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Best Starfield mods: critical improvements and features

We're rounded up the best Starfield mods that everyone should download out of the thousands available on Nexus mods.

Best Starfield mods: critical improvements and features

With literally thousands of mods on the Starfield Nexus mods page, we’ve cherry-picked the most essential Starfield mods that you need to massively enhance and fix your gameplay experience. Our selection of the best Starfield mods do everything from overhauling the graphics, to introducing new mechanics, or fixing the issues Bethesda have yet to address in a Starfield update.

Before we get into which mods are the best, the first thing you’ll need to do if you’re installing a mod is to install the Starfield Script Extender (SFSE). This mod adds critical scripting capabilities which almost all major Starfield mods require. Fortunately, installing mods is an incredibly easy process for Starfield, as the Vortex app (aka the Nexus Mod Manager) makes it a simple download.

Without further ado, here are the best Starfield mods that everyone should install:

Starfield Community Patch

It’s no exaggeration to say that the Starfield Community Patch is the single most important mod for Starfield.

While this mod might not be the most graphically impressive or exhilirating to experience, the Community Patch is likely to become the cornerstone of Starfield mods. Iterations of the community patch for previous Bethesda titles have often been cited as a requirement for other Starfield mods.

This massive collaboration fixes hundreds of bugs and errors in Starfield which Bethesda have yet to rectify with an update. The Community Patch brings a great deal of additional stability to the game, and the significant effort that has gone into creating the mod is absolutely deserving of praise and our number one spot for the top 10 Starfield mods.

Even if you’re not interested in modding your game, this is the one mod you should make an exception for.

APOGEE - Starship Combat Overhaul

Ever felt like ship battles are just a bit too slow and clunky? Well, with the Apogee Starship Combat Overhaul mod by Ashkaari, that impression will be a thing of the past. Ashkaari’s mod dramatically increases the speed of ships, rebalances numerous ship components, and even adds some rapid-fire ship weapons to make your spaceship feel more like a jet fighter and less like a cumbersome asteroid.

We rank this as the second-best mod in Starfield because it finetunes ship combat to an insane degree, as you can witness below.

Less Spongy Enemies

Why does a mod as simple as Less Spongy Enemies rank so highly on our top 10 Starfield mods list? Because enemies are absolute bullet-sponges on the higher difficulties, especially once you reach a higher Starfield level. High-health enemies make combat less exhilirating and more time-consuming, which is why we fully recommend installing the Less Spongy Enemies mod. Make your enemies mortal!

Buildbits

For anyone who enjoys building enormous Starfield outposts, anything that improves the clunky and sometimes finicky controls of the build mode is an absolute godsend.

Though the interface is quite basic at the moment, the BuildBits mod makes building an outpost significantly easier. Modder Orazia has created a menu overlay that sits on top of the vanilla build view. and allows you to move structures minutely (rather than picking them up and readjusting them from scratch). This mod even allows you to build in restricted areas where pre-existing structures selfishly hog all the good spots.

Legendary Module Recycler

For reasons that aren’t fully understood, Bethesda decided that Starfield weapons and Starfield armor could not detach weapon mods and armor mods respectively. Worse, the only way to get the Starfield legendary effects you wanted required a significant amount of grinding. This meant that, until the Legendary Module Recycler Mod by dm came along, you could spend hours trying to get the best weapon or armor to drop.

Fortunately, this mod opens up weapon and armor customization options, removing much of the RNG nature behind the effects. In saving us hundreds of hours, this mod earns its place in our top 10 mods list.

Eat.Sleep.Drink.

Looking for a Starfield survival mode? Nexus modder Serious M00nlight has introduced the Eat.Sleep.Drink. mod which creates starvation, dehydration, and sleep deprivation in Starfield. Previous Bethesda titles such as Fallout 4 and Fallout New Vegas launched with survival modes, but Starfield curiously had no such features. Survival mechanics are entirely optional, but they certainly make Starfield food and drink items more valuable beyond recovering a tiny bit of health (unless you took the Gastronomy and Nutrition skill, of course).

The Eat.Sleep.Drink. mod therefore essential expands the scope of the game, and so earns its spot in our top 10 mods list.

Longer Slide Distance

Our first mod on our top 10 list makes a relatively minor change to the game, but one which adds a great deal of potential. For anyone who has experienced the exhiliration of Dishonored’s gameplay, the Longer Slide Distance mod by Stentorious changes Starfield’s relatively unimpressive default “combat slide” into something much more slick and versatile.

You’ll still need to take the Gymnastics skill to perform a combat slide, but at least you’ll feel like you’re sliding into cover, rather than bunny-hopping a centimeter forwards.

Responsive Grabbing

Continuing the Dishonored theme, the Responsive Grabbing mod makes parkour more viable by reducing the one second delay the player character experiences before they can grab hold of a ledge and pull themselves up. This allows you to scale containers, walls, buildings faster, giving you a tactical edge, a quick escape route, and a smoother way of running from one side of Akila City to the other.

Smart Grenades and Mines - No More Inventory Management

In the heat of combat, it’s very easy to speed through your supply of grenades only to find you need to open your inventory and manually equip a different explosive. This interrupts combat in the worst way possible. Nexus modder Wartortle has a solution: smart grenades and mines, which automatically switches your equipped grenade/mine to the next explosive of the same type in your inventory.

One of the major complaints players have with Starfield lies in the sheer amount of time spent staring at a loading screen or navigating a menu. For this reason, any mod that reduces the time spent wandering your inventory easily makes its way onto our recommended mods list.

The Eyes of Beauty - Starfield Edition

Not every mod has to be functional to be considered one of the best mods. The Eyes of Beauty mod is a continuation of the work that has graced Skyrim, Fallout 4, and numerous other Bethesda titles. The Eyes of Beauty grant some truly stunning customer customization options. The project is almost always found in numerous character preset mods, further demonstrating why this mod ranks so highly in our eyes.

Do Starfield mods disable achievements?

Installing any Starfield mod or using any Starfield console commands will disable Starfield achievements. Fortunately, you just need to install a Starfield achievement enabler mod to fix that, which you can find below.

Baka Achievement Enabler (SFSE)

The Baka Achievement Enabler (SFSE) by modder shad0wshayd3 does exactly what it says on the tin, preventing your save game from disabling achievements, and removes that annoying pop-up warning that appears when opening the console for the first time in any one gaming session.

This mod, unlike the Starfield achievement enabler mod by brunph, does require the SFSE mod to be installed (hence why we recommend installing the SFSE mod regardless of your needs). Fortunately, Nexus Mods makes it incredily easy to install mods through its Vortex launcher.

With over 1000 planets and countless Starfield locations available in the game, there are plenty of possibilities for Starfield mods to alter the way you play the game. Starfield mods offer modded Starfield factions, new sets of Starfield weapons, and entirely new Starfield ships. More is on the way, especially with official Starfield mod support coming in 2024 with the Creation Kit 2.