Elder Scrolls 6 is happening, we just don't know when, and it looks like we won't be getting news anytime soon. But don't fret. We've scoured the Internet for every scrap of information and news we could possibly find about the follow-up to Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim, and collected it all here for you.
Let's temper your expectations first: as GamesRadar recently reported, Bethesda stated that Elder Scrolls 6 is still "years" away and it won't reveal any news regarding the game until "years from now." Considering the current state of global affairs and the developer's work on the upcoming space RPG Starfield, it's no surprise, although it is a bit disheartening (years is a long time). It's also important to note that game director Todd Howard has previously stated that Elder Scrolls 6 won't come until after Bethesda releases Starfield - if that's any unit of measurement.
It's been two years since the Elder Scrolls 6 teaser trailer dropped at E3 2018, and since then, news has been almost nonexistent. It's now certain the game will be a next-gen title for Xbox Series X and PS5, but it's unclear when the title will drop, and if it will be available on the current platforms, as well, or just a next-gen exclusive. If there's enough space between the next-gen launch and the debut of Elder Scrolls 6, it may not be compatible on current gen.
There's not many other concrete facts about Elder Scrolls 6 release date, gameplay, or even the engine it will run on, although we speculate about that here. So far we've got a teaser trailer, a pile of rumors, and more to pick through, all of which we've gathered below.
Elder Scrolls 6 release is years away
Todd Howard has recently revealed even more about when we can expect to play Elder Scrolls 6, and I'm just warning you: you're going to need to be patient. Like, very patient. As mentioned earlier, Bethesda has recently tempered expectations by announcing that Elder Scrolls 6 is "years away."
Speaking to IGN, Howard said that repeatedly switching between Elder Scrolls and Fallout was exhausting for the developers at Bethesda Game studios, saying that "we had done so many things, we were going Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Elder Scrolls, Fallout... You have this Starfield game in your head, you sort of say, well, when? It can be never, you could say never. But look, we're creatives, and it's like we have to make this game, and this is the time. So Elder Scrolls 6 is going to have to wait a little bit. And plus, again, Elder Scrolls Online is doing so well, it's so vibrant, that this is the time, both for us creatively and our audience". We're not fans of dev burnout here at GamesRadar+, so if we gotta wait, we can wait.
In the same interview Howard said that "the kind of things that we're talking about are gonna take a lot of people, every BGS studio will probably be involved in [Elder Scrolls 6]. Even Starfield right now, it's not really in Austin but in Dallas and in Montreal there's staff on Starfield as well". It's good to see that a game as highly anticipated as Elder Scrolls 6 will get Bethesda's utmost attention - that can only mean good things for the title's future.
And even though Bethesda has started work on Elder Scrolls 6, the studio hasn’t contacted Jeremy Soule, the composer of Skyrim and Oblivion, about creating a soundtrack for the game. Speaking to his fans on Facebook, according to IGN Soule says that “I would never turn my back on TES, and I believe that my involvement would hinge on a creative decision on their part and where they want to take the franchise. To confirm, I am currently not involved with TES VI”.
So those variously heavy hints imply that we've got to wait for PS5 or Xbox Project Scarlett before we even catch a whiff of Elder Scrolls 6.
In case that wasn't enough evidence for you that it's going to be an age before Elder Scrolls 6 comes out, a while ago Pete Hines, VP of PR and Marketing at Bethesda, answered the age old question "what's happening with the Elder Scrolls 6?". He confirmed yet again that the game will happen at some point to GameSpot, saying "The Elder Scrolls 6 will eventually be made. It is multiple big releases down the plan for [Bethesda Game Studios]." Despite the teaser we got at E3 2018, there's no solid details about a release date. Sob.
In an interview with GamesRadar+, stressed that Bethesda Game Studios doesn't want to be known as a team that just makes Fallout and Elder Scrolls games, pointing out Guerrilla's bravery with Horizon Zero Dawn:
"[The development teams] aren't just a vending machine where you press for the soda and they just go back and forth - they want to be able to stretch their legs creatively, or try a new idea, or do something different and not just fall into the same pattern. I think you see a lot of developers do that, and quite honestly, if we didn’t have folks break from it then you don’t get Horizon Zero Dawn. Like, how unbelievable is that game?"
So we'll be seeing at least one new Bethesda IP like Starfield making its way onto our screens before we get a Elder Scrolls 6 release date. Basically, Elder Scrolls 6 is a long, long way away. So, sit back, relax (or don't, depending on how much you was Elder Scrolls 6 to be announced), and maybe try one of the other best open world games around to occupy your time. Sorry. Again.
Cause BGS has two other big games it is going to do first. https://t.co/2ynj4n9qnNFebruary 2, 2018
Elder Scrolls 6 engine
If you're wondering what engine Elder Scrolls 6 will be working with, join the club. Our very own Leon Hurley goes deep in breaking down if there is indeed a new engine for Elder Scrolls 6, and if a new engine is even necessary. Check that out here. As Hurley writes, Bethesda has been using a Creation Engine for its Elder Scrolls and Fallout games, which originally began as the Gamebryo engine (that was used for Morrowind through Oblivion and Fallout 3). The Creation Engine was Bethesda's own take on the Gamebryo engine.
According to Hurley, "While Elder Scrolls 6 might be using the same engine in name as Skyrim in name, it's the same engine with [reads back notes] an all new renderer, new lighting, new landscape system, new animation system and photogrammetry. And that's only what Bethesda has talked about publicly."
Ultimately, Leon argues that a brand new engine isn't always what you'd want for a game like Elder Scrolls 6, namely because it could be incredibly buggy. So I guess we'll wait and see.
Bethesda job openings could point to the start of production on Elder Scrolls 6
As mentioned above, newly discovered vacancies posted on Bethesda's website has us thinking the developer is wrapping up work on Starfield. As first spotted by a Reddit user, the company is hiring programmers who can push "the bleeding-edge of RPG development for the PC and consoles" and help with "implementation of new gameplay features: player and characters' behaviors, combat and powers mechanics, user interface, etc".
Plus, Bethesda Game Studios is looking for a Video Editor to create trailers for games, which definitely sounds like Starfield is ready to move into the marketing campaign aspect of its production...
Elder Scrolls 6 trailer is all we've got, for now
All we've got to go on is this 36-second trailer Bethesda showed off back at E3 2018. It's exciting, it's got us ready for more, but we haven't got much else since then. Feed us, Bethesda, we're starving. Check out the trailer for Elder Scrolls 6 below, and know that we're all going hungry waiting for even a morsel of fresh news.
We're excited to announce our next chapter, The Elder Scrolls VI. pic.twitter.com/3aF5evUsnYJune 11, 2018
Elder Scrolls 6 news is sparse, but theories sure aren't
We've got a glimpse of a few new details about Elder Scrolls 6, straight from Todd Howard himself. During an interview with IGN Howard fleshed out a tiny bit on what fans can expect from the game, saying that "I think when they eventually see the game and what we have in mind, they'll understand the gap more in terms of technology and what we want it to do... The one thing [the gap between Skyrim and Elder Scrolls 6's release] does is people are still playing Skyrim, it's still one of the best-selling games. I know people joke about it online, but it's one of the best-selling games on Switch. Anything we put it out on, it becomes a hit game. And they love it, they still play it, it's almost infinitely playable, all of the mods and everything like that. And we're 8 years post-Skyrim. It lets us know going into Elder Scrolls 6 that this is a game we need to design for people to play for a decade at least, at least".
So whatever Elder Scrolls 6 includes, gameplay-wise, it's going to be there for the long haul, just like Skyrim. There's likely going to be a bigger emphasis on replayability, which might mean that tiny choices at the beginning of the game end up massively changing big story beats. Judging from Howard's remark about the technology and "what [Bethesda] wants it to do", it sounds like the developers might be creating brand new gameplay mechanics to make Elder Scrolls 6 unlike anything we've seen before.
On September 10 2018, Bethesda started the process to trademark the term 'Redfall', causing the internet to jump into a flurry of excitement about whether the enigmatic word could be the name of Elder Scrolls 6. Yeah, I was one of them. This is how Redfall could be related to Elder Scrolls 6: the good people of Reddit have theorised that it might be the name of a plague sweeping Tamriel, putting you slap-bang in the middle of it.
It all boils down to - well, boils, actually, as they’re part of a disease that followers of Peryite (the Daedric Prince of pestilence, natural order, and tasks) have been infected with. In the quest The Only Cure, the blotchy red-skinned, poison-puking devotees of Peryite mention a plague that started in High Rock, leading some to wonder whether the ‘Red’ part of the trademark might be linked to the illness. The ‘-fall’ part of the term might be linked to it beginning in Daggerfall, one of High Rock’s kingdoms. It’s all a theory at this point - but one definitely worth entertaining for a while at least.
- Bethesda's Redfall trademark is making people wonder if Elder Scrolls 6 could be set during a deadly plague
Knowing how far Elder Scrolls 6 is into development is tricky. Very tricky. Mainly because there's not really any Elder Scrolls 6 news. Back in 2016 Bethesda’s Todd Howard told TeamRock “I think it's good to tell our fans in these moments, yes, of course we are making Elder Scrolls 6. It's something we love. But it is — I have to be careful what I say — it's a very long way off. I could sit here and explain the game to you, and you would say, 'That sounds like you don't even have the technology — how long is that going to take?' And so it's something that's going to take a lot of time, what we have in mind for that game”.
Remaining enigmatic as ever, it sounds like Howard has some pretty ambitious plans for the series. Judging by the sounds of it, we could be seeing the inclusion of some feature (or, ahem, bug) that can’t be done with current tech. Fallout 4 included building your own settlements and managing their creation of resources, and Bethesda might even be planning to improve upon Fallout 76's C.A.M.P. system to have a similar mechanic in Elder Scrolls 6. Either that, or it’s something completely new which I can’t wait to see.
Fast-forward to 2017 and Howard changed his tune. Speaking in an interview with PCGamesN, he said that the team “have at least two major titles that they are working on before we're gonna get to Elder Scrolls 6. TES 6 is not in dev while we work on [those]”. With Fallout 76 out of the way, the one of those major titles is presumably Starfield, so Bethesda should ramp up work on Elder Scrolls 6 once that's out in the open. Fingers crossed, people.
Elder Scrolls 6 setting is being debated EVERYWHERE
Reddit user kaylenivy has been fiddling with professional photography software and thinks they might have figured out that the location of Elder Scrolls 6. Turns out there’s a strong case for it being Hammerfell. Referencing the locations of Sentinel City, the Alik’r Desert, and Volenfell, they used their locations on a map to theorize that the city you can faintly see in the distance is Sentinel City, the capital of Sentinel, one of the major kingdoms in Hammerfell.
But replies have highlighted that the one problem with kaylenivy’s theory is that Volenfell is a Dwemer ruin, rather than an Imperial fort or crater that you can see on the left of the teaser, plus Volenfell is situated in the Alik’r Desert. Seeing as the teaser definitely doesn’t show us a desert of any kind (hence the marked lack of dunes and sand), no-one is certain that it we’ll be visiting Hammerfell in Elder Scrolls 6.
- That crater, that coastline, that font: time to talk about whether the Elder Scrolls 6 could be set in High Rock
Details are so sparse that even vague rumours about the Elder Scrolls 6 location are difficult to come across. There’s certainly no shortage of locations, however. Both Oblivion and Skyrim took us to places inhabited dominantly by humans, so I'm hoping that a serious change is on the cards - hopefully somewhere inhabited primarily by a non-human race.
It's worth remembering that a screenshot from Morrowind appears to foreshadow Skyrim’s civil war, saying that the Akaviri (a vampiric serpent race, otherwise known as pure nightmare fuel) is just waiting for a chance to invade the country. Parted from Tamriel by one whole ocean, four races call it home. Regions include Tang Mo (home to an ape-like species), Kamal (populated by demons), Ka’Po’Tun (where you can find tiger-people, who are allied with the inhabitants of Tang Mo), and lastly Tsaesci. Tsaesci is where those bloodsucking serpentine vampires come from, and therefore according to that screenshot is the most likely to invade Tamriel. Not good. Or maybe it is, if you especially relish the idea of encountering such horrifying foes on the battlefield.
Wherever Elder Scrolls 6 goes, it’s sure to be crammed full of quests and a whole new political climate - especially considering the consequences of Skyrim's civil war and its impact on the Empire will likely be far-reaching.
Perhaps the side you chose in the civil war will even have an impact on the story. Think about it: a victory for the Stormcloaks would mean a weaker Empire, but the Stormcloak's racism towards elves (remember how the Dunmer are treated in Windhelm) would still be rife. Fighting for the Empire would further their suffocating bureaucracy and the lack of religious freedom - but let’s not forget that the Dark Brotherhood storyline had you assassinate the Emperor. What kind of state did that leave the Empire in? You’ll have to wait to find out...
- Elder Scrolls 6 should explore the dark past of these 7 locations: prepare to be asked some tricky moral questions...
Elder Scrolls 6 races aren’t likely to be anything new
Seeing as Skyrim didn’t add any new races to the selection, it’s doubtful whether we’ll get the chance to play as anything other than elves, khajit, argonians, or humans. Sea elves are in the Elder Scrolls Online, however - meaning that they have the tiniest of chances of being included in the list of Elder Scrolls 6 races. Don’t bet on it, though.
It seems likely we won't get Elder Scrolls 6 until we get new consoles, so that means you'll have to keep an eye out on our PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X pages so you know what the next-gen consoles have in store for us.