Skyrim Together Reborn is a popular mod for Skyrim that adds co-op for up to eight players (with support for 30+) and has been downloaded well over a million times. With Bethesda Game Studios’ Starfield release this year, many fans have been expecting to see a multiplayer Starfield Together mod arrive at some point.
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If one does show up, it won’t be from one of Skyrim Together’s key developers, Robbe Bryssinck or Cosideci. It turns out that even though there were plans to port the Skyrim Together mod over to Starfield, that has changed. The reason? The game. It’s no secret that the critical and fan response to Starfield has been mixed, with some loving the game, others liking it, and some outright disappointed by its shortcomings.
Cosideci falls into the latter camp, taking to Discord (via Reddit) to state, “When the game released, I was hyped, like a lot of people, but probably for different reasons. I spent launch day and a few days after reverse-engineering the game and porting over gameplay hooks from Skyrim Together to a potential Starfield Together mod. I ported about 70% of Skyrim Together reversed code to Starfield Together.”
Here’s the kicker, “There was just one problem: this game is f__king trash.”
Like many who criticize Starfield, Cosideci’s issues with the game come down to fundamental changes made to exploration compared to Skyrim. Instead of a single hand-crafted and meticulous world to explore, Starfield features over 1,000 procedurally generated planets – mostly barren and devoid of life. A clear design direction for Bethesda, however, the ‘realism’ of Starfield has stripped the game of what made Skyrim such a timeless classic.
“I’m not going to put my heart and soul into a mod for a game as mediocre as this,” writes Cosideci. And with that, they’ll be uploading the reverse-engineered code for others to finish, with advice that the mod needs 100+ hours of work to get Starfield Together into a playable state.
As we’re now a few months from Starfield’s launch, it remains to be seen if the game will have the longevity of Skyrim – and if Bethesda will do anything to address the criticisms surrounding the game’s exploration and variety. The studio is working on expansions for the game, plans to drop official mod tools in 2024, and more fixes and quality-of-life updates.
As a fan of the game, albeit one that agrees that the exploration needs an overhaul, I’m hoping that Bethesda Game Studios takes a page out of the CD Projekt Red (Cyberpunk 2077) or Hello Games (No Man’s Sky) playbook to overhaul some or many of the game’s mechanics and systems surrounding exploration.
Skyrim is one of the most modded games in history and one of the most celebrated – so Starfield will need some work on Bethesda’s part to get the game to a point where fans and mods keep it alive for decades to come.