What you need to know
- Starfield's digipicking minigame is significantly different (and more difficult) than the lockpicking mechanics found in past Bethesda titles.
- Though many players feel it's too frustrating and slows gameplay down too much, there are also plenty of folks who enjoy the puzzles.
- One talented community member has published an open source Starfield Digipick Simulator to itch.io that perfectly recreates the digipick minigame.
- It's completely free-to-play, and works on both desktop and mobile. A link to it can be found in the text below.
Starfield made lots of changes to the way systems like pickpocketing and persuasion work compared to their implementation in past Bethesda titles, but its overhaul of lockpicking — dubbed "digipicking" — is the one that stands out the most by far. Instead of the simplistic pick and lock rotation mechanic that's been used since 2008's Fallout 3, Starfield introduces a more complex type of puzzle that challenges you to slot multiple keys into rings to dissolve them.
Digipicking easy locks is simple enough, and Advanced ones aren't too tough, either. Where things start to get really complicated, though, is with Expert and Master locks. These have three-to-four rings to get through, and even though there's only one correct slot for each of the keys you need to use, there are usually multiple slots they can fit into. This means it's very easy to accidentally use the key in the wrong place, forcing you to use one of your digipick consumables to undo your mistake. Because of this, Expert and Master locks often take several minutes of careful thought to crack.
The reception to Starfield's digipicking system has been very mixed so far, with many players finding it too frustrating and feeling that it slows down the RPG's gameplay to a screeching halt. If you relish the challenge and enjoy the puzzles, though, you'll love this fan-made open source Starfield Digipick Simulator from BB_Dev on itch.io. To quote its developer, "Now you can pick virtual locks whenever you want."
As its name suggests, the Starfield Digipick Simulator is essentially a perfect recreation of its digipick puzzles built in Unity, complete with all the same key rotation, undo, and auto-attempt options you'd have in the actual minigame. There's also a timer you can use to see how long it takes you to digipick each lock, as well as a Master-level puzzle with no available undos or auto-attempts that refreshes daily.
Notably, it was only playable on a desktop PC for a time, but has now been updated to work on mobile as well. As long as you've got an internet connection, you can scratch that masochistic itch to digipick whenever and wherever you get it.
Many have been quick to praise BB_Dev for the project, though plenty of its detractors have come out of the woodwork to leave some hilarious comments as well. "Wait a second....you want us to carry on playing this tortuous minigame even when we aren't playing Starfield? Can't you just waterboard us like civilized torturers?" says u/K1ngsGambit. "I found a bug. It caused depression. Can I sue anyone for compensation?" jokes u/Taurondir.
Ultimately, it's great that this exists for those that do enjoy digipicking, and if Bethesda gives the creator its blessing, we might even see an offline app release in the future. BB_Dev says there's "a ton more" they'd like to add as well, such as some sort of endless mode.
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