Starfield: Release Date and Everything We Know

Ready to go to the stars?

Bilawal Bashir
Bilawal Bashir
21 Min Read

It’s been a long time coming, and Bethesda’s Starfield is finally in the home stretch. The epic sci-fi RPG was slated for a November 11, 2022 release.

Starfield release date is in the first half of 2023. No solid release date has been announced yet. The game is scheduled to release on Xbox Series X/S and PC.

During the Microsoft showcase event, Bethesda recently showed off brand-new gameplay footage from the game. That, combined with interviews and Tweets, we have a much clearer picture of what Starfield is. We also have a confirmed window of the release for the much anticipated original Bethesda IP in a long while. 

Starfield Release Date

Starfield

Starfield is releasing in the first half of 2023. We don’t have the exact release date yet, but we’re sure Microsoft and Bethesda will have more information soon. The game was originally slated to be released on November 11, 2022, but Bethesda announced the delay in May 2022. They stated that “The Teams at Arkane Austin and Bethesda Game Studios have incredible ambitions for their games, and we want to ensure that you receive the best, most polished versions of them.”

Fallout 76 didn’t sit well with Bethesda fans, and they had rough years. That combined with Skyrim getting re-released again and again, left the fans disappointed in the company. Starfield, on the other hand, has the potential to win everyone over and restore the fan-beloved status of the developers.

We will update the article once the official release date is announced.

Starfield Platforms

Starfield shooting

Microsoft acquired ZeniMax Media in 2021 a deal that also netted them Bethesda Game Studios. They are the creators of Starfield, Fallout, and Elder Scrolls. This means that the game will be Xbox Series X and Series S console exclusive. The company also announced that the game will also launch on PC. It will be available from day one on Xbox Game Pass. The Game Pass is also available on PC.

Is Starfield Cross Platform?

No, Starfield doesn’t have cross-platform support. The game is only releasing on the Xbox Series X/S consoles and PC. As there is no multiplayer, the game won’t have crossplay between Xbox and PC either.

Will Starfield Be on PlayStation?

Starfield planet exploration

Unfortunately, Starfield will not be on any PlayStation platform, whether it be PlayStation 4 or PlayStation 5. While the game was announced way before Microsoft gained the acquisition of Bethesda, the game won’t be seeing any PlayStation release.

Bethesda’s creative director Todd Howard stated that focusing on a smaller number of platforms will make a better product. Of course, this is great news for Xbox and PC gamers, but PlayStation fans won’t be able to experience Starfield.

Starfield Trailers

Bethesda is usually tight-lipped about their upcoming games. However, this time around they’ve shown the game off in a few trailers. There is also a lengthy gameplay trailer so you can check out how the game looks and runs.

Starfield Reveal Trailer

While Starfield was teased at Bethesda’s E3 conference back in 2018, it wasn’t until 2021 that we saw the first reveal trailer. Launched at the Microsoft and Bethesda Games Showcase 2021, the two-minute trailer only revealed basic details. We got the first look at the atmosphere, the environment, and some slight story beats.

Starfield Gameplay Trailer

At the Microsoft and Bethesda Games Showcase 2022, the first proper gameplay trailer was shown. It is a meaty 15-minute presentation given by none other than Bethesda’s creative director Todd Howard. This is where we are gathering most of our information and there are a lot of details to go through. The Starfield gameplay trailer is one of the best ways to get yourself accustomed to the new open universe Bethesda game. It is truly a stunning spectacle.

Is Starfield Skyrim in Space?

Starfield spaceship

According to Bethesda’s creative director Todd Howard, yes, Starfield is Skyrim in space. Speaking to The Washington Post, Todd Howard stated that Starfield is “like Skyrim in space,” and the game will feature a lot of different factions and different settings. He further added that “it’s like NASA meets Indiana Jones meets the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, a group of people that are still searching for answers,”

Just like traditional Bethesda games, Starfield will be fully playable in both first and third person views.

Where Does Starfield Take Place?

Starfield city

Starfield, as the name suggests, takes place in space. Bethesda has also stated that there will be more than a hundred systems and 1000 planets in the game.

Starfield planet

All of which will be fully explorable by the player. You’ll be able to hop into your spaceship and travel to any planet you want. While the developers are well-known for crafting engaging and interactive open-world RPGs, they’ve never undertaken such a big task.

Starfield solar system

To say that Starfield is Bethesda’s most ambitious project yet wouldn’t be an understatement. Traveling across the cosmos using a spaceship is bigger than riding your horse in the Elder Scrolls. Or trekking across the nuclear wasteland in Fallout.

Starfield has a Thousand Planets!

There is a lot to do in a Bethesda game, but this time around, there is even more. The game is said to have 1000 Planets which sounds like a lot of settlements to assist in space. We just hope we don’t have a “space Preston Garvy” in the game to nag us into saving aliens.

1000 planets to explore sounds a bit much, even for a talented team like Bethesda. They are probably using some kind of procedural generation to make these planets, with some handmade locations thrown in for good measure. We’ll have to wait and see how that pans out once the game releases in the first half of 2023.

The Main City is Called New Atlantis!

The main city Bethesda showed off is just one of the major cities in the game. Straight off the bat, it looks bigger than anything Bethesda has ever made before.

Yes, it seems bigger than the 6 houses of Whiterun in Skyrim. Hopefully, it is explorable fully with interesting NPCs to chat with. We are also hoping for Space Nazeem to pop up and say something condescending.

What’s Starfield’s Story?

Starfield NPC

In traditional Bethesda fashion, the story is under tight wraps. However, Bethesda has given some information regarding the story. For one, we know that Starfield takes place in 2330. The biggest factions in The Settled Systems, the United Colonies and Freestar Collective, had a huge war for territory control.

Starfield companion robot

The player will start the journey as a member of Constellation. Constellation is an organization that comprises space explorers that are exploring The Settled Systems. You will be able to explore the planets freely without any restrictions, where you go and what you do is totally up to you. Joining other factions or siding with one is also up to the player, adding another layer of depth to the story. This also means that you’ll be able to replay the whole story again, seeing how your choices play out.

Starfield’s Combat and Gameplay

Starfield indoor combat

While the setting may seem like a far cry from other Bethesda games, it is at heart a Bethesda RPG. If you’ve played any other RPG from the development studio, you’ll know what to expect, environmental storytelling, progression systems, and a deep emphasis on exploration. You will also be making choices and seeing the consequences play out throughout the story. The gameplay also reminds us of other science-fiction games like No Man’s Sky (the mining feature is a close resemblance), and Star Citizen (ship customization).

Starfield cockpit

Starfield will also introduce new features that were never in their games before. Flying your ship in our space is a big addition. There also seems to be a lot more emphasis on resource management, crafting, and building your settlements. We didn’t see any feature like Fallout’s VATs here, so it seems the combat plays out in real time.

Starfield alien creature

We have seen a couple of different firearms as well, so we are sure there will be weapon customizations thrown in too. Overall, the gunplay seemed responsive and fast, a big improvement for Bethesda. So in short, the combat, and gameplay will be a rewarding loop of killing enemies, gaining experience points, looting their corpses for resources and better weapons, and then repeating the whole process.

Starfield big creature

We saw multiple different creatures that were hostile to the players as well. Some are small, while some are gigantic. We are hoping we’d be able to loot their dead corpses too, that would add another incentive to kill native life on a planet.

Starfield lockpicking

Speaking of loot, we know you can loot killed enemies. However, there will also be locked cases that need to be unlocked using the new lock-picking mini-game. The game seems simple enough and won’t pose a problem for fans of Fallout and Elder Scroll games, however, it isn’t clear whether you’ll need lock picking skill unlocked to pick locks.

Combat Seems Like Fallout 4/76

From what we’ve seen, the combat in the game looks like a polished version of traditional Bethesda Fallout combat. Hopefully, the gunplay feels better than the usual fare in the Bethesda games. The shooting mechanics in past first-person Bethesda games were lackluster, to say the least.

The VATs system saved us from going mad with the aiming. As there are no VATs in Starfield, the gunplay needs to be better than what we’ve seen so far. Maybe the developers can get aid from the rockstars at ID Software and make the shooting experience stand out.

Starfield Research and Crafting

Starfield crafting

Starfield is putting a lot of emphasis on research and crafting. You’ll be able to craft weapons and mods, and also able to improve your gear and spacesuit. That’s not all, there are outposts that need your input and resources for expansion as well, and we just hope we don’t have a Preston Garvy in space urging us to help another settlement.

Starfield crafted weapon

You’ll be able to research projects to expand your crafting options, like adding new mods to your space rifle or making your jetpack better. The base-building feature, first introduced in Fallout 4 and then Fallout 76, is back again, and this time it seems more expansive.

Starfield mining

You’ll need to mine for resources to build your bases and even assign NPC workers to maintain your outposts. Overall, this seems to be a meaty crafting and researching experience that will reward players who invest in it.

Starfield Ships

Starfield space combat

There are spaceships in Starfield, and, in traditional Bethesda fashion, these are also customizable. While the ships are essential for space exploration, there is also going to be space combat involved.

Starfield space combat

This means upgrading and customizing your ship according to your playstyle is necessary to keep up with the space enemies. The Starfield ship customization is an elaborate and deep experience, allowing you to modify each and every inch of your spaceship.

Starfield ship customization

The modular customization system makes it easy for you to swap out features and elements of the design. This isn’t an afterthought slapped together just to check a box; Bethesda seems to be aiming high with this level of deep customization.

Starfield Character Creation and Backgrounds

Starfield character creation

The character creation in Starfield is going to take a long time, especially if you love creating your custom characters. I’m one of those people who spend hours upon hours building their perfect Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim character, perfectly rearranging their facial features and changing the body types, only to play the whole game in first person.

Starfield backgrounds

The character creator in Starfield is going deeper this time around, allowing you to create your perfect persona. If you’re a fan of role-playing games, you’d be happy to know that Bethesda has several backstories to choose from. From Beast Hunter to Bouncer and from Chef to Combat Medic, there are a lot of backgrounds to pick from in Starfield. I’m keen on discovering what kind of perks and privileges certain backgrounds bring, especially during NPC interactions and missions.

So far, we know that there are 16 backstories to decide from. That is more than enough to get us started. It remains to be seen how deeply impactful backstories would be in certain story moments.

Starfield Skills and Upgrades

Starfield perks

The skills and upgrades system seems to be lifted from both, Fallout and Skyrim in Starfield. There are 5 different categories in which skills are divided; physical, social, combat, science, and tech. You’ll earn experience points by doing missions, killing enemies, and exploring. Once you’ve earned a certain number of experience points you’ll gain a skill point which you can invest in skills that interest you the most. For example, if you want to make everything explode, the demolitions perk in the combat category would be the one for you.

Starfield perk upgrades

The creative director at Bethesda, Todd Howard also hinted that certain categories will behave differently. That depends on your background and starting skills, as well as the skills you’ve chosen to upgrade during your play-through. He stated that you could unlock new skills as you level up, and then you rank those skills up by using them and completing challenges. Seems like a mix of Fallout and The Elder Scrolls to me, but how it actually works during gameplay remains to be seen.

Starfield Traits

Starfield traits

Taking a leaf out of Outer Worlds, Starfield allows you to pick up 3 unique traits. The traits have both positive and negative effects. For example, if you select the “Kid Stuff” trade, you can visit your parents in the game, but 10% of all your income will go to support them. Similarly, picking up the “introvert” trait gives you more endurance when you are adventuring alone but less when you have human companions with you.

Starfield settlement

The traits seem to be optional as you don’t need to pick all 3, but they will give the game a lot of replayability. This means you can start a new character with different backgrounds and traits and enjoy the game in a whole different way. There are 16 traits that we know so far, but we are sure there are more details to be discovered.

Starfield Engine

Starfield creatures

Starfield is using Creation Engine 2. While The Elder Scrolls 5 and Fallout 4 shared the same engine technology, Bethesda engineered Creation Engine 2 with Starfield in mind. From what we have seen, there are definitely marked improvements to not only the graphics but also facial features and lighting.

How far the improvements go, remains to be seen, but the gameplay trailer does a good job of showcasing the highlights of the engine. The draw distances in the gameplay demo seemed quite impressive. Although Bethesda is still not great at rendering smoke, that’s a small nitpick.

Starfield environment detail

If you’re worried that the new engine might not support mods, you can relax because Bethesda has confirmed mods will work with this engine. There are not a lot of details of how this will be implemented yet, but Todd Howard stated during a Reddit AMA, “Our plan is to have full mod support like our previous games. Our modding community has been with us for 20 years. They love what they do and hope to see more make a career out of it.”

Starfield spaceship customization
Starfield spaceship customization

Starfield is a purely single-player experience. So if you’re hoping to be a co-op Explorer with your buddies, this might not be the game for you. Perhaps the negative reception Fallout 76 received dissuaded Bethesda to pursue multiplayer for Starfield. Or, The Creation Engine 2 would have trouble running multiplayer sessions. Whatever the reason might be, fans of purely single-player experiences would be quite happy with the direction Starfield is taking.

Conclusion

2023 is going to be a big year for Xbox-exclusive role-playing games and spearheading that would be Starfield. We cannot wait to get our hands on this epic role-playing, space-faring game by one of the best developers of single-player experiences. If Starfield is Skyrim in space, we would be playing the game for years to come.

We will update the article once the official release date of Starfield is announced.

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A software engineer that loves videogames, comics, and anime. But will never love pineapple pizza NEVER!
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