Starfield release date, gameplay, trailers, story news, and more

Starfield release date, gameplay, trailers, story news, and more
Ford James Updated on by

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When is the Starfield release date? Bethesda’s space-faring epic RPG is just a few short months away, after years and years of development, and we couldn’t be more excited. Following the latest Xbox Showcase and Starfield Direct, we’ve now seen a lot of the game in action – though certainly by no means all of it.

Starfield is going to be one of the biggest single player games of the year, if not the generation, and as a result, there is a ton of info to cover. From all the gameplay we’ve seen in trailers to the latest news, features, and more, this is everything you need to know about the Starfield release date.

Starfield release date and early access

The Starfield release date is September 6, 2023, as revealed in the Official Launch Date Announcement trailer. However, if you pre-order the digital premium edition, then you can already jump in as it will give you early access, which began on September 1st. If you’re unsure about buying it early, you can always check out our Starfield pre-order guide to help you decide.

Being one of Bethesda Studios’ most ambitious games to date, it won’t surprise many to learn that the Starfield download size is pretty massive. Luckily, we know there’s a Starfield preload that’ll be available before release.

Starfield’s original release date was scheduled for November 11, 2022, but in May of that year, it was delayed to “the first half of 2023”. In March, Starfield was delayed again until the current release date of September 6. At the time of writing, there is no sign of it receiving any further delays – but we’ll update this if there is any change to the release date ahead of launch.

Starfield platforms – is Starfield an Xbox exclusive?

Starfield will be available on PC and Xbox Series X/S, though not Xbox One consoles. It’s also available on Xbox Game Pass, and Game Pass subscribers can play on launch as part of their subscription too. The game is also going to be available on Steam.

It’s an Xbox exclusive title due to Microsoft’s acquisition of Bethesda Game Studios. This means we probably won’t be seeing it come to PS4, PS5, or any PlayStation platforms any time in the foreseeable future. 

Starfield price

The current pre-order pricings for Starfield are:

  • Standard edition pre-purchase: £59.99/$76.99
  • Starfield premium edition pre-purchase: £85.99/$109.99

You can also play it through a Game Pass subscription, as we mentioned. This will give you access to the game for as long as you’re subscribed to the service. The Game Pass subscription starts from £7.99/$9.99 a month.

Starfield gameplay and trailers

Here are all the Starfield trailers we’ve seen so far and all the major gameplay clips we’ve seen:

Official Announcement Teaser

The first glimpse of Starfield we got came with the Official Announcement Teaser in June 2018. This trailer of just over a minute featured a single shot, panning from within a space station as a nearby planet spins on its axis as its sun comes into view. From the bottom of the screen comes another space station, before what looks to be a black hole appears and sucks the space station away.

Official Teaser trailer

The next time we saw Starfield in action was with the Official Teaser Trailer in June 2021. This was slightly longer, coming in at over two minutes, and showed what would eventually become the player character walking through their spaceship, placing a gun down, and taking their seat in the cockpit before the ship takes off.

Official Gameplay Reveal trialer

June 2022 was when we saw gameplay for the first time. 15 minutes of Todd Howard presenting exploration on the moon Kreet, where we saw the scanning mechanic in action, followed by combat against hostile pirates in a nearby facility. The trailer then headed over to New Atlantis, one of the biggest Starfield cities, found on the planet Jemison. Numerous NPCs are shown, introducing us to some of the important characters and companions throughout the game.

This is followed by the first look at the Starfield character creator, complete with a number of traits, backgrounds, and skills. A brief montage showing off Starfield outposts and how the building mechanics works comes after, including some of the ship customisation options. Everything is wrapped up with a look at space combat, taking down some hostile Crimson Fleet ships.

Gameplay Deep Dive trailer

Finally, we get to the latest deep dive from the 2023 Xbox Showcase, which features 45 minutes of gameplay and interviews with members of the development team. There’s far too much to summarise here, but if you’re looking for the most up-to-date Starfield footage, this is the video you need to watch.

It covers everything the 2022 trailer did in much greater detail, including a lengthy section on exactly what your mission will be throughout the game, combat, character creation, Starfield companions and Starfield crew members, NPCs, combat, skills, space flight, exploration, and more. Todd Howard and Istvan Pely, Lead Artist on Starfield, also show off the Chronomark watch you’ll receive if you buy the Constellation Edition of the game, which is a fully fledged smartwatch that will connect to your phone.

Does Starfield have Fallout and Elder Scrolls features?

Starfield is being billed as a mixture between Bethesda’s previous RPGs such as The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim and Fallout 4, combined with No Man’s Sky, Elite Dangerous, and The Outer Worlds. As a result, and thanks to the sheer scope and magnitude of the game, there will be a lot to do. Much of this will be new, but with the success of previous RPGS, we’ll of course see some gameplay features returning. So far, we know that the following features of previous Bethesda titles will be present in Starfield.

  • Pickpocketing. Just like recent Elder Scrolls and Fallout titles, you’ll be able to pickpocket NPCs if you’re good enough at being stealthy.
  • Lockpicking. Though it might be called “digipicking” in this iteration, it’s nonetheless the same system of breaking into boxes and rooms you’re not supposed to be in with a limited resource and fine-tuned skills.
  • Special dialogue actions. If you’re struggling in a conversation with an NPC, these dialogue options can be a lifesaver. We’ve so far seen that there’s sometimes a ‘Persuasion’ option you can pick and pass with high enough charisma, and it’s allegedly a more involved system than previous ones like Oblivion’s dialogue pie chart. We’ll likely have more general options like intimidation or deception options. But we may also get options for specializations, similar to New Vegas’ ‘scientist’, ‘medicine’ or ‘explosives’ options for when you had a particularly high aptitude in certain skills.
  • Recruitable NPCs. You’ll be able to have NPCs join you as companions, and you’ll be able to bring them on as crew members to staff your starships and outposts.
  • Joining factions. There’s plenty of factions in the game, and you’ll be able to become a member of many of them.
  • Outpost building. Just like Fallout 4, you’ll be able to build your own outposts in Starfield. We don’t yet know everything about this system, but we do know that building will be modular, and that outposts will be able to serve a variety of functions.
  • Fast travel. Although exploration on the whole is more complex, we know that from planet view, players will be able to fast travel to important locations at a click.
Starfield release date: The player looking at Jemison on the starmap, featuring New Atlantis, one of the main cities in the game.

Starfield gameplay overview

As an RPG, Starfield largely follows similar patterns that Bethesda fans will be familiar with. You’ll create your own character and lead them through an adventure of your choosing, with a main story to guide you through a narrative experience. A major new change from previous Bethesda titles is the introduction of the new Creation Engine 2, allowing for much more scope in what developers are capable of creating.

One big focus that Todd Howard has stressed for this game is the dominance of player freedom. You’ll be able to buy, fight, explore, steal, trade, mine and loot your way to whatever goals you see fit, and there will be as few restraints as possible. There are a lot of individual gameplay aspects to Starfield, so let’s take a closer look at some.

Starfield locations

We know for a fact that there are over 1,000 Starfield planets, spread throughout a plethora of star systems, in a region of space called the Settled Systems. Not every planet will have something meaningful on – plenty of them will be resource-rich and solely act as planets to mine. Some might even serve as nature safaris, as has been speculated with the planet Gagarin. However, there will also be a lot of planets with cities, outposts, missions, and meaningful content that you’ll visit throughout your time in the game.

Some notable highlights that will almost certainly feature during the main story include Mars and the city of Cydonia, New Atlantis City on the planet Jemison, and Akila City on the planet of the same name, and Neon City in the Volii System . We also know that Earth will feature in the game, but you may not be able to visit, as learning what happened to our home planet is part of the journey.

Starfield release date: A wide shot of the high-rise city centre of New Atlantis.

Starfield factions

All of Bethesda’s major RPGs so far have featured various factions you can side with, and Starfield is no different. Here are the major factions we know about so far:

We’ve got a Starfield factions list giving an overview of all these big players if you don’t feel like diving in-depth. There are also myriad smaller factions, to the extent that we don’t know how much of a role they’ll play. Some of these include Ecliptic Mercenaries, House Varun, and Sanctum Universum. At least a few are speculated to be tied heavily to the three major Starfield religions in-game.

Starfield release date: The player character fighting some Spacer Punks.

Starfield companions

You’ll meet all manner of NPCs on your journey, and some of these can become your companions – along with some who will be able to join your ship crew. Now it’s important to note that all potential companions can be part of your crew, but not all of your crew can become companions. Here are some of the companions we know about so far:

  • Vasco
  • Adoring Fan
  • Sam Coe
  • Sarah Morgan
  • Barrett

Some of these companions will be romanceable as well, if that’s a route you want to take. Each companion will also come with particular skills and abilities that they specialise in. For example, Sarah Morgan has the following abilities:

  • Botany – Rank 1
  • Leadership – Rank 2
  • Lasers – Rank 3
  • Astrodynamics – Rank 4

Thanks to her background as an ex-soldier and her devotion to science, she’s the perfect companion for both a firefight, and for navigating your way to distant worlds.

Starfield release date: The player character stood with Sam Coe, a potential companion.

Starfield Character creation

You’ll play as the character you create in Starfield, much like Bethesda’s previous games, and the character creator options are plentiful. All the usual facial and body sliders are here, but outside of looks, choosing your character background is one of the most exciting parts. Your choice here will unlock unique dialogue options throughout the game, along with determining the skills you start with. Meanwhile, there are also traits to take into account, which can offer both buffs and nerfs to your character and their stats. All of these can affect your ability to negotiate within the persuasion and dialogue systems in the game.

A few highlights for character creation are:

  • The Chef background, which gives you Gastronomy, Dueling and Scavenging as starting skills. As an experienced chef, you’ll be able to create unique and delicious meals, find rare resources, and get a small melee damage buff.
  • The Dream Home trait. With this trait, you’ll start the game owning a small dream house on a faraway moon, but have to pay a 50,000 credit mortgage on it over a monthly basis.
  • The Walk Style option. You’ll be able to modify how your character will walk around in-game. It’s a fun little aesthetic choice to have control over.
Starfield release date: The character creation screen, focused on the Explorer background option.

Starfield Gear

We know there’s going to be plenty of loot and equipment to try out in Starfield – it’s an RPG after all. It looks like there will be more weapons and armor in Starfield than any of Bethesda’s previous games, granting players more versatility and flexibility with their approaches to combat and exploration than ever before. While we can’t be certain about other special items or consumables yet, we also know that Starfield’s main currency, credits, will be important to securing the best equipment and personnel in the game.

Starfield release date: A player in a spacesuit raises up a large machine pistol.

Starfield story

We’ve covered a full breakdown of the Starfield story in another guide, but for those who are just after an overview, this is the basic premise we know about so far.

Set in a future where Earth seems to have been ravaged by some disaster and humanity has spread out across a 50 light year expanse beyond Sol, the galaxy is a lively and busy place. Your character will be part of a mining operation, when they stumble across an alien artefact of unknown origin. After seeing incredible and mystic visions, you’ll join up alongside a legendary group of space explorers to unravel the mystery behind the artefact, and discover what might be waiting out there in the vastness of the unknown. Along the way, you’ll likely meet plenty of interesting characters, powerful factions, and get to experience the immense worldbuilding that Starfield has to offer.

We know that all this will be quite long as well. While we have some good estimates for how long Starfield could be in total, the main campaign is supposedly around the 30-40 hour mark.

Starfield release date: The ruins of an ancient alien structure jut out of the barren surface of a distant moon, defying gravity.

Starfield news

As we get closer to the Starfield release date, there are plenty of Starfield news stories surfacing left, right, and centre. We found out recently that bounties will be in the game and as a result, you can become a bounty hunter – or have the law chasing you.

It also turns out that either salami sandwiches are really expensive, or ships are absolutely dirt cheap in the world of Starfield – we’ll leave you to read the article to find out exactly what we mean, because it is pretty funny. Fans are also disappointed that Starfield won’t be going the way of The Witcher 3 with no loading screens for buildings, unfortunately.

There’s been lots of chatter around Starfield performance and on console, the game will be locked to 30fps, Bethesda has confirmed. Someone also found a way to negatively review the game on Metacritic – but despite reports elsewhere, Starfield isn’t being review bombed… yet.

That is everything major you need to know about Starfield so far. It’s not long until launch, so make sure your rig can handle it with the Starfield system requirements to avoid getting caught out.

Is Starfield multiplayer?

As far as we know, Starfield has no multiplayer capabilities, and is strictly a single player experience.

Are there Starfield mods?

There will be full mod support for Starfield, Todd Howard has confirmed.

Will there be Starfield DLC?

Starfield DLC has been confirmed, and the first expansion will be called Shattered Space.