Starfield: all the news about Bethesda’s massive space RPG

2 weeks ago 64

Starfield, the new space RPG from Skyrim maker Bethesda Game Studios, is nearly here. It’s been a long time coming — the game was officially announced in 2018 and later delayed from its original 2022 release date — but now, we know a lot more about Starfield ahead of its release on Xbox Series X / S and PC on September 6th. (You can play it a few days earlier if you preorder the right edition.)

The game promises to be an expansive adventure. Bethesda and Microsoft aired a 45-minute presentation about the game in June, and it was packed with details about Starfield’s universe, character creation tools, and many different systems you’ll be able to mess with. You’ll also be able to explore more than 1,000 planets, meaning you’ll have a lot of potential places you can visit on your journeys through space.

Read on for all of our coverage about Starfield.


    Andrew Webster

    Starfield is a stellar sci-fi refresh of the Bethesda RPG formula

    A screenshot from the video game Starfield.

    Image: Bethesda Softworks

    Even as someone who loves the Fallout games, I must admit that spending dozens of hours in an irradiated wasteland full of ghouls and raiders can be a little, well, depressing. It’s not the kind of world that evokes a sense of adventure. That’s what made the potential of Starfield so exciting: here was Bethesda applying its formula for open-world RPGs to a giant universe with planets to discover and cosmic mysteries to unearth. It’s basically the Elder Scrolls by way of Hello Games; call it No Man’s Skyrim.

    In a lot of ways, Starfield lives up to that potential. It is indeed huge, and its main storyline is all about the thrill of adventure and discovery. I found myself pushing through the farthest reaches of space, going to strange, dangerous new places on a quest to seek out the origins of the universe and humanity’s place within it. It’s also a game that sticks fairly closely to the blueprint Bethesda has laid down for its role-playing experiences. Your quest might be much grander in scale, but what you’re doing on a moment-to-moment basis hasn’t changed all that much. This is also the most polished and solid release yet from Bethesda on a technical level.

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  • Starfield to get official modding support.

    In an interview with Famitsu (translated by IGN) Todd Howard said that Bethesda will add official mod support for Starfield sometime in 2024. “Once mods are supported, you’ll be able to do almost anything, just like in our previous games,” he said.

    Can’t wait to see all the infinite potatoes and milk cartons mods to start popping up...or maybe one that skips the almost universally disliked opening sequence.

  • Jay Peters

    That’s a big launch.

    The game has “already surpassed 6 million players,” according to the Starfield account on X. It’s unclear exactly what that number means, but likely some combination of people who bought it and people who tried it on Game Pass.

    If you haven’t checked Starfield out yet, you should — though I should warn you that the first few hours are pretty boring. (I also recommend rushing through the main quest.)

  • Sean Hollister

    Starfield: you’re holding it wrong.

    Remember when Steve Jobs suggested holding your iPhone differently to avoid “antennagate”? Here’s the Starfield version of that: “Upgrade your PC.”

    Earlier this week, Tom put it extremely mildly: “Starfield [...] will demand the most out of both your CPU and GPU.” I would say the game runs comparatively poorly to many triple-A titles, with little graphically or mechanically awesome on screen to justify the low framerate.

  • Andrew Webster

    Explore strange new worlds very soon.

    If you haven’t already been digging into Starfield as part of the early access period, the game will launch for everyone on September 6th on both Xbox and PC (including Game Pass subscribers). For more on the sci-fi epic, be sure to check out our review and this stream with all of our latest coverage, including very important things like futuristic restaurants.

  • Tom Warren

    How well does Starfield run on PC?

    Image: Bethesda

    Bethesda’s Starfield universe launches this week, with access to more than 1,000 planets and promises of unlimited exploration. It’s a giant game that even after more than 100 hours of gameplay you’ll still be finding things to do and places to explore. But for all this adventure, you might be wondering: how well does it all run on modern PCs?

    I’ve spent the past week or so testing Starfield on a few different GPUs, and I’ve come to the conclusion that Starfield is actually very CPU heavy and will demand the most out of both your CPU and GPU. Whether that’s from the regular loading points in the game to the combat and physics-driven parts of adventuring around its various planets, you’ll absolutely want a modern CPU to play this game and maintain high frame rates.

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  • Tom Warren

    It’s time to let something go in space.

    Starfield launches tomorrow and people with early access to the game are already hoarding potatoes. Reddit user Moozipan managed to create quite the pile on their ship. I gasped when I saw the hatch open, and I only wish that some of these had turned into mash potato when the hatch closes again.

  • Jay Peters

    It’s the Year of the Big Game, and that’s a good thing

    A screenshot from Starfield.

    Image: Bethesda Game Studios

    2023 has been packed with some of the biggest games in recent memory, and I’m totally fine with that. For the past little while, it feels like the gaming industry has been more interested in time-sucking live service behemoths, games that never end, rather than satisfying single-player titles. But this year, I’m instead feasting on a delicious platter of great games I can play on my own with a bunch of great courses I haven’t even touched yet.

    Those are the just games I’ve actually spent meaningful time with. I still want to play things like Star Wars Jedi: Survivor (19-plus-hour campaign), Diablo IV (25-plus-hour campaign), and Final Fantasy XVI (35-plus-hour campaign), but I don’t know how I’ll fit those in between what I still want to do with Starfield, Baldur’s Gate 3, and Zelda. I’ve accepted that I’ll leave some titles unfinished, like Pikmin 4’s extra mode and getting all of the achievements in the Switch version of Vampire Survivors

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  • Sean Hollister

    Microsoft’s Starfield gamepad has windows for triggers.

    No, not that kind of Windows — I mean you can see rumble motors inside each of the transparent impulse triggers! Guess I should have bought one in June when Tom first told me about it; they seem to be sold out.

  • Antonio G. Di Benedetto

    The $299.99 Starfield: Constellation Edition for Xbox Series X is back in stock at Amazon.

    The wild Starfield collector’s edition that includes a space-y wristwatch in a custom case is available now at Amazon. The $300 set gets you the game and all its preorder bonuses, with early access beginning tomorrow.

    If you’re unfamiliar with the various preorder perks of Starfield, check out our guide, and if you’ve been wanting this elusive edition I suggest jumping on it promptly.

    Note: If you buy something from these links, we might get affiliate revenue.

  • Antonio G. Di Benedetto

    Where to preorder the various editions of Starfield (and what’s included)

    A screenshot from Starfield.
    Starfield is all about space exploration — potentially like hundreds of hours of it.

    Image: Bethesda Game Studios

    It’s been a very busy year for big game releases, with Starfield being one of the biggest titles that has yet to launch. The Xbox and PC exclusive from Bethesda is promising a massive sci-fi world to voyage around, with over 1,000 explorable planets and countless weapon and mod customizations. It’s also the first new world that Bethesda has created in over two decades, offering a change of pace from its long-running Elder Scrolls franchise.

    If what you saw in Bethesda’s 45-minute gameplay preview or our review has you hyped enough to preorder Starfield ahead of its September 6th release date or September 1st early-access launch, we’ve compiled all your options into a one-stop shop. From the $69.99 base game to the $299.99 Constellation edition and all their included add-ons — as well as the colorful branded accessories for superfans — here are all the ways you can preorder Starfield.

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  • Andrew Webster

    Starfield has some very fun fake brands.

    As you wander around the various planets and cities across the galaxy in the game, you’ll come across all kinds of extremely fun made-up businesses. My favorites have to do with food, like a fast food chain called Chunks where everything (even wine) comes in cube form and you can slather meals with “sauce.” I’m also just glad to know I’ll still be able to get a Tim Horton’s double double in the distant future.

  • Tom Warren

    Starfield doesn’t have Nvidia’s DLSS at launch

    Starfield promotional wallpaper with RTX off logo attached

    Starfield, the new space RPG from Skyrim maker Bethesda Game Studios, is launching today without Nvidia’s upscaling technology. AMD is Starfield’s “exclusive PC partner,” with both Bethesda and AMD engineers working together to optimize the game for multithreaded code on Xbox and PC, Ryzen 7000 processors, and Radeon 7000 series graphics cards.

    It’s still unclear what this exclusivity contract means for Bethesda, but AMD made it clear to The Verge last week that there’s nothing stopping Bethesda from adding DLSS to Starfield. “If they want to do DLSS, they have AMD’s full support,” said AMD gaming chief Frank Azor. That could mean there’s a period of exclusivity where only AMD’s FSR 2 technology is supported, or Bethesda could have simply prioritized FSR over DLSS initially.

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  • Tom Warren

    A first look at the new Starfield Xbox Series X wraps

    Xbox Series X Starfield wrap

    Photo by Tom Warren / The Verge

    Microsoft has created custom limited edition Xbox consoles for years, but it’s now offering up a way to customize your existing Xbox Series X console without having to buy a new one. The new Xbox Series X wraps were announced last week, with a Starfield-branded version arriving in October, followed by camo editions in November. I’ve been trying out the Starfield one.

    The Xbox Series X wrap folds down neatly into a package that’s the width of the console, and when attached will cover all the sides fully with the exception of the rear. It feels very similar to Microsoft’s Surface Pro keyboards: soft to touch, thin, and lightweight. The wrap fits snugly around an Xbox Series X and is held in place by velcro at the rear.

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  • Antonio G. Di Benedetto

    Leaker allegedly steals 67 copies of Starfield — proceeds to review it on video while high AF.

    After posting his own 45-minute gameplay video online, 29 year-old Darin Harris is facing a felony charge. Polygon obtained a police report showing Harris was arrested for the theft.

    Amid the potentially self-incriminating videos Harris posted of himself selling Starfield copies, the best is by far his one-minute game review where he addresses game director Todd Howard directly while smoking up and telling him, “That’s a good game.”

  • Sean Hollister

    Hands-on: AMD’s prize Starfield RX 7900 XTX is too pretty to hide inside my PC.

    Confession: I originally vetoed a Verge quickpost about the limited-edition Starfield AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX. I figured it was too good to be true, and who wants to see renders of a mystical GPU that only 500 people will ever own, including a smattering of influencers?

    Replace “renders” with “my own photos” and it turns out... I do. Love the colors and iconography.

  • Tom Warren

    Starfield is ready for liftoff.

    Bethesda’s first new IP in 25 years, Starfield, has officially gone gold ahead of its debut on September 6th. Preloads will be available for Xbox Series S / X and the Microsoft Store on Windows on August 17th, with preloads for Steam starting on August 30th. If you need a refresher on what Starfield will be like to play, watch 45 minutes of Starfield gameplay right here.

  • Tom Warren

    Microsoft shortens its Xbox Game Pass trials just before Starfield’s release

    Xbox logo

    Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

    Microsoft has shortened its $1 Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and PC Game Pass trials to just 14 days instead of a month, just weeks before the release of Starfield. After running for years, the $1 trial for new Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers stopped in March before returning last month after Microsoft adjusted its Xbox Game Pass pricing.

    The trials have typically offered new Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and PC Game Pass subscribers a month’s access to the subscription services for just $1, but Microsoft has now adjusted both this week to move them to just 14 days only weeks ahead of Starfield’s release on September 6th.

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  • Jay Peters

    Three new Starfield animated shorts offer more glimpses of Bethesda’s new universe

    Starfield will be released in just over a month, and on Tuesday, developer Bethesda Game Studios released three animated shorts as part of a new anthology series called Starfield: The Settled Systems.

    In the shorts, you’ll get a glimpse of three of the game’s big cities. “Follow a delivery pilot in New Atlantis seeking the exciting life of the elite; a stranded orphan looking for a way out of Akila City; and two street rats struggling to survive in the underbelly of Neon,” the studio wrote in a press email.

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  • Tom Warren

    Pour one out for HDDs because PC games are starting to require SSDs

    Samsung Electronics Memory Chips Ahead of Earnings

    Are you still hanging on to that giant 8TB spinning HDD for your PC game installs? Well, it’s starting to look like SSDs will become the new minimum spec for modern PC games. While SSDs have shipped as standard in the latest and greatest PC gaming rigs and laptops, we haven’t seen game developers really push for SSDs as a minimum... until this week.

    Microsoft held its Xbox Games Showcase on Sunday and revealed that Bethesda’s first new IP in 25 years, Starfield, will require 125GB of SSD storage when it debuts on September 6th. It’s not a recommendation — it’s a minimum spec to play Starfield on a PC.

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  • Tom Warren

    Watch 45 minutes of new Starfield gameplay

    We got a solid 15 minutes of Starfield gameplay at Microsoft’s Xbox & Bethesda showcase last year, and today we’re getting a really in-depth look at Bethesda’s first new IP in 25 years. Described as “Skyrim in space,” by game director Todd Howard, the RPG is really shaping up ahead of its debut on September 6th.

    Today Bethesda decided to show us a lot more detail about Starfield, including the cities and settlements in the game, the skill trees, upgrades, and space combat. The 45-minute deep dive is a lot, and it really feels like if Bethesda can pull this off then you’ll be able to live out all your dreams of exploring space.

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