Starfield’s unarmed skills are so grindy that build gurus can’t make it fun to be a punchy bloke

A character in Starfield.
Credit: Bethesda.

A character in Starfield.
Credit: Bethesda.

Most of the hardcore Bethesda RPG fans who’ve invested thousands of hours into Skyrim and Fallout 4 couldn’t wait for the chance to start digging into Starfield.

No matter whether you paid for early access to the game, or have joined the party following its full release, odds are, if you’ve invested in it, you’ve likely already gotten up to some wacky interstellar hijinks, stumbled across some cool references to previous titles from its creators.

While many players have been unleashing their creativity via its spaceship building mechanics, with one even having managed to recreate everyone’s favourite train, others have been trying to do the same with character builds. However, it seems there’s one play style that doesn’t quite live up to the hype.

Have you tried brawling your way through Starfield’s cosmos yet?

The approach in question is that of an unarmed brawler, something that’s proven a solely good time in most of the studio’s previous titles, no matter whether you’re ripping through Skyrim as a sharp-clawed Khajiit or smashing your way through Fallout 4 with a Power Fist.

There are even YouTube build guides that can help show you how to get the most out of these and other character builds, with one of the channels that’s come to specialise in this exact kind of thing being FudgeMuppet. Unfortunately, it seems they’ve been unable to make playing as a hand-to-hand focused Starfield character fun.

For their latest video, which you can watch above, the YouTubers have had a go at making a high-level unarmed build for the game, only to end up concluding that it’s the game’s “worst play style.”

In it, having acknowledged that creating melee-focused characters in the game is a “sensationally rewarding experience” despite some pre-release concerns, one of the pair, Scott, describes the process of creating an unarmed character as “a grind” that seemingly isn’t worth it.

In addition to unarmed skills taking far too long to develop into an effective setup, according to the YouTuber, the key difference in fun between fighting with your fists and with a melee weapon is their effectiveness against gun-wielding human enemies. There just aren't enough ways to quickly deal enough damage with your hands to avoid regularly getting shot to pieces.

“The amount of skill investment you need for the unarmed play style to be barely serviceable is just insane,” he added in the video’s description, adding: “I really hope future patches or DLC offer some new benefits, maybe fist based weapons like brass knuckles.”

Regardless of whether you’re now shelving your plans to batter half the residents of the Settled Systems, make sure to follow us for lots of guides to Starfield’s world, mechanics, and quests.

You can also check out our coverage of some great mods for the game and our latest mods of the month.

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