Starfield multiplayer: will you be able to play with others?

Starfield multiplayer - A lonely spaceman on an empty rocket planet
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Thinking about Starfield multiplayer as you look forward to Bethesda’s interstellar behemoth? We get it – space can get pretty lonely, after all.

If you're anything like me, your head is swirling with countless new ideas for your spacefaring future. Whether you're hoping to be a ruthless space pirate or an intergalactic potato farmer cultivating as many planets as possible, Starfield is coming. 

But is Bethesda about to boldly go where few games have gone before and let you grab a friend, close the airlocks, and launch yourselves into deep space? The game draws many comparisons to No Man's Sky Beyond, so perhaps it will have similar multiplayer capacities.

As we receive more intel about Bethesda's latest massive adventure, unique features have been revealed to us. From the myriad Starfield factions to tackling the question of just how big Starfield is, the features list has given a sense of scale for what to expect. And although you'll be able to fly between all the planets and upgrade and design your ship to your heart's content, it's unlikely that Bethesda is going to deviate from their standard single-player approach. That won't stop us from going over what we know right now - and what we still have high hopes for.

Starfield multiplayer

Starfield multiplayer: will it be a feature?

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Back in the dusty annals of 2020, Todd Howard categorized Starfield as a single-player game alongside Elder Scrolls 6. While he didn't expand on this at all at the time – leaving an opening for dubious speculation – no new mention of multiplayer or singleplayer has come up since to suggest anything else.

Furthermore, if you look back at Bethesda's history of major hits, from Fallout 4 to Skyrim, there's very little reason for them to deviate from their formula. None of Bethesda's previous big hits have needed more than their single player to be released five times, so why would Starfield buck that trend?

Maybe most importantly of all, Bethesda has already answered our question about multiplayer in their big expansive RPGs: when they want to have multiplayer, they'll make it a separate game. After all, Fallout 4 (in essence) got multiplayer with the oft-maligned Fallout 76, which still managed to sell at least couple million copies. It seems pretty clear that Bethesda doesn't consider multiplayer to be a part of its game plan for its major games, and instead will deliver them as separate games if they do at all. 

That being said, Bethesda hasn't outright said there will be no multiplayer in-game yet either. Often they champion a game's single-player status, but we haven't quite seen that yet with Starfield. It's also possible the game has light multiplayer aspects, such as sending other players resources, or shaping lands and leaving notes like Death Stranding. Right now, we don't know. 

Until Todd Howard decides to grace us with more specific answers, we're just going to have to keep our eyes glued to our digital telescopes to read the answers in the Starfield.

Sarah Richter

Sarah (She/Her) is a contributor and former Senior Writer for TechRadar Gaming. With six years of experience writing freelance for publications like PC Gamer, she's covered every genre imaginable and probably a few she made up. She has a passion for diversity and the way different genres can be sandboxes for creativity and emergent storytelling, and loves worldbuilding. With thousands of hours in League of Legends, Overwatch, Minecraft, and countless survival, strategy, roguelike, and RPG entries, she still finds time for offline hobbies like tabletop RPGs, wargaming, miniatures painting, and hockey.