New Starfield Mod Makes Cities More Lifelike


  • A new Starfield mod makes cities more lifelike by significantly boosting their crowd variety in terms of looks, animations, voices, and names.
  • Called Souls of Cities, the mod doesn’t reinvent the wheel but largely repurposes the game’s existing systems to achieve its stated goal by doing things like making NPCs wear player-equippable clothing instead of their limited dummy apparel.
  • Although its individual features come with a fairly minimal performance overhead, the overall mod is still best utilized on a beefy PC.

A newly released Starfield mod makes in-game cities much more lifelike by revamping the RPG’s crowd systems. While its inner workings may leave it out of reach of some Starfield players, those who do manage to take full advantage of the mod are promised an opportunity to behold “souls of cities.”

As is the case with most open-world games featuring densely populated areas, Bethesda’s sci-fi RPG makes some compromises when it comes to its crowd depictions in order to hit certain performance targets. As a result, many random NPCs in Starfield share clothing and faces, on top of having access to just a fraction of animations that important characters like companions do. Some players can find this a bit immersion-breaking, depending on their exact graphics settings and tolerance for such phenomena.

Souls of Cities Starfield Mod Makes Every NPC More Lifelike

But Creation Engine 2 is capable of much more impressive technical achievements, as underlined by a newly released mod that adds extremely varied and lifelike crowds to the game. Called Souls of Cities – A Modular People System, the latest project by prolific Starfield modder LarannKiar repurposes some of the features Bethesda already developed for the RPG in order to tackle the issue of repetitive crowds, consequently making the game more immersive.

The mod accomplishes its purpose with two distinct but complementary features. One of them is the so-called Modular People System (MPS), which introduces player-equippable clothing to the pool of apparel that NPCs can wear. It also adds physics to their attire, thus making even random crowds fully animated, similar to story-important characters. Furthermore, MPS fixes weird NPC faces in Starfield, which are a result of the vanilla crowd system using stiff “masks” instead of fully animated meshes. It even assigns full names to each character for extra immersion points.

Starfield Crowd System vs Modular People System Comparison

Vanilla Crowd System

Modular People System

Crowd NPC Outfits

Non-animated, have no physics.

Fully animated, with physics.

Taken from a limited pool of dummy assets.

Taken from a much larger pool of player-equippable clothing.

Crowd NPC Animations

Non-existent facial animations.

Animations on par with essential NPCs, like companions.

Simplified, robotic movement animations.

Crowd NPC Names

Everyone is named “Citizen.”

Everyone has a full name, with over 1 billion possible combinations.

Crowd NPC Voices


More varied.

The mod’s second improvement comes in the form of the Unique Character (UC) system, which builds on MPS tools by offering granular NPC customization controls as an alternative to random generation. This is an entirely optional part of the project that can be used by creating and editing an INI file, one for each unique character tied to any given location. Even ignoring this aspect of Souls of Cities and just using the mod out of the box should make some Starfield environments much more immersive.

More Lifelike Starfield Crowds Are Best Left Reserved for Beefier PCs

It’s worth noting that there’s likely a reason Bethesda refrained from delivering this level of detail in the vanilla version of its galaxy-hopping RPG; generating fully animated and varied crowds requires additional resources, and Starfield is already not the most optimized game there is. Regardless, this mod is still a helpful option for people with beefier PCs and a desire to experience more lifelike cities. And since its individual features appear fairly performant, it should still be possible to take advantage of Souls of Cities on more modest hardware by using the mod in conjunction with lower crowd density settings.


Developed by Bethesda Game Studios, Starfield is a sci-fi action role-playing game where players interact with multiple factions, engage in combat, customize their main character and ship, as well as explore a universe that features over 100 systems and 1,000 planets.

September 6, 2023

M For Mature 17+ Due To Blood, Suggestive Themes, Use of Drugs, Strong Language, Violence

How Long To Beat
20 Hours

X|S Enhanced

File Size Xbox Series
101 GB (November 2023)