The "Potato Mode" mod for Starfield compresses textures for older PCs
A modder has created a "Potato Mode" for Starfield, which compresses the game's textures to improve performance on older PCs.Despite the absence of ...
A modder has created a "Potato Mode" for Starfield, which compresses the game's textures to improve performance on older PCs.
Despite the absence of official modding tools, there are already nearly 600 Starfield mods available on NexusMods.
The Potato Mode mod can help improve the frame rate on GPUs with less VRAM, but it does not address other demanding visual effects.
A productive Bethesda modder released a Starfield "Potato Mode" mod that compresses the game's textures so heavily that it may become playable on some older PCs. The mod surfaced online even before Starfield was officially released.
While Bethesda's space role-playing game will offer mod support, the official modding toolkit will not be available at launch. Although the developer has not yet announced the exact release date of the toolkit, the lack of official tools does not deter enthusiasts from developing Starfield mods even before the game has left early access. NexusMods already showcases nearly 600 Starfield mods, with new ones being added daily.
This growing list of modifications now also includes the so-called "Potato Mode" by BulwarkHD, a rather productive developer with over 40 Bethesda game mods under their belt. As the name suggests, Potato Mode compresses the textures of Starfield to a size of 128 bits, making the RPG run slightly less resource-intensive. It's hardly surprising that squeezing the textures results in a noticeably blurrier appearance of the game, but that's a compromise some may be willing to make if their PCs are just below the minimum system requirements of Starfield.
It is worth mentioning that texture resolution is just one of many factors that can affect the performance load of a specific game. Volumetric lighting, particle effects, fog, and other types of visual effects can be just as demanding as high-resolution textures. The Starfield Potato Mode does not attempt to adjust or disable such visual effects. Therefore, individuals who want to try it should keep their expectations in check. In fact, the creator themselves claims that the mod was mostly intended as a joke but could actually "help some people."
Given its scope, this mod could be particularly useful for improving the game's frame rate on GPUs with less than the recommended 8 GB VRAM. However, it will not help with the requirement for Starfield to be installed on an SSD, as this requirement is unrelated to graphics. Some players who have already tried the mod report that it works better when combined with a modified StarfieldPrefs.ini configuration file that disables intensive graphical options such as reflections and global illumination by setting them to zero.
The modding community has a long history of optimizing Bethesda's games for hardware that is significantly weaker than the developer's recommendations. However, the promise that Starfield will become a paradise for modders will only be fulfilled when the company actually releases its official modding toolkit.
Starfield will be released on September 6th for PC and Xbox Series X/S.
Source: BulwarkHD / NexusMods