Starfield map size and how many planets are in the game?

Astronaut looks out over a brown field of wheat
(Image credit: Bethesda)

With launch only months away, fans are wondering: how big is Starfield?

Though the September 6 launch day draws ever closer, many are still curious as to the exact scale of Bethesda's upcoming game. We already know that Starfield will have the biggest city Bethesda has ever built, but what can we expect when it comes to the planets and solar systems that make up Starfield's open world? 

Fortunately, the Starfield Direct at E3 2023 gave us a solid insight into what exactly we'll see from Starfield in terms of the scope and ambition of its explorable environments. It's clear that Bethesda wants Starfield to become one of the best RPGs of all time – a feat it won't achieve without proper investment in crafting immersive and compelling worlds for players to explore. 

The developers are keen for players not to see Starfield as a "Bethesda Game Studios world", but as a "Bethesda Game Studios galaxy" and to give fans "freedom on a galactic level... to experience both the exciting planets and the quiet ones." Once you've finished creating your character, it'll be up to you to determine how to explore Starfield's dizzying array of planets and solar systems.

How big is Starfield?

A planet called Gagarin, shown on Starfield's Galaxy map

(Image credit: Bethesda)

According to the Starfield official gameplay reveal trailer, there are "over 100 systems" with "over 1,000 planets" which are "all open for you to explore." That's a pretty ambitious promise. The trailer implies that landing on each of these planets will be an option for your intrepid space explorer. Upon arriving on a new world you can, according to Bethesda, "explore anywhere on the planet," too.

In the 2023 Starfield Direct, Bethesda revealed that because of the "scale of the game", designers had to approach worldbuilding completely differently, using procedural generation to do justice to the game's scale while telling "as many stories as possible."

This suggests that Starfield's total amount of explorable terrestrial area will be immense. The main campaign is set to take place in an area roughly 20% bigger than Fallout 4 and Skyrim, according to The Gamer

Are planets procedurally generated?

A ship landing on a New Atlantis port

(Image credit: Bethesda)

Starfield's planetary exploration mechanics will make heavy use of procedural generation. According to the Starfield Direct, when landing on a new world, "the planet itself" will be "procedural content", but that "handcrafted content" will emerge "as the player explores. Our system builds a planet as the player approaches it, stitching together terrain. After that, we have a system that adds interesting locations for the player to explore, creatures to encounter, and plants to pick up. It allows us to add that touch of environmental storytelling that Bethesda is known for."  

This means that "even if your friends were to visit the same planet that you already had, they would have a different story to tell."

Obviously, this means that the quality of the off-piste environments will be contingent on the quality of Bethesda's approach to procedural generation. However, if the developer manages to successfully craft a system capable of creating exciting and dynamic environments for players, then the possibilities are endless, especially when you consider that Starfield will be just as moddable as Skyrim.

Cat Bussell
Staff Writer

Cat Bussell is a Staff Writer at TechRadar Gaming. Hailing from the crooked spires of London, Cat is an experienced writer and journalist. As seen on,, and, Cat is here to bring you coverage from all corners of the video game world. An inveterate RPG maven and strategy game enjoyer, Cat is known for her love of rich narratives; both story-driven and emergent.