After an extensive developer Q&A on Discord, there is confirmation that you won’t be able to do a non-lethal playthrough in Starfield.
As a huge galaxy-spanning RPG, you’ll have plenty of options to role-play and customize your Spacefarer.
Unfortunately for the pacifists out there, you won’t be able to avoid killing in Starfield. You’ll have to take a few suckers out, sooner or later.
Is it Possible to Play as a Pacifist in Starfield?
No, it’s not possible to play Starfield as a Pacifist. When answering fan queries in a developer Q&A, it was confirmed that you cannot play the game in a completely “non-lethal” way.
Starfield’s Lead Quest Designer Will Shen and Lead Designer Emil Pagliarulo directly answered fan questions on August 16 on the game’s Discord Channel.
In response to a fan question regarding the possibility of doing a pacifist playthrough, Pagliarulo responded by saying that a non-lethal playthrough of Starfield isn’t “totally feasible”.
Will Shen also could not guarantee that you can play missions in a pacifist mode.
You Can Choose Non-Lethal Options in Some Scenarios in Starfield
However, both developers went on to say that you can still approach some situations in a non-lethal way in Starfield.
During the Q&A, Emil Pagliarulo mentioned that there are “some good non-lethal options” available to you, “whether through dialogue or by using a non-lethal weapon”.
“I couldn’t comfortably say you can complete the entire game without any killing whatsoever. The Settled Systems is mostly civilized, but it can be a dangerous place if you’re going off the beaten path. And you’re absolutely going off the beaten path!”Emil Pagliarulo – Starfield Lead Designer
Shen referenced Starfield’s Speech Challenge system. You can use it to “persuade someone to do something like not fight you”.
Speech Challenges are a part of Starfield’s more “specific scripted moments”. They may also appear in other quests involving some important characters.
What Are Speech Challenges in Starfield?
Based on the Starfield Direct, we imagine Speech Challenges in Starfield will involve choosing between multiple dialogue options to get to a desired outcome.
Below, you can see a Persuasion Bar below multiple dialogue options of varying difficulty:
Most likely, upgrading your Persuasion Skill will increase your chances of completing Speech Challenges successfully.
It seems that you’ll need to engage with the Speech Challenges system if you want to play with a non-lethal approach
Just know that you won’t be able to talk your way out of all situations. You’ll have to commit murder one way or another!
If you want to check out the full Developer Q&A, you can read the full transcript it here.