When it comes to traveling, we’re still learning a few tricks to enhance our overall experience. Driving for hours on end is quite a challenge but a welcome one. However, we can’t help but think about all of the video games we’ve played that make travel much more simple. Games like Zelda or the Elder Scrolls series where hopping from one side of the world map to the other is done without running across plains, over mountains, and through forests. It’s these times we wish fast travel could be used in the real world.
Open world games provide the player with endless amounts of exploration. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt presents one of the largest and broadest maps to explore. Its main story is quite good and we’re always up for playing it again but it found its beauty in its quests and exploration. It’s the same with the real world, minus the side quests, although life does tend to through a few if you’re looking and even when you’re not.
Hitting the open road cues up plenty of opportunities to see new sites and experience new places. It’s what makes exploring worthwhile. But there can be times when becomes tedious and you just want to skip ahead to the next destination (we’re looking at your Kansas plains). Being able to fast forward through uncomfortable roads or dull views would make adventuring a bit less boring. That’s why we’ve listed a few games we believe have the best fast travel options.
Five Games with the Most Immersive Fast Travel
Elder Scrolls Morrowind – Silt Striders
The Elder Scrolls series is one great big adventure across multiple provinces. Morrowind, Oblivion, and Skyrim all feature epic landscapes to explore but reaching them can be a bit of a chore. No matter if you’ve played through multiple times or it’s your first, walking from one end of the map to the other just to complete a side quest can be tedious, but Morrowind makes fast travel fun.
We’re always a fan of games that provide a unique way to get from point A to point B that makes sense. Simply clicking on a point on the map you’ve been to before and instantly teleporting there isn’t really all that immersive, and oftentimes it can even break immersion. Instead, Morrowind features creatures called silt striders – giant beasts of burden that float just off of the ground. They are effectively ferry boats but instead of water, they ride over land. If characters have enough coin they can take a ride on a silt strider and reach a new town within seconds.
While there isn’t a cutscene involved, it does make reaching new places much more simple. The game even puts a silt strider in the starting town of Seyda Neen allowing players access to larger cities that can take time to reach on foot.
Pokémon – Flying
Flying is one of the quickest ways to get around in the real world and Pokémon utilizes it as well. The mechanic was introduced during the first generation – Red, Blue, Yellow – and allowed trainers to teach it to some Pokémon able to fly. However, the catch was the player had to have visited a location beforehand. This means there was still exploration involved in the games.
Once a Pokémon learned to fly, the trainer hopped on them like a horse and flew to their destination. Early games didn’t have the technical capacity to make a full cutscene, but later games let players control their mount and let them see the world below.
Skyrim – Carriages
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim does include one Silt Strider but it isn’t available to hire. Instead, the fifth game in the series uses one of the most unique forms of travel of any game on our list: carriages or wagons. It’s a form of transport any player of Skyrim will be familiar with as the game begins with the protagonist riding in one.
Each major city has a carriage and rider the player can hire to take them across the province. It’s like renting a car or taking a bus but instead of dealing with people, you get to smell horses throughout the journey. If only carriages provided some way to see the scenery as you went along. While the opening cinematic is gorgeous, especially on PC, the entire world of Skyrim is stunningly epic to look at.
The best part is the carriages can be taken to other cities you haven’t visited yet.
Legend of Zelda – Music
The Legend of Zelda series uses music as a way to quickly traverse the world. While Breath of the Wild may be one exception to the franchise; utilizing Shrines to get from point to point, the others include music of some sort.
Ocarina of Time features the ocarina and lets Link traverse Hyrule through songs. Each song is connected to a different location on the world map and allows the Hero of Time to instantly teleport there. Whereas Wind Waker gives Link a magical baton to compose songs. No matter which game in the series you play, there is a link to music somewhere in it. Even Breath of the Wild’s shrines are powered by music. Activating them cues a single track that ends with the final note turning on the device.
A Link to the Past even allows Link to summon a flying rooster to reach new areas. When put into perspective in the real world, music can make travel seem quicker. Lengthy car rides can appear shorter or faster even if you listen to a great travel-themed playlist.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Signposts
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is another beautiful game to experience. From its striking overlooks to its bustling towns cawing seagulls and ringing ship bells the world is alive. The game is a fountain of locations with new ones spewing up every few seconds it seems. Reaching all of the new landmarks of the Witcher could take hours, if not hundreds of them, but thankfully there’s a fast travel system in place to help.
To travel between various points on the map, Geralt needs only to stand near a signpost and select another on the map. It is certainly a time-saving way to get around and immersively speaking, it is a world full of magic and sorcery so simply teleporting between signposts doesn’t seem too farfetched. The Continent is vast and there is so much to see and do that completing the game and every side quest could take upwards of 100 hours.
However, if zapping between places in an instant isn’t your thing, you could always saddle up your horse Roach and hit the open road. There is a handy mechanic that lets horses follow paths on their own. All you have to do is hold a button and sit back and enjoy the sights and sounds.
While fast travel may be good for speeding up the plot or reducing game time, it does defeat the purpose of exploring a vast world. After all, that is what traveling is, experiencing boundless opportunities and views not otherwise seen.