That means that Starfield will be locked to 30fps on Xbox Series X|S. This is to ensure "consistency" of performance, Howard said in an interview with IGN, where he also confirmed that the game will run at 4K resolution on Xbox Series X, and 1440p on Xbox Series S.
"We do lock it at 30, because we want that fidelity, we want all that stuff," says Howard. "We don't want to sacrifice any of it. Fortunately in this one, we've got it running great. It's often running way above that. Sometimes it's 60. But on the consoles, we do lock it because we prefer the consistency, where you're not even thinking about it."
A 30fps lock on console will be a perfectly fine trade-off for many who want to soak in Starfield's gorgeous visuals. But as was the case with Redfall's lack of a performance mode, it's bound to leave no shortage of console players disappointed that there isn't a smoother option available at the cost of some visual fidelity.
What's perhaps equally troubling is Howard's phrasing of Starfield only running at 60fps "sometimes." Given it's a 30fps lock on console, this seems to suggest that performance could be all over the place on PC, too, at least at launch. That shouldn't surprise longtime Bethesda Game Studios fans, who've dealt with teething issues with prior games like Skyrim and Fallout 4.
While it's been confirmed that Redfall will receive a performance mode update sometime in the future, it doesn't sound like Starfield will have that same luxury. Hopefully that isn't the case, and Bethesda can figure out how to best optimize its massive spacefaring title.
We'll be keeping a close eye on Starfield's in-game performance at launch, then, just as we'll be keeping track of our fitness with the official Starfield smartwatch that's bundled with the Constellation Edition of the game.
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Rhys is TRG's Hardware Editor, and has been part of the TechRadar team for more than two years. Particularly passionate about high-quality third-party controllers and headsets, as well as the latest and greatest in fight sticks and VR, Rhys strives to provide easy-to-read, informative coverage on gaming hardware of all kinds. As for the games themselves, Rhys is especially keen on fighting and racing games, as well as soulslikes and RPGs.