- Melee combat in Starfield feels underdeveloped and lacks variety, with only one perk in the skill tree supporting melee weapons.
- Unlike ranged weapons, melee weapons in Starfield do not scale in quality as players level up, limiting their viability in higher-level gameplay.
- Players have voiced frustration over the loot system for melee weapons, as they can receive modifiers that are useless on these weapons.
While gunplay in Starfield is insanely fun, one of its players shared a legendary dagger drop that highlighted how underdeveloped melee weapons feel in the latest Bethesda title. Whereas Skyrim obviously had more incentive to develop its melee combat, many fans feel that Starfield lacks melee variety or build support even when compared to Fallout 4. As opposed to other weapon types, there is only one perk that supports melee weapons in Starfield‘s skill tree, and melee weapons do not scale in quality the same way a rifle or pistol does.
Those who reach a higher level in Starfield over the course of a playthrough can expect to find Calibrated, Refined, and Advanced weapons as direct quality upgrades over the base version. Ranged weapons in Starfield, such as shotguns, come in these different tiers, and the quality level that players get is based on the level of the enemy wielding them. Unfortunately, melee weapons aren’t subject to this scaling system for some reason, which severely limits their viability the more Starfield players level up.
A player named lopar4ever reached Level 211 in Starfield, and shared a legendary Barrow Knife that they recently obtained for their character. Not only did the knife not scale to an Advanced tier, but it was also burdened with modifiers that are useless on melee weapons. While having an Extended Magazine, Handloading, or One Inch Punch on a ranged weapon can transform some guns to a whole new level, the Barrow Knife cannot benefit from either of these modifiers – yet they are still part of the loot system for melee weapons, to the frustration of many baffled players.
It’s a shortcoming that has seen extensive amounts of feedback from the community since launch, as they feel that Bethesda completely rushed the implementation of melee weapons in Starfield. While Va’ruun Painblades and stealth can be a lethal combo, ranged builds tend to outclass melee builds fairly early on – both as a result of the weapon tiers only applying to guns and due to the lack of melee perks in the skill tree.
Though it is expected that Starfield mods will inevitably add more weapon variety, as well as improve the loot system for melee weapons, the impending release of Shattered Space could give Bethesda the perfect opportunity for an official solution as well. If it indeed turns out to be the DLC that focuses on fleshing out the enigmatic House Va’ruun faction, then fixing melee weapons on top would be a thematic fit.
Developed by Bethesda Game Studios, Starfield is a sci-fi action role-playing game where players interact with multiple factions, engage in combat, customize their main character and ship, as well as explore a universe that features over 100 systems and 1,000 planets.
- PC, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S
- September 6, 2023
- How Long To Beat
- 20 Hours