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Starfield fans demand “dramatic rework” of “pathetic” melee combat

Bethesda's Starfield may be one of the biggest RPG games on Xbox Game Pass, but Xbox players and fans are demanting serious changes to the melee combat system.

Starfield melee combat complaints: an image of Barret and the Duelist skill

Bethesda’s Starfield is a brilliant game, offering hours upon hours of content for Xbox players to enjoy. However, a growing faction of fans are finding themselves frustrated with one key aspect of this RPG – something they feel is shockingly only getting worse with each new release. We are, of course, talking about Starfield melee combat. Players are describing this game’s melee combat as “pathetic” and needing a “dramatic rework”, even after over a month to get to grips with the system.

We all know that Starfield is one of the best Xbox Game Pass games out there at the moment, and one of the best RPG games of the year, but is it one of the best games ever? Well, when you look at what people are saying about the melee combat, it’s hard to say that this game deserves a place on that list.

In a recent resurgence of the discourse on Starfield’s melee combat and melee weapons by ‘AceTheRed‘, the game’s community seems surprisingly unified in its frustration with Bethesda’s close-quarters combat mechanics – with many lamenting the strange degredation from Fallout 4’s mechanics. Melee options are few and far between when it comes to discussing the best Starfield weapons and even the best Starfield skills can’t really cover the “clunky” combat.

They’re gonna buff melee weapons, right? Right..?
byu/AceTheRed_ inStarfield

Sure, there are ways you can make your best Starfield build melee-focused, but you know there’s something wrong when your best option is using your bare fists. Sure, initially, you’ll deal more damage with an actual weapon, but you can improve your unarmed attack damage a lot more than you can the existing melee weapons – and, you don’t need to rely on looting and luck to have access to them.

Some players do note that you can visually appreciate a lunging heavy melee attack when you’re playing in third-person perspective; however, this isn’t quite enough for players than enjoy playing in a first-person perspective – and those who want to feel a more meaningful difference between the way melee weapons work.

Will melee combat improve in Starfield, though? Well, we don’t know for sure, but we’re not ruling it out. This Starfield update adds a FOV slider, something we weren’t expecting to be available outside PC exclusive mods, and there’s nothing to say we won’t see similar improvements made in the coming months.

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It’s unlikely, though, that we’ll see the melee combat system overhauled dramatically, which is what some fans are calling for. However, we could see some refinements and – of course – modders will be able to make some changes. Starfield Xbox mods are coming, eventually, and there’s no telling what sort of additional content we can look forward to. We would imagine a lot of these will be cosmetics, but Bethesda’s Fallout 4 and Skyrim (both of which have mod support) saw some mods introduce mechanical changes on consoles, too.

We know this Starfield pirate ship will shiver Constellation’s timbers, but you won’t have much fun swashbuckling in space if the systems stay the same. An interview with studio head Todd Howard reveals that during Starfield’s development, gameplay was second to music and vibes, and it’s clear that melee combat was second to ranged combat, too.