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The best Starfield settings for PC, Xbox, and Steam Deck

Whether it’s cranking up the graphical settings or tweaking the controls, here’s a guide to all the Starfield settings and configurations.

The best Starfield settings for PC, Xbox, and Steam Deck

With Bethesda’s latest universe delivering a graphical masterpiece, tweaking the Starfield settings is crucial to getting the most out of your gaming rig. Whether you’re using a controller or mouse and keyboard, there are a few graphical settings you may want to turn off entirely, or adjust to improve your FPS rate.

So long as you meet the recommended Starfield system requirements, running Starfield at maximum settings shouldn’t put too much strain on your computer. However, if you’re an NVIDIA owner, you might want to first consider downloading the Starfield DLSS support mod as your first Starfield mod for better performance.

Starfield graphics settings for PC

The first thing you’ll probably encounter with Starfield settings on launch is the Starfield shader download. This is Starfield adjusting itself for your graphics card and isn’t something you need to worry about.

Once you’ve got to the main menu, you’ll find the Starfield settings listed as the fourth option, and you can then find “Display” to alter your Starfield graphics settings.

Arguably, the most important settings for your performance will be the “VSync”, “Upscaling”, and “Enable VRS” options. If you are having performance issues, turn these off. If you’re an NVIDIA gamer and you’ve downloaded the Starfield DLSS mod, you’ll need the Upscaling turned to “FSR2”, as the mod switches the FSR2 setting over to DLSS in the background.

Among the many graphical options you may want to adjust early on is the “Film Grain Intensity.” By default, Starfield has a 100% film grain applied to it, which can make the game appear pixelated to some gamers. Simply adjust this down to 0 to remove the effect.

If you need some specifics, see the list below.

  • Contact Shadows – High
  • Crowd Density – Medium
  • Dynamic Resolution – On
  • Enable VRS – On
  • GTAO Quality – Medium
  • Grass Quality – Medium
  • Indirect Lighting – High
  • Particle Quality – Medium
  • Reflections – Medium
  • Render Resolution Scale – 75-80%
  • Shadow Quality – Low
  • Upscaling – FSR2
  • Volumetric Lighting – Medium

If we haven’t included a specific setting in this list, like Film Grain Intensity or Sharpening, that means it’s optional. You can do what you want with these options, it shouldn’t affect the gameplay. Of course, these settings are based on a relatively standard PC gaming setup. If you think your machine is more capable, feel free to turn the graphics settings up, or if your performance is suffering, turn them down. It might take some tinkering to find the balance between stellar visuals and gameplay, but these settings are a solid starting point.

Starfield control settings for PC

If you’re playing on a mouse and keyboard, you might want to rebind various keys to suit your playstyle. For example, if the inventory is bound to the ‘I’ key by default, you might find it more accessible bound to the ‘Q’ key if you’re using ‘WASD’ for movement. This will enable you to pull up your inventory just a bit quicker to administer healing or swap your weapons.

If you’re on a controller, you might still find some utility in the controls menu, but you are a bit more limited. With fewer buttons to map, you might just want to tweak a few options if you find a particular combination of button presses to be more common than others. For example, in Fallout, to sneak you had to click the left joystick, and press ‘B’ to open the Pip-Boy on an Xbox controller. If you’re going for a stealth build, you might find it convenient to switch them around.

Starfield audio settings for PC

With the epic nature of the Starfield music, you might sometimes find yourself unable to hear various sound effects or dialogue over other background noises. Thus, you can use the Starfield audio settings tab to balance individual sources such as voices, effects, or music. Generally, you’ll want the voices to be higher than other settings, just so you don’t miss anything.

Starfield settings for Xbox

Selecting your settings for Starfield on Xbox is easier than the PC alternative as there are fewer options. It also helps that Bethesda made Starfield with the Xbox in mind, so you shouldn’t have to fiddle around with settings all too much. Still, if you want the best possible experience, we recommend making the following changes.

Display settings

  • Film Grain Intensity – 0
  • Enable Motion Blur – off
  • Enable Depth of Field – off

It’s worth noting that the latest Starfield update introduced the option of 60FPS for Xbox Series X users. The difference isn’t that noticeable for most, but if you’re a die-hard 60FPS player, you can now opt to up the frame rate from the settings menu.

Starfield settings for Steam Deck

If you’re looking to play Starfield on Steam Deck, we’ve got all the information you need to make the experience as smooth as possible. For a start, you’re better off running the game with Proton Experimental, which you can find in the ‘properties’ section of the settings menu before launching the game. Once you’re in the game, head to the settings and turn everything down to low, with the FPS locked at 30. You still might have the occasional moment of lagging or stuttering, but it should still be playable. If you need specific in-game settings, check out the list below.

  • Contact Shadows – Low
  • Crowd Density – Low
  • Dynamic Resolution – On
  • Graphics Preset – Low
  • Enable Depth of Field – Off
  • Enable VRS – Off
  • Film Grain Intensity – 0 (can be higher if you like the effect)
  • GTAO Quality – Low
  • Grass Quality – Low
  • Indirect Lighting – Low
  • Motion Blur – Off
  • Particle Quality – Low
  • Reflections – Low
  • Render Resolution Scale – 50%
  • Shadow Quality – Low
  • Sharpening – 80%
  • Upscaling – FSR2
  • Volumetric Lighting – Low
  • VSync – On

There you have it, our Starfield settings recommendations for PC, Xbox, and Steam Deck. While you’re here, see how best to tinker with your spacecraft with our guides to all the Starfield ships and Starfield ship components.