system, gameplay options, and performance enhancements for PC and Xbox players alike.

3 minutes & 22 seconds read time

Bethesda's big May 2024 update for Starfield is now live on PC, Xbox Series X|S, and available to all Xbox Game Pass players. It's not the game's first update with a long list of changes, but it's the first with some meaningful additions and quality-of-life improvements, namely in the form of detailed surface maps for exploration through cities and beyond. Also, Xbox players now have a 60 FPS Performance Mode and can play at 40 FPS on 120 Hz displays.

Starfield's new map system.

Starfield's new map system.

The new maps are particularly impressive. Not only do they overhaul the dedicated map screen with 3D renders of the game's city and planetary locations, but the scanner overlay now shows each notable location and how far it is, with the option to fast-travel to individual vendors or other prominent spots.

The other major change is giving players direct control over a range of gameplay settings that go beyond changing the difficulty of person-to-person or ship-to-ship combat and adding a new Extreme difficulty. These include the ability to access ship cargo from anywhere and new survival features relating to food, drink, and environmental hazards.

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Fine-tuning gameplay can increase or decrease XP, depending on how easy, challenging, or streamlined the individual settings make the game.

Another new addition to Starfield is the ability to customize the interior of your ship, much like you can an outpost or Fallout Camp. There are several quality-of-life updates, including the ability to turn off the first-person dialogue camera and UI improvements.

For the Xbox Series X|S players, the new visual settings let you select between Performance or Quality visual modes with either 30, 40, 60, or Uncapped frame-rate targets. Bethesda "highly recommends a Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) Display running at 120 Hz" for selecting anything other than the previous default of 30 FPS. Bethesda notes that for those with 120 Hz displays, the game will default to Visual Mode at 40 FPS.

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The update also fixes hundreds of bugs and glitches relating to quests, gameplay, graphics, and more. "The team isn't slowing down with this update," Bethesda writes. "There are some major features on the horizon, including a land vehicle for speedier planetary exploration, official mod support for Starfield, and the massive Shattered Space expansion."

Here's the summary of this week's update.

  • Improved surface maps - We've heard your feedback, and we've made some big improvements to surface maps, so you'll always know just where to go and no longer "get lost" on the way to your parents' place (and they weren't buying that excuse anyway, you should really go visit them).
  • New gameplay options - For those of you who like a bit of an extra challenge or want to make some aspects of the game easier, you can customize your experience with brand new options in the Settings menu. Want to make ground combat harder but ship combat easier? You can do just that!
  • Added Ship Decoration mode to the interior of Ships - now you can decorate your ships just like you can with Outposts!
  • Added Tabs to Container menus to make managing your inventory easier.
  • Added the ability to change Traits and appearance after entering the Unity.
  • Added Dialogue camera toggle in the Settings.
  • Added Display settings for Xbox Series X to prioritize Visuals or Performance, adjust Frame Rate Target, and toggle VSync (Series X).

Head here for the full Starfield Update 1.11.36 - May 15, 2024 release notes.

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Kosta is a veteran gaming journalist that cut his teeth on well-respected Aussie publications like PC PowerPlay and HYPER back when articles were printed on paper. A lifelong gamer since the 8-bit Nintendo era, it was the CD-ROM-powered 90s that cemented his love for all things games and technology. From point-and-click adventure games to RTS games with full-motion video cut-scenes and FPS titles referred to as Doom clones. Genres he still loves to this day. Kosta is also a musician, releasing dreamy electronic jams under the name Kbit.

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