Starfield: Release date, platforms, gameplay & more

Matt Porter
Starfield artwork and logoBethesda

Starfield is the highly-anticipated sci-fi adventure game from Bethesda, creators of other extremely popular franchises. Here’s everything we know about this new universe, including its release date, whether it has multiplayer, gameplay details, and much more.

Bethesda hasn’t launched a new IP in 25 years, with existing franchises like The Elder Scrolls, Doom, and Fallout dominating their releases. All that is set to change, though, with space RPG Starfield set to blast players into the cosmos soon.

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Described as “Skyrim in space” by studio head Todd Howard, Starfield immediately captured the attention of gamers when first announced at E3 2018, and is comfortably one of the biggest games coming in 2023.

June 2023’s Xbox Games Showcase gave us a brand-new look at gameplay and, unsurprisingly, fans are more eager than ever to get their hands on the title. Here’s everything we know about Starfield, including news on when it will release, platforms, multiplayer, and more.

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Starfield release date

Starfield is currently scheduled to release on Wednesday, September 6, 2023. The hotly-anticipated RPG was originally slated for early 2023, but the devs announced in March it has been pushed until later on in the year.

Bethesda had originally intended to drop Starfield on November 11, 2022, but announced in May 2022 that they had taken the difficult decision to delay it until 2023.

In a statement, Bethesda stated that the teams had “incredible ambitions for their games,” and wanted to ensure that players “receive the best, most polished versions.”

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Pilot in a spaceship in StarfieldBethesda
Starfield has been in development for almost a decade.

Will Starfield be available on PS5?

Unfortunately for owners of the Sony console, Starfield won’t be available on PlayStation 5.

Starfield will be exclusively available on Xbox Series X|S and PC. This shouldn’t come as too much of a shock, considering that Microsoft bought Bethesda in 2021.

Will Starfield be on Xbox Games Pass?

Good news! Starfield will be available on Xbox Game Pass, which means if you already subscribe to the service, you won’t have to pay full price to enjoy the game.

Even better, Starfield will be available on Game Pass from day one, which means you’ll be able to play it on release day.

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Starfield character holding a weaponBethesda
Starfield has been described as “Skyrim in space.”

Starfield plot details

At the beginning of the journey, Starfield players will reach New Atlantis, the biggest city the Bethesda team has built. There, they will meet Constellation, the last known explorers of the galaxy. A new type of material has them intrigued and you will captain the expedition to find out more about a strange civilization.

While exploring space, players will find different factions throughout the galaxy. Each faction is connected with a very specific visual aesthetic and will have many missions for players to complete.

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As expected from Bethesda, the game will have tons of side quests that run along the main campaign, and some of them will include tough decisions to make.

Starfield gameplay details

Players will be able to explore 1000 planets while playing Starfield, according to Todd Howard. While he was showing breathtaking landscapes in the latest Starfield Direct, he also mentioned everything players can see and will be able to explore. What’s more, players will be able to explore Starfield with either a first-person or third-person camera.

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Navigation

From the Star Map, players will be able to choose their next destination. Planets are filled with useful resources and all kinds of creatures players can interact with. There’s no need to have a mission to visit a planet, and exploring can have interesting rewards, like unlocking useful locations for fast travel. The Star Map also displays the resources you can find on each planet so you don’t have to travel to find out.

Ship customization

The ship will work as the main hub for the player. You’ll need to upgrade the ship to reach more distant planets and endure hardships while visiting dangerous parts of the galaxy. During the campaign, players can buy and sell different ships and even hire a crew to join the adventure. As seen in the gameplay video above, there are lots of different ships suited for different types of missions.

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Thanks to Starfield’s ship customization system, players will be able to add all kinds of modules to their ships. This will hopefully result in no two ships looking the same and a lot of creativity from the player base.

Ship menu in StarfieldBethesda
Players can even choose the exact color they want for their spaceship.

Companions

Main characters will join you in your adventure and you’ll be able to take advantage of their unique skills. Exploring the relationship with these crewmembers can trigger side quests and even romances.

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On another note, players will also find all kinds of characters in their travels, each with particular skills that could come in handy. The crew selection feature makes all of this extremely intuitive for players to explore all possibilities.

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Space flight & combat

Space flight is another key feature of the Starfield experience. Players will be able to explore at their own pace as well as engage in combat with other ships. Some encounters can involve dialogues or trades, but others will trigger fights for survival. If players defeat their enemies, they’ll be able to add their ship to the fleet or destroy it for parts.

As for the gameplay, players will be able to upgrade their ships to add more and more options. Targeting systems and shield modules are some of the upgrades players will be able to control while driving their spaceship through the galaxy.

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Building

Players can set outposts almost anywhere on any planet to gather resources or just take a rest. These outposts can be as complex as players want and can be decorated to look like a new home. Outposts also give players the chance to upgrade and customize weapons, as well as craft useful resources.

Starfield outpostBethesda
Outposts in Starfield come in all shapes and sizes.

Combat

Starfield players have a wide array of weapons to choose from, whether they want to shoot enemies or attack them with melee weapons. There are also different types of ammunition. These are not only designed to take on different enemies, but they also have different effects on the player and the environment.

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On top of that, Boost Packs bring a new dimension to combat, letting players fly in the air to attack enemies. Planets have different gravity, which means no two gunfights will look the same in Starfield.

Is Starfield open world?

Yes, Starfield is an open-world game, allowing players to investigate and discover over 1000 planets in 100 different solar systems.

Accompanied by your helpful robot companion Vasco, you’ll meet friends and foes, encounter creatures from different planets, and fly across the galaxy in the hunt for adventure.

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“For me, Starfield is the Han Solo simulator,” said Managing Director Ashley Cheng. “Get in a ship, explore the galaxy, do fun stuff.”

Neon city in StarfieldBethesda
Players have a lot of interesting locations to discover in Starfield.

Is Starfield multiplayer?

As confirmed by Todd Brighton in 2020, Starfield will not have a multiplayer mode. You will travel across the universe alone, with no help from your friends.

Starfield character creation

According to Howard, Starfield has the “most flexible” character creation tool the studio has ever released, allowing players to customize every element to create the perfect character. Almost all NPCs were created using this system as well.

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A preview revealed tools to alter body shape, facial structure, skin tone, and even walking cadence. Players can also use genetics facilities dotted around the galaxy to upgrade or change their look.

Character creation in StarfieldBethesda
Starfield features Bethesda’s most in-depth character creator to date.

Backgrounds and Traits

Each character also comes with a background. These not only give your creation a backstory but also come with three starting skills to help you on your journey. In the video, we see 16 backgrounds, along with some of the skills that come with them.

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BackgroundStarting Skills
Beast HunterN/A
BouncerN/A
Bounty HunterN/A
Chef– Gastronomy: Craft specialty food and drinks, and research additional recipes at a Research Lab
– Dueling: Melee weapons do 10% more damage
– Wellness: Immediately gain 30 points of health
Combat Medic– Pistol Certification: Pistols do 10% more damage
– Medicine: Med Packs heal 10% more
– Weight Lifting: Increase total carrying capacity by 10 kilograms
Cyber Runner– Pistol Certification: Pistols do 10% more damage
– Security: You can attempt to hack Advanced locks, and 2 auto attempts can be banked
– Persuasion: Gain an increased chance of success on speech challenges
Cyberneticist– Medicine: Med Packs heal 10% more
– Robotics: You deal 10% more damage to Robots and Turrets
– Lasers: Laser weapons do 10% more damage
Diplomat– Persuasion: Gain an increased chance of success on speech challenges
– Diplomacy: You can force a target NPC at or below your level to stop fighting for a while
– Bargaining: Buy items for 5% less and sell for 10% more
ExplorerN/A
GangsterN/A
HomesteaderN/A
IndustrialistN/A
Long HaulerN/A
PilgrimN/A
ProfessorN/A
RoninN/A

Players will also be able to select three traits, that come with unique advantages and disadvantages.

Skills

If you’ve played a Bethesda game before, you’re well accustomed to skill trees. Unsurprisingly, they feature in Starfield too, with Skills unlocked by leveling up and spending Skill Points.

To rank up a Skill though, you’ll need to complete a set of tasks, making it more challenging, but ultimately more rewarding, to upgrade your character.

Ballistics skill in StarfieldBethesda
Leveling up your character and unlocking new skills will be essential to survival.

There are five different Skill trees and four ranks for each Skill. With so many options, players can upgrade whatever Skills suit their playstyles before unlocking others.

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That’s everything we know about Starfield so far, but we expect even more information to drop over the next few months as we build to that September release date. For more on the biggest upcoming games, check out these other guides:

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About The Author

Matt is CharlieINTEL's UK Editor, specializing in all things Call of Duty, including Warzone and Modern Warfare 2. Matt previously worked as a freelance esports writer for Gfinity, before joining Dexerto in 2018 as a Junior & Senior Writer. You can contact Matt via email at: [email protected]