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Starfield’s Companions Are A Blessing And A Curse Leave a comment

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Starfield is a big-ass video game with a lot of stuff to do and see. We are exploring the far reaches of space, the final frontier, after all. So, naturally, you would maybe want a bestie on your crew as you fly through the cold cosmos looking for loot to pillage and planets to explore. Unfortunately, the companions you can take with you can be a curse as well as a blessing.

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Across the game’s hundreds of planets, you can find any number of fellow star explorers during your journey. Starfield presents you with four primary companions that can join your ranks, all of which are part of the ragtag artifact-hunting group Constellation, but there’s plenty of other fish in the vast black sea of space. These potential crewmates can come from all walks of life: a bartender, a mercenary, a robot, a stan—if you can build a relationship with them, and if you’re willing to spend a bit of cash, you can bring almost any person onboard your ship. There’s just one teensy little problem here: Companions get in the damn way!

Starfield’s companions don’t know how to move

I’m only a handful of hours into Starfield and, my goodness, I’ve shot both the helper bot Vasco and Constellation leader Sarah Morgan more times than I can count. Entering heated gunfights on abandoned space stations or alien-littered planets, I found myself constantly maneuvering around environments to get better angles on whatever space pirates were vying for my loot. Except, as I’m doing this, my companions were walking close behind like they’re attached to me at the hip and, on more than one occasion, shots from my gun went through the skull (or chassis) of my crewmates more often than I would’ve liked. “You might want to watch where you’re shooting,” Sarah would say. “Please be advised, I’m not your enemy,” Vasco would retort. I know. I brought you aboard my ship for a reason, so please move.

Making matters worse, companions have collision, meaning you can’t simply phase through their bodies. In short, they body block. Exploring New Atlantis, the game’s first major planet and the home base of Constellation, I stumbled upon a side quest that sent me to The Well, a slum of sorts, in order to activate junction boxes to reroute power. With Vasco in tow, we sprinted around The Well looking for these circuit breakers to flip switches. However, whenever I needed to leave a room to get to the next box, Vasco’s huge robot body was standing in front of the door like some bouncer at a club. Sure, he backed up, but only after I ran into his body at least two or three times to prompt his walk-back animation. Sarah does the same exact thing, too, and I cannot stand it.

Starfield’s companions aren’t all bad, though

There is a silver lining to having companions, however. Nevermind the frustrations that come from accidentally wasting ammo on their (seemingly infinite?) health or incessantly running into their bodies to get them to move. Because, should you need a bit of a reprieve, and if there’s little or no cover around, you can hide behind your crewmate to reload your gun and replenish your health. They’ll tend to duck bullets as well, especially if they’re taking fire from a flanking position, but in a pinch you can use them to cover yourself as you re-ready for the firefight. I’ve done this with both Sarah and Vasco, and it seems the enemies just cannot shoot me when I’m behind someone else. It’s a nice little hack for the early parts of the game.

The best part of having a companion, however, is that they act as another storage container. Each crewmate you recruit has their own inventory limit, usually within the 100s, which lets you pick up even more random junk to sell for credits after you complete whatever expedition you’re on. It helps circumvent overencumbrance, the state of carrying too much weight that prevents you from doing things like fast-traveling and sprinting. Companions also gain access to whatever gear you equip them with, so if you pick up an epic gun that’s weaker than your legendary but better than the uncommon your bestie’s using, consider gifting it to them! They’ll thank you for it, if not verbally, then by laying waste to some space pirates. It’s a win-win.

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Space can be very lonely. It’s just you and the vast black nothingness, stretching for millions of miles as you soar past planets and satellites. But it doesn’t have to be. With any one of Starfield’s many companions you can bring, the far reaches of the cosmos become less quiet and more warm. Just be ready for companions who may get in the way and on your nerves at times.

 

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