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Everything We Know About Starfield

Starfield Direct revealed a ton of information on the upcoming sci-fi epic, and we've got all the details you need to know about the game.

Garrett Ettinger

Jun 14, 2023

Starfield is perhaps one of the most highly-anticipated games in recent history and for good reason. Bethesda, the studio behind the title, is known for its iconic franchises like The Elder Scrolls and Fallout series of games. Now, the company is taking its next title to space with Starfield, a grand, sci-fi action role-playing game 25 years in the making.


Originally announced in 2018 at E3, it's been a long time to wait for gamers wanting to get their hands on the game. Though there's been some mixed reception from the community throughout its various announcements and teasers, there's still a massive audience eagerly anticipating the title's release.

Starfield Release Date

Those waiting to hop into the sci-fi epic won't have to wait long. Starfield releases September 6, 2023, for Xbox Series X|S and PC. The game will also be available on Xbox Game Pass the day it launches, and those purchasing the game's premium editions will gain early access up to 5 days in advance on September 1, 2023. The game will not be available on PlayStation consoles.


Originally set to release on November 11, 2022, Bethesda announced that the game would be delayed to the first half of 2023 in May 2022, with the most recent announcement revealing that the game would again be delayed, instead launching in September 2023.


Starfield Gameplay Details


Starfield Direct, which occurred on June 11, 2023, revealed in-depth details on gameplay for the upcoming title. Like other Bethesda games, Starfield is a narrative action role-playing game where players must explore an expansive universe, visit new cities and settlements, and make tough decisions.


In this single-player experience, players will travel around the universe to complete quests, gather resources, and kit out a highly-customizable spaceship. Players can scan planets from afar, then land down on them to study and discover the different wildlife and plantlife, visit settlements, and form connections with the characters they meet along the way. Interaction and exploration will be at the core of the gameplay and can be done in either first or third-person view.

Starfield developers are also boasting overhauled combat in the upcoming title, including more mods and weapons than in any other game the studio has ever developed before. Players will have slots for various weapons, including pistols, rifles, explosives, and even bare fists. There even seems to be some sort of anti-gravity or telekinetic powers that players can gain that was displayed via a short teaser shot in the show.


Explore the Universe in a Procedurally Generated Experience

Starfield's developers call the game's aesthetic "NASA-punk," a mixture of realistic futuristic visuals and technology melded with a worn, lo-fi look. The worlds in the universe use a complex procedural generation system, which creates new worlds as you approach them. This will make no one experience or playthrough the same.

In addition to procedural generation, there will be preset hand-crafted environments, like the gigantic metropolis named New Atlantis, which will serve as a central hub for players to interact with vendors and quest givers. Like other titles from the developers, there are many locations to visit, from high-end space-cruise ships to a shanty outpost on the edges of a galaxy.

In-Depth Character Creation

Players will serve as the primary protagonist in the game, and to enhance this, Bethesda is rolling out their most refined character creator ever. There will be 40 presets based on face scans of real people. Once one of these presets is selected, players can further tweak specific aspects of their character to make them look exactly as they want. You will play as a member of the exploration group called The Constellation and will go on missions to uncover new discoveries for mankind.

In addition to customized appearances, players will also be able to give their characters' backgrounds, which will provide additional buffs or personality quirks that will alter their playthrough, as well as optional traits that come with both positives and drawbacks. This system is similar to Fallout titles and should serve as an extra layer to better modify the character to adhere to the desired play style.


Starfield will also have an in-depth skill tree with 5 skill paths and 4 ranks per skill. Some skills can make you more powerful in combat, while others will help in dialogue, pickpocketing, or, in the case of the Xenosociology skill, mind control aliens.

Modular Ship Building and Custom Crews

Arguably the most exciting aspect of Starfield will be the ship and crew-building mechanics in the game. There is a deep customization suite with modular shipbuilding, meaning players will be able to mix and match different parts on their ship.


This customization goes even further, as your ship alterations will also be reflected in the interior of the ship and open up access to useful tools and workshops. Players can also recruit a crew, with each character having their own personality and set of skills, including a robotic AI companion you can get to help on missions. Players can even fall in love with their crewmembers, which points to the potential gameplay concept that you'll be maintaining relationships with the NPC characters you encounter in the game.

In addition to all you can do with ship customization, Starfield will also feature innovative spaceship combat mechanics, where players will have a "power pool" that they can allocate to different parts of their ship to make it more effective. For instance, putting more power into the weapons systems will increase your damage, whereas investing power points into your boosters will make your ship faster. Players will have to balance this while in combat, as there is limited power.


Players will also have the ability to dock and take over ships, then go to a port and sell the ship. This level of "do what you want" will enable players to choose what kind of character they want to be. Would you rather be a marauding pirate or a friendly trader? It appears the choice will be left to you.

Starfield Premium Editions and Peripherals

Starfield will have three different editions upon launch, with the Premium and Constellation Editions unlocking up to five days of early access. Players can visit the official Starfield website to pre-order the game for the platform of their choice. There is also an option to upgrade from the Standard Edition to the Premium at a small markup. The Starfield editions are as follows:


  • Standard Edition ($69.99): Base game.

  • Digital Premium Edition ($99.99): Base game, Shattered Space Story Expansion (upon release), up to 5 days of early access, Constellation Skin pack, a digital artbook, and original soundtrack.

  • Premium Edition Upgrade ($34.99): The Premium Edition Upgrade includes everything in the Digital Premium Edition and is an upgrade for those that got the Standard Edition. The physical edition also includes a Steelbook Display Case and Constellation Patch.

  • Constellation Edition ($299.99): Starfield Chronomark Watch & Case and a Credit Stick with Laser-Etched Game Code. Everything in the Premium Edition, including the Steelbook Display Case and Constellation Patch.

The Constellation Explorers Watch is a Starfield-style Chronomark watch that can connect to your phone and has other smart-watch-like utilities. This is the same watch your player-controlled character will wear while in-game and a great piece of Starfield memorabilia for the future. The watch also comes with a pretty sleek-looking NASA-style carrying case.

Players who pre-order Starfield will receive the Old Mars Skin pack, which includes the following in-game bonus skins:


  • Laser Cutter

  • Deep Mining Helmet

  • Deep Mining Pack


In addition to the extras and goodies that come with the premium edition, Starfield also launched a limited edition Xbox Controller & Headset to accompany the game. These items will be sold separately and have a Starfield-style theme to them. The controller is inspired by the controls in your ship in the game, with a bronze D-pad and custom side and back grips that make you feel like you're really piloting a rocket ship. The Starfield Limited Xbox wireless headset has up to 12 hours of battery life and matches the aesthetic of the controller.

Though there's a ton of information to consume on the game before it releases, it appears that Starfield is going to be one of Bethesda's most ambitious projects to date, which is saying a lot, considering this is the same company that developed The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. With the addition of procedural generation to their world, the expansiveness of the universe is truly expected to impress players embarking on this grand sci-fi campaign.


Though the community balked at the idea of the game being locked at 30 frames per second on consoles, comparing it to the controversial Redfall, developed by Arkane Studios, there was enough shown at Starfield Direct to give players a good sense of what the core gameplay of Starfield will be like. Whether or not Bethesda delivers by executing on their promises is yet to be seen, but luckily all players will be able to experience the game this September.

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Garrett Ettinger

Garrett is a writer and editor with over a decade of professional writing and editorial experience. For the past year, he has been the editor of Gamer Digest. He loves playing games in just about every genre and is a Master on the Starcraft 2 ranked ladder. You can find his musings on Twitter @GarroWrites.


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Avenir Light is a clean and stylish font favored by designers. It's easy on the eyes and a great go-to font for titles, paragraphs & more.

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Avenir Light is a clean and stylish font favored by designers. It's easy on the eyes and a great go-to font for titles, paragraphs & more.

Small Running Title

Small Running Title

Avenir Light is a clean and stylish font favored by designers. It's easy on the eyes and a great go-to font for titles, paragraphs & more.

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