miner with garbage can on head (l) woman with wide eyes (c) player shooting miner with laser gun (r)

@smashleytv/TikTok @gknomu/TikTok @vinesauce_vinny/TikTok

‘It’s a Bethesda game alright’: ‘Starfield’ players say the game is full of bugs

Gamers keep finding glitches like disembodied heads and NPCs yeeting themselves into space.


Gavia Baker-Whitelaw

Internet Culture

Posted on Sep 5, 2023

Bethesda games are notoriously glitchy, to the point where some fans argue this is part of their charm. So with the early release of Starfield last week, gamers are already collecting a bountiful harvest of bugs.

Some of the funniest examples involve malfunctioning NPCs, with characters twitching weirdly in midair, clipping through inanimate objects, and staring creepily at the camera. One TikTok shows an NPC holding a casual conversation while lying crumpled on the floor with a seemingly broken spine.

Streamer @itmejptiktok also captured a hilarious moment where an NPC just yeets itself up into the sky. “Man, I’d really like to change my ship right now, that’d be great,” he says sarcastically. “It’s too bad that the NPC is up there.”

@itmejptiktok Classic #bethesdagamestudios will never leave #starfield #starfieldgame #starfieldgameplay #starfieldfunny #gamebugs #bugthesda #gamebugsandglicthes #starfieldthegame #bethesdagames ♬ original sound – JP

Another Starfield player shared a montage of bugs including un-killable NPCs who keep talking while being shot in the face. At one point he encounters a toilet whose lid keeps randomly flapping up and down. “Why is this toilet begging me for piss?” he wonders.

@vinesauce_vinny It's a Bethesda game alright #vinesauce #vinesaucevinny #bethesda #starfield #gaming #glitch #youtuber #streamer #fyp ♬ original sound – Vinesauce_Vinny

Elsewhere you’ll find clips of disembodied NPC heads floating in midair, and characters just sort of… sinking into the floor.

@merptv Starfield is bugfree by the way! 😅 #starfield #funny #bug ♬ origineel geluid – MERPTV

Several Starfield players have also encountered a glitch where their ship takes off with them inside, but their character somehow falls through the floor and gets left behind. “Yep.. It’s definitely a Bethesda game and I love it,” quipped one Redditor, sharing footage of their ship taking off without them.

Bugs in AAA games are often blamed on the punishing work schedule at studios, facing pressure to release major titles before they’re actually finished. Janky gameplay inevitably leads to complaints from customers who just dropped $70 on high-profile new game. But Bethesda veterans kind of knew what to expect with Starfield.

Despite promises that Starfield would have the fewest bugs of any Bethesda game to date, some Bethesda insiders lean into into the studio’s buggy reputation. “We embrace chaos,” said Bethesda’s Pete Hines in a recent interview. “We could make a safer, less buggy, less risky game if we wanted to. But what we try to lean into is player freedom.”

In other words: If you enjoy Bethesda’s style of gameplay, then rampant glitches are (supposedly!) a small price to pay.

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*First Published: Sep 5, 2023, 11:10 am CDT