Starfield: Everything we know about Bethesda’s next RPG Starfield


Starfield is Bethesda's first original RPG in 25 years, and it's set in space. Almost three years after it was announced, we're finally getting new details about the game and when you can expect to play it.

We've gathered all of the information we could find about Starfield below. Here's everything we know about Bethesda's next RPG.

What is the Starfield release date?

The Starfield release date is November 11, 2022. It’ll be available on PC, Xbox, and as part of Game Pass on day one.

Here's the official Starfield trailer from E3

You can watch the Starfield E3 trailer above. It's a cinematic showing an astronaut climbing into a spaceship while a robot tromps around on the surface. We get a nice look at the ship while a voice over says “What you've found is the key to unlocking… everything,” and “We've come to the beginning of humanity's final journey.” The pilot sits at a console, flips a bunch of switches, and the trailer ends with rockets firing and the ship about to take off.

There's also a brief making-of feature you can watch below that shows lots of interesting concept art.

Starfield is “like Skyrim in space,” says Todd Howard

We don't know a whole lot about Starfield's story yet. Speaking to The Washington Post, Todd Howard said Starfield is “like Skyrim in space,” and will feature factions, with Constellation, a group of human explorers, being the main one.

“It's like NASA meets Indiana Jones meets the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, a group of people that are still searching for answers,” Howard said.

“There are a lot of factions in the game but [Constellation is] the main one that you'll become a part of. It’s kind of like Skyrim in terms of the structure of the game, where you're going to be who you want to be, and then there's different factions that you can join, and really carve your own path.”

Also like Skyrim and Bethesda's Fallout games, Starfield will be playable both in first and third-person perspectives.

Starfield is built in Creation Engine 2

The trailer begins with the words “Alpha in-game footage | Creation Engine 2” showing on the screen. Bethesda confirmed that Starfield is the first game to be built in the new engine.

We don't know much about Creation Engine 2, or how much it differs from the engine Bethesda has been using and updating for years for everything from Skyrim to Fallout 76. Since Bethesda's RPGs have been highly moddable, we sure hope Creation Engine 2 continues the tradition.

Spaceship combat may be on the menu

(Image credit: Bethesda)

This is just speculation, but there may be spaceship combat in Starfield. The trailer shows the astronaut's ship console, and on one of the readouts there's a listing for WPNS: Weapons. There are three options beneath it (including MISS, which could be missiles) and the word HOT to indicate the weapons are ready to use. 

There's also a readout for shields (SHLD) and on another monitor there's a readout for power. If we have weapons on the ship, and a way to route power to the shields, that's a pretty good indication there will be spaceship combat—unless this is all just fancy cosmetic stuff.

Starfield has been in development for years

Back in 2018 Todd Howard said that the project had moved out of pre-production and was currently in a playable state internally. The teaser shown at E3 2018 was mostly designed to give us a sense of the game's atmosphere. In an interview with The Guardian, Howard says “We’ve been talking about it for a decade, we started putting things on paper five, six years ago, and active development was from when we finished Fallout 4, so two and a half, three years.”

Starfield

(Image credit: Future)

Todd Howard traveled to SpaceX to bring 'authenticity' to Starfield

In the same E3 chat between Howard and Musk mentioned above, Howard said that he toured Musk's company SpaceX for Starfield research and inspiration. It's not clear how this inspiration will manifest, but Howard did mention that Helium 3—a speculative fuel for nuclear fusion—could be the isotope used to fuel Starfield's ships, or at least is something to be debated.

The look of the ship in the trailer shows futuristic yet still recognizable tech. Lots of buttons and switches like the cockpits we have today, as opposed to super-exotic technology we see in games like Mass Effect.

Starfield will have a pleasure dome where you can get high on alien fish

In the short videos called “Location Insights”, design director Emil Pagliarulo introduced some of the settlements you'll be visiting in Starfield. Each video is less than a minute long and is just Pagliarulo giving a quick summary over some concept art, so they're not much to go on. That said, one of them does seem interesting. Neon was originally built as a fishing platform on an aquatic world, but was retooled as a pleasure city by its owner, the Xenofresh corporation, when they discovered an alien fish with valuable psychotropic qualities. This literal dopefish is now only legal on Neon.

The other videos introduce New Atlantis, the capital of the United Colonies, and Akila City, the capital of the Freestar Collective, which is walled to keep out “alien predators that are a cross between a wolf and a velociraptor.”

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