While the entirety of space is yours to explore in Bethesda's latest, the real question is are there invisible walls on planets in Starfield?

Are There Invisible Walls on Planets in Starfield?

Starfield features over a thousand planets to explore and, even if they’re almost certainly barren, you can still touch down and go for a wander. But what happens if you keep going? Can you walk across its surface in a straight line, coming back to your ship? Or is there some kind of catch, something that stops you going too far? If you’re wondering are there invisible walls on Planets in Starfield, I’ve got the answer.

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Here’s How Planet Exploration Works in Starfield

The short answer is yes, there are invisible walls on planets in Starfield. That might not be want you wanted to hear, especially if you were looking forward to some No Man’s Sky-style exploration. It also doesn’t quite line up with this Twitter reply from Bethesda’s Pete Hines. Technically, you can explorer every part of a planet but you have to do it in chunks. Here’s how planet exploration works.

  1. You choose an area on the planet to explore.
  2. You then touch down and can walk in any direction for a few miles. I was able to walk in a straight line for about ten minutes.
  3. Once you reach the boundary of that area, you’ll get a message telling you as much. You’ll be given options to return to your ship, go to the planet map or cancel.
  4. If you cancel and keep walking you’ll hit the invisible wall a few seconds later, with Starfield telling you “YOU CANNOT GO THAT WAY”. Insert your own Lord of the Rings joke here.
  5. Land elsewhere on the planet and you can keep exploring but you’ll still hit the edge of the explorable zone.

Starfield: Can you walk across a whole planet or are there invisible walls?

So, you can explore the whole of a planet in chunks, exploring then landing. But it’s not seamless, unlike No Man’s Sky. Why is this the case? Bethesda hasn’t provided a concrete answer but the general feeling is that the Creation Engine 2, which powers the game, can’t handle that much open space. Sure, Skyrim’s map is big but from what I’ve seen so far, Starfield’s planets can be even bigger.

So that’s what you need to know on the subject of Starfield’s invisible walls.

KEEP READING: What Happened to Earth in Starfield?

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Chris McMullen
Chris McMullen is a freelance contributor at The Escapist and has been with the site since 2020. He returned to writing about games following several career changes, with his most recent stint lasting five-plus years. He hopes that, through his writing work, he settles the karmic debt he incurred by persuading his parents to buy a Mega CD. Outside of The Escapist, Chris covers news and more for GameSpew. He's also been published at such sites as VG247, Space, and more. His tastes run to horror, the post-apocalyptic, and beyond, though he'll tackle most things that aren't exclusively sports-based. At Escapist, he's covered such games as Infinite Craft, Lies of P, Starfield, and numerous other major titles.