Starfield | You can’t land on planets from space – but you can fly inside them

Alanah Pearce streaming Starfield

YouTuber Alanah Pearce flies for seven hours to see whether it’s possible to land on Pluto in Starfield – then proceeds to hurtle straight through it.


One of the big differences between Starfield and No Man’s Sky is that in Starfield, you can’t take off from a planet and then fly directly into space (and vice versa). Instead, the space bit of the game and the planet bit of the game are essentially separate things that you fast travel between.

This has been known about for ages: back in June, Bethesda’s Todd Howard confirmed as much to IGN, saying that the developer didn’t want to spend a long time developing a smooth segue between planet surface and space because it’s “really just not that important to the player”.

But, as reported by IGN, YouTuber Alanah Pearce was curious to know what actually happened if you tried to land a spaceship directly on a planet.

Her first realisation was that planets actually orbit around stars in Starfield, which made the job a bit harder. Initially she tried to land on Earth, but it was orbiting so quickly that the planet kept moving off the screen as she tried to fly towards it. So instead she pointed her spaceship at Pluto, which was on a much slower orbit.

However, reaching the planet’s surface would take seven hours. Pearce streamed her attempt on Twitch through the night, setting an alarm to wake up every half hour to correct the spaceship’s course as Pluto drifted across the screen. Eventually, as she neared the low-resolution surface, she seemed to pass through some clouds and emerge into… nothing.

It seems as if the planets in Starfield are hollow, but when inside, you cannot see the planet around you, simply the space beyond. Pearce confirmed this by making a left turn and emerging back out of Pluto’s surface.

Ultimately, as Howard had earlier concluded, Pearce doesn’t think it particularly matters that you can’t directly land on planets from space in Starfield. “It’s an RPG and it’s about talking to people,” she said. “It’s not really a space exploration game, and that’s OK.”

Read more: Starfield, and the age-old debate about review scores

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