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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.

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 11 Starfield mods.

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

TGS Galactic Colonies Expanse mod

If you’re looking for a DLC-sized mod, then the TGS Galactic Colonies Expanse mod by TankGirl444 is your best bet. This colossal mod, and we don’t say that lightly, overhauls Starfield outpost building, introduces Starfield mechs in a meaningful way, and improves on basic resource production lines which in turn makes it easier to mod your weapons and armor.

This mod goes even further, adding new buildings, planetary defenses, and colony building and management. In effect, this one mod reinvents an entire section of Starfield, and is something everyone should experience.

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.


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 11 mods list.


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 11 mods list.

Longer Slide Distance

This mod 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.

Star Wars Aliens

Whether you’re a fan of Star Wars or not, this simple mod adds an incredible amount of variety to the base game by importing high-quality models of Star Wars aliens into Starfield. Honestly, it’s a bit strange that Starfield didn’t launch with aliens considering the basic setting. Fortunately, you can fix all that with just a couple of clicks.

Custom image for Starfield Star Wars alien mod using assets from the Star Wars alien mod by radiclown.


If you’re sick of sitting through the Bethesda logo and warning before jumping right into some space-faring action, you’re not the only one. That’s what makes this particular mod one of the most popular on Nexus Mods, and it has been since the start. Sure, it’s not the most imaginative on this list, but it’s a real time saver, which is especially useful if you’re often resetting to try and pass difficult persuasion checks.

Improved Combat AI

Despite multiple updates, the combat AI in Starfield can still be pretty hit-and-miss, with some enemies oblivious as to how to aim a weapon before firing it. If you think these NPCs deserve as much brain as they have brawn, the Improved Combat AI mod can do just that. Once this mod is installed, you can expect enemies to fire their weapons more frequently, look for cover when they’re under fire, and generally act more like you might expect someone to in a combat situation.

Less Spongy Enemies

If there’s one thing Starfield players know all too well, it’s that enemies in this game soak up bullets like nothing we’ve ever seen in a Bethesda game before. It can be incredibly frustrating when you’re low on ammo and an NPC just keeps taking headshots like water off a duck’s back.

The Less Spongy Enemies mod adds a bit of realism to the mix, so you don’t have to use up all of your bullets on a small group of Crimson Fleet fighters before heading back to Neon for some more ammo. This one pairs well with the Improved Combat AI mod above to offer a combat experience more akin to Bethesda classics like Fallout 76 and Fallout 3.

Short Temples Puzzles

This guide aims to make your Starfield experience more fluid through mods, and the Short Temples Puzzles mod does exactly what it says on the tin. It turns the temple puzzle experience from a long slog engaging with one of the game’s most boring mechanics into a lesser nuisance you can finish in seconds. This is one the community was screaming out for as soon as they began unlocking the secrets of the Starborn, and it’s one we recommend installing even before you run into your first temple puzzle.

Screenshot from the Short Temple Puzzles mod with the glowing temple ring in the middle of the screen

Ship Skip

Watching your ship take off into the expanse of space for the first time is exhilarating. Countless trips through space later, and it becomes a bit of a pain. That’s where the Ship Skip mod comes into play. With this mod, you can jump into your ship, and within seconds, you’re out of the atmosphere. It’s another simple one, but it can save you plenty of time in a single play session, let alone if you use it from the moment you start the game.

Easy Speech

Okay, so this one is a bit more of a good old-fashioned cheat than an enhancement, but hear me out. The Easy Speech mod is perfect for anyone who wants to discover every possible outcome from every possible conversation in the game without investing all their skill points into speech skills like Diplomacy and Intimidation. It also offers you a way out of certain situations that feel doomed to end in combat, which isn’t always ideal if you’re lacking in health or ammo.

Again, this mod is a bit of a game-breaker, so look to other options on this list if you want a clean experience. If, on the other hand, you want a narrative-driven playthrough, this is one of the best Starfield mods out there.

Call Your Ship

This is an incredibly useful mod given how Starfield expects you to traverse long distances on random planets to reach a goal, only to have to walk all that way back to the ship once you’ve completed your objective. The Call Your Ship mod summons your ship like Aladdin summoning his magic carpet, with the great hunk of metal landing before your very eyes.

As we’ve said before, our favorite mods are the timesavers. When there’s little to discover outside of resources on so many of the planets across Starfield’s universe, you’re better off using this mod to save a couple of minutes instead of suffering the tedium of sprinting across a barren wasteland.

Visible Companion Affinity

With so much to do in Starfield, it can be hard to keep track of how your companions view you if you’re not paying close attention. That’s what makes the Visible Companion Affinity mod so useful, especially if you’re trying to get romantic. It also makes it clearer what your companions aren’t keen on, so if you notice your affinity drop, you can reload from your latest save and make sure not to make the same decision next time. If you’re a completionist who wants to max out all your relationships, this is one to install early on.

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 made available with the Creation Kit 2.