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Starfield story and timeline explained

The Starfield timeline covers the history of planets, factions, and companions that comprise the Settled Systems, getting us up to speed on the Starfield story.

What is the Starfield story? From our time in game and information released by Bethesda, we’ve pieced together a Starfield timeline spanning 278 years, allowing us to track all the major events in the story up until you get involved in the year 2330.

We know how big Starfield is – spoiler alert, space is big – so it stands to reason that a universe of this size would have an expansive history to match. The official Starfield timeline charts humanity’s course across the stars and their eventual settlement on distant Starfield planets, as well as the founding of major Starfield cities. Given how long Starfield is, let us walk you through the history of the Settled Systems.

A figure in a Starfield space suit looks up at the sky as a sun cresting over the surface of a planet reflects in the suit's visor.

The full Starfield story

The official Starfield timeline and story:

  • 2050: Humans first arrive on Mars. By 2100, humans are living in space.
  • 2156: Humans arrive in Alpha Centauri (4.37 light years away from Earth).
  • 2159: The United Colonies are established.
  • 2160: New Atlantis is founded and becomes the official capital city of the United Colonies in 2161.
  • 2167: Cheyenne is settled by Solomon Coe, who founds its first settlement, Akila City.
  • 2188: Coe invites Volii to join Cheyenne in a new alliance – the Freestar Collective. The Freestar Collective is officially formed in 2189.
  • 2194: The United Colonies positions the star station called the Clinic in orbit around Deepala in the Narion system. The unaffiliated peoples of the Narion system see this as a UC attempt to expand their borders and demand the UC remove the Clinic. When the UC refuses, the people of Narion vote to join the Freestar Collective, who mobilize to protect the system in 2195.
  • 2196: In response to Freestar mobilization, the UC moves a fleet into the Narion system and Freestar responds in kind. The Narion War begins.
  • 2216: The Narion War drags on as public sentiment sours. Finally, the Treaty of Narion is signed by the UC and Freestar Collective in 2216, ending the conflict. The term ‘Settled Systems’ is formalized in the treaty.
  • 2221: The Freestar Rangers are founded as an elite protective and investigative force dedicated to serving all citizens of the Freestar Collective.
  • 2275: Constellation is formed by Sebastian Banks. Original members include Chloe Bao, accomplished physicist; Aja Mamasa, the youngest member and Sebastian’s protégé; Darius Andris, botanist and specialist in xeno-flora; Bernadette Laurent, wealthy heiress and adventurer; Everado Gil, former smuggler; and Kadri Toma, biologist and physician. The Lodge is built in New Atlantis to serve the needs and people of Constellation for generations to come.
  • 2305: Barrett joins Constellation.
  • 2307: The Freestar Collective begins farming on the planet of Vesta in the Lunara system. By 2308 the United Colonies claims that by establishing a colony in a fourth star system, the Freestar Collective has violated the Treaty of Narion. Diplomatic talks break down and the UC lays siege to Vesta, killing anyone who stayed behind (or was brought in) to defend it. The Colony War officially begins.
  • 2310: Constellation comes into possession of their first Artifact and tucks it away in the Constellation archives.
  • 2311: After several years of conflict, the Colony War effectively comes to an end with the Battle of Cheyenne as a flotilla of civilian and military Freestar Collective ships takes down the major ships of the UC Navy using hit-and-run tactics.
  • 2315: The UC Vanguard is founded as part of a UC response to the Freestar Collective’s use of civilian ships during the Colony War. The Vanguard is the UC’s own civilian navy, relying on civilians using their own ships.
  • 2319: Sarah Morgan becomes the youngest head of the UC Navigator Corps, though it’s a short-lived position as the division is shut down in 2320. Cast adrift, but still eager to put her training to good use, Morgan joins Constellation.
  • 2321: Walter Stroud – co-owner of Stroud-Ecklund, one of the Settled Systems’ premier starship manufacturers – joins Constellation and becomes its primary financial backer.
  • 2322: Former Crimson Fleet pirate Vladimir Sall joins Constellation.
  • 2325: Sarah Morgan becomes acting Chair of Constellation.
  • 2325: Theologian Matteo Khatri joins Constellation.
  • 2326: Barrett finds the original Artifact in the Constellation archives and knows it must be special.
  • 2327: Freestar Ranger Sam Coe and his daughter Cora join Constellation.
  • 2328: Andreja joins Constellation.
  • 2328: Barrett convinces Constellation to purchase Starstation L-868 and modify it to become a deep space scanner, nicknamed ‘The Eye’.
  • 2330: Your Starfield story begins.

Starfield timeline: A member of the Constellation stands on a barren moon staring out at a ringed planet that looms before them.

Notably, Bethesda’s official Starfield timeline neglects to mention Earth entirely, but we now know the role of our own planet in the space game. If you’re interested, find out if Earth is in Starfield in our separate guide. The story timeline also covers major historical conflicts, the founding of major Starfield factions, and the origins of notable Starfield companions like Barrett and Sarah Morgan – which may well prove useful when striking up a Starfield romance.

Now you’re up to speed with the Starfield story so far, we highly recommend checking out the Starfield anime shorts for even more in-universe details about the open-world game. We’ve also got the scoop on Starfield ship building and base building if you’re looking to make your mark in the universe, as well as the space combat that awaits you off-planet.

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.