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Starfield: 14 things we know so far about the Xbox exclusive Bethesda RPG

Bethesda is releasing Starfield later this year, and whilst information is still thin on the ground, we do know a little about this interstellar adventure.

Starfield has everything a game needs to be the next big thing. Coming from the studio that brought us worlds like Fallout, Elder Scrolls and more besides, the upcoming Xbox exclusive is primed to be huge. Massive, in fact. It could be the biggest thing in gaming since, well, Elden Ring.

But, consideringStarfield is set to release on PC and Xbox Series X/S on November 11, we know precious little about it. Bethesda has noted that it wants the title to be a "vision of a future that’s grounded in reality", but beyond that information has been pretty hard to come by.

Lucky then, that Dorrani has strapped on his helmet, snuggled into his comfortable cockpit chair, and set off on his own interstellar journey – harvesting every byte of information we know about the game so far to create an information-packed video outlining everything you need to know about Starfield ahead of the game's blast off later this year. Take a look at it above, or carry on reading for a quick summary of everything we know about Bethesda's out-of-this-world 'NASA-punk' so far.

This is Bethesda's first new IP in 25 years

We may have had a wealth of titles from Bethesda's other studios (Arkane, id Software, and so on) over the past few decades, but Starfield will be the first honest-to-God new universe in 25 years from Bethesda Game Studios proper. There has been some chatter about the quality of the most recent Elder Scrolls and Fallout games, so lets hope Starfield reverses the trend of games that – sadly – haven't been too hot at launch.

You're exploring a cosmic frontier...

In the game, you play as a space explorer as part of a team called Constellation, trying to uncover the mysteries of this new universe. Per Bethesda boss man, Todd Howard, Constellation is "like NASA meets Indiana Jones meets the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, a group of people that are still searching for answers," Howard said.

...but there are other factions, too

Howard also noted that there will be multiple other factions in the game, and that "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." One faction is called the 3-Star Collective – who are all in on 'the space western fantasy'. Space cowboys, anyone?

Starfield is set in huge new open worlds called the 'Settled Systems'...

As a member of Constellation, you will be travelling to loads of different planets, each with their own unique themes and environments. Bethesda say its going to have “unparalleled freedom” - and from the studio that introduced the world to Skyrim, for example, that's saying a lot.

...which are bloody huge

So how big is Starfield? Well, Bethesda is saying the game is big enough (and has so much freedom) that if you're talking to your friend about the game, it would sound like 'they're playing something completely different to you'. Is that just lip service, though? We'll have to wait and see.

It'll have city-like hubs/hub planets

Bethesda has shared snippets of information about three of the main worlds already;

  • Akila City – where the people there are all about freedom and individuality.
  • Neon City – built on an aquatic world where fishermen discovered a particular fish that could be turned into drugs.
  • New Atlantis City – home to the united colonies.

What other ludicrous settings will we have in-game? We'll just have to wait and see.

You'll have companions (if you want)

As is now classic in Bethesda RPGs, there will also be the option to have companions join you on your journey – and the developer is taking steps to make them more realistic and believable as allies by giving the actions and voice lines that reflect your situation more accurately. They'll also react better to what you're doing at any given moment. So try not to be too weird, yeah?

It's packed with voice talent

So far, it's confirmed that there are over 150,000 voice lines in Starfield! For comparison, Fallout 4 had 111,000 and Skyrim had 60,000. Hope you've got a good headset!

It's set in 2310

The game is set in the year 2310, and revolves around a more grounded vision of what that future would be like in space – trying to work in technology that is scientifically possible. Todd Howard even took a trip to Elon Musk's company, SpaceX, to get some inspiration and a more realistic look at what tech in space will look like.

Yes, it has aliens

There are alien-like monsters and creatures that'll be dangerous to you out in the world. For example, just outside the walls of Akila City, there are monsters known as the Ashta who are described as 'a hybrid of werewolf and velociraptor'. Gnarly. But there are also human threats in the Settled Systems that weve seen a quick look at, too: between mercenaries, the Pirates of the Crimson Fleet, violent spacers, and more... it's dangerous out in space.

It's built around 'step-out moments'

Todd Howard spoke about “step out moments” – where a player is first introduced to the world they are playing in, and properly immersed in their new environment. Starfield, per Howard, has at least two of these big moments; we assume one is when you first step out of your ship and into a massive, highly-detailed planet, and the other is departing a planet into space... and seeing the scale of the thing for the first time. Exciting!

There's an in-depth customisation suite

Starfield is, of course, a role-playing game. So that means the character you play will be your own - and per the developers you can create anyone you want. So expect to see some pretty in-depth customisation options. But it may not be that similar to what you've seen before: Todd Howard has said that players sort-of know what to expect with things like stats and traits in modern RPGs, the studio wants to take a different approach to make the game feel fresh. Curious.

Starfield is 10 years in the making...

Starfield is a title that Bethesda has deamed of making... but it just hasn't been a realistic project on gaming hardware that has existed previously. The studio has actually been speaking about Starfield internally for about 10 years – new technology, next-gen platforms, and a completely new engine to build it all on means the studio's vision is finally possible. Built on the Creation Engine 2, we'll also see The Elder scrolls 6 will use this same tech (whenever that appears).

..and is looking 10 years into the future

Bethesda is building the game with longevity in mind, and in its Endless Pursuits vidoc, the studio says it essentially wanta Starfield to "stand the test of time". Just like Skyrim and how the fact that its fantasy epic is still being talked about right now. Starfield, then, will probably also get ported to every conceivable bit of tech in the future.

About the Author

Dom Peppiatt avatar

Dom Peppiatt

Features Editor

Dom is a veteran video games critic and consultant copywriter that has appeared in publications ranging from Daily Star to The Guardian. Passionate about games and the greater good they can achieve, you can usually find Dom listening to records, farting about in the kitchen, or playing Final Fantasy VIII (again).

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