Starfield is among the most anticipated 2023 Xbox Series X games.
Bethesda Game Studios, the company behind some of the best RPG games ever produced (there’s a reason we’re still talking about The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim a decade later, after all), is behind this ambitious new adventure.
Bethesda will be looking to duplicate that success as it thrusts us into a sprawling sci-fi world where we’re free to define our own fate out in space.
It sounds like a thrilling ride.
While Bethesda was slow to provide specifics, we now have information on everything from character customization to ship building to combat, crafting, and so much more!
Just keep reading to find out everything we know about it so far.
Starfield Release Date
Microsoft Gaming has stated that Starfield will be released in the first half of 2023.
The new RPG was supposed to be released on November 11, 2022, but a Starfield delay was revealed back in May.
At the time, developer Bethesda stated that the Starfield release date had been pushed back in order to meet the game’s “great aspirations,” saying that it wanted us to “get the best, most polished version.”
It will be available as an Xbox Series X console exclusive, and Bethesda has revealed that the RPG will also be available on PC.
This is the outcome of Microsoft’s $7.5 billion acquisition of ZeniMax Media in 2021, which also included Starfield maker Bethesda Game Studios.
Starfield, like all games released by the Xbox Games Studio collective, will be available for direct purchase as well as via Xbox Game Pass / PC Game Pass on the day of its release.
Is Starfield on PS4 or PS5?
While Starfield was revealed before to Microsoft Gaming’s acquisition of Bethesda, the game will remain exclusive to the Xbox platform.
This suggests that a Starfield PS4 and PS5 release is unlikely.
According to Todd Howard, Bethesda’s creative director, the ability to focus on a smaller number of platforms will “make for a better product.”
It’s good news for Xbox owners, but it means PlayStation owners won’t be able to play it.
The Xbox and Bethesda game showcases provided an in-depth look at the mechanics and concepts of it.
The demo begins on a bug-infested planet, where the player harvests iron in a cave before entering the Kreet Research Lab.
The Crimson Fleet, one of the several Starfield factions, is raiding for treasure here.
Because these pirates are hostile, we get to witness certain Starfield weapons in action, like the Grendel machine gun.
The combat appears to be pretty similar to that of Fallout 4, only there is no VATS mechanism to rely on.
Following a briefing from the Constellation leader on an artefact we discovered, we are introduced to the other faction leaders, who explain what they stand for.
We also witness some more hostile aliens, ranging from dinosaur-like animals with mandibles to eldritch nightmares skulking through an abandoned facility’s halls.
Todd Howard, the game’s director, then displays the character creation tool, as well as the several Star-field backgrounds and Star-field qualities your astronaut can begin with on their voyage across the universe.
The gaming gives us a taste of the Star-field abilities as well as a brief overview of the Starfield Research Laboratory initiatives.
Finally, there’s a part dedicated to Starfield base construction, which includes the option to design and fly your own spaceship.
This starship will be useful for exploring the many Starfield planets in the known cosmos, of which Howard claims there are over 1,000.
In an interview with IGN, Howard says that it uses procedural generation, but that the Bethesda team “has done more handcrafting in this game, content-wise, than any previous game.”
If you’re seeking for further details on the environment of the space game, Bethesda has also released concept art for a couple of the Starfield towns we’ll be able to explore, including the game’s largest settlement, New Atlantis.
If you’re curious about the length of Starfield, we’ve got some theories for you.
Starfield Reveal Trailer
While Starfield was previewed at Bethesda’s E3 2018 press conference – more as a mood piece than anything else – the Starfield announcement video had to wait until the Microsoft and Bethesda Games Showcase 2021.
In the two-minute preview, we got our first look at the plot, the planet, and what the new Creation Engine 2 may offer.
You can watch the Starfield reveal trailer above, or you can read our in-depth Starfield trailer breakdown from E3 2021.
One of Bethesda’s most elaborate settings is Starfield.
While the studio is no new to creating large, open-ended explorable settings with games like Fallout 4 and The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim, Starfield is spread over the whole universe.
‘The Settled Systems,’ as it’s known in-game, is a region that stretches 50 light years beyond our Solar System.
Bethesda has announced that it will include more than 100 systems and 1000 planets that we will be able to freely explore.
Although Bethesda has revealed a few elements, the core Starfield tale remains a closely guarded secret.
We know that Starfield takes set in 2330, 20 years after two of The Settled Systems’ most powerful factions.
The United Colonies and the Freestar Collective, fought a devastating Colony War for territorial domination.
You’ll play as a member of Constellation, a group of space explorers attempting to navigate the aftermath – where you go and who you choose to align with from there is all up to you.
Furthermore, Bethesda has announced that the primary objective in Starfield would be 20% larger than Skyrim and Fallout 4.
ELDEN RING – DISCOVER THE MOST BEAUTIFUL ART IN ONE GAME
The original Starfield announcement trailer was released in 2018.
Since then, we’ve received a Starfield teaser trailer in June 2021, as well as a much larger display of gameplay in June 2022.
While the gameplay of it appears to be greatly influenced by other popular science-fiction games such as Elite Dangerous and No Man’s Sky, it is still a Bethesda RPG at its core.
If you’ve played any of the studio’s Fallout or The Elder Scrolls games, you’ll know what I’m talking about: wide open spaces and settlements to explore, progression systems that reward you for investing time in the game elements you enjoy, and an overall structure that emphasises choice and consequence.
It will also introduce new gameplay aspects to Bethesda games, such as flying spacecraft in space, as well as a more deliberate focus on resource management, crafting and base development, and real-time combat with weaponry.
You’ll be able to switch between first- and third-person perspectives at will, just like in Bethesda’s prior RPGs.
Starfield Ship Customization
The opportunity to climb onto a starship and explore outer space is one of the most thrilling new elements in it.
You’ll be able to freely drive your spacecraft within systems and engage in ship-to-ship combat, two aspects of the Starfield experience that Bethesda is eager to emphasise.
Starfield ship customization has been verified, allowing you to change every part of your vessel.
From what we’ve seen thus far, ships appear to be modular, allowing you to change all aspects of their design.
You can change from the visual location of the engines and cockpit to more strategic decisions like how power is divided between guns, shields, and your light-speed travel capabilities.
Starfield Crafting and Research
Bethesda has revealed that the Starfield crafting and research systems will play a significant role in the game.
You will not only be able to acquire mods and gear for your explorer
The chance to better your favourite weapons and space suit will be included, but you will also be able to heavily invest in outpost expansions.
At its most basic, it will allow you to run research projects to increase your crafting possibilities, like as improving your jetpack or adding new gun upgrades.
If you want to dig deeper into this aspect of the game, you can use base-building systems similar to those seen in Fallout 4 and Fallout 76 to more effectively mine and gather resources.
And you can even assign NPCs to work at these outposts to ensure your research projects are completed as efficiently as possible.
Character creation in Starfield will be a time drain.
That is true of almost every Bethesda game, but the studio is particularly leaning in at the moment.
The Star-field backdrops and starting talents will be a crucial component of the character creator this time around.
Because Bethesda is heavily emphasising the role-playing aspect of Star-field, choosing an appropriate backstory that reflects the type of character you want to embody will be critical to enhancing your experience – especially since NPCs may bring up your history or proficiencies in conversation and in key story moments.
So far, 16 Star-field backstories have been disclosed, one of which you will be able to select during character creation.
These range from ‘Chef’ (which grants you the Gastronomy skill to create special food and drink, as well as an extra 30 health points with Wellness)
To ‘Diplomat’ (which grants you starting skills such as an increased chance of success on speech challenges with Persuasion, and the ability to force a target NPC below your level to stop fighting for a time with Diplomacy) to ‘Pilgrim’, ‘Bounty Hunter’, and beyond.
The Starfield skills system appears to be a hybrid of Fallout and The Elder Scrolls systems.
The Star-field skills are divided into numerous tiers and classified into five categories: physical, social, combat, science, and technology.
Earning XP and investing it in the talents that pique your interest the most – and best serve the type of character you’re developing – will only help you along your chosen route.
For example, if you enjoy playing at range, you might wish to invest in the Combat category ‘Sniper Certification,’ which ensures that scoped weapons are steadier and have less sway.
Interestingly, Bethesda has hinted that there’s more to Starfield’s skill system than meets the eye.
Todd Howard, the creative director, has stated that certain categories will increase based on your assigned backgrounds and starting skills, and that your chosen skills will develop with repeated use and practise.
“As you level up, you may unlock new skills, and then you rank those skills up by using them and accomplishing challenges,” he explained during the Xbox and Bethesda Games Showcase.
During the character development process, you will be able to select up to three unique modifiers with both positive and negative impacts.
So far, we know of 16 Star-field qualities, and they appear to be optional extras that can enhance the role-playing components at the heart of the experience or make some aspects of the game more difficult.
These characteristics also appeared to be perfectly situated to boost the replayability factor of it, especially when combined with other components like base building, crafting, and faction alignment.
Here’s an illustration of how these Traits could affect your Starfield experience:
‘Kid Stuff’ allows you to visit your in-game parents at their home, though 10% of your total income will be automatically sent to support them.
‘Starter Home’ will give you a small house on a peaceful little moon from the start, but you’ll have a 50,000 credit mortgage hanging over you with GalBank.
And ‘Introvert’ will give you more endurance when adventuring alone and less when adventuring with other humans.
We also know that some Faction and Religion specific Traits will have different effects on alignments throughout the primary Starfield tale.
The Starfield engine has been identified as the Creation Engine 2.
This game engine was developed with Starfield and is intended to be the studio’s new standard moving forward.
While titles like The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim and Fallout 4 used the same technology, Bethesda has used the Creation Engine 2 to position itself for further expansion and evolution in this new generation.
Todd Howard, the game’s creative director, has already indicated that The Elder Scrolls 6 will expand on what the team has accomplished with Starfield and Creation Engine 2.
Bethesda has always encouraged the community’s efforts to customize their games, and this isn’t expected to change with Star-field.
Despite the fact that it was built on a new game engine architecture, Bethesda has confirmed that Star-field mods will be supported.
We don’t have any more information yet, however creative director Todd Howard stated the following in a Reddit AMA: “Like our past games, we intend to provide complete mod support.
For the past 20 years, our modding community has been with us.
We admire what they do and hope to see more people pursue it as a career.”
Is Starfield Multiplayer?
Given the vast nature of Bethesda’s new invention, you might be wondering if it is a single-player or multiplayer game.
It appears to be a single-player experience for the time being, as creative director Todd Howard stated in an interview back in 2020.
Given the slow development of Fallout 76, Bethesda’s polarising shared-world Fallout game, it’s possible that it focus on single-player is for the best for the time being.
Josh West is the GamesRadar+ Features Editor.
Josh has over ten years of experience writing for gaming, entertainment, music, and technology journals such as 3D Artist, Edge, gamesTM, iCreate, Metal Hammer, Play, Retro Gamer, and SFX.
He has a BA (Hons) in Journalism and Feature Writing, has provided expert commentary on the BBC and ITV, has written for Scholastic publications, edited a book for Hachette, and worked as the Assistant Producer of the Future Games Show.
Josh enjoys playing bass guitar and video games in his spare time.
Years ago, he appeared in films and TV episodes that you’ve undoubtedly watched but will never be able to identify.
Pre-orders for Star-field are now available at certain shops.
It is presently available for pre-order through GAME in the UK, and GameStop in the US.
The PC Game Pass Microsoft $9.99 $1 (first month) Subscribe Network N receives a commission on qualified purchases made through Microsoft and other programmes.
Starfield Game Pass is also a thing; it will be available on PC Game Pass (as well as Xbox Game Pass for console players), which means you’ll have immediate access to the open-world game from the start.
Subscribers to Game Pass do not need to pre-order, and we anticipate that they will be able to pre-load it at the very least in the lead-up to its release.
Is Starfield an Xbox exclusive?
It will be an Xbox and PC exclusive, as Microsoft has agreed to buy Bethesda’s parent company, ZeniMax Media, for $7.5 billion.
Head of Xbox Phil Spencer cites his excitement for Bethesda’s upcoming titles, “some announced and many unannounced,” including Starfield, in a blog post announcing the acquisition.
Is Starfield like Skyrim?
From the character creator to the role-playing gameplay, the various factions you can join, and even basebuilding, we’ve seen it all before in The Elder Scrolls IV: Skyrim and other Bethesda titles like Fallout 4.
Will Starfield be a big game?
Furthermore, Bethesda has announced that the primary objective in Starfield would be 20% larger than Skyrim and Fallout 4.
Is Starfield 25 years in the making?
Bethesda Game Studios, the award-winning creators of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Fallout 4, present Star-field, their first new world in 25 years.
Has Starfield been Cancelled?
Starfield is the studio’s first new IP in 25 years, a single-player sci-fi RPG. Though the developer attempted to make a space-themed game in the 1990s, it eventually failed and was terminated.
Can you fly ships in Starfield?
Todd Howard of Bethesda Game Studios says that in the upcoming Star-field, players will not be able to park their ships directly on planets.
How many planets will Starfield have?
Starfield was announced to have “over 1,000 planets” in over 100 different solar systems during the Xbox and Bethesda showcases. That’s a lot of planets, but the numbers aren’t arbitrary. Bethesda also confirmed that players would be able to land on and explore each of them.
How long did it take to develop Starfield?
It has been in the works for at least six years. Todd Howard and the Star-field team have claimed that the project is the culmination of 25 years of work, but this is most likely an exaggeration.