In a game as vast as Starfield, there’s obviously going to be no shortage of amazing things that you can discover off the beat path, discoveries that you can just chance upon while you’re out exploring or engaging in the many activities on offer in the open world (or open galaxy, in this case). Even after having spent dozens upon dozens of hours in Bethesda’s sci-fi RPG, it’s likely that you’re going to keep stumbling on such discoveries- as we have as well, of course. Here, we’re going to talk about a few such discoveries that have stood out to us.
NOTE: There are some spoilers ahead for side quests and optional activities in Starfield.
In Starfield’s distant future, humanity has taken to the stars and spread out across a multitude of star systems throughout the galaxy, but Earth itself is very much a thing of the past. The planet became inhospitable long before the game’s events kicked off, but though most of the planet is a barren wasteland, a few of its landmarks are still standing (or partially standing, at least). For instance, you can also visit the dilapidated remains of the Pyramids of Giza. They’ve crumbled and aren’t exactly what you’d call intact, and are partially buried in sand, but if you can find a copy of the book “The Ancient Civilization of Egypt” and read it, you can visit the pyramids yourself.
EMPIRE STATE BUILDING
Of the remnants of the several Earth landmarks that you can visit in Starfield, another one that stands out in memory is the Empire State Building, which you can visit after reading a copy of the book “Our Lost Heritage”. There is practically nothing left of New York itself, much like the rest of the planet itself, but the tall, imposing, and instantly recognizable Empire State Building is still standing mostly intact.
Another American landmark that you can find on Earth in Starfield is the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri. Again, much like the other Earth landmarks in the game, there’s little else to see here besides vast stretches of desolate landscapes, but the Arch itself is, surprisingly enough, there to see in all of its glory. All you need to do to be able to visit it is find and read a copy of the book “The Price of Destiny”.
We’ll speak about one more landmark on Earth before we finally move beyond our home planet and look at some other things in the Settled Systems. For this one, we’re going to London. After finding and reading a copy of Oliver Twist, you can head to what remains of London (which, again, isn’t much) and find the skyscraper standing relatively intact in the middle of a vast stretch of, well, basically nothing.
Humanity has managed to plant some roots in Mars in Starfield’s Settled Systems (figuratively speaking), and there, is of course, plenty to see and do in the underground mining city of Cydonia itself. But there’s some interesting stuff to discover out on the inhospitable surface of the planet as well. Like the Opportunity rover, which left Earth in 2003 and landed on Mars in 2004, before NASA lost contact with it due to a dust storm in 2018. Yep, that rover’s in the game. There’s several ways to learn its location, one of them being to head to the NASA Museum in New Atlantis and reading the information board for the rover’s exhibit.
APOLLO MOON LANDING SITE
The Opportunity rover isn’t the only example of Starfield’s developers showing their love for all things to do with space and astronomy. Another historic real-world off-planet site that you can visit in Starfield is the landing site of the Apollo 11, humanity’s first manned mission to land on the moon, led by Neil Armstrong. After reading Sir Livingstone’s Second Journal (which you can find in the Lodge), you can visit the landing site on the moon, where you’ll find remnants of the Apollo 11 alongside an America flag planted in the barren soil.
SCAMMERS IN SPACE
There’s a lot of intriguing personalities that you can chance upon while you’re flying your ship through the vast expanses of the Settled Systems, from friendly grandmas who’ll invite you over for a meal to whimsical folk singing sea shanties. In the decidedly more annoying category, there are also scammers who’ll keep trying to sell you extended warranty for your ship. It’s a random encounter (that you can have multiple times), where the scammers in question will try to sell you an extended warranty for ridiculously high prices. You can either tell them to go away, flat-out attack them and destroy their ship, or if you’re feeling particularly foolish, just spend all of those credits and buy a useless extended warranty that does absolutely nothing.
Starfield is brimming with incredible optional missions to track down, many of which you can miss entirely, given how big the game is. One in particular that’s instantly become a favourite in the community is called Mantis. There’s a lot to love about this quest, but the thing that’s caught the attention of players more than anything else is the fact that at the end, you basically get to become space Batman. You inherit the mantle of the Mantis, a legendary bounty hunter that hunts down outlaws, from its previous, now-dead owner, and even get to explore the Mantis’ hideout, which looks an awful lot like the Batcave. Sure, the Mantis’ ship doesn’t exactly look like the Batmobile- but hey, it looks pretty damn cool in its own right.
LASERS IN ZERO-G
Starfield is filled with examples of incredible attention to even the minutest of details, something that’s particularly apparent when the game plays with gravity. For instance, when you’re in zero-g environments, when you shoot a weapon, the recoil will push you in the opposite direction. Another excellent layer to that, however, is that if the weapon you’re shooting is firing off lasers, thanks to there being no recoil, you’ll be able to remain in place.
ARROW IN THE KNEE
Skyrim’s famous “arrow in the knee” line has gone down in legend by now, and BGS, of course, loves putting callbacks for its older titles in new releases. Put that together, and yes, you get an “arrow in the knee” reference in Starfield. The Crippling perk, found in the Combat skill tree, gives you a higher chance of crippling and downing enemies with your shots. Amusingly enough, the icons for the third and fourth tiers of this perk show a literal arrow shooting through a knee.