Starfield: Everything We Know

Here's everything you need to know about Starfield--Bethesda's first new IP in 25 years.

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In 2018, Bethesda delivered a shock to fans of its games at E3: it announced a new game that wasn't part of its existing series. That was a huge move since Bethesda hadn't released any new intellectual property in 25 years. The game was Starfield and it's the developer's next big RPG set in the final frontier of space. To help you keep up with what's going on with Starfield, we've compiled below everything we know about the game so far.

What Is Starfield's Release Date?

Starfield is scheduled to release on November 11, 2022.

Platforms

Starfield is confirmed to release on Xbox Series X|S and PC. Game director Todd Howard said being able to focus exclusively on Xbox and PC is in the best interests of Starfield. Though, he definitely hears and feels for PlayStation owners who won't be able to play it.

"You don't ever want to leave people out, right?" he told The Telegraph in a recent interview. "But at the end of the day, your ability to focus and say, this is the game I want to make, these are the platforms I want to make it on, and being able to really lean in on those is going to make for a better product."

The 2018 Teaser Trailer

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Back at E3 2018, Bethesda teased Starfield for the first time with a very brief trailer that gives only the barest sense of what it might be like.

The trailer shows the sun flaring over a planet before also revealing a space station with a very current-technology look. A second later, a rip in space appears that seems to suck everything in. It has the look of a bright Star Trek-like warp field, but it could be anything--a singularity, a wormhole, a space anomaly, or a cool special effect to end your trailer on. At this point, who knows.

E3 2021 Trailer

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After the long wait, Bethesda finally unveiled a new trailer for Starfield at E3 2021. It's yet another short glimpse, but it further nails down the look and feel the game is looking to have. The trailer follows an astronaut preparing to lift off from an alien planet. All the while, a monologue plays, discussing the endless frontier of space. Surprisingly, fans believe that the trailer has an Elder Scrolls clue hidden in it.

It's An Open-World, "More Hardcore" RPG

While details are still scarce about Starfield, we do have a bit of a broad-strokes idea of what it'll eventually become. Bethesda is known for its expansive open-world RPGs, like The Elder Scrolls series and the Fallout series, and Starfield will also exist in that wheelhouse. According to Howard in an interview with Telegraph, the game is more of a "hardcore RPG" than its previous work and will also be very big.

"It's also a bit more hardcore of a role-playing game than we've done," Howard said. "It's got some really great character systems – choosing your background, things like that. We're going back to some things that we used to do in games long ago that we felt have really let players express the character they want to be. So I think when you see it being played, you would recognise it as something we made."

All this makes Starfield generally sound like what we've come to expect from Bethesda, but if there's anything we can likely expect, it's the variety Bethesda is known for implementing to make it a generally unique experience from its other work. While they deliver story and conversations in similar ways, The Elder Scrolls games are high fantasy titles that have you wielding melee weapons, bows, and magic, while the Fallout games are all about cool guns. Fallout 4 added a whole lot more crafting and base-building to the formula, further differentiating it from, say, Skyrim. So there's definitely latitude for Starfield to be pretty different from Bethesda's other titles, even if it does have a lot of the same open-world RPG elements, like branching stories and massive worlds to explore. Bethesda is definitely approaching Starfield with a fair bit more ambition, encouraging fans to become involved as the project works its way to release.

Bethesda's Engine Got An Overhaul For Starfield

In September 2020, Bethesda released a statement about how much the acquisition by Microsoft and the release of its new Xbox Series X and S were impacting the work the studio was doing on its games. In that statement, Howard said the new technology had led to "our largest engine overhaul since Oblivion."

"With each new console cycle, we evolved together. From bringing mods to consoles with Fallout 4, now over a billion downloads, to the latest technologies fueling Xbox Series X/S," Howard said. "These new systems are optimized for the vast worlds we love to create, with generational leaps not just in graphics, but CPU and data streaming as well. It's led to our largest engine overhaul since Oblivion, with all new technologies powering our first new IP in 25 years, Starfield, as well as The Elder Scrolls VI."

For years now, Bethesda has powered its games with its Creation engine, which is the technology behind The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, as mentioned, as well as The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Fallout 3, Fallout 4, and Fallout 76. So this makes it pretty clear that Starfield also uses the Creation engine--albeit an overhauled version that takes into account a whole lot of new technology and hardware capabilities. Generally, though, we can likely expect Starfield to have the same sort of visual and gameplay feel of Bethesda's other games. It'll even sport the same viewpoints, including both first-person and third-person options.

Starfield Will Be On Xbox Game Pass

This is a bit of an obvious one, but it bears repeating. With Microsoft's acquisition of Bethesda, the publisher announced that new Bethesda games would appear on Xbox Game Pass at release--and that includes Starfield. So you'll have instant access to it on either PC or Xbox Series X|S, and possibly both.

Preorder

Starfield is currently not available for preorder. However, we'll be sure to update this feature once listings are available.

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