Starfield release date, trailers, gameplay and news

A character sits in the cockpit of a spacecraft in Starfield
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Starfield finally has a full release date, and we now know that it's coming later in the year than expected. Regardless, it's nice to finally see a proper release date for the upcoming Bethesda RPG. 

From what we've seen so far, Starfield looks to be very much in line with what we've seen from the studio previously. It's a space-themed RPG, with first and third-person gameplay. You'll be able to fully customize a character, and a ship that can be used to travel around the galaxy.

While we've not seen all that much on Starfield recently, we don't have long to wait until Bethesda lifts the curtain some more. There'll be a Starfield direct event in June, which will hopefully provide our best look at the game yet. While we wait, here's everything we know about Starfield so far, including all of the latest news and trailers.

Starfield: cut to the chase

  • What is it? A Bethesda RPG set in outer space
  • What can I play it on? PC and Xbox Series X|S
  • When can I play it? September 6, 2023

Starfield: Release date and platforms

A ship landing on Atlantis port

(Image credit: Bethesda)

Starfield launches for Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S and PC on September 6, 2023. This was recently confirmed via the game's Twitter, and marks the first full release date given for Starfield.

When Starfield does release, it'll be an Xbox console exclusive, with the E3 2021 trailer explicitly confirming this, ruling out a PS5 release. It won't be on Xbox One either, Bethesda's moving on from Microsoft's last-gen console. With Microsoft now owners of developer Bethesda, this could be indicative of the future of titles like The Elder Scrolls 6 and Fallout 5 going forward.

Starfield trailers

Latest Trailer

The latest trailer we've gotten for Starfield was shown off alongside the release date reveal for the game. It's light on new footage, focusing more on the behind the scenes development process. Check it out below:

More trailers

We've included some key Starfield trailers throughout this article but you can find all the Starfield trailers that have been released to date on Bethesda's official YouTube channel. (opens in new tab)

Starfield gameplay

During 2022's Xbox and Bethesda Showcase, we got our first in-depth look at Starfield's gameplay. Starting with customization, we're playing a fully customizable protagonist. Changeable skin tone, head shapes, hair, hair color, eyes, and body details, Bethesda's giving us the usual options here, alongside 'Background' and 'Traits'.

Backgrounds offer three starting skills each. For example, picking 'Dueling' awards 10% extra melee damage, while 'Gastronomy' lets you create unique food and drinks, alongside researching further recipes. Meanwhile, Traits can shape your personality, so if you choose the 'Extrovert' trait for example, you'll have more endurance when travelling with companions, and less when alone. Unsurprisingly, this can't be mixed with the 'Introvert' trait, which does the opposite.

This presentation also gave us our first real look at ship customization too, which we know is modular. You can piece entire sections together, swapping out core components like cockpits, engines, and more, and it seems that there's no need to individually craft those parts. It looks like we'll buy these from individual vendors across different locations. 

Shortly after the presentation, Bethesda confirmed more on its Twitter (opens in new tab) account. Revealing that Starfield uses a first-person perspective for dialogue, our character also won't be voiced, which may prove welcome news. For the unaware, a voiced protagonist was first attempted by Bethesda in Fallout 4, which faced widespread criticism. Unsurprisingly then, this change has been (mostly) well received. 

Thanks to an IGN interview with Todd Howard, we learned plenty more about Starfield. Speaking about Starfield's length, Howard explains it'll be 20% bigger than Bethesda's previous games, such as The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Fallout 4. Estimating you'll need 30-40 hours for the main story alone, he advised: "This one’s ending up a little bit longer [than our previous games] and we may tune that some still. It’s more quests, so it might be 20% more than our previous ones".

He's also clear that despite the large-scale freedom to explore, Starfield still offers a clear 'golden path' to follow, for those only interested in the main story. Telling IGN there's more handcrafted content than Bethesda has ever created in Starfield, Howard confirmed.

Starfield story and setting

Starfield promises a grand spacefaring adventure across the vast universe, set 300 years into our future. After a few initial missions, our protagonist gets invited to join Constellation, the last group of space explorers. We'll be meeting them in the United Colonies' capital city, New Atlantis, tasked with searching for artifacts across The Settled Systems.

Speaking to IGN (opens in new tab) in a June 2022 interview, Todd Howard revealed New Atlantis will be Bethesda's biggest city yet. "It has all the services you would expect, and you can work on your ship there, the factions touch that. But that’s also the headquarters for Constellation, which is the faction that you join that is the last group of space explorers – kind of this NASA-meets-Indiana Jones-meets-The League of Extraordinary Gentleman [group]."

Unsurprisingly, there's rival groups with separate goals, like the Crimson Fleet, who it seems we'll be frequently clashing with. Previous videos from Bethesda have also confirmed the existence of violent Spacers, ecliptic mercenaries, and fanatical religious zealots of House Va'Ruun. 

This takes place across 1000 fully explorable planets between 100 star systems, and four major cities. Including New Atlantis, we currently know about three of them.  Following a past war with the United Colonies, the Freestar Collective marks the other major faction within The Settled Systems, and both currently maintain an uneasy peace. 

Controlling three star systems, Freestar uses the walled Akila City as its capital, which keeps out "alien predators that are a cross between a wolf and a velociraptor."  Then we have Neon, a pleasure city created by the Xenofresh Corporation. Having created a unique psychotropic drug, Aurora, it's now a popular tourist spot.

Starfield news

Starfield, Planetary Landing

(Image credit: Bethesda)

Starfield gets a 'Restricted' rating in Australia
Starfield has received a 'Restricted' rating by Australia's Classification Board (opens in new tab), namely due to the drug-use depicted in the game. Its violence is also considered 'High Impact,' while nudity and sex are very mild. The use of drugs seems to be the main offender as to why Starfield has received the higher rating, and we expect that's similar to how drugs are depicted in other Bethesda games like Fallout 4.

Starfield is getting its own showcase in June
Starfield recently recieved a full release date. A Starfield Direct was also announced for June 11, and it'll follow the Xbox Showcase planned for earlier in the day.

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Vic Hood
Associate Editor, TechRadar Gaming

Vic is TechRadar Gaming's Associate Editor. An award-winning games journalist, Vic brings experience from IGN, Eurogamer and more to the TechRadar table. You may have even heard her on the radio or speaking on a panel. Not only is Vic passionate about games, but she's also an avid mental health advocate who has appeared on both panels and podcasts to discuss mental health awareness. Make sure to follow her on Twitter for more.