Starfield's New Maps Are Great, But Boy Those Cities Are Tiny


Starfield, Bethesda’s large open-world space RPG released last year, is set to receive a big new update later this month. One of the big features being added is 3D surface and city maps, something the game has needed since its launch. But these new maps also reveal that Starfield’s biggest cities are actually pretty tiny.

On May 1, Bethesda revealed the patch notes for its next big Starfield update. And while this new patch isn’t quite out yet, players who own the game on Steam can opt into an early, beta version of it and see all the new changes Bethesda has planned, including the additional difficulty settings, UI tweaks, and the fancy new 3D maps of planets and cities. If you remember, at launch, Starfield’s maps were heavily criticized for being unhelpful and hard to use. In this new update, Starfield’s surface maps look far nicer and are more useful for navigation. However, it also reveals that most cities in Starfield are really small. Like…weirdly small.

Let’s look at Akilia City first, a frontier town located on a desolate planet.

A screenshot shows Akilia City in Starfield's new map screen.

I didn’t expect this city to be massive, but it looks so tiny seeing it in the new 3D map via a post on Reddit. Walking around it I often got lost and that helped make it feel bigger, but zoom out the camera and you see that, in reality, it’s pretty small and condensed.

The next city I want to show is New Atlantis, which is one of the first major cities you’ll likely visit and is the de facto capital of the massive, galaxy-spanning United Colonies.

A screenshot shows New Atlantis in Starfield's new map screen.

Yet, New Atlantis looks more like a large mall with a medium-sized parking lot. When I played Starfield, I got the feeling that New Atlantis was small—it felt like I was running around an outdoor mall—but seeing it in the new 3D map just confirms it.

Maybe the saddest and tiniest city I spotted on the new 3D map screen is the city of Neon, a scummy city built on platforms above an alien ocean.

A screenshot shows Neon in Starfield's new map screen.

While playing Starfield, Neon felt more like a few buildings connected to one big street than an actual city. But I didn’t expect Neon to look so minuscule in the new 3D surface maps. So tiny. So cute.

Of course, these outer views of the major cities in the game don’t tell the whole story. If you go into buildings or underground, you’ll find areas not seen in these overhead views.

Image for article titled Starfield's New Maps Are Great, But Boy Those Cities Are Tiny

These places also received new 3D maps, but they aren’t as nice and look more like an early mock-up of a video game map that will be finished later. Maybe that will happen in the next big Starfield update in a few months?



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