Aspiring astronauts rejoice, Bethesda’s long-awaited odyssey into space is finally just a few months away. While many of the details are nebulous at best, we’ve collected everything we know about Starfield to help you gain a better understanding of what you can expect from one of this year’s most eagerly anticipated games.
First of all, if you’re a fan of Bethesda’s flagship series The Elder Scrolls and Fallout then you’re in luck. While this is the first new IP the company has unveiled in over two decades, Bethesda boss Todd Howard has stated that it’s basically Skyrim in space, meaning existing fans should gel pretty well with the studio’s latest outing. Howard has also revealed that Bethesda has wanted to make a science-fiction game of this nature since at least the ’90s, so Starfield has been an even longer time coming than The Elder Scrolls 6!
Thankfully, you won’t have to wait too much longer for Starfield, at least. If you’re excited about Bethesda’s first foray into the cosmos, look no further than our handy round-up of everything we know about Starfield so far. Be sure to bookmark this page too, as we’ll update it accordingly when more information inevitably becomes available as we edge ever nearer to the fast-approaching Starfield” release date. Speaking of which…
Starfield release date
Initially, Starfield was slated for release on November 11, 2022, or 11/11/22 if you like neat, easily memorable numeric arrangements, which is absolutely what the folks at Bethesda were originally going for.
However, in May 2022, Bethesda officially announced that they made the decision to push back the launch of Starfield to the first half of 2023. We suspect that all the backlash from the less-than-perfect release of Cyberpunk 2077 in December 2020 has perhaps influence their decision to delay the game. At time of writing, Starfield it has been confirmed for release on PC and Xbox Series X/S.
An update on Redfall and Starfield. pic.twitter.com/pqDtx26Uu6May 12, 2022
Starfield platforms: Is Starfield an Xbox exclusive?
So, let’s get one thing straight. When a company pays $7.5 billion for another company, it’s only natural that the former company will no longer want its competitors to benefit from the latter one – that’s how mergers and acquisitions work. It’s also how, you know, actual money works.
Basically, yes, Starfield is exclusive to systems affiliated with Microsoft, meaning that you can play it either on PC or a current-gen Xbox console. Unfortunately, PS5 owners are out of luck this time around, and will probably face a similar fate when The Elder Scrolls 6 was announced in the 24th century, which is when Starfield is set.
Oh, and to make the deal even sweeter for PC and Xbox owners, Starfield will be available to download for free via Game Pass on day one. All in all, it’s an Xbox console-exclusive that’s also playable on PC.
And if you’re one of those people who asks, “Is it coming to Switch?” about every game ever released in the history of the universe, we’re here to report that no, it is not. Sorry!
At time of writing, Bethesda has unveiled a bunch of different trailers for Starfield. You can easily access all of them through a curated playlist on the official Bethesda YouTube channel, although we’re going to briefly break down the important bits of each one to give you a better idea of which specific trailers you should check out for yourself.
The first trailer came out in June 2018, and mostly just served as a “Yes, this game exists!” kind of thing. “Also, space!” There’s not a whole lot of other stuff to get your hands dirty with here.
Almost three years to the day later, however, we got the first of several regular updates confirming that the game was not only on track, but well into development. Shortly thereafter, we were briefly introduced to three worlds – Neon, New Atlantis, and Akila City – in August 2021, before receiving details about the game’s setting and factions in October and the first episode of an until-now three-part series called Into the Starfield in November. Phew!
Thought we were finished? On yes, there’s more. February 2022 saw the unveiling of a short clip on the art of Starfield, while March featured the second episode of Into the Starfield, which predominantly focused on the game’s RPG elements. We got a teaser trailer in April 2022 while also being introduced to a robot companion named Vasco, before finally gaining access to Into the Starfield episode three, which focused on the game’s score. This is composed by none other than Inon Zur, who many Bethesda fans likely already know from his work on Fallout. And that, dear reader, finally brings us up to date.
Starfield plot & setting
Just because we’re up to date with Starfield trailers doesn’t mean we’re finished talking about it. After all, this article is quite literally supposed to include “everything we know about Starfield,” which naturally includes all the info we’ve gleaned about the plot and setting so far.
Starfield, you may have guessed, is set in space – specifically, the Settled Systems, which were originally unveiled as part of one of the trailers listed above. This is where humanity is at home in the cosmos, comprising multiple planets that will be traversable as part of the game’s story. We already know about some of these planets, too – New Atlantis is home to the United Colonies faction, while the Freestar Collective reside in Akila City.
That’s an important point to consider as well. Like most Bethesda games, Starfield is set to place enormous emphasis on the disparity between its factions, many of whom will shape the trajectory of your story via their disputes with one another. At the time in which Starfield is set (the 24th century) there is tension between the two core factions, although they aren’t actively at war… anymore. Who knows what will happen the longer you explore the Settled Systems, eh?
Aside from the two factions in New Atlantis and Akila City, there are also a bunch of smaller, more roguish alliances floating about. These include corpos, pirates, religiously fundamentalist kind-of-cultists – you get the gist.
Meanwhile, the third planet we’ve seen, Neon, speaks to how hard we can expect the actual science-fiction to be. We think you should watch the video linked above to see what we mean for yourself, but if you need convincing, it’s pretty Huxley-esque in that it’s home to a special kind of hallucinogenic fish. Soma, but it’s mackerel. Brilliant.
Oh, and did we mention your robot companion? We did? Okay, but we’re still going to mention it again on account of the fact it’s a robot companion. You’ll probably have access to lots of other followers too, but Vasco is basically a mix of Dogmeat and Mister Handy – what more could you want from the technological prowess of 2330?
What type of game is Starfield?
This shouldn’t be surprising for the vast majority of existing Bethesda fans, but if you’re a newcomer to the studio’s games who is mainly interested in Starfield because of its sci-fi setting, it will be helpful to know that it’s a role -playing game (RPG).
It’s not just any RPG, either. In general, regardless of how you personally feel about them, Bethesda RPGs are among the most famous in the world. Skyrim has been ported to everything short of the Mars Rover, while Fallout is known all over the world for its atompunk setting and not-as-quirky-as-when-we-were-all-15 humor. (It’s worth noting that the Starfield aesthetic was internally dubbed “NASA-punk,” which is… certainly almost a word!)
From what we’ve seen and heard so far, it seems Starfield will be quite a bit deeper than previous – or, at the very least, recent – Bethesda games. Despite being described as “Skyrim in space,” we know that it’s heavily inspired by the kind of classic RPG foundations that Bethesda’s flagship series were initially built upon, as well as being more grounded than the studio’s most famous fantasy epic. We’re expecting heavy emphasis to be placed on gear, stats, exploration, and so on, all of which will culminate in a highly customizable adventure through space that will be unique to your own personal choices and interests.
That’s not to say Starfield won’t be anything like modern Fallout or The Elder Scrolls. In fact, episode two of Into the Starfield specifically mentioned that it will feature a dialogue minigame not unlike those that have become typical of Bethesda’s overarching style. If you’re the kind of person who regularly tries to exploit speech checks in Bethesda games, Starfield appears to be experimenting with the formula in new and intriguing ways – something that’s further compounded by the fact it has over double the amount of dialogue as Skyrim .
And that’s pretty much all there is to know about Starfield right now. There have been some other rumors on social media, although it’s probably best to ignore them. In the meantime, we’ll keep an eye out on what Bethesda officially has to say about the game over the next few months and update this article accordingly with whatever new information comes to light. For now, we’re all looking forward to seeing what will happen in the first half of 2023.