Starfield Creation Engine 2

With a whole new universe comes the revamped Starfield Creation Engine 2 to power it. So, we've detailed every Creation Engine improvement.

Starfield Creation Engine 2

Bethesda’s most ambitious title yet, Starfield is the first Bethesda title to run on the Creation Engine 2. The Elder Scrolls and Fallout series were built exclusively on the original Creation Engine. As such, Starfield sees a number of baseline advancements and features over its predecessors.

For most players, knowing the ins and outs of the Starfield Creation Engine won’t be necessary. However, you’ll definitely want to know how to use Starfield console commands and cheats, which can easily cure numerous Starfield bugs, particularly in Starfield missions, or if you get stuck. Luckily almost all of the commands are the same as the old engine.

What is the Starfield Creation Engine 2?

The successor to the original Creation Engine, the Creation Engine 2 is “like a new tech base” according to Todd Howard during an interview with the Telegraph. The “Creation Engine 2, is sort of built for both” Starfield and the currently in-development Elder Scrolls 6. “Every game will have some new suites of technology so Elder Scrolls 6 will have some additions on to Creation Engine 2 that that game is going to require.”

Essentially, the Creation Engine 2 is the framework around which Starfield is built. It provides players with easily accessible console commands with which you can manipulate the world, such as teleporting to specific locations, or summoning weapons and armor. The Creation Engine 2 will be largely built on its previous iteration, the Creation Engine 1. As a result, new features and systems that previous gaming hardware couldn’t support will be a major element behind the engine’s upgrade, along with a number of welcome bug fixes.

What improvements are coming to the Starfield Creation Engine 2?

According to YouTuber colteastwood, “major upgrades have been made to the engine, the pipeline, AI physics, and visuals in Creation Engine 2.0”. The Creation Engine 2 uses the Havok engine for character and NPC animation, providing more life-like simulations than the original Creation Engine.

Not only are the graphics getting an overhaul, but so is the AI. Bethesda has hinted at radiant AI improvements to create more dynamic environments, particularly within the numerous Starfield cities. Previous iterations of the Creation Engine were more static, but included a lot of NPC routines. These improvements to the Creation Engine 2 are set to bring more dynamic interactions between these routines and the world around them.

If your PC is able to meet the higher end of the Starfield system requirements, you’ll quickly discover how densily crowded cities have become, which is only possible due to improvements to AI pathing in the Creation Engine 2, and the increase in hardware requirements to power it.

Procedural generation and the Creation Engine 2

Perhaps the largest obstacle the Creation Engine 2 faces is how it deals with procedural content. A large number of locations haven’t been procedurally generated, with Todd Howard stating “we have done more handcrafting in this game, content-wise, than any game we’ve done.” However, 1000 planets and the player’s ability to land anywhere on a world’s surface means that more ambient quests and NPCs will need to be generated to fill them.

As Will Shen stated in an interview, “we actually have new tech to take whole locations that we’ve built and put them on the planets.” Comparing it to the previous engine, Will said, “whereas before, it might just be a person coming up to you along the road, now it’s an actual whole location that can be put there.” At these locations, NPCs will be loaded with ambient missions, with the example given by Will describing a kidnapped character that you can then rescue, and it will take you to a whole new location. “So, it is a dynamicaly placed settlement that is taking you to a dynamically placed dungeon as you’re walking through the planet.”

Following Starfield’s release, the Creation Engine 2 has demonstrated its almost limitless capacity to populate planets and the Mission Board with a nearly infinite supply of quests and encounters. This framework appears to be more robust than the previous Creation Engine, and will lend itself to the Starfield modding community to create additional variety.

Creation Engine 2 optimization

In an announcement from AMD, Bethesda partnered exclusively with AMD to optimize Starfield and the Creation Engine 2 for AMD hardware. As Todd mentioned in the interview, “We have AMD engineers in our code base working on FSR 2 image processing and upscaling and it looks incredible.”

Leaving out optimization for NVIDIA’s DLSS 3 at launch, Bethesda has pledged to release official NVIDIA support. According to the Bethesda patch notes, DLSS support was one of the most requested features.

Alternatively, Intel processor and NVIDIA graphics card owners will be happy to hear that the modder PureDark has a DLSS support mod ready following Starfield’s Early Access.

Starfield Creation Kit release

Official Starfield mod support is slated to arrive in 2024, likely with the release of a newly updated Starfield Creation Kit – the in-built modding tool previously used in Skyrim and Fallout 4. With procedural generation getting a massive boost in the Creation Engine 2, particularly with procedural lip-syncing for NPCs, Starfield modders will have a ton of new tools to play with when creating mods.

Several interviews between ShilohMc33 and modders like Elianora – a veteran Bethesda modder – highlights that more options could be coming to the Starfield Creation Kit, including refinements for interior designs and lighting, however official details have not yet been released.

Until the release of the Creation Kit, modders looking to use the Creation Engine 2 can be found over on Nexus Mods, and are already publishing hundreds of mods by the day. Curious what they are? Check out our collated 50 best Starfield mods, and let us know which one is your favorite in the Starfield forum.

More from Starfield Db
Tim has sunk at least a thousand hours into Bethesda games over the years, and has now completed Starfield with over 200 hours in-game. So, if he's not busy updating our Starfield weapons database, he’s eagerly installing the best Starfield mods and DLC, or planning his dream outpost.