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Can You Turn Off Enemy Health Bar in Starfield? Answered

A single-player sci fi adventure with an MMO feature
Screenshot via Bethesda Game Studios

Floating health bars most commonly seen in modern video games such as Apex Legends and Fortnite have made their appearance in Starfield and whilst Bethesda has used this mechanic in their most popular titles, it is one that can be an immersion breaker for players. In Starfield you may find yourself in a lot of situations that require you to pummel a ton of bullets into your enemies in order to escape with your life intact or to get some Legendary loot in the process, but the moment you enter the space ring, the floating health bars can feel like a point and click shooter or classic Doom era gaming rather than a futuristic sci-fi adventure. This is Vincent’s guide on turning off the enemy health bar in Starfield.

Is the Enemy Health Bar Always Visible in Combat?

Although health bars have appeared throughout Bethesda’s video game entries, they seemed to fit the overall visuals of previous games such as Skyrim and Fallout. Reasons for this are likely due to comparisons of other games under the same aesthetic such as Dark Souls and BioShock which use health bars but these games also had a massive spotlight on for boss fights. So why does this not work as well for Starfield? Being all about intergalactic travel, seeing brand new planets, habitats and animals, some aspects of the game make it feel much more like a video game than an actual immersive experience. Mechanics such as crosshair, cursors, and health bars all place the game into a more Arcade-y category rather than actually feeling like an actual astronaut. It also takes away from aspects of the game that are more like a walking simulator or sandbox with scavenging resources, traversing across planets and building bases.

Having a visible health bar in a game all about travelling to different planets, with a massive selling point being the 1000+ planets that you can walk across takes away from this element of Starfield that many will be focussed on, rather than the actual combat. Whilst combat is inevitable in this game (unless you have gone for a powerful stealth build), Starfield is not solely about the shooting. So can health bars be turned off? The answer is no. Unfortunately enemy health bars are on at all times so that you can both differentiate between which character you are shooting at if there are multiple surrounding you, and can assess your weapon damage based on the enemy scaling in Starfield.

If you want to make any changes regarding enemy health bar, you can turn off damage numbers by heading into Settings and going to the Interface Tab. Damage Numbers can be found here and disabled, meaning that you no longer need to see how much damage you are outputting, which can sometimes break the immersion you are after. Sometimes damage numbers simply belong in battle royale games.

That was everything you need to know about enemy health bars in Starfield. We hope this answered any questions you had regarding this topic. For more on this game, be sure to see our GJ Starfield section here. Thank you for reading this guide.

About the author

Hadley Vincent

Hadley is a Freelance Writer for Gamer Journalist. They have been with the company since October 2022. With a BSc Honors in Psychology, Hadley focuses their creativity and passion for Video Games by primarily covering Horror, FPS, and anything with a great narrative. You will often find Hadley covering the latest indie horror games or deploying into Call of Duty's DMZ. They love a good story and one that can keep them up at night, be that for its scares or its lore.

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