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The Elder Scrolls 6 guide: everything we know so far

Elder Scrolls 6

We know that The Elder Scrolls 6 is happening, and it's currently in production. Beyond that, we've only got some tidbits and rumors to sort through. We've gathered everything we know right here in a helpful Elder Scrolls 6 guide, from reported Xbox exclusivity to rumored setting and more. 

Elder Scrolls 6 is reportedly planned as an Xbox exclusive, according to industry insiders - and that certainly makes sense. Since Microsoft bought Bethesda for $7.5 million last year, rumors have been swirling that Elder Scrolls 6 could be an Xbox Series X and PC exclusive. 

Recently, Xbox boss Phil Spencer confirmed that The Elder Scrolls 6 is further from release than fellow upcoming Xbox title Fable 4. However, since we got a release date for the upcoming space RPG Starfield, we now have a slightly better idea of when we'll see Elder Scrolls 6 (don't expect it until 2023 at the earliest). The only other scrap of real news we've gotten came this January 2021, when the Elder Scrolls 6 Hammerfell location was teased via strategically placed candles

We've gathered any other whispers of information or rumors below, to help you get an idea of what to expect with The Elder Scrolls 6. 

Elder Scrolls 6 may be set in Hammerfell

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Fans believe this Tweet is a confirmation that the next Elder Scrolls will take place in Hammerfell. The official Elder Scrolls Twitter account posted a New Year's message featuring a Skyrim, with the words "transcribe the past and map the future." Eagle-eyed fans quickly pointed out that the location of the candles on the image may contain a clue. One is placed directly on Skyrim, one on a book holding the map down, and another beyond Skyrim's borders in the southwest - right by the label for Hammerfell. This is the home of the Redguards, and it's been on everyone's radar since the teaser trailer seemed to line up with some geographic details of Hammerfell. 

Elder Scrolls 6 Xbox exclusivity

It's looking more and more likely that The Elder Scrolls 6 will be an Xbox exclusive title. Recent reports suggest it's planned to be an Xbox exclusive, and since Starfield was announced as an Xbox and PC exclusive at E3 2021, it seems likely Elder Scrolls 6 will follow the same path.  Despite this, Todd Howard has said "it's hard to imagine" not bringing The Elder Scrolls 6 to multiple platforms.

Xbox made it clear during the Jefferies Interactive Entertainment conference that it will "absolutely" buy more studios, with games "first or best" on the platform. Xbox CFO Tim Stuart did clarify reeports about Elder Scrolls 6 being an Xbox exclusive. "What we'll do in the long run is we don't have intentions of just pulling all of Bethesda content out of Sony or Nintendo or otherwise. But what we want is we want that content to be either first or better or best, or pick your differentiated experience, on our platforms. We will want Bethesda content to show up the best on our platforms," Spencer said. 

Microsoft has confirmed the games from Bethesda's entire catalogue will become a part of Xbox Game Pass, which means members won't even need to purchase upcoming games like Elder Scrolls 6.

"Just as they took the bold first steps to bring The Elder Scrolls franchise to the original Xbox, Bethesda were early supporters of Xbox Game Pass, bringing their games to new audiences across devices and have been actively investing in new gaming technology like cloud streaming of games," Phil Spencer wrote in the announcement. 

Even if Elder Scrolls 6 is not a PC and Xbox Series X exclusive, the fact that it will likely be on Xbox Game Pass is a game-changer, as PS5 owners will have to buy the game at full price.

Bethesda is overhauling its engine for Elder Scrolls 6

Our very own Leon Hurley suggested that Elder Scrolls 6 might be using the same engine as Skryim "in name" but that it had a "new renderer, new lighting, new landscape system, new animation system, and photogrammetry. And that's only what Bethesda has talked about publicly."

Now we know that the Starfield and Elder Scrolls 6 engine has gotten a complete overhaul. As we reported, Todd Howard spoke about the effect of partnering up with Xbox, saying "it's led to our larges engine overhaul since Oblivion, with all new technologies powering our first new IP in 25 years, Starfield, as well as The Elder Scrolls 6."

Elder Scrolls 6 release is years away

Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim

I'm just warning you: you're going to need to be patient. Like, very patient. As mentioned earlier, Bethesda has 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.

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Elder Scrolls 6 teaser trailer is all we've got, for now

All we've got to go on is this 36-second trailer Bethesda that debuted 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.

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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. 

For now, check out our new games of 2021 (that Elder Scrolls 6 will definitely not be a part of).