Starfield lets you join all its factions at once, kind of "like in Skyrim"

Starfield won't lock you out of faction quests based on who you side with. 

Lead quest designer Will Shen discussed the space-faring RPG's approach to factions in a new video from Bethesda. The question is one many Elder Scrolls and Fallout fans have likely asked themselves: "Can we join multiple factions and complete all of them like in Skyrim, or does joining one lock you out of certain others like in Fallout 4?"

"One of the early things we decided on was making sure that the main quest gives you a little bit of a tour of the settled systems and all the major players there, so we can give you a taste of what they're going to be up to," Shen responds. "We also discussed, really early on, do we make some of the factions in conflict with each other? We decided we really want to make sure you can play through all the faction lines independently of each other. This time around, we really want the stories to be a little more personal. You're influencing the direction of where these factions are going to go. Say, the politics of the Free Star Rangers: what's more important, justice or industry? Where are you going to try to nudge them – in this direction or another? 

"You don't necessarily end up as the head of every single faction in the game," he continues. "But obviously, all the major characters in every faction questline will be reflecting on your choices. It can have far-reaching consequences for what that faction really cares about."

Fallout 4's more restrictive relationship, faction, and dialogue systems were among the most common criticisms of the game, so it's encouraging to hear that we'll be able to dabble in all Starfield's factions in one playthrough, not unlike the way Skyrim handled inter-faction politics, especially with this being the first all-new universe Bethesda's tackled in ages. Even if we don't outright lead multiple factions simultaneously, it'll be interesting to see how the player character may end up playing for two teams on some issues, so to speak, assuming the conflicts Shen alludes to boil over.

Speaking of which, Bethesda says some Starfield relationships will be "more complex" compared to some of its previous games. 

Austin Wood

Austin freelanced for the likes of PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and he's been with GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a senior writer is just a cover up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news and the occasional feature, all while playing as many roguelikes as possible.