How to play Starfield on early access, and key details from the blockbuster game

Starfield was initially slated for launch in the first half of this year but has been delayed  (Microsoft)
Starfield was initially slated for launch in the first half of this year but has been delayed (Microsoft)

Bethesda’s upcoming game Starfield is on track to be one of the biggest releases of 2023. Boasting almost a million lines of dialogue, anticipation has been building ever since the game was first announced in 2018.

However, it’s now been reported that, according to an update to Starfield’s Steam page, Bethesda will be re-introducing paid mods to Starfield via its Creation Club.

This Creation Club function is what has allowed mods to be installed on both Fallout 4 and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, on PC and consoles.

However, while there are of course several free mods to install, some require "Creation Credits" – a digital currency used to acquire official Bethesda add-ons.

Creation Credits are thought to also appear in Starfield, suggesting that players will be encouraged to invest real money in the game in order to access certain mods.

While some mods might require actual funds, there’s enough about the game itself to get excited about already. Here’s a breakdown of everything you need to know about Starfield, including how you can get early access to the game.

What is Starfield about?

Starfield is development studio Bethesda’s first new RPG in 25 years (after Skyrim). It is ambitious in scope: the player will take on the role of an astronaut exploring open space, and will be reportedly able to visit a thousand different planets during their adventure.

Bethesda has also teased that players will have nearly unlimited freedom to decide their fate: they can become a hero, a pirate, a villain or merely an explorer (and, yes, there will be the possibility of romancing certain NPCs). Will there be aliens? The team have said no. As far as anything else goes, it’s all up for debate.

Players are able to customise their spaceships to suit their needs (Bethesda)
Players are able to customise their spaceships to suit their needs (Bethesda)

What do we know so far?

Fans have gotten a look at the game’s inner workings through a series of gameplay videos and deep dives since last year.

Skyrim in space

It seems like Bethesda has been at least partially influenced by its work on Skyrim; in a December interview, the game’s lead quest designer, Will Shen, revealed that Starfield’s faction quests worked in a similar way to Skyrim’s guilds. That is, players will be locked out of doing certain quests depending on which storylines they pick.

“We really want to make sure that you can play through all the faction lines independently of each other,” he said. “We really want the stories to be a little more personal, right? You’re influencing the direction of where this faction is going to go.”


The main story focuses on the last band of space explorers, known as the Constellation. Players will encounter them in New Atlantis, which Bethesda says is the biggest city it has ever built in terms of size, crowds and quests.

The studio previously teased a desolate moon and combat with space bandits. It also shared some of Starfield’s gameplay: players will level up and choose new skills each time they do so (these skills can also be upgraded).

Space travel

As for the thousand-plus planets in the game, each will have its own gravity, with some floatier than others. This will inevitably impact your gunfights and interactions with the native flora and fauna.

Getting to each planet will require jumping into your very own spaceship. You’ll be sharing the vessel with other members of the Constellation, and companions you hire during your travels, each of who will boast their own unique quests.


As you reach new planets, you’ll also be able to establish “outposts” where you can harvest resources while you’re away. These can then be used to craft items, including mods that can add explosive firepower to your guns or suppressors for stealth kills.

Even more excitingly, customisation extends to your spaceships. You can loot and take control of other ships, with their parts being added to your own fleet to make them faster or better equipped for battle.

Guns are equally customisable, with a weapon crafting system that will let players modify their arsenal of space-based firearms. Early looks at the possible options include mods for a submachine gun that will potentially provide new possibilities for barrel, grip, optic, and muzzle options.

Influence from other Bethesda games

It’s also been revealed that there are game mechanics from other Bethesda games, Elder Scrolls and Fallout, such as the fact that NPCs can be pickpocketed as well as picking locks (or digipicking, if we’re using in-game slang).

NPCs aren’t just to rob, either, but will be able to assist in combat. That means it’ll pay in more ways than one to keep them around – especially as some will even be romanceable.

What do the trailers show?

So far, there have been three main trailers for Starfield. The first, released in 2021, showed an astronaut on a barren planet getting into a spaceship and flicking the switches, ready for take-off.

“What you’ve found is the key to unlocking … everything,” somebody says. “We’ve come to the beginning of humanity’s final journey.”

It’s not much to go on – but after months of waiting, fans were finally treated to a new trailer, which dropped on March 8. In it, we can see clips of a spaceship orbiting a mysterious planet, before being welcomed on board the Constellation Star Station LO868.

We also get snatches of some mysterious dialogue that hints at an underlying mystery, or perhaps even aliens: “Eye’s showing signs over another one of those big anomalies. Maybe you can catch a smile and uncover the source of it all.” This is especially intriguing, given that previously the developers had said that aliens wouldn’t feature in the game.

The footage itself doesn’t show us much. We visit what looks like a ruined city on an empty planet — before it cuts to an astronaut floating against a series of orbiting rings.

Todd Howard, the game’s director, also pops up to deliver a message. “We have poured ourselves into this game and even I’m surprised how much we can pour,” he says. “It is large … there’s so much we have left to show you.”

The latest trailer headlined Xbox’s annual summer showcase in June. Starting with cinematic footage of the game’s asteroid belts, mechanoid robots and non-playable human characters, the clip then launches into propulsive gameplay that highlights Starfield’s jump-and-gun combat and warp-speed space travel.

Along the way, we’re treated to fights with slimy bugs, Star Wars-style space skirmishes, and brief glimpses of the game’s dinosaur-sized monsters. We also learn of a story involving artifacts from an ancient civilization that could be key to the game’s narrative.

When is the Starfield release date?

Though Starfield was initially slated for launch in the first half of 2023, it has also been subject to numerous delays, probably due to its sheer size. In May 2022, it was pushed back to 2023 alongside vampire shooter Redfall.

It will now be coming out on September 6, 2023 – months later than initially expected.

How to get early access to Starfield

By all accounts, Starfield is set to be a massive galactic adventure that could take hundreds of hours to fully complete.

If you’re eager to start your journey, then you’ll want to get in on the early access date.

Bethesda is rewarding everyone’s patience by offering the chance to play the game on September 1, a full five days before its release date.

To gain early access to the game, you’ll need to purchase one of Starfield’s special editions, both of which are more expensive than the £60 standard version. The Starfield Premium Edition costs £86, while the Constellation Edition costs a whopping £250.

Both versions are currently available to pre-order online and come with various extras. We’ve detailed what’s available in each edition here.

Will it be multiplayer?

As far as we know, no. Starfield is currently being described as a single-player story, and there have been no whispers of any online multiplayer in the works.

In a 2020 interview, the game’s director, Todd Howard, referred to it as a “single-player game” – but that’s no reason that a multiplayer mode can’t be added in the future.

Xbox’s streaming event in June will have more information about Starfield (Bethesda)
Xbox’s streaming event in June will have more information about Starfield (Bethesda)

When will we find out more about Starfield?

Although there’s not long to go till Starfield’s release date, Bethesda has one more showcase planned for the game.

It will be bringing the title to Gamescom 2023 in late August as part of Microsoft’s booth at the gaming convention, which is scheduled to take place between August 23 and 27.

However, the game won’t be playable, so don’t expect to hear any first impressions from the event. Instead, we’ll get to see more footage as part of an “exclusive theatre presentation”.

Will Starfield be available on Game Pass?

The game will be available on PC and Xbox, as well as on Xbox’s Game Pass from day one. However, due to Bethesda and Xbox’s working partnership, the game won’t be available on PlayStation for the foreseeable future.