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Everything announced at the Starfield Direct showcase

The hottest news items include confirmation of the Starfield's first expansion, a slew of new gameplay features, and so much more

Starfield screenshots
(Image: © Bethesda)

The Starfield Direct is over, and that was one hell of a showcase. Bethesda Game Studios spent an hour meticulously detailing the shape and scope of Starfield and I feel confident in saying that it's the most impressive upcoming Xbox Series X game that I've seen so far.

You can scroll through this liveblog to find out impressions of the Starfield Direct as they happened, including my continued bafflement that what we were seeing was in fact real direct-feed gameplay. I've also rounded up a collection of our news stories out of the direct, and you'll want to head to our Starfield hub for all of our more in-depth coverage of the various gameplay systems and mechanics. 

Oh, and while Starfield is undoubtedly the focus, be sure to check out everything that was announced at the Xbox Games Showcase too – there's never been a better time to be invested in the Xbox ecosystem. 

Biggest Starfield Direct news and announcements

Starfield Liveblog archive



(Image credit: Bethesda)

Good morning, folks! GamesRadar's UK Managing Editor Josh here. I've had three mugs of coffee, I've rewatched all of the Starfield trailers, and now I'm ready to get you ready for today's Starfield Direct! 


(Image credit: Bethesda)

I've been five years since Starfield was first teased. A 68 second announcement trailer set our imaginations into overdrive, as Bethesda Game Studios announced that it was setting its sights on the stars as it took a well deserved break from The Elder Scrolls and Fallout. 

While it often feels like there's not a lot of info out there, Bethesda has detailed a surprising amount about Starfield and what we should expect from it. We're going to cover a lot of that here today while we wait for the Starfield Direct to kick off. 

In fact, I've just been watching this thing on a loop and getting a little nostalgic. Join me, won't you! 

Do you remember what your hopes and expectations were for Starfield back then, and has that changed over the years now that you've seen more of it? Let me know over on Twitter or via the GamesRadar+ socials

Starfield Collector's Edition price leaked


(Image credit: Bethesda)

Here's something that I can guarantee will be a part of the Starfield showcase later today: The official Starfield price structures for a variety of different pre-order editions. How do I know? No, I'm not some sort of sage – part of the news has already leaked! 

So it would appear that there will be a limited 'Starfield: Constellation Editon' package that is going to be priced at €299.99. The leaks from billbil-kun on Dealabs suggest that this will be a physical edition, so expect it to come with some nice collectible items – although you'd expect nothing less, given that this is potentially going to run you $300 / £300. 

We'll get the confirmed pricing of the Constellation Edition later, as well as more info on what's inside. We're also expecting to have details of a Starfield Premium Edition too. 

More Starfield leaks

Starfield artwork

(Image credit: Bethesda)

The Collector's Edition pricing isn't the only leak that Starfield has suffered this week. In fact, it's becoming a bit of a running joke over here at GR+ about the potential for a limited-edition Starfield controller for Xbox Series X. 

This thing hasn't just leaked, it's fully out there in the wild. Microsoft and Bethesda is yet to say anything about it, but we've seen pictures of the controller from every conceivable angle now. Which is all to say, I expect Bethesda to take at least a little bit of time to outline a series of special releases. 

Starfield-themed controller and headset seem like they are coming for certain, but I would quite like to see the studio confirm a limited-edition Xbox Series X and a new Starfield-themed Dynamic Theme for the XSX dashboard. 

Skyrim in Space

Starfield screenshot

(Image credit: Bethesda)

Starfield is going to be massive. Bethesda's space-faring RPG is going to let us explore a vast universe – there's apparently over 1,000 planets to explore, which is wild. I'm excited, but I do hope that Starfield is more than Skyrim in space

Bethesda head Todd Howard has been quick to draw comparisons between the two, but that's inevitable; Skyrim may be over a decade old, but it remains one of the most-ported, most-played, and most-beloved RPGs of the modern era. 

For me though, I hope Starfield offers something distinctly different. Capturing the same sense of boundless adventure, sure, but given that this is Bethesda's first new IP in 20 years I want to see the studio really push against expectation. Because if we're being honest, if all I wanted to play was a Skyrim in Space... well, there's probably already a mod for that. 

Starfield gameplay predictions 

Starfield artwork

(Image credit: Bethesda)

The reason Bethesda is running a Starfield Direct, rather than folding gameplay into the Xbox Games Showcase live event? Because there's just so much to damn show!

We already went into detail on 10 Starfield gameplay features we want to see at the showcase, and we barely even scratched the surface. As far as I'm concerned, I want to see how tight the combat is and I want to see more of the space exploration, but over the next couple of hours we'll dive into each area of play in detail – what we know, and what we need to see more of today. 

Starfield ship customization

Starfield screenshot

(Image credit: Bethesda)

There's a lot to get excited over in Starfield, but I think it's space flight that I'm most interested in. I bloody love just cruising the stars in Elite Dangerous and No Man's Sky, but given Bethesda's track record when it comes to boundless exploration and emergent storytelling I'm pretty psyched by the possibilities here. 

The funny thing is, despite Bethesda showing very little about Starfield space flight, there is quite a bit of information out there... well, there is if you look closely enough.  We made our long-suffering Guides Writer Joel Franey crawl through all of the gameplay footage to put together this massive guide on everything we know so far about Starfield ship customization and stats – it's pretty illuminating! 

I'm not done talking about the ships!

Starfield ship customization building best builds

(Image credit: Bethesda)

The great thing about running this liveblog is that I can talk about whatever Starfield gameplay details you want me to talk about at length, and a few of you on Twitter have asked some questions about Starfield ship customization. So let's get into it!

Something I really love about what Bethesda is putting forward here is how expansive the featureset appears to be. The system to design your own ship is entirely modular, meaning you should have freedom to insert different cockpits, engines, fuel tanks, control systems, landers, cannons, reactors, and more – with each of these elements coming quipped with their own statistics. 

This means you'll have freedom to design your ship to fit specific purposes, be it combat, exploration, or something else entirely. This is something I want to see more of from the Direct – how weird can we take this system? 

I'm going to lose sleep over the ship stats

Starfield ship customization building best builds

(Image credit: Bethesda)

Something I'm not quite mentally equipped for right now is just how much depth we're going to be able to go into with these ships. While you'll be free to piece together a vessel, you'll also need to ensure that the damn thing can be powered and actually fly. 

From what we can tell so far, ship customization will cover the following areas of design:

  • LAS (Laser damage)
  • BAL (Ballistic damage)
  • MSL (Missile damage)
  • Hull 
  • Shield
  • Cargo
  • Crew
  • Jump Range (Light Years)
  • Mobility
  • Top Speed
  • Mass

There might be thousands of planets to explore, a massive storyline to follow, and countless hours of distractions to find, but I can see ship management and customization swallowing the rest of the year once Starfield launches in September.

A question of scale

Starfield star systems

(Image credit: Bethesda)

One of the most challenging tasks ahead for Bethesda at the Starfield Direct will be not only justifying the scale, but in demonstrating that the 100 star systems which make up the game world will be appropriately populated. There's over 1000 planets to explore, and no chance in hell that it'll be as densely packed as, say, Tamriel. 

We've only seen nine of the Starfield Star Systems so far, so hopefully we'll get a look at more of them. Additionally, it would be good for Bethesda to clarify how exploration gating work. Todd Howard has suggested that star systems will be tied to in-game levels – but we're yet to get any real clarity on this aspect of play so far.

"It'll be like when you look at a map on a game, it'll be like 'this is the area for low-level players, this is level one.' So we do this on a star system basis."

Todd Howard

Combat is my biggest unanswered question


(Image credit: Bethesda)

Starfield could live or die on the strength of its combat. I think this is the area of play where I need the most convincing. Bethesda may have been making first-person RPG for two decades, but combat has never been its strongest hand – let alone FPS action. 

Sure, Fallout 3 and Fallout 4 are technically shooters, but wielding weapons was always a little weightless – it's why the V.A.T.S. system is such a stroke of genius, allowing us to effectively pause play while allowing for pinpoint precision. Starfield will feature real-time shooting (in first- and third-person perspectives) and I'm keen to see more of this from the Starfield Direct. 

I'm expecting that Starfield will consume hundreds (if not thousands) of hours of my life in the years between release and The Elder Scrolls 6, but that'll only happen if the weapons feel good in my hands. I trust Bethesda can deliver here, but it needs to put a good combat scenario forward today. 

In case you're just joining me here, we are currently looking back across everything we know so far about Starfield and what we hope to see. It's good to get aboard the hype train, isn't it? 

If you're just looking for the latest leaks, I've got you covered: 

Bethesda should go bigger on the RPG systems


(Image credit: Bethesda)

Given the natural complications inherent in trying to showcase the scale of this game, I think it would do Bethesda well to lean further on the RPG aspects underpinning the adventure. 

I want more details on the Starfield romance options and Starfield companions we'll likely meet. I think it would be good to get a better sense of the persuasion mechanics in Starfield – which appear to be heavily inspired by Oblivion – and a better sense of the story which will tie all of this space-faring action together. 

Starfield is designed to be many things, but at its heart its an RPG – so let's hope for a look at how exactly it will let us live out the fantasy of exploring a new frontier. 

Are you prepared?


(Image credit: Bethesda)

The Starfield Direct start time is now just 90 minutes away, and I'm starting to get a little concerned that I'm not properly prepared. Somebody just reminded me that an Xbox exec said last week that we should "bring an extra pair of underwear" to watch the Starfield Showcase. And... no, we still don't know what that means either. 

It's almost time

The Xbox Games Showcase is set to go live in 50 minutes: 10AM PDT time / 1PM ET time / 6PM BST time /7PM CET time. Remember, the Starfield Direct will air immediately after the Xbox presentation finishes. 

Be sure to watch the Xbox Games Showcase live with GamesRadar+ or stick around here for the highlights and the latest on Starfield as soon as its showcase begins. 

Will we see more customization?

Starfield traits all listed

(Image credit: Bethesda)

I'm curious to see how much time Bethesda spends on aspects like Starfield traits and perks. While the developer hasn't spoken at great length on character customization we have picked apart every trailer and gameplay video that's been released so far and now have a pretty good idea of what to expect in terms of depth. Same goes for Starfield background and starting skills, although I'd quite like to see how some of these decisions manifest in-game.

Here are the traits we know about so far:

  • Alien DNA
  • Dream Home (originally Starter Home)
  • Empath
  • Extrovert
  • Freestar Collective Settler
  • Hero Worshiped (originally Unwanted Hero)
  • Introvert
  • Kid Stuff
  • Neon Street Rat
  • Raised Enlightened
  • Raised Universal
  • Serpent's Embrace
  • Spaced
  • Taskmaster
  • Terra Firma
  • United Colonies Native

The countdown begins

Xbox Games Showcase 2023

(Image credit: Xbox)

The Xbox Games Showcase is now live, which means the countdown is on for the Starfield Direct. The Xbox conference is expected to last for 60 or so minutes, at which point attention will shift immediately to the Starfield showcase – that's where Bethesda says we'll get new details, gameplay, and a few surprises of the upcoming RPG. 

I'll keep you up-to-date as we go!

We're nine minutes into the Xbox showcase and Sarah Bond just teased the Starfield Direct – take a drink! 

Bond says that we're going to get new details on one of "most important RPGs ever made" soon enough. So if you weren't hyped before, now it's time to start getting there. 

Bethesda has just shown up at the Xbox Games Showcase, but don't panic, it's not for Starfield. The Starfield Direct is still another 30 minutes away, instead we're looking at a Fallout 76 update that's set to deliver some new biomes to explore – Atlantic City is joining the multiplayer wasteland! 

I don't know about you, but I'm starting to get a little antsy waiting for this Starfield Direct. Put it in my brain, Bethesda, I'm ready.

It's time!

The Starfield Direct looks like it's now live, and Bethesda is hitting us with a beautiful new cinematic trailer teasing the size and scale of the world. Honestly, it looks stunning. 


Alright, wait... that was the ultimate tease! Bethesda hit us with an in-depth story trailer which looked absolutely incredible and then... Xbox rolled straight back into the main showcase. We're getting a look at a rather lovely climbing game, so hold your hoses, star gazers. The Starfield Direct will be commencing shortly. 

Honestly, this Xbox Series X showcase has been pretty outrageous. I don't know if I have the mental energy to deal with whatever Bethesda is about to show us around Starfield... but because you've all been such lovely readers I'm going to get it together. Don't say I don't ever do anything nice for you!

Alright, that's been an hour of updates from Xbox and now Phil Sepncer is on the stage giving us a wrap up on the 11 exclusives it revealed. You know what, I think this might be it... it might finally be Starfield time. 

Run to the bathroom and get yourself a drink while you still can. It's time to head into the stars!

Phil Spencer says that Starfield will be on two key upcoming Xbox Series X games for this holiday. Starfield will launch September 6, and then Forza Motorsport will arrive on October 10. 

Starfield Direct is LIVE


(Image credit: Bethesda)

INCOMING TRANSMISSION: The Starfield Direct is now live.

Todd Howard is here. He says that Bethesda has "never tried to make a game like this" while launching into direct in-game footage. It looks stunning. 

Howard says that he wants Starfield to "give the feeling of unlimited possibilities." He adds that "the choice of where to go is not ours, it's yours. It's not until now that we had the technology to create it."

We're getting a look at some of the 1000 planets that we'll be able to explore. Howard has teased that Bethesda is able to "realistically simulate the galaxy around you" and highlighted a new global lighting system and new animation systems which make the game feel slick whether you're planning in first or third-person. 

There's a really in-depth Data Menu in Starfield. Basically, if you like to pick up everything in sight, you'll be able to do so and see everything in real detail from the menu systems. Looks rad.

Oooooh, okay, so you can take companions and crew members onto your ship and they can even say your name! Don't take advantage of Bethesda's good nature here with the dirty names – deal?

I don't know what's more impressive here, people. The fact that there's this freaking HUGE system map, which tracks all the planets light years away (you'll need to upgrade your grav-drive to reach those) or the fact that you can get out of your chair in the cockpit and walk around your ship. 

The detail is truly stunning. This looks like the sci-fi game I've always wanted to play. 


(Image credit: Bethesda)

We're getting a brand new look at the city of New Atlantis. Bethesda says it's the "biggest city we've ever made." And that's with respect to its size, density, crowd sizes, and quests. 

New Atlantis is where you'll begin your adventure, so expect to spend quite a bit of time in this awe-inspiring location. 

Space cowboys, military members, explorers, and adventurers – we're getting a look at some of the key characters you'll meet in New Atlantis. Impressively detailed, and really good voice acting! Not that I'd expect anything less from Bethesda at this point. 

We're getting a new look at all of the Starfield cities, but it's Akila City that we're all collectively going to fall in love with. It's a classic wild west town... you know, only with a sci-fi twist. 

Bethesda promises that it's pushing its cities and settlements further than anything we've seen from its games before. Naturally, I'd like to walk abound a few of them before saying I agree with the developer's assessment, but I am for sure impressed. 

Starfield traits all listed

(Image credit: Bethesda)

Character creation in Starfield will start with 40 presets. From there, you can customize to your heart's content. From the way your character looks to their proficiencies, there's a hell of a lot of depths here. 

We're also getting a new look at the Starfield Traits which let you dial in your playstyle even further. 

The biggest fan is back in Starfield, and yes, he's more annoying than ever before.

Given that you can only take three traits (each with positive and negative ramifications) you'll want to pick and choose carefully. 

That said, Bethesda does say that there will be a way to change traits in-game... teasing that we'll be able to murder the Biggest Fan. GOTY confirmed. 

Starfield skills system works in a familiar way to what you may have experienced in Fallout and The Elder Scrolls. Naturally, it's more in-depth. Broadly, you'll have five skill trees to choose between, and four upgradable ranks per skill to invest in. 

Whether you want to be stealthy, use persuasion, shoot your way through conflict, jetpack around like Iron Man, or something new entirely. Starfield is promising that you'll not only be able to choose and define your playstyle, but really build the game around your preferences. 

Bethesda, please, I can barely keep up. Bethesda is talking exploration now, and I have to admit, the studio is going a bit harder on this aspect that I expected.

Bethesda says it's been studying data from NASA to ensure the game feels believable. That's going to impact the look and atmosphere of planets, to the sort of experiences that await you once you land. 

A small tease on space exploration here. Surviving asteroid belts sounds like a real challenge, especially when you have to factor in mysterious strangers and dogfighting. I think this is where I'll be spending my time. 

Starfield will let you buy a ship at space ports and hire a crew to keep it maintained. But if you really want to, you can dive in and customise every aspect of it. 

An improve grav-drive allows for longer-distance space jumps. A larger habitat allows for larger crews. Outside of the ship's stats, you can even customise the interior – add guns racks, living spaces, and more.

Bethesda says "You ship can look almost like anything you want"

Members of Constellation from New Atlantis can join your crew. We're talking companions, friendships, romance, and... alright, I got distracted by romance. 

Each companion and crew member in Starfield can help you out in the field, and will bring their own strengths and weaknesses to your mission.

Honestly, if Bethesda had said before this Starfield Direct that you'd be able to "build and captain the ship of your dreams" I would have called it bluster. But this gameplay footage is just outrageous. 

We're heading into the stars now for ship combat... now we're talking. 

Okay, did you ever play FTL: Faster Than Light? If not, it's this stunning roguelike which pushes you through dangerous encounters in space, requiring deft micromanagement of ship systems on a minute-by-minute basis. Well, Starfield looks like a AAA, 3D version of FTL's space combat and I'm in love. 

You can take control of enemy ships and add it to your fleet. I don't care what's going on down at planet surfaces, I'm never leaving the stars. 

Now Bethesda is saying we'll be able to dock with massive battleships and jump into cruise ships in the stars. You can hail any ship that you come across to trade, engage in piracy, or lord knows what else. 

Most important update so far: Bethesda says that if all you want to do is steal sandwiches and store them in a custom sandwich room, you can do that.  It's all happening. 

Todd Howard is back and he says we can take a little break. THANKS TODD!

Oh hey, look, it's the Starfield controller and headset that we definitely didn't know about. You know, the one that hasn't been all over the internet for a week. 

Sarcasm aside, it looks lovely, so I'll take on of each please, Todd. Money is in the mail.

"This isn't a Bethesda Game Studios world, it's a Bethesda Game Studios galaxy" 

Devs are talking about the mixture between procedurally-generated and hand-created content. It's a little over my head, but they're basically saying that there's a touch of humanity in everything that you find – if you and your buddy visit the same planet in your separate games, there's a good chance that you'll walk away from the encounter with a different story to tell. 

A dev said the phrase "freedom at a galactic scale" and they weren't wrong. It's dizzying. 

Bethesda is clearly shooting for shock and awe with this ridiculous info drop, but if you take pause for even a second and just listen to the devs, look at the scale of environments and depth of systems, it's clear that the studio is pushing for something truly special here. This is a sci-fi RPG on a scale that we've never seen before. 

Here's another great example of that. We're now looking at outpost customization, crafting and resource management. It's not all that different to something you may have seen in No Man's Sky or Elite Dangerous, but Starfield looks more intuitive. 

Okay, we're onto combat now. Bethesda is making a lot of noise about the variety, both in terms of movement (gotta consider the gravity of the planet before diving into combat) to the way weapons shoot. 

"More mods and weapons in this game that anything we've done before" 

Zero-G combat is in the game. Energy weapons will offer a more stable combat experience while you'll floating, but ballistic weapons will literally push you backwards. A ridiculous level of attention to detail has blown me away.

Alright, we're wrapping up now. We're coming to the closing statements on the Starfield Direct. Bethesda is talking about everything from photo mode to outposts to ship cutomization to exploration... they've just shown a wild amount of Starfield. 

Starfield Direct is over

Todd Howard wraps this thing up by saying he "can't wait for you to play Starfield, and make your own special moments."

Starfield release date is set for September 6, and it's coming to Xbox Series X, PC, and Game Pass.  

Coming into this Starfield Direct, I was pretty sure that this game was the most anticipated of the upcoming Xbox Series X games. After it, I'm convinced that this is the most important Xbox game in a decade. 

If Bethesda and Xbox Game Studios pull this off, it has the potential to change the RPG genre forever. 

Starfield screenshot

(Image credit: Bethesda)

Morning! We're back and there's quite a lot of Starfield fallout from last night's show.

Kicking off all of that is the news that the Starfield framerate will be locked to 30fps on Xbox Series X|S. According to game director Todd Howard, that's because Bethesda's not prepared to "sacrifice" any gameplay in pursuit of 60fps.

That might not be the news that Starfield fans were looking for, but at least PC players should have a little more room to play - Howard says that they've managed to get the game running at 60fps "even in the heat of battle." Big rigs should be ok, then, but console players will have to settle for fewer frames.

Elsewhere, it seems that there's a universe where we might have had Starfield a lot sooner

Phil Spencer says that when Xbox originally bought Bethesda "this game had a significantly earlier ship date than where we're actually launching in." That means significantly earlier than the November 2022 release date that Starfield was eventually delayed out of to its new September 2023 launch.

That universe, however, might not have looked as impressive as this galaxy. Since last night, Starfield fans have been gushing over one side-by-side comparison. Two shots from the same place look almost unrecognizable thanks to the amount of extra polish that Bethesda has had time for, and fans are very impressed.

The results of a 12 month delay. from r/Starfield