Starfield: Everything We Know About Bethesda's Next Epic RPG
Bethesda is introducing its first entirely fresh franchise in 25 years with this new space-themed endeavor called Starfield. The game offers players a journey through space, exploring various planets, companions, and combat mechanics.
As the release date approaches, Starfield is expected to secure a place among the premier RPGs of 2023. The head of Bethesda Game Studios, Todd Howard, has declared that Starfield can be described as "Skyrim in space." This implies that fans should find themselves at home with the studio's forthcoming major RPG endeavor.
In this upcoming sci-fi adventure, Starfield aims to captivate players by unraveling "humanity's greatest mystery." As the release date inches closer, we have compiled comprehensive information about Starfield to address all the burning inquiries. For an all-inclusive understanding of the game's plot, settings, and gameplay, take a look at this article.
What is Starfield's release date?
Starfield will now officially launch on September 6, 2023. This release date is for those opting for the Starfield Standard Edition or subscribing to PC Game Pass. Players can access Starfield on 1st September by pre-ordering the Premium Upgrade or the collector's Constellation Edition.
While initially targeted for a November 11, 2022 release, the RPG faced delays, pushing its arrival into the first half of 2023. Subsequently, Bethesda officially confirmed the game's postponement to the new September timeline.
In a video post from Bethesda announcing the September release date, Todd Howard addressed fans, saying: "Look, we know you've waited a long time to play something new from us. And believe it or not, we're kind of the same. We miss it, and we really just can't wait for you all to play it."
What Platforms Will Starfield Launch on?
Starfield will officially be released on Xbox Series X|S and PC platforms. This marks the third title to be released solely for Xbox and PC platforms following Microsoft's acquisition of ZeniMax Media, Bethesda's parent company, in 2021.
Todd Howard emphasized that the decision to focus exclusively on Xbox and PC was made in the best interests of Starfield. He also acknowledged the sentiments of PlayStation owners who won't have the opportunity to play the game. Thus, Starfield will not be accessible on PS5 or PS4, and there are no indications that it will be released on Sony platforms.
How much will Starfield cost?
The cost of gaming continues to rise, and prominent game publishers such as Sony, Activision, and now Microsoft are willingly embracing this trend by increasing the standard game price to $70, including Starfield.
Fortunately, Microsoft has consistently offered its latest high-profile titles through Xbox Game Pass right from their launch. Starfield has been officially confirmed as one such game that will be available on Game Pass from day one.
Starfield is available at various price points, depending on the edition you choose to buy. The game will also be offered for free to Xbox Game Pass subscribers at the launch date. Here are the prices of the various editions of Starfield:
- Standard Edition (digital or physical) - $69.99 or free with Game Pass (digital only)
- Premium Edition (digital only) - $99.99
- Premium Edition Upgrade (digital or physical; does not contain a copy of the game) - $34.99
- Constellation Edition (physical collectors’ edition with a digital copy of the game) - $299.99
In E3 2018, Bethesda teased Starfield briefly, hinting at its essence. The teaser showed a planet, a space station, and a mysterious spatial phenomenon.
After a long wait, E3 2021 brought a new trailer, giving a NASA-punk vibe. An astronaut preps for liftoff on an alien planet, accompanied by a monologue. Some fans speculate about an Elder Scrolls hint.
In June 2022's Starfield Direct, Bethesda offered extensive gameplay, game size, skill tree, and space exploration details.
The Gamescom 2023 live-action trailer for Starfield features a moody musical cover of Rocket Man, blending subdued solemnity with cinematic grandeur. The trailer features a spacefaring individual exchanging smiles with fellow space travelers before embarking on his spacecraft. The cosmic exploits are showcased in a brief sequence against bronze-toned lighting. The character returns to exchange another smile with a woman in space.
Bethesda's system requirements for Starfield are relatively modest, considering the vast scope of the game's universe. Remarkably, around 125 gigabytes of hard drive space can accommodate about a thousand planets, though it's crucial for the storage medium to be an SSD.
Here are the minimum and recommended specifications for Starfield:
- Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 2600X, Intel Core i7-6800K
- Memory: 16 GB RAM
- GPU: AMD Radeon RX 5700, NVIDIA GeForce 1070 Ti
- Storage: 125 GB available space
- Additional Notes: SSD is mandatory
- Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 3600X, Intel i5-10600K
- Memory: 16 GB RAM
- GPU: AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080
- Storage: 125 GB available space
- Additional Notes: SSD is mandatory
Bethesda Softworks has released a comprehensive 45-minute Starfield Deep Dive Trailer, providing insights into the game's mechanics and gameplay. Starfield is an open-world single-player RPG similar to previous Bethesda games like Fallout 4 and Skyrim but does not incorporate multiplayer elements. However, there are significant gameplay disparities and similarities between Starfield and other Bethesda titles.
Players will be tasked with creating their unique character by customizing their appearance, background, and skill set, setting the stage for a personalized journey across the galaxy. The game maintains the freedom to choose one's path by progressing further through the central storyline. Players can also venture into side quests and explorations, accumulate loot, and forge their fortune.
A pivotal distinction between Starfield and other Bethesda titles is its procedurally generated open world. The cosmos experienced in Starfield diverges from that of other players exploring the same galaxy, as it constructs distinctive celestial landscapes from pre-existing components. Before landing on a planet, players can scan it to uncover available resources and activities, preventing aimless wandering.
Moreover, a gameplay demonstration in June 2022 unveiled Starfield’s first-person shooter combat, a novel lockpicking mechanic, and jetpack use. It also showcased its standout feature: the capacity to construct personal spaceships and choose a crew.
Starfield Director Todd Howard also addressed the depth of character creation tools, providing further substantial information.
How big will Starfield be?
Starfield boasts an expansive scope, featuring over 1,000 traversable worlds for players to explore. Starfield Director Todd Howard emphasized this scale during last year's Xbox 2022 press conference. Bethesda has combined hand-crafted design and procedural generation to populate its universe to achieve this vast number. Importantly, each of these planets is accessible for on-foot exploration.
In June 2023, Todd Howard further specified that approximately "10% or so" of these 1,000 planets would support life. While this might not seem substantial, it's a considerable figure compared to our universe's realities. The remaining 90% of planets without life won't be devoid of value, however. In Howard's words, these planets exhibit a "magnificent desolation," echoing the sentiment of legendary astronaut Buzz Aldrin.
In an interview with IGN in August 2022, Howard mentioned that the main storyline in Starfield spans approximately 30 to 40 hours.
The game will have additional content, including side quests, faction-based missions, and open-ended activities in space and on planetary surfaces. The game's overall playtime is expected to match or exceed that of The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim.
What do we know about the major Starfield locations and factions?
Starfield is a game set in the Settled Systems, a 50-light-year radius around our solar system colonized by humanity. The Settled Systems is divided into two main factions, the United Colonies and the Freestar Collective. These factions are in an uneasy state of peace following a recent conflict. Players will navigate this complex landscape and interact with various groups and threats, including Ecliptic mercenaries, Crimson Fleet pirates, aggressive Spacers, and House Va'Ruun, a religious extremist group.
Starfield introduces several key locations, including New Atlantis, the capital of the United Colonies, and Akila City, the capital of the Freestar Collective. Akila City is fortified to fend off "alien predators," Neon, a newly unveiled locale, has transformed from a fishing dock into a hub of nightlife and nightclubs.
Starfield embraces the concept of conflicting factions, each with its questlines to explore. Constellation, a group of human explorers, is a notable faction in the game. The game's faction questlines are structured akin to Skyrim, ensuring that they remain independently playable.