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Elder Scrolls 6 release date estimate, trailers, and latest news

We know for certain that the Elder Scrolls 6 release date is still a few years away, but we've got official reveals, a trailer, and news.

The Elder Scrolls 6 release date: a shot of some mountains from the TES6 trailer

When is the Elder Scrolls 6 release date? The next installment of Bethesda’s critically acclaimed RPG series has been a long time coming. Over half a decade ago, we had our first official look at the game courtesy of a short teaser trailer, and we’ve been keeping a close eye on the latest developments at Bethesda ever since.

We might have been spoilt by the likes of Skyrim and Oblivion already, but we’re more than ready to get stuck into a new iteration of the Elder Scrolls universe. The series has produced some of the best PC games ever made, and we hope Elder Scrolls 6 will follow suit. Bethesda director Todd Howard says we’ll be sinking our teeth in the Elder Scrolls 6’s gameplay “for a decade at least.” Here’s everything we know about when Elder Scrolls 6 is coming out, including its potential setting, gameplay features, and expectations for when it’ll arrive.

Elder Scrolls 6 release date estimate

The Elder Scrolls 6 release date is expected to be no earlier than 2026 for PC and Xbox Series X|S. This is according to a lawyer representing Microsoft during the FTC hearing regarding the company’s purchase of Activision Blizzard.

In 2016, analyst Michael Pachter optimistically predicted that The Elder Scrolls 6 (TES 6) release date would arrive in 2017, but he was immediately proven wrong. In 2021, industry insider Tyler McVicker indicated that we shouldn’t expect The Elder Scrolls 6 until at least 2026.

Given that Bethesda’s focus over the last few years has been the Starfield release date, it came as no surprise when Pete Hines confirmed that TES 6 was still “in early development” in August 2023. However, now that the space game has finally launched, we expect the studio to pivot to Elder Scrolls 6 alongside the Starfield Shattered Space DLC.

Elder Scrolls 6 Game Pass

Even though we will need to wait a while longer to play it, Elder Scrolls 6 is coming to Game Pass and will be available on its release date. Bethesda is now owned by Microsoft, and its previous game, Starfield, was also available from day one.

This news came as part of the press release following the Zenimax Media acquisition deal in 2020, in which Head of Xbox Phil Spencer stated “We will be adding Bethesda’s iconic franchises to Xbox Game Pass for console and PC. One of the things that has me most excited is seeing the roadmap with Bethesda’s future games, some announced, and many unannounced, to Xbox console and PC”.

Elder Scrolls 6 trailer

Before we get into all the juicy news and rumors, here’s the Elder Scrolls 6 official announcement trailer. The brief clip opens with the classic musical motif from the series and a panning shot of some mountains before the logo appears. Judging by the terrain, it looks like TES 6 is taking us to either Hammerfell, home of the Redguard people, or High Rock, where the Breton race originates.

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Elder Scrolls 6 news

The most recent report on The Elder Scrolls 6 comes from Bethesda’s former head of publishing, Pete Hines, who confirmed it is in “early development.”

We also know that YouTuber Shirley Curry, more widely known as ‘Skyrim Grandma’, will be an NPC in The Elder Scrolls 6. Bethesda revealed the news during The Elder Scrolls 25th anniversary stream after a fan petition racked up 49,322 signatures to make it happen. Regarding other NPCs, there will also possibly be a tribute to an Elder Scrolls fan whose dream it was to appear in Skyrim.

There’s also an interview between Pete Hines and VGR, which explains exactly why Bethesda announced TES 6 at such an early stage: “We were honestly a little tired of being asked about Elder Scrolls VI”. So there you have it, the reveal doesn’t necessarily tell us anything about how far into production the Skyrim sequel is, just that Bethesda is sick to death of fielding the question.

Former Skyrim lead designer and Starfield system designer Bruce Nesmith recently echoed Hines’s sentiments behind the Elder Scrolls 6’s early announcement. “[Bethesda] took years of hits for not talking about Elder Scrolls 6,” Nesmith says. He goes on to predict that we won’t hear much until around six months before the RPG’s release – but on the bright side, that means we won’t have long to wait once we do hear more.

The Elder Scrolls 6 map - a rendition of the entire Elder Scrolls world map.

Elder Scrolls 6 location

When you see the Elder Scrolls 6 announcement trailer, two Elder Scrolls locations may well spring to mind: High Rock and Hammerfell. Why? Mountains, large areas of coastline, and dry, arid landscapes.

But until Bethesda reveals more, we don’t know what the Elder Scrolls 6 setting will be. The past few numbered entries to the series have mostly stuck to one region, but given the ambitious ideas going into the game, The Elder Scrolls 5 might see us travel to multiple regions. We might even see an entire continent, The Elder Scrolls Online-style.

There was some speculation that The Elder Scrolls 6 reveal trailer did not necessarily reflect an in-game setting and was just intended to set the tone. However, in an interview with Eurogamer, Todd Howard revealed that The Elder Scrolls 6 location has been known for a while and that the trailer allows you to rule some locations out.

Our best guess is Hammerfell, which is because of a post on X, formerly Twitter, published at the end of 2020. It showed a map of Skyrim with the words “transcribe the past and map the future”. Cross-referencing this with the entire map of Tamriel, we can see that though the borders of Cyrodiil (the setting for The Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion) and High Rock (the land of the high elves) are shown, they’re a lot more obscured than the region of Hammerfell to the southwest.

Hammerfell, home to the Redguards, also has a white circle, which could indicate that this is where we’re heading for the next Elder Scrolls game. It supports the footage from the trailer mentioned earlier, with the region being mountainous. That said, there’s also speculation that this tweet refers to a possible expansion to The Elder Scrolls: Online, but nothing has been confirmed as of yet.

The Elder Scrolls 6 release date speculation and rumours: Three people look over a map table.

Elder Scrolls 6 races

If The Elder Scrolls 6 does go somewhere completely new, perhaps we will see a few new races added to the formula, with all-new lore and gameplay styles to get to grips with.

However, no new races were added to Skyrim, so it is less likely we will see some new species or races if The Elder Scrolls 6 sticks to Tamriel. That said, Sea Elves – also known as Maormer – feature in The Elder Scrolls Online, so perhaps they could return in a numbered main entry to the series.

The Elder Scrolls 6 release date speculation and rumours: A vista showing a river winding through an open plain

Elder Scrolls 6 story

One of the things that set The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim apart from the rest of the series is its complex narrative full of political intrigue. Your role in the game’s civil war decides the fate of a troubled kingdom that is only nominally part of the Empire. Here’s hoping that the TES 6 story takes things to a new level.

While the Elder Scrolls 6 story would, to an extent, depend on the setting and its history, hopefully, the game’s narrative will match the ambition going into the game in its early stages.

That’s everything we know about the Elder Scrolls 6 release date, and we have a few estimates over on PCGameBenchmark to answer the question… “Can I run the Elder Scrolls 6?” We imagine you probably don’t want to wait that long to play something new, so we have a list of upcoming PC games that will launch this year.