If the wait for the next Bethesda epic is agonising, perhaps the best games like Starfield on PC will tide you over? There are plenty of similar games out there, but it can be hard to find something quality that scratches the itch.
The Starfield release date is still a way off, but there are hundreds of gaming hours to be found in this list, which will tide you over for quite a while. The Bethesda RPG game promises a new spacefaring IP filled with plenty of planets, ship and base building, and galaxy-spanning quests. So what games can you play that channel some of the ideas we already know about in Starfield, or have the atmosphere and gameplay you can likely expect? These are our picks for the best games like Starfield.
We’ve already tackled the same issue for other Bethesda titles, such as our games like Skyrim and games like Fallout guides, but considering Starfield isn’t out yet we have to go off the limited information we have and vibes, making it a bit more difficult to pin down some space games.
With that, here are the best games like Starfield, in no particular order.
The Outer Worlds
Developed by Fallout: New Vegas legends Obsidian Entertainment, The Outer Worlds is probably one of the closest things to Starfield available at the moment. It’s a first-person RPG, it’s set in space, you travel between multiple worlds, and you complete both a main quest and a series of side quests. It even has melee and shooting combat and a plethora of dialogue options when in conversations.
Set in the 24th century against a backdrop of a space-age dominated by corporations while still poking fun at them, The Outer Worlds is a classic RPG through and through. It might not have the same space travel or number of planets as Starfield, but if you want a good old-fashioned RPG similar to what Bethesda is known for, this is for you. Read more about our thoughts on the game in our The Outer Worlds review, including why “it’s a journey worth undertaking.”
Despite the similar name to The Outer Worlds, Outer Wilds is a very different beast. We’ve already gushed about the space-exploration game when it was leaving Game Pass, but here’s the rundown. Outer Wilds is all about the journey of space travel, and how what you find along the way can delight and surprise you – if you haven’t played the game before, go in without looking anything else up.
You play as an alien going on their first space flight around a solar system filled with wacky, wonderful, and nightmare-inducing discoveries. It has spaceship flight and fun gravity mechanics, and while it definitely isn’t as big as Starfield at a glance, it uses one very specific mechanic to force you down a path of constant discovery, and it’s all the better for it.
When you’re done with Outer Wilds it even has some DLC, giving you more of the excellent exploration and weird space-mechanics. The sense of progression is purely the knowledge you gain from discovery, and if that isn’t what space is all about, I don’t know what is.
The Mass Effect trilogy
If you haven’t embarked on Commander Shepard’s trilogy of excellent action-RPG space games yet, please do. This is a fully fleshed-out Star Trek-style universe filled with danger, diplomacy, and memorable characters. I’d hazard a guess Starfield is going for something similar with its universe, so getting lost in Mass Effect beforehand would be a real treat.
That said, Mass Effect’s true draw is all of its characters. Each one is as memorable, interesting, fleshed out, and a big a part of the universe as the last. Taking them out on missions almost feels like hanging out with good friends, so much so that when the credits finally roll on this trilogy, you’ll feel a part of yourself has gone along with it. Read more about why the Mass Effect Legendary Edition is the best way to play the trilogy of games here.
No Man’s Sky
If the 1,000 planets of Starfield and resource mining caught your attention, along with the prospect of fully-controlled space travel, you should give No Man’s Sky a go. After releasing in 2016 and being filled to the brim with updates since, any reservations you once had should go out the window in favour of the potential of space travel and exploration on a grand scale with your friends.
Despite having a rocky launch, No Man’s Sky has had an excellent redemption arc, to the point where the player reviews on Steam swung from negative to mostly positive in 2021, and if you take a look now, it’s the recent reviews are very positive. Lovely stuff.
Kerbal Space Program
If you’re most excited about Starfield ship design, then Kerbal Space Program is the exact type of game for you. Basically, you’re tasked with helping the Kerbals with their first successful space flight, but the realistic aerodynamics and orbital physics exist purely to stop you. A game all about trying and trying again, Kerbal Space Program should activate that part of your brain that likes building things, and seeing them go boom.
Kerbal Space Program doesn’t have proper quests, combat, any dialogue choices, or much of a narrative, but when it comes to building spaceships, there is nothing else like it. The Kerbal Space Program 2 release date is also happening at some point too, so there’s no better time to play the original.
If the Kerbals manage to successfully get to space, perhaps Elite Dangerous is the universe they’d end up living in? It’s all about colossal multiplayer space travel and battles, and it handles probably more realistically than Starfield and No Man’s Sky, but that’s part of the overall appeal.
There’s also a 1:1 scale version of the Milky Way, so if Starfield’s giant universe is something you want to get lost in, Elite: Dangerous may just be the game for you.
So there you have it, a few of the best games like Starfield. This list could be a lot longer and include more space games, but we wanted to hammer into certain aspects of Starfield that have you all excited and show you some games that either channel one or more of those ideas already. In the meantime why don’t you check out our lists for the best PC games ever made, or the best free PC games you can play right now.