Is a Pacifist Playthrough Possible in Starfield?

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Pacifist Playthrough in Starfield

In a recent Q&A session, two lead developers of Starfield confirmed that the upcoming sci-fi RPG will require some level of combat involvement for players to progress.

The lead designers responsible for Bethesda’s forthcoming space-themed RPG, Starfield, have emphasized that while the game will incorporate opportunities to negotiate and avoid conflicts, achieving a complete pacifist playthrough will not be feasible. Drawing comparisons to The Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion, the persuasion system within Starfield will provide a variety of choices for players to navigate social interactions.

While many contemporary RPGs heavily incorporate combat mechanics, often constituting complex gameplay systems, there exists a dedicated subset of players who strive to circumvent combat entirely, attempting pacifist runs across a range of popular RPG titles. The objective of these pacifist playthroughs is typically to conclude the game without causing harm to any non-playable characters (NPCs).

Guns in Starfield

In a recent Discord Q&A session involving Starfield’s developers, lead quest designer Will Shen and lead designer Emil Pagliarulo fielded questions about the feasibility of a pacifist playthrough in the game. Pagliarulo responded that the team had contemplated the possibility of enabling a fully non-lethal progression through the game, yet ultimately determined it to be “impractical.” He explained that though players will encounter dialogue options to circumvent combat and non-lethal weaponry in many scenarios, he couldn’t confidently assert the game’s completion without any instances of killing.

Shen elaborated further, noting that pivotal character confrontations would generally incorporate scripted speech challenges, providing avenues to resolve conflicts without violence. Nevertheless, certain regions within Starfield’s expansive game world are more prone to hostile NPC encounters. According to Pagliarulo, the “mostly civilized” Settled Systems should offer a reasonable level of security, but venturing into less-traveled areas on the fringes of the game world would likely lead to riskier confrontations.

Despite the unavailability of a full pacifist playthrough, Pagliarulo and Shen indicated that many in-game obstacles will have non-violent resolutions accessible to pacifist-oriented players.

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