Bethesda might not leave players the option of pacifistically overrunning Starfield, despite giving them a bunch of other features that can help avoid combat. In a recent Q&A event on the official Discord channel, desEsports Extrasdirector Will Shen and designer Emil Pagliarulo were asked if it would be possible to make a pacifist game.
I can’t guarantee that all missions can be completed in pacifist mode, but we have a couple of systems that will help.” Shen said, “one of them is our speech challenge game, where you can persuade someone to do something like not fight you.” The speech challenge game is added at specific scripted times, and we try to add one in most missions where important characters face you.”
“We talked about this very early on, during pre-production.”added Pagliarulo, “on whether or not we would support a “non-lethal” game mode. We realized that, for various reasons, it wasn’t entirely feasible. That said, there are some good non-lethal options, either through dialogue or using a weapon non-lethal. They can be used in certain situations, many actually, although I couldn’t say you can complete the entire game without killing anyone.”
It was also confirmed in the Q&A, which you can read transcribed in full on Reddit, that we could end up in jail in Starfield, so even when we do have to resort to violence, we’d better make sure it’s not where there’s some kind of authority nearby. Of course, it’s likely that modders will make a full pacifist game possible in the future, but some might be surprised to hear that it won’t be an official feature.