Starfield: Release date, gameplay, trailers & everything we know
Will this be the year that Starfield finally comes out? Starfield is the next huge, AAA role-playing game from Bethesda Softworks, who is known for The Elder Scrolls, and the first-person Fallout games, and one of the most highly anticipated games of 2023.
Starfield was announced back in 2018, nearly five years ago exactly as of writing this, and as the first new IP from Bethesda Softworks in over 20 years, it's become the talk of the proverbial video game town. Many questions still remain about how exactly Starfield will play, but we also have a lot of information about the game from the past five years.
So, if you're looking for everything you need to know about Starfield, check out our explainer of the release date, platforms, gameplay, and more below.
Is there a Starfield release date?
Starfield is confirmed to have a September 6, 2023 release date. The news broke on March 8, when a brand-new trailer was released which announced the game's launch date.
We also received news of an exclusive Starfield showcase set to take place on June 11, which will likely debut more gameplay.
Previously, the release date that was revealed for Starfield was set to be November 11, 2022, which was exactly eleven years after the release of the iconic The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. It was then delayed, and pushed back to the first half of 2023, before being delayed to the current release date.
Starfield has been in development since 2015 and Todd Howard has previously stated they were confident with the release date. The delay seems to be an effort to give them more time to polish the experience, as Bethesda games are infamous for their bugs and glitches.
Are there any Starfield trailers?
The first three trailers we saw didn't provide us with a tonne of information, but it’s given us some insight to the world of Starfield and what players can expect.
The very first teaser trailer showed a planet's exterior and a fancy ship before it proceeded to warp away - presumably a sign of the faster-than-light traversal players will use to navigate the world of Starfield.
The second trailer was created in-engine with gameplay and contains a narrator. It showed footage of a pilot - who is likely the marketing analogue for the protagonist - wandering their ship before taking off into the stars.
The narration vaguely spoke about the wonders of space exploration and the awe it inspires in mankind, which taken with the details revealed in the third trailer, explains some of the themes of hope and exploring the great mysteries of life that the game will tackle.
Speaking of the third trailer, it contains the most information so far by explaining the mood and scope of the game. It’s also paired with concept art of the key in-game locations and studio b-roll of the designers hard at work. Most importantly, it explains the hook of Starfield, which sees the player as part of Constellation, who are the last of the space explorers.
Finally, and the one we've all been waiting for - the gameplay trailer. Thanks to the Xbox Bethesda showcase, we've got our first look at what we can expect to see on our screens come the 2023 release.
As expected, it boasts that Fallout feel but in space and some added gameplay mechanics such as resource farming. Shooting is also involved, but there doesn't seem to be any V.A.T.S. this time around.
Starfield gameplay & story
In terms of Starfield gameplay, we know it will be like “Skyrim in space” according to Todd Howard, so expect a choice of first-person or third-person gameplay with a mix of combat, exploration, and conversation.
Some of the developers have highlighted the different locations to explore such as New Atlantis, the capital for the largest and most powerful faction in the game, and Neon, a hub for extracurricular activities situated on a fishing platform where fish with psychotropic properties attract customers from all over.
As a game set in space, Starfield would be amiss if it didn’t include ship-to-ship combat, which is rumoured thanks to some trailer hints. For example, keen-eyed viewers will notice in the second trailer that the cockpit’s pilot console lists three different weapons available for use.
In the third trailer, we also see footage of key Bethesda writer Emil Pagliarulo as he taps away at his keyboard seemingly writing a snippet of in-game lore that talks about ‘Crimson Pirates’ who could possibly ambush you in the cosmic void.
In terms of story, Starfield might be the most ambitious narrative Bethesda has ever tackled, with the total amount of dialogue lines coming in at 150,000, which is more than double that of Skyrim.
It takes place 300 years in the future, where humanity has explored the stars and settled in with their galactic neighbours, allowing different factions, religions, and groups to come together.
What is confirmed is that you will play as a member of the last space exploration group called Constellation. We don’t know what kind of circumstances will be the catalyst for your adventure, but it’s always a good bet to assume you’ll be in some sort of predicament with a Bethesda RPG.
In addition to that, Bethesda has confirmed that some familiar CRPG elements of their older titles will be back, like picking your character background. This is great news for fans who felt alienated by the move away from more hardcore role-playing systems that started with Oblivion and has continued until Fallout 4.
Bethesda has also revealed that Starfield will be running Creation Engine 2, the next edition of the Gamebryo engine that they’ve been using for 20 years now. Considering it will be built on a similar framework as Skyrim then fans can expect a litany of mods to be churned out from day one.
Bethesda RPGs are known for their dedicated audience of modders and we don’t expect Starfield to be any different in this regard.
What platforms will Starfield be on?
Due to Microsoft’s acquirement of Bethesda, Starfield will be a Xbox Series X|S console exclusive and on select PC platforms. You can also play it day one with an Xbox Game Pass subscription.
Make sure you keep your eyes peeled on GGRecon for more Starfield news, guides, and an eventual review going forward as we learn more about Bethesda's next epic.