Here's when Netflix's Stranger Things season 4 is set

A screenshot from Stranger Things season 4's first trailer
Stranger Things 4 on Netflix will be set in four separate locations. (Image credit: Netflix)

Netflix has confirmed when Stranger Things season 4 is set – and, surprisingly, it isn't too long after the third season's final episode.

In a blog post on Tudum, Netflix's own dedicated news site, it was revealed that Stranger Things 4 would take place six months after the Battle of Starcourt Mall. Given that the final episode of season 3 took place in the summer of 1985, Stranger Things' fourth season should be set in the winter of 1985, or just after New Year's Day in 1986.

Interestingly, the time jump between seasons 3 and 4 will be the shortest between entries in the hit Netflix show, too. A whole in-universe year had passed between Stranger Things seasons 1 and 2, while there was a nine-month gap that separated seasons 2 and 3.

Despite Stranger Things season 4 being split into two volumes, it's highly unlikely that there will be a time jump between season 4 volumes 1 and 2. As the Duffer brothers – Stranger Things' creators – revealed in a letter to fans following season 4's release date announcement, the upcoming season has only been split in two due to the amount of work needed to complete it. So don't expect any length of time to have passed between season 4 volumes 1 and 2.

After a long wait, Netflix finally revealed (on Thursday, February 17) when Stranger Things season 4 would arrive. Season 4 volume 1 will launch on Friday, May 27, with volume 2 set to follow six weeks later on Friday, July 1. With season 4 containing nine episodes, however, it's unclear which volume will be comprised of five episodes, and which will contain four.

Analysis: what can we expect from Stranger Things 4's plot?

David Harbour as Jim Hopper in a teaser trailer for Stranger Things season 4

Detective Jim Hopper is trapped in Russia in Stranger Things 4. (Image credit: Netflix)

Spoilers follow for Stranger Things season 3's finale.

There's little in the way of concrete plot information so far, but a brief plot synopsis was released by Netflix after Stranger Things season 4's release date was announced.

"It’s been six months since the Battle of Starcourt, which brought terror and destruction to Hawkins," the summary reads. "Struggling with the aftermath, our group of friends are separated for the first time – and navigating the complexities of high school hasn't made things any easier. In this most vulnerable time, a new and horrifying supernatural threat surfaces, presenting a gruesome mystery that, if solved, might finally put an end to the horrors of the Upside Down."

That doesn't give much away, but there are certain things that we do know about Stranger Things season 4.

For one, it'll take place across four different locations – a first for the supernatural horror Netflix series. These settings have already been revealed in Stranger Things season 4's teaser trailers, with the US and Russia being the two countries that the show's fourth season takes place in. The specific locations are California, Creel House (Hawkins, Indiana), Hawkins Laboratory (Hawkins, Indiana) and an unnamed Russian prison based in the Kamchatka Peninsula.

With Stranger Things 4 set in a variety of locations, it'll be the first time when the show's key characters have been split up, too. As fans will remember, the season 3 finale saw the Byers family leave Hawkins to resettle in California. Judging by the second of the four official season 4 posters, though, Eleven/Jane Hopper will leave her surrogate family to unearth the mysteries at Hawkins Laboratory at some point in season 4.

Meanwhile, Detective Jim Hopper, whose death was teased in season 3's final episode, was shown to be alive and well in the first season 4 teaser. Finally, the rest of the Stranger Things' gang – including Dustin, Lucas, Steve, and Nancy – are set to explore Creel House and the potential Upside Down secrets that it holds.

Based on cast quotes over the past 18 months, too, the show's fourth season sounds like it'll be the most frightening entry yet. There are bound to be plenty of emotional story beats, too, so you better get ready a pillow (to hide behind) and a box of tissues ready for season 4's arrival later this year.

Senior Entertainment Reporter

As TechRadar's senior entertainment reporter, Tom covers all of the latest movies, TV shows, and streaming service news that you need to know about. You'll regularly find him writing about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus, and many other topics of interest.

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