Starfield release date, latest news, and gameplay
When is the Starfield release date? It was initially going to be in November 2022, but Bethesda announced a Starfield delay into 2023. Thankfully, we still got a pretty decent showing of the new open-world game at the Xbox and Bethesda showcase over the summer.
Starfield has the potential to be one of the best PC games ever, or at least that’s what we’re hoping. We haven’t heard much about the finer details of the open-world game, but now that we know the Starfield release date, there is an end in sight. Here’s everything we know about Starfield so far.
Starfield release date
The Starfield release date is September 6, 2023. The release date was announced in the ‘Official Launch Date’ trailer, which hints at the player finding the ‘source of it all’.
Starfield was allegedly scheduled for the “first half” of 2023, as Microsoft’s Matt Booty indicated that it will release after Arkane’s Redfall. However, as that game will release in May, the chances of a first half of 2023 release date for Starfield always looked slim. The space game is getting a standalone showcase, a Starfield Direct, on June 11. This game-specific show should give us a deep dive into the game’s mechanics.
Originally, Starfield was supposed to release on November 11, 2022, but in May 2022 Bethesda announced that the game was going to be delayed until 2023. The release date was reconfirmed by the official Starfield support page, stating game would arrive in the first half of 2023. We now know, with this launch date announcement, that Starfield will be released in September.
Starfield is available to pre-order at select retailers. It’s currently available to pre-order via Game in the UK and GameStop in the US.
Starfield Xbox Game Pass
Starfield is also coming to Xbox Game Pass, which means you’ll get instant access to the Bethesda space epic from day one. Xbox Game Pass subscribers don’t need to pre-order, and like the other games from studios owned by Microsoft, we imagine they’ll be able to pre-load Starfield in the run-up to release.
Is Starfield an Xbox exclusive?
Starfield will be an Xbox and PC exclusive, as Microsoft has agreed to a $7.5 billion deal to buy Bethesda’s parent company, ZeniMax Media.
In a blog post announcing the acquisition, head of Xbox Phil Spencer mentions his excitement for Bethesda’s upcoming games – “some announced and many unannounced”, including Starfield.
We first saw the Starfield announcement trailer a long time ago, back in 2018. Since then, we have only seen a bite-size chunk of Starfield via a teaser trailer from June 2021 before we saw a much bigger showcase of its gameplay in June 2022.
According to Todd, Starfield will run around 30-40 hours for the main story, but as we all know, these Bethesda open-world games are never that simple. With 1000 planets to explore, including ones in our neighborhood, there won’t be a shortage of things to do.
During the Xbox and Microsoft gameplay showcase, we’ve seen some footage of Starfield in action, showing off how the dialogue and persuasion mechanics will work, plus a few extra snippets of space flight with commentary from Todd Howard (the video is below). It has also come to light that Starfield may get a survival mode, which is both delightful and a slight bit terrifying.
The gameplay demo starts on a bug-infested planet where the player mines iron from a cave before heading into the Kreet Research Lab. Here, we find the Crimson Fleet, one of the many Starfield factions, is plundering the area for treasure. These pirates are hostile, giving us an excuse to see some Starfield guns in action, such as the Grendel machine gun. The combat looks very similar to Fallout 4’s, except there’s no VATS system to rely on.
After a briefing from the Starfield Constellation faction leader about an artefact we dug up, we get some introductions with the other faction leaders, who tell us what they stand for. We also see more hostile aliens, from dinosaur-like creatures with mandibles to eldritch horrors skulking the corridors of an abandoned facility.
Over the past few years, there have been hints of systems that fans of both Fallout and The Elder Scrolls games may be familiar with. Here is everything gameplay-wise that’s been confirmed so far:
- You can lockpick a variety of doors and chests, but the game refers to the practice as “Digipicking”.
- You can steal items from NPCs, though this is extremely high-risk as this feature had an unsuccessful demonstration during the Starfield gameplay reveal.
- You will be able to persuade NPCs through a special minigame rather than specific dialogue choices and randomised rolls, though it’s supposedly more complex than how The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion handled the feature with pie charts. This was briefly touched on during the second episode of the Into the Starfield documentary series, where lead quest designer Will Shen mentions that the team “didn’t want it to be a system where there’s definitely a right thing to say”.
- You have the option to recruit certain NPC companions, as well as romance some of them.
- One of your companions is Vasco, who is a robot companion that has similar functionality.
- You can join factions, with each questline running independently from each others. In Fallout 4, siding with some factions locked other questlines away.
With the official launch date trailer came, well, the official launch date. September 6 is now potentially our most anticipated day of the year. The launch date trailer didn’t only give us a date, however, it hinted at the overarching story of Starfield – it looks like the player will be searching the ‘the source of it all’ – now whether that’s some kind of god-like presence or just a big nebulous mass remains to be seen.
Starfield character creation
Game director Todd Howard has also talked about the Starfield character creation tool, including the many Starfield backgrounds and Starfield traits your astronaut can start with on their journey through the cosmos. The gameplay gives us a glimpse of the Starfield skills and a brief introduction to Starfield Research Laboratory projects.
If you’re curious about what dialogue will be like in Starfield then we’ve got some (hopefully) reassuring details. First off, the classic BGS silent protagonist returns, which is probably handy given there are roughly 250,000 lines of dialogue in the game. You’ll also do your conversing in first-person and pick from a number of dialogue options that are pitched as standalone sentences. There is a new persuasion system in which you spend points in a series of linked exchanges in the hope of securing the desired outcome before outstaying your welcome.
Starfield base building and spaceships
Finally, there’s a section in the demonstration dedicated to Starfield base building, including the ability to design and fly your own spaceship. In addition to space combat, this spaceship will be handy for exploring the many Starfield planets in the known universe, with over 1,000 of them available to visit according to Todd Howard. In an IGN developer interview, he confirms that Starfield features some procedural generation but that the team at Bethesda “have done more handcrafting in this game, content-wise, than any other game”.
If you’re looking for further insights into the Starfield universe, then Bethesda also dropped some concepts for a few of the Starfield cities we’ll be able to visit, including the game’s biggest settlement, New Atlantis. Thankfully, it sounds like those major settlements are just the highlights, and there will be plenty of other towns and even some small metropolises you can visit. If you’re wondering how long Starfield is, we’ve got some theories about that you can check out.
Will Starfield have multiplayer? The short answer is no. The long answer is still no, but if you want proof, we direct you to this Develop: Brighton Digital conference session from 2020, where Todd Howard confirms that Starfield will be a solo experience. If you don’t want to watch the whole thing, Howard references Starfield multiplayer (or lack thereof) around the 45-minute mark.
Now that we know the Starfield release date, it’s time to dig into every corner of the known universe for more details – or just wait until June and the Starfield Direct. We can’t wait for more news on what could be one of the best PC games ever. Check out our Starfield interview with an ex-Bethesda dev for more details concerning the project’s scale. We also have confirmation that the adoring fan Elder Scrolls NPC is set to make a return in Starfield. Finally, take a look at the latest on The Elder Scrolls 6 and The Witcher 4 if you’re after more epic RPG games that haven’t been released yet.