Starfield gameplay details revealed: Weapons, planets and alien minigames


Starfield was Bethesda’s centerpiece during the Xbox E3 2021 show, but the only gripe fans had was the lack of gameplay information. Lucky for them, Todd Howard has since revealed more hints about how it will work. 

  • Starfield is set for a November 2022 release date.
  • Microsoft’s joint E3 2021 press conference with Bethesda did not reveal any gameplay.
  • New Todd Howard interview dives deeper into gameplay and what to expect from their new world.

This is a never-before-seen world that Bethesda have created, but what do we know?

We know that it’s going to be set in space – that’s been crystal clear from the get-go – but we’ve also been told the game will be a shooter, with one gun shown off in the conference on June 13. It remains nameless, for now.

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It had been described as a first-person shooter in the past, though Bethesda’s executive producer Todd Howard has suggested there will be more flexibility than first thought.

Starfield will be first-person and third-person

During an exclusive interview with the Telegraph, a UK-based newspaper, the man behind Morrowind, Oblivion, and Skyrim spilled more details on Starfield. The article is under a paywall, so not every fan looking forward to the game’s launch may have seen it.

He said: “I will say this: it is a first-person and third-person game, like our other ones. We like that style of gameplay. First-person for us is still our prime way of playing. So you can see the world and touch all those things.

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“It’s also a bit more hardcore of a role-playing game than we’ve done. It’s got some really great character systems – choosing your background, things like that. We’re going back to some things that we used to do in games long ago that we felt have really let players express the character they want to be. So I think when you see it being played, you would recognize it as something we made.”

Cities and alien minigames

starfield planetBethesda
At some planets in Starfield, we’ll be able to compete in alien minigames.

Players of Skyrim and Fallout will be wondering how big this new installment is, and whether or not it stacks up – in terms of size.

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He told the Telegraph that while the team doesn’t want to set “crazy expectations”, the developers working on the project are designing cities in a similar way to previously.

“It’s very big, yeah. People are still playing Skyrim and we have learned from that,” Todd said. “We spent more time building [Starfield] to be played for a long time, if you so chose that you just wanted to keep playing it. It’s got some more hooks in it for that, that we added later to a game like Skyrim… while still making sure that somebody who just wants to play it, and go through the main quests and “win”, or feel they’ve accomplished something large is doable.”

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He also confirmed there will be multiple planets in the Starfield solar system, and that alien races (you heard that right) will be possible in some terrains.

Star Wars comparisons and Starfield weapons

starfield weapon on a tableBethesda
Here’s the one Starfield weapon we’ve been introduced to so far.

Taking on a space theme draws obvious comparisons to other popular franchises in the sci-fi genre, such as Star Wars and Star Trek. However, the Bethesda chief isn’t ready to make comparisons.

“This isn’t Star Wars, or Star Trek, it’s kind of its own thing – and I think as we show more, hopefully, it’ll carve out its own niche.

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“So if you look at the ship – you can probably design a much sleeker ship 300 years in the future, right? But this has touchstones back to the current space program. So in your mind, you can draw this line between them. Like there are various guns the player has, and other weapons and things like that… but the more exotic ones feel exotic in the reality of the game versus not.”

There’s only been one weapon revealed in the Starfield trailers, as of June 2021, and players may be wondering how they work in space. After all, it is a huge vacuum.

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Howard added: “I won’t go too deep into it but we did find ways to do that where you believed it in the reality of Starfield. So, yes, we have lasers. We have lasers in a vacuum [laughs]. And there is sound in a vacuum as well. So we found some ways that I won’t go into right now to make it so the player and us have the ability to do those things. But that took a little time.”

Clearly, there’s going to be plenty for players to sink their teeth into and in future gameplay showcases, we should be able to explore this new world even deeper.

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Starfield is set for a November 11, 2022 release date – and will be exclusive to Xbox and PC platforms.

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