Starfield's biggest patch notes yet tackle invisible monsters, prettier NPCs, pet asteroids, ship combat difficulty, and "improved lighting at 73 locations"

 Starfield.
Starfield.

The "biggest Starfield update yet" is now available in beta on Steam, and while you'll still need to wait another couple of weeks for the final version to roll out across all platforms, you can peruse some pretty meaty patch notes right now.

"This update brings over a hundred fixes and adjustments, most of which focus on quality-of-life improvements and quest fixes," the Starfield devs explain in the full patch notes. They add that "we’ll continue to have a steady stream of updates about every six weeks, so if you don’t see your issue addressed below, don’t lose faith!"

Maybe the most notable fix for "that pesky asteroid follower," if only because it was supposed to have already been fixed multiple times before. Players have been reporting the pet rock bug pretty much since Starfield's launch, and multiple previous patches have tried to stamp it out. Now, Bethesda says it has "fixed another case that could cause an asteroid to follow a ship in space."

You can also look forward to more attractive NPCs with "improved eyes and skin on crowd characters," plus some other improvements to contact shadows on characters depending on your platform and graphics settings. On the visual side, we also get "improved lighting at 73 locations." The patch notes don't clarify which 73 locations those are, so I guess you'll just have to find out for yourself.

Ship combat difficulty has also been tweaked a bit to scale alongside ground combat difficulty for successive rounds of Starfield New Game Plus. You also won't have to deal with quite so many foes you can't see, as the update has "fixed incorrectly invisible creatures on some planets."

If you don't want to opt into the beta for this patch on Steam, the devs say on Twitter that they "currently plan to release this update on all platforms in two weeks." That would put the full release of this patch - including the Xbox version - around February 1.

In an end-of-year Starfield update, Bethesda detailed its plans for new gameplay and ship options, a "major update in February," and the RPG's first story expansion.