I don't know if I'll ever play through a Bethesda game properly, because I can't take more than a dozen steps into one of their open worlds without opening up the dev console to spawn a bunch of perishable food items or turn off gravity or otherwise distract myself from whatever quest I'm supposed to be doing. I'm already using Starfield console commands to set up battles between hundreds of robots, security guards, and bugs, and I've only just arrived at New Atlantis, the very first city you visit in Starfield.
There are just so many discoveries to make that it's hard to want to go back to actually playing the game once you've started messing with the console. For instance, the first thing I discovered when attempting to simulate Starfield battles is that some NPC IDs refer to the corpses of those NPCs, not living characters. Worse, when you spawn 30 dead botanists, their bodies become entangled and form a vibrating sphere of limbs and heads that undulates until each body frees itself and flops to the ground:
Eventually, I found a code that spawned living botanists, and spawned 100 of them to see how they'd fare against one terrormorph. Of course, I had not encountered a terrormorph yet. I'd only heard about them in an audio recording on the science lab you visit before heading to New Atlantis, but it wasn't hard to guess that a creature whose name includes the word "terror" and invokes Alien's Xenomorph is bad news. 100 botanists is a lot of botanists, though, and extraterrestrial nature hikes are probably good exercise, so I figured they stood a chance.
The terrormorph immediately scattered the botanist army, killing bunches at a time with its wavy-air breath (a psychic attack, I assume) and picking off isolated plant experts by smashing them into the New Atlantis space port tarmac with beefed-out triceps:
So, beware of terrormorphs. That's the second thing I learned. Nothing I spawned in any quantity seemed capable of killing one, even things that ought to have a better chance than botanists, so I gave up and decided I'd have more fun pitting 100 regular guys against 100 regular enemies.
I searched for NPCs named "Bill," picked one at random, and boom: 100 balding guys named Bill appeared in formation on the tarmac. Bill is presumably some guy you meet during a quest in Starfield, but in my universe—where I haven't done anything aside from the very first quest—he's the blueprint for a clone army.
It's not a very good clone army, I'm afraid. When I spawned 100 killer robots next to the Bill army, the Bills just ran away. C'mon Bills!
With my Bills alive but now fleeing into New Atlantis, my robot army was just standing around, so I went back to the console, found an interesting-sounding alien—the "adult hookpest"—and spawned 100 of them. In front of me appeared columns of nasty-looking red creatures that seemed like an appropriate match for robots with minigun arms.
Once again, I had underestimated an alien. The bots opened fire immediately, but the hookpests refused to break rank. They didn't move at all, actually. They just stood there bouncing around in a shower of lead like gangster movie Tommy gun victims. It seemed like maybe they couldn't move, and couldn't die, either, but when I hopped into the alien army's ranks to demonstrate to them what they were supposed to do—charge!—they caught on right away and started feasting on metal. A few Bills watched from a distance as the robot army collapsed.
I was tired of my armies being bested by aliens, so I spawned more robots, a different kind that seemed even stronger. The hookpests started launching them into the air:
I spawned 100 human security officers, in case they had some kind of special anti-pest tactics. They did a valiant take on Starship Troopers, and some Bills even came back with guns—I guess they had them the whole time?—and joined in, but it was hopeless. I'm pretty sure whatever hookpest ID I found spawned invincible hookpests.
I noticed, though, that there were no Bill corpses strewn about, either. He must be an important NPC, because he can only be knocked down, not killed, like the main Starfield companions. I found a few hookpests that had gathered around a down-but-not-out Bill, seemingly perplexed by the unkillable human on all-fours clutching his stomach. And then, when only hookpests and Bills remained, the Bills started to return to formation, as if they'd signed a peace agreement with the creatures. What use is war between immortal beings?
It's no fun watching a bunch of Bills and bugs stand around in a sea of dead robots, so I tried to clean up my mess with my favorite Bethesda game command, killall, which does what it says. It is literally overkill, as Chris once accidentally demonstrated in Fallout 4:
When you use Fallout 4's 'killall' console command to take out a stupid bloodbug but there are... other casualties pic.twitter.com/LZLE7BEVkTFebruary 7, 2017
I didn't kill any spaceship pilots innocently orbiting the planet, but something mildly unexpected did happen when I entered the command: a new, extremely bouncy corpseball formed.
The command dispatched the previously unkillable hookpests, but the Bills proved to be even more immortal, standing up and carrying on as if it were just another Tuesday in New Atlantis.
So, the Bills win, I guess. Go Bills! (No, not those Bills.)
To recap, here are some of the things I learned:
- As a general rule, Starfield NPCs prefer standing around staring at each other over fighting to the death. Sensible!
- If you spawn too many corpses at once, the corpseball they form never loses its integrity and continues to undulate forever, or at least for longer than I was willing to watch a giant corpse ball undulate at 10 fps.
- If you've killed a terrormorph, be proud: you're stronger than 100 botanists!
- Bill is probably involved in some kind of quest, but I'll never know, because I'll likely spend 20 more hours spawning things to fight Bills without actually playing the game.
If you want to pit Starfield's NPCs against each other yourself, let me direct you to our Starfield console commands guide. The particular commands to note are player.placeatme, which is used to spawn NPCs or objects (also fun for creating thousands of milk cartons) and help, which you can use with some parameters to find the ID codes for stuff you want to spawn. There's a brief section at the bottom of the guide on that.
Be warned, though: You really can derail your Starfield playthrough by getting hooked on the possibilities offered by these commands, which open up the whole game for investigation and experimentation. It might be best to enjoy a regular playthrough before you start exploring the ability to turn on God Mode and summon thousands of items or NPCs at will.
By the way, I did at one point manage to spawn 100 NPCs that could kill a terrormorph. If you want to see a certain political figure who, in a manner of speaking, lives in Starfield's universe and isn't phased by muscular extraterrestrial beasts, I leave you with the video below: