Todd Howard says that Starfield’s ship AI sucks on purpose so players can actually hit stuff: ‘You have to make the AI really stupid’

Bethesda is known for making big, blockbuster RPGs—but Starfield‘s space combat was a totally new frontier for the team. I’ve personally found a decent bit of fun in zipping around and knocking pirates out of the sky, even if it’s clearly not the game’s main focus. I don’t envy the devs saddled with the task of balancing dogfights in space.

Todd Howard agrees that it was a bit of a pain to get right, as he said in a recent interview with the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences. “[Space combat] was way harder than we thought … We see a lot of space games where you’re gonna have like, derelict ships or other things to fly around, just to get a sense of motion, so the smallest thing like ‘what does the dust in space look like?’ so you feel like you’re moving and it’s not too much, not too little.”

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