The idea of a community patch for Starfield isn't new and has been something that we know a lot of you have been very passionate about from the moment the game was first announced. This project draws parallels to similar successful efforts for Fallout 4, Skyrim SE, Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines, and more.
The Starfield Community Patch Project was set up in December 2021 but had been put on ice when the game got delayed. We're now approaching release so things are starting to ramp up again.
What is the Community Patch?
The Starfield Community Patch (SFCP) project is a collective effort by mod authors and the wider player community of Starfield to fix bugs, errors and other inconsistencies present in the game. This includes tweaks, typos and other changes that may have been missed (or not yet released) by the developers. The overall goal is to improve the vanilla experience for all players.
Fixes included in the patch are intended to correct bugs or errors in the base game, examples include:
- Misplaced objects
- Script errors
- Inconsistencies in item properties
- Faulty missions/quests
- Game-breaking exploits
- Missing attributes (such as tags, header flags, etc.)
- Spelling/localisation errors
- New content (new quests, missions, characters, items, etc.)
- Balance changes (outside of correcting obvious errors)
- Any tweaks that are not in keeping with the original vision for the game
Who is running the patch and how is the team structured?
The hope with the Starfield Community Patch is that it will be owned by the community rather than one or two individuals. This means that while there may be caretakers who act as the decision-makers, these roles are fluid and the project may change hands depending on which members of the community are willing to step up and help coordinate the effort.
To get the ball rolling, there are 4 members of the "Core Team" - two development-focused users and two experienced modders - who you may recognise from the community if you've played any of the Elder Scrolls or Fallout games.
- SimonMagus - I lead the team behind the "Simonrim" collection of mods for Skyrim SE - including Mysticism, Apothecary, and Blade & Blunt. My dream for the Starfield Community Patch is that it serves as a strong foundation for a long-lived and healthy modding community for Starfield. I'm excited to be part of an open and collaborative effort to make that dream a reality.
- Halgari - I am the creator of Wabbajack and the head of the Nexus Mods desktop development team. I'm hoping to further the use of open-source, and open-contribution organizations to Starfield modding. It's not often that we get the chance to rethink how modding should be organized for a community project, and I'm excited to see how we can improve the traditionally closed modding processes.
- Noggog - I am the creator of Mutagen and Synthesis. I have worked on tooling for Bethesda mods for over a decade, including past projects such as Skyproc and Automatic Variants. Most recently I have created Spriggit to empower the Community Patch's collaborative development using modern open-source patterns.
- Pickysaurus (Me!) - While I may not be the most recognisable modder, I have a good amount of experience working with Bethesda games. My previous experience comes primarily from dealing with the "back end" of Legacy of the Dragonborn by Icecreamassassin. This involved a lot of complex scripting and careful management of game data for items, spells, quests and more. I am also able to leverage my position as a Community Manager to bring any resources in from Nexus Mods and can support the patch as part of my day-to-day duties.
Spriggit, what's that?
Spriggit is a new tool that is currently being developed by Noggog that will enable compiling plugins for Creation Engine games to and from plain text. The aim is to make it far easier to collaborate and make changes more transparent when viewing the history of a mod in a Git format. Here's a brief demonstration of how the application works:
The SFCP team will be working closely with toolmakers and reverse engineers in the community to understand the new file formats of Starfield and make Spriggit compatible with them so that all modders will have the option to use this workflow.
The resulting patch will be released in the standard ESM format, Spriggit is a tool to streamline development and collaboration.
Is this from the same team that made the Unofficial Patches for Skyrim and Fallout 4?
That's a bit of a complicated question, but the shortest answer is "No". When setting up this project the Unofficial Patch team were consulted and invited to contribute but there have been no confirmed plans for them to be involved. The Unofficial Patch team deserve the utmost respect for the work they've put into the Elder Scrolls and Fallout patches over the years and they would absolutely be welcome to be a part of the Starfield Community Patch project.
Where can I download the patch?
Right now, there's no content as the game isn't out yet. Once there is at least one fix available the patch will be available to download for free from the Nexus Mods page or GitHub. (The Nexus Mods page will be made available once there is something to download).
The patch is also going to be available on Bethesda.net for both PC and Xbox Series X/S once the platform is launched by Bethesda. There's no official word on when that will go live yet other than Pete Hines saying it will be after the launch of the game.
With the patch being open source it will also likely be possible to download from other places, but please be cautious when downloading from any source not listed as official on the SFCP website.
What permissions/licences does it use?
The Starfield Community Patch uses an MIT License, which simply means anyone can do whatever they want with the content of the mod. Deciding on this approach was a bigger decision than it may seem, but ultimately being fully open was deemed the best as a "copyleft" licence would force modders who use the patch as a master to also use an open source licence. The team felt that mod authors should not be restricted on how they license their own content and respect that other modders have perfectly valid reasons for wanting more control over their content.
The other main concern was keeping the project free. After much discussion, the team concluded that if a bad actor was going to take the entire project and paywall it then they probably wouldn't care about a posted licence anyway. By keeping the project in the hands of the community we hope that goodwill can endure and the patch remains more complete than any paywalled or closed-permission alternatives.
How can I get involved?
The membership to the Community Patch is fairly loosely defined and anyone can contribute as much or as little as they like. Discussion for the patch takes place in the Starfield Modding Discord, and the official website allows users to view and submit issues using their Nexus Mods account.
Along with issue reports, we're also hoping members of the community who have created fixes will submit their work for inclusion in the patch. Everyone who contributes to the project will be shown on the contributors page of the website.
Each submission will be reviewed by the core team and discussed with the community to decide on the best approach to fix the issue. If there's a fix added to the patch that you don't like, you can always fork off the project and build your own version thanks to the open-source licence of the patch content.
This project would not be possible without you - the modding community - reporting any issues you find in Starfield or submitting fixes you come across. Together we can make Starfield better for everyone!
Special shout out to 2077v2 for the Starfield-themed separators used in this article!