Starfield's outposts are primarily for mining resources, though if Fallout 4's settlement building was any indication, this sort of industrial ingenuity was inevitable. Posted to the Starfield subreddit by user Hackoox, this fully-fledged factory floor looks as gorgeous as it does an absolute pain in the butt to build.
For all of you hating on outposts, this is what 100+ hours and dedication gets you. I present to you my factory, still work in progress. from r/Starfield
According to Hackoox, even getting the foundation right was a trial. When asked by a user how they'd achieved such a perfectly flat floor, they responded: "That's over [3,000] floor mats placed on top of each other … I was tired of building on uneven ground all the time, and I know you have a flat spot at your landing location but it's still rocks."
This is, obviously, not feasible without a mod that removes Starfield's item limit. But aside from that, it's all vanilla fiddly outpost tech. They later posted a video detailing their jury-rigged flooring system, among other base-building techniques. To get things nice and even, they found a solid high point, then layered floor mat after floor mat until they'd established a foundation. I have a headache just thinking about this.
While their dedication is really impressive, complete with decorative planters, walkways, and barriers to stop wayward forklifts violating space-OSHA laws, the fact this player had to wrangle with over 3,000 mats just to get a good surface to build on is a sign that the outpost system's sorely lacking in juice for players who want to make pretty stuff.
This sentiment's shared by players responding to that explanation, too. "How come BSG didn’t give us foundations? It totally kills anybody’s desire to make an outpost," writes user Selway00, with other players pointing out that even Fallout 4, a game released by the same studio in 2015, had features Starfield is missing. RivalRevelation writes: "Hate to say it, but I actually liked Fallout 4’s settlement system better than this game."
Still, I do think it's impressive what Hackoox has built with the tools available to them. Heck—I've spent a good time with City of Heroes, a game that was killed over a decade ago, and there are still people doing funky stuff with its ancient base-building tech on private servers to this day. Final Fantasy 14's housing system is full-on jank, but that's also been used to make some genuine works of art. There'll always be a tiny sliver of affection in my heart for somewhat-crappy systems wielded by mavericks to make something far greater than the sum of its parts.