Advertisement

I'm finally enjoying Starfield's combat after giving guns a giant buff

 Starfield gun damage buff
Starfield gun damage buff

My official Starfield background is chef, but for the last 30 hours, I've become a full-time gun collector. I've racked up a respectable arsenal of very cool guns, some favorites being a six-shooter with sharp angles that look straight out of a Deus Ex game and a heavy rifle where the reticle is a grid of ominous laser pointers. Even though I'm only using a handful regularly, I keep picking them up because they're all so different, with distinct looks, sounds, and involved reload animations the FPS enjoyer in me is gobbling up. Bethesda has really upped their game since Fallout 4.

The only thing that's been dragging me down is that, no matter how fun they are to shoot, Starfield guns are actually pretty weak. Lethality varies with enemy level and gun stats, but generally speaking, vanilla grunts and pirates can easily eat up half or full magazines of ammo before going down.

With all due respect to Destiny diehards, dropping pounds of ammo on a single guy is not my idea of a good FPS, especially not one that I'm trying to stay immersed in. So just as I did with Cyberpunk 2077, I looked to Nexus for Starfield mods that'd make it play less like Borderlands and more like Call of Duty. There are already a few options, but I only tried out two: Immersive Damage by CnRJay and Project Reality by ADAIVI.

Both essentially do the same thing: buff your damage output with custom .ini files that are very easy to install, though for now, I'd recommend Project Reality first. It's the better-organized, more comprehensive mod of the pair with a few extra tweaks I like. Immersive Damage is more straightforward, if that's your preference, but it currently has a major issue with space combat.

Project Reality

Buffs player damage and enemy damage, scaled by difficulty. Improves stealth by making enemies slightly less omniscient, and makes other miscellaneous tweaks like slower movement for more "immersive" pacing.

Pros

  • Default buffs are noticeably stronger, but doesn't make everything a one-shot-kill

  • If you want to tweak values further, it's easy to do with a clearly-labeled Notepad file

  • I like several of the miscellaneous changes I wouldn't have thought about otherwise, like the slower jog speed.

Cons

  • Higher-level enemies suddenly did way more damage than I considered reasonable, so I had to tone that down immediately

  • Requires a one-time console command to activate

  • Some of the miscellaneous changes are arguably pointless, like less NPC blinking and limited ammo for companions (though they're easy to delete)

Immersive Damage

Increases damage dealt by the player, to the player, and nerfs enemy health scaling at higher levels.

Pros

  • Way stronger buff by default: this felt way closer to my ideal damage buff. If you want guns to feel as deadly as they really would be, this gets closer without tweaking.

  • No console command required to activate

  • No fuss

Cons

  • Accidentally makes space combat a nightmare: The modder has acknowledged that the damage buffs also apply to space combat to disastrous results. You deal way too much damage and enemies can instantly incinerate you. There's a beta version of the mod that supposedly fixes this, but players have reported it doesn't work.

  • You can tweak the values yourself, but they're not as clearly labeled as Project Reality, so it may take some trial and error.

It's also worth considering that universally buffing gun damage may also reduce the impact of finding legendary guns with high stats, and weapon bench upgrades might be less useful too. I'm OK with that because I wasn't having much fun with my legendary guns anyway, but if you've been improving guns the traditional way this could undo some of that work.