Starfield release date, latest news, and gameplay

Bethesda has confirmed the Starfield release date on PC and Xbox Series X/S, so here is the latest news, gameplay, plot details, and more.

Starfield release date window: a spaceship blasting across the galaxy with a planet in the background

When was the Starfield release date? The Bethesda space RPG was announced way back on June 11, 2018, during the E3 conference and has been the victim of many delays. But the long-awaited sci-fi RPG is now here.

You can read our Starfield review to get a good idea of what the RPG game is like before playing. However, before release, we pieced together every scrap of information from interviews, trailers, and passing comments from devs to build a picture of what we all might be playing. Here is everything you need to know about the Starfield release date.

YouTube Thumbnail

Starfield release date

The Starfield release date was Wednesday, September 6, 2023, across PC and Xbox Series X/S. On PC, the game is available via Steam and even on Xbox Game Pass.

Players could get early access to the game by purchasing the Starfield Premium Edition, Premium Edition Upgrade, or Constellation Edition.

Starfield had a long history of delays. Originally, Starfield was supposed to be released on November 11, 2022, but in May 2022, Bethesda announced that the game would be delayed until 2023. Starfield was initially scheduled for the “first half” of 2023, as Microsoft’s Matt Booty indicated it would release after Arkane’s Redfall. However, as that game was released in May, the chances of a first-half of 2023 release date for Starfield always looked slim.

The official Starfield support page reconfirmed the release date, stating the game would arrive in the first half of 2023. Then came another launch date announcement, which confirmed the game would land in September.

YouTube Thumbnail

Starfield Direct

The space game received a standalone showcase, a Starfield Direct, on June 11 after the Xbox Games Showcase. This 45-minute deep-dive gave fans an insight into what they can expect from the game, including the main mission, how space combat works, and how your character skills can influence the gameplay.

Starfield release date: a human in a spacesuit floats weightless surrounded by a circlular object.

Starfield Xbox Game Pass

Starfield Game Pass is a thing, which means you’ll get instant access to the Bethesda space epic from day one. Xbox Game Pass subscribers don’t need to pre-order, and like the other games from studios owned by Microsoft, we imagine they’ll be able to pre-load Starfield in the run-up to release.

Starfield release date: the interior of a space station; a glass roof shoes that the station os orbiting a large white planet.

Is Starfield an Xbox exclusive?

Starfield will be an Xbox and PC exclusive, as Microsoft has agreed to a $7.5 billion deal to buy Bethesda’s parent company, ZeniMax Media.

In a blog post announcing the acquisition, head of Xbox Phil Spencer mentions his excitement for Bethesda’s upcoming games – “some announced and many unannounced”, including Starfield.

YouTube Thumbnail

Starfield gameplay

We first saw the announcement trailer a long time ago, back in 2018. Since then, we have only seen a bite-size chunk of Starfield via a teaser trailer from June 2021 before we saw a much bigger showcase of its gameplay in June 2022.

According to Todd, Starfield will run around 30-40 hours for the Starfield main story, but as we all know, these Bethesda open-world games are never that simple. With 1,000 planets to explore, including ones in our neighborhood, there won’t be a shortage of things to do.

During the Xbox and Microsoft gameplay showcase, we’ve seen some footage of Starfield in action, showing off how the dialogue and persuasion mechanics will work, plus a few extra snippets of space flight with commentary from Todd Howard. It has also come to light that Starfield may get a survival mode, which is both delightful and a slight bit terrifying.

YouTube Thumbnail

The gameplay demo starts on a bug-infested planet where the player mines iron from a cave before heading into the Kreet Research Lab. Here, we find the Starfield Crimson Fleet, one of the many Starfield factions, is plundering the area for treasure. These pirates are hostile, giving us an excuse to see some Starfield guns in action, such as the Grendel machine gun. The combat looks very similar to Fallout 4’s, except there’s no VATS system to rely on.

After briefing the Starfield Constellation faction leader about an artifact we dug up, we get some introductions with the other faction leaders, who tell us what they stand for. We also see more hostile aliens, from dinosaur-like creatures with mandibles to eldritch horrors, skulking the corridors of an abandoned facility.

Starfield release date - the character creation screen in Starfield, showing options for tinkering with your character's appearance.

Over the past few years, there have been hints of systems that fans of Fallout and The Elder Scrolls games may be familiar with. Here is everything gameplay-wise that’s been confirmed so far:

  • You can lockpick various doors and chests, but the game refers to the practice as “Digipicking”.
  • You can steal items from NPCs, though this is extremely high-risk, as this feature had an unsuccessful demonstration during the Starfield gameplay reveal.
  • You can persuade NPCs through a special minigame rather than specific dialogue choices and randomized rolls, though it’s supposedly more complex than how The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion handled the feature with pie charts. This was briefly touched on during the second episode of the Into the Starfield documentary series, where lead quest designer Will Shen mentions that the team “didn’t want it to be a system where there’s definitely a right thing to say”.
  • You have the option to recruit certain NPC companions, as well as romance some of them.
  • One of your Starfield companions is Vasco, a robot companion with similar functionality.
  • You can join Starfield factions, with each questline running independently from the other. In Fallout 4, siding with some factions locked other questlines away.
  • There is a “treasure trove” of storylines you can experience through the many Starfield side quests you can find on your journey across the cosmos.
YouTube Thumbnail

With the official launch date trailer came, well, the official launch date. September 6 is now potentially our most anticipated day of the year. The launch date trailer didn’t only give us a date. However, it hinted at the overarching story of Starfield – it looks like the player will be searching the ‘the source of it all’ – now whether that’s some god-like presence or just a big nebulous mass remains to be seen.

YouTube Thumbnail

Starfield character creation

Game director Todd Howard has also talked about the Starfield character creation tool, including the many Starfield backgrounds and Starfield traits your astronaut can start with on their journey through the cosmos. The gameplay gives us a glimpse of the Starfield skills and a brief introduction to Starfield research projects.

If you’re curious about what Starfield’s dialogue will be like, we’ve got some (hopefully) reassuring details. First, the classic BGS silent protagonist returns, which is probably handy given the game’s roughly 250,000 lines of dialogue. You’ll also do your conversing in first-person and pick from several dialogue options that are pitched as standalone sentences. There is a new persuasion system in which you spend points in a series of linked exchanges to secure the desired outcome before outstaying your welcome.

Starfield release date - a ship is landing at a designated landing bay as an astronaut approaches the vessel.

Starfield base building and spaceships

Finally, there’s a section in the demonstration dedicated to Starfield base building, including the ability to design and fly your own Starfield ship. In addition to space combat, this spaceship will be handy for exploring the many Starfield planets in the known universe, with over 1,000 of them available to visit, according to Todd Howard. In an IGN developer interview, he confirms that Starfield features some procedural generation but that the team at Bethesda “have done more handcrafting in this game, content-wise, than any other game”.

If you’re looking for further insights into the Starfield universe, then Bethesda also dropped some concepts for a few of the Starfield cities we’ll be able to visit, including the game’s biggest settlement, Starfield New Atlantis. Thankfully, it sounds like those major settlements are just the highlights, and there will be plenty of other towns and even some small metropolises you can visit. If you’re wondering how long Starfield is, we’ve got some theories about that you can check out.

YouTube Thumbnail

Will Starfield have multiplayer?

Is Starfield multiplayer a thing? The short answer is no. The long answer is still no, but with proof: this Develop: Brighton Digital conference session from 2020, where Todd Howard confirms that Starfield will be a solo experience. If you don’t want to watch the whole thing, Howard references Starfield multiplayer (or lack thereof) around the 45-minute mark.

Now that the Starfield release date is here, it’s time to dig into every corner of the known universe for more details – or wait until June and the Starfield Direct. Check out our Starfield interview with an ex-Bethesda dev for more details concerning the project’s scale. We also have confirmation that the adoring fan Elder Scrolls NPC is set to make a return in Starfield. Finally, take a look at the latest on The Elder Scrolls 6 and The Witcher 4 if you’re after more epic RPG games that haven’t been released yet.

Still looking for more? While a good Starfield wiki can be a handy source of information, our new Starfield Database goes further, offering you daily news, searchable databanks, and even interactive tools.