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Starfield Release Date & Features: 10 Things to Know



Here’s what you need to know right now about Starfield based on traditions, rumors, confirmed information, and what we expect from Bethesda’s highly anticipated game.

Starfield is the next game from Bethesda Game Studios, the popular developer behind Elder Scrolls and Fallout. It’s the company’s first new developed intellectual property in over 25 years and it’s one of 2023’s most high profile games.

While we’ve seen the game in action and have some key dates in place, information remains missing in action as we push toward its release. That being said, we can outline the most important things potential buyers should know right now.

In this guide we’ll outline what we know right now about Starfield’s features, pre-order, release date, editions, pricing, DLC, and more.

Starfield Release Date

Starfield was originally scheduled to arrive on November 11th, 2022. The release date then got moved to an unspecified date in the first half of 2023.

Unsurprisingly, Bethesda delayed the game again and pushed the release date deeper into 2023. This allowed the developer, who is notorious for bugs, to add additional polish.

The Starfield release date for all platforms is now confirmed for September 6th.

There is also a way to play Starfield early. If you pre-order the game’s Premium or Constellation edition, you can play the game up to five days early. For more about how to play the game early, check out our guide.

If you buy the game before its release date, you can pre-load the game ahead of time. The Starfield pre-load for Xbox and Windows started on August 17th. It starts on August 30th for Steam. For more about the pre-load and download, check out our guide.

Bethesda’s confirmed Starfield’s unlock times for regions around the world. If you pre-load the game, and you live on the west coast of the United States, you’ll be able to start playing at 5PM on August 31st/September 5th.

Also of note, Starfield will be available to Xbox Game Pass subscribers on day one.

Starfield Beta

There won’t be a public Starfield beta ahead of the game’s release, it seems. One thing is for sure though: Don’t trust any sites or links advertising access to a Starfield beta.

In April, we discovered a link at the top of Google search results promoting a Starfield open beta. We won’t link to the site here, but it’s an obvious scam and in no way affiliated with the game.

Starfield Consoles

After Microsoft bought Bethesda, many assumed Starfield would be an Xbox exclusive. They assumed correctly.

Starfield is indeed exclusive to Xbox and Windows which means the game won’t be released for the PlayStation 5 or PlayStation 4. It won’t come to Nintendo Switch either.

The game is also a Xbox Play Anywhere title which means players can play it across their consoles and PCs with just a single purchase. If you’re interested in this, be sure to buy the game from the Microsoft Store or the Xbox Store. It won’t work if you buy it on Steam.

Can You Play Starfield on Xbox One?

The game will run natively on Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, and Windows. It won’t run natively on older consoles like the Xbox One series, but it looks like there might be a way to play the game on older Xbox consoles.

While the game won’t be able to run natively on Xbox One consoles, Xbox One owners should be able to play the game using a workaround.

XCloud is Xbox’s streaming technology and it’s available to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers. Using XCloud, Xbox One users should be able to stream the game on their device. Again, you’ll need an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and you’ll also need an internet connection that can handle cloud-based gaming.

It’s unclear how well Starfield will run using this method, we won’t know until the game comes out, but don’t expect to get the same kind of quality you would get running it natively on an Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S.

Starfield Editions

Bethesda’s confirmed three versions of Starfield. They include:

  • Standard Edition
  • Premium Edition
  • Constellation Edition (Collector’s Edition)

Each has a different set of bonuses at a different price point. The Constellation edition is a whopping $299.99 and it comes with the watch your character uses in the game. It’s also very difficult to find right now as retailers have sold out around the country.

For more about the these Starfield editions, check out our guide. And head over to this guide for more insight about the Constellation edition.

Starfield Pre-Orders

Starfield pre-orders are live and if you buy the game before the release date, you’ll get some bonuses with your order.

Bethesda calls the pre-order bonus the Old Mars Skin Pack and it applies to pre-orders for all versions of the game. Here’s what you get:

  • Laser Cutter
  • Deep Mining Helmet
  • Deep Mining Pack

Xbox Game Pass members also get access to the pre-order bonuses included in Starfield Standard edition. Bethesda says Game Pass members get access to the pre-order content as long as their Game Pass subscription is active, regardless of when they download the game.

For more about Starfield pre-orders, and advice for those of you thinking about buying the game right now, head over to our guide.

Starfield Price

The base version of Starfield for Xbox One Series X starts at $69.99 without a deal.

If you want a little more from your order, the Premium edition is $99.99 without a deal. Again, the collector’s bundle, the Constellation edition, is $299.99.

We haven’t seen a ton of Starfield deals out there, but they do exist. For instance, Green Man Gaming at one point was taking 15% off the price of a copy for Windows PC.

Make sure you shop around before you pre-order.

Starfield Features

Bethesda’s shown the game off in great detail. If you missed Starfield Direct, you can watch the replay below and learn about the game’s many features.

Starfield, like Bethesda’s previous games, is an RPG which means there is character customization and skill progression. There are also staples like weapon crafting, item crafting, and recipes. There’s also a ton of loot, including items you’ll recover from ships you destroy in space.

There will be a ton of dialogue, various NPC factions, and a main quest to follow in addition to tons of side quests. Bethesda says the main quest chain could take players up to 40 hours to complete. The company’s also revealed the existence of a mission board which will offer the player exciting challenges.

Like Fallout 4, you’ll be able to toggle the camera between third-person and first-person giving you the freedom to play the game how you want to. You’ll also be able to hide your character’s helmet in breathable areas so you can see their face, hair, etc.

Starfield is massive game. Bethesda says it includes over 100 explorable star systems with over 1000 planets. There will be around 10 planets to explore per system. Todd Howard has confirmed additional details and says 10% of the planets have life on them.

In addition to the combat and exploration you’ll do on the game’s various planets, you’ll also engage in ship combat. You’ll also be able to customize your ship and store ships you buy, or capture, at various spaceports.

Howard says there won’t be any ground vehicles (like rovers) to use when exploring planets. There also won’t be any animal mounts.

On top of all that, you can build outposts on planets and you can scan and survey the places you visit for resources, flora, and fauna.

Here are a few other details pulled from a Starfield Q&A on Discord:

  • You can recruit 20+ Companions.
  • You can get houses in all the game’s major cities. Some of these can be purchased, others are quest rewards.
  • If you get arrested, you can go to jail, pay a fine, or resist.
  • There are non-lethal weapons.

As for the game’s storyline, you’ll want to check out Bethesda’s Starfield timeline (scroll down to The Story So Far section). It covers a lot of the basics and it’s worth a look if you want to know more about the plot ahead of the game’s release.

On console, Starfield will be locked at 30FPS. The game will have a 4K output resolution on the Xbox Series X and 1440p on the Xbox Series S. If you want 60fps, you’ll need to buy the PC version of the game.

Starfield PC Requirements

If you’re planning to play Starfield on a Windows PC, you’ll want to take note of the game’s minimum and recommended requirements:

Starfield Minimum PC Requirements:

  • OS: Windows 10 version 22H2 (10.0.19045)
  • Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 2600X, Intel Core i7-6800K
  • Memory: 16 GB RAM
  • Graphics: AMD Radeon RX 5700, NVIDIA GeForce 1070 Ti
  • DirectX: Version 12
  • Network: Broadband Internet connection
  • Storage: 125 GB available space
  • Additional Notes: SSD Required

Starfield Recommended PC Requirements:

  • OS: Windows 10/11 with updates
  • Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 3600X, Intel i5-10600K
  • Memory: 16 GB RAM
  • Graphics: AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080
  • DirectX: Version 12
  • Network: Broadband Internet connection
  • Storage: 125 GB available space
  • Additional Notes: SSD Required

The two biggest standouts here are the SSD requirement and the amount of storage needed to install the game. Keep those in mind if you plan to play the game on a PC.

Starfield DLC

Bethesda’s confirmed plans to support Starfield with DLC (Downloadable Content) after its release. This should come as no surprise to those who have played the developer’s previous titles.

The Premium edition and Constellation edition include access to the Shattered Space Story expansion. The expansion doesn’t have a release date yet and it’s unclear how much it will cost outside of these bundles.

For more about Starfield DLC, head on over to our guide.

Starfield Mods

Bethesda’s also confirmed plans to bring Starfield mod support to both Windows PC and Xbox which will give players a mind-boggling number of ways to alter the game.

Todd Howard says Starfield will be “be kind of a modder’s paradise” and that Bethesda wants to make it easy for modders and “to make this where they can make it not just a hobby but a career.”

Look for Bethesda to provide gamers with some kind of official mod marketplace where it’s easy to download and install modifications from various developers.

It’s unclear if we’ll see the return of Creation Club, a paid mods marketplace where developers can earn money from their creations.

Popular third-party site NexusMods is also preparing for Starfield so you can expect to find a ton of tweaks over there as well.

4 Reasons to Pre-Order Starfield & 4 Reasons to Wait

Pre-Order Starfield for These Bonuses

Pre-Order Starfield for These Bonuses

Starfield pre-orders come with some bonus items.

Bethesda calls the Starfield pre-order bonus the Old Mars Skin Pack and it applies to pre-orders for all versions of the game.

The Old Mars Skin Pack includes the following items:

  • Laser Cutter
  • Deep Mining Helmet
  • Deep Mining Pack

If you want access to these items, you'll want to pre-order a copy of the game before it arrives in early September. 

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