Starfield's June Update wins the game fresh backlash as Steam reviews bomb: "This is not the way"

(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

What you need to know

  • During Sunday's Xbox Games Showcase, a new Starfield trailer for the Shattered Space DLC was shown. Additionally, Starfield's June Update was also released, adding plenty of fixes and a handful of new features to the sci-fi RPG.
  • However, fans on Steam and social media are protesting the addition and prices of paid Creations, with players voicing concerns in highly rated posts and posting roughly 150 negative reviews (and counting) in one day.
  • Currently, many Creations — content mods made by Bethesda or Starfield's community — in the in-game Creations menu cost anywhere from $1-10. Currently, these consist of everything from quests and ship modules to weapons and cosmetic decorations.
  • Many in the community feel that these are additions that players should receive for free, as Starfield's vanilla experience is often criticized for having a lack of engaging content.

Yesterday was a big day for Microsoft with the 2024 Xbox Games Showcase, and one of the biggest games with a presence at the show was Starfield, Bethesda's colossal 2023 space exploration RPG. Not only did fans get a first-look at the Shattered Space expansion coming later this year, but Bethesda also dropped a free June Update with bug fixes, melee combat improvements, ammunition crafting, an introductory Trackers Alliance bounty hunting mission, and more — including the debut of Starfield's Creation Kit on Steam as well as its Creations menu where players can publish mods or add them to their game.

The long-awaited arrival of official modding tools for Starfield is undoubtedly great, which may have you wondering why the headline of this article is what it is. Well, while everyone was excited by the prospect of advanced new mods on-par with some of the crazy stuff you see getting made for Skyrim and Fallout 4, the Bethesda-curated mods in the Creations menu made by either the studio itself or Verified Creators have drawn significant player ire due to their prices.

The Vulture — the first of what will be many Trackers Alliance mission Creations, according to Bethesda's lead creative producer Tim Lamb — costs 700 Creation Credits, or $7. Many smaller items like decorations or a new pistol will set you back anywhere from $1-3, with things like short quests, ship modules, and larger decor priced at $5-10. As you can see below, fans aren't happy with those rates:

Trackers Alliance sets a dangerous precedent. from r/Starfield
The creation prices are predictably excessive from r/Starfield
$7 is too much for a quest from r/Starfield

Several of the top posts on the Starfield subreddit right now voice concerns about how expensive paid Creations are at launch, and Starfield is also going through a bit of a review bombing on Steam with roughly 150 negative reviews posted in the last day. This has sunk the RPG's Recent Reviews score down to "Mixed."

Creation Club mods in Skyrim and Fallout 4 have always been controversial — we've been having "paid mods" debates since 2017, at this point — but I think what's earned Starfield a fresh wave of backlash is that unlike those past Bethesda titles, it's often criticized for not having enough content in the vanilla experience. Essentially, players are being met with expensive paywalls at a time when they feel Starfield should be getting substantial amounts of content in free updates.

"This is not the way," reads one review from Attila Gorilla. "Adding paid mods that should have been included in the base game, while ignoring the thing fans have been clamoring for, ain’t the way to do it." Then, another by Tom: "Having to pay for content that should have been in the game from the start is just wrong. You created a half cooked bounty system and a faction you couldn't officially join on day one which was pathetic and now decide to add it later but you have to pay for each volume."

Some of the plushy Creations you can get in Starfield. (Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

Personally, I'm not much bothered by the concept of Bethesda's Creation Club systems and "paid mods," though I fully agree with the complaint that Starfield's Creations, regardless of quality, are definitely too pricy right now. It also feels tone deaf to charge for these bite-sized pieces of content after the game was (and is) widely criticized for being fairly shallow and boring, but it wouldn't exactly be the first time Bethesda failed to read a room.

With that said, though, I plan to do what I've always done with the Creation Club: ignore it and use alternatives from Nexus Mods instead. Keep an eye on the Starfield Nexus page, because now that the Creation Kit's out, you can expect to see tons of amazing (and free) mods published there by talented community members.

Starfield is available on Xbox Series X|S and Windows PCs via Steam and the Microsoft Store. It's also playable through Xbox Game Pass, PC Game Pass, and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.

Starfield | $69.99now $43.49 at CDKeys (Steam)

Starfield | was $69.99 now $43.49 at CDKeys (Steam)

Starfield is the largest RPG Bethesda has ever made, and while it certainly has its issues, it's still a solid game and one of 2023's biggest sci-fi titles. You can snag it right now for some big discounts, or alternatively, you can blast off to the stars with Xbox Game Pass.

Also see: Starfield (Xbox, $46.89) | Premium Edition (PC, $66.59) | Premium Edition (Xbox, $69.99)

Brendan Lowry

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.

  • fjtorres5591
    Uh, no.
    I'm still redoing Fallout4 but I fired up Starfield and I found plenty of free mods.
    In fact, the mods I *would* use (extra vendor cash, weightless resources, bug fixes, etc) are free.
    Now, some of the paid ones are from Starfield devs, but not all.
    I for one have no problem if modders want a buck or three for their efforts; it's their work, their choice. And I have a similar choice to pay or not pay, just as I did with Fallout 4.

    It's called a free market, not a free buffet.