Xbox's bold claim: Starfield 'has the fewest bugs of any Bethesda game'

Starfield player with creature.
(Image credit: Bethesda Game Studio)

What you need to know

  • Starfield, Bethesda's massive upcoming sci-fi RPG, has an incredible number of different planets, systems, and mechanics.
  • On a Giant Bomb at Nite livestream, Xbox Game Studios head Matt Booty said that currently, Starfield has the fewest bugs of any game released by Bethesda.
  • Bethesda titles have a reputation for being fairly glitchy and unstable at launch, so Booty's claim is a bold one, especially given the massive size and scope of Starfield.
  • Starfield is scheduled to launch later this year on Xbox Series X|S and Windows PC on September 6.

Matt Booty, Head of Xbox Game Studios, has stated that as things currently stand, Bethesda's massive upcoming sci-fi RPG Starfield has "the fewest bugs of any Bethesda game."

"We have an awful lot of people internally playing [Starfield]. Working with Todd and the team, I see bug counts," Booty explained on a recent Giant Bomb at Nite livestream. "You know, [I'll] just say that, just by the numbers, if it shipped today, this would have the fewest bugs in any game Bethesda's ever shipped."

It's an incredibly bold claim to make when you consider Bethesda's track record. While the studio's games are widely loved by millions of gamers, they do have a reputation for being glitchy and unstable, especially at launch. A lot of the time, the bugs are pretty hilarious and relatively harmless (flying Skyrim horses). Sometimes, though, they significantly affect performance and are a real pain to deal with (Fallout 4's Boston area tanks your FPS).

I don't doubt that Microsoft and Bethesda have an army of quality assurance testers that are hard at work discovering and logging problems with Starfield. If I've learned anything from being a longtime Destiny 2 fan, though, it's that for every bug squashed before launch, there always seems to be two more unearthed by players after launch.

Of course, it's very possible that Starfield will launch as smoothly as Booty says it will. Given that I routinely experience a fair amount of bugs in my Skyrim and Fallout 4 playthroughs (and that's with bugfix mods), though, I definitely have my doubts.

Still, you can't help but respect the bravery of Booty's statement, as he's clearly aware of how gamers perceive Bethesda's games. Hopefully his comments don't come back to haunt him once the game arrives.

Starfield looks like it's going to be one of the best Xbox games of all time, offering RPG fans an experience that they'll be playing for years to come. Starfield preorders are live and available for Xbox and PC, as are Starfield-themed Xbox controllers and headsets.



Starfield boasts one of the most impressive, interactive worlds galaxies we've seen in gaming, but that level of sandbox freedom may come at the cost of frames-per-second on console. That won't stop me from playing, though.

Preorder from: Microsoft (Xbox & PC, Standard) | Microsoft (Xbox & PC, Premium)

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.

  • GraniteStateColin
    2 ways of looking at this that could make him right:

    1. For Bethesda (and I love them, so I say this as a fan), it's a pretty low bar to have the fewest of THEIR games at launch. That's hardly the same as say there will be no bugs at launch.

    2. They did spend most of the past year just cleaning up bugs. Recall that it was previously scheduled to launch in fall of 2022.