Starfield is a single player game with no online multiplayer

Starfield screenshot
(Image credit: Bethesda)

Starfield is a single player game, with no multiplayer according to everything from Bethesda so far. But it's easy to see why there could be some confusion from early statements and a lack of clear information. 

That early Starfield confusion likely resulted from initial reveals referring to the 'single player campaign' like it was separate to... something else. Especially so soon after Fallout 76's multiplayer move, and Redfall's co-op gameplay, the lack of explicit 'single player only' messaging left a lot of room for rumor and conjecture. However, Starfield is a single player only game, as confirmed by Bethesda so let's clear up all the confusion once and for all. 

Starfield is a "single player game" according to Bethesda


(Image credit: Bethesda)
Starfield Dialogue system

Starfield dialogue system demo video persuading space pirate

(Image credit: Bethesda)

Find out about the new Starfield dialogue system here!

Bethesda has shown off a lot of Starfield in general and, while it has clearly said it's single player, that's almost been an easy to miss passing shot. Which probably allowed all the Starfield multiplayer mode rumors and chatter to develop. However, this is a game very much in the mold of Skyrim or Fallout 4. In a 2020 interview, game director Todd Howard called Starfield a "single player game" (at 45 minutes) and that hasn't changed. The game is also listed as singleplayer on Steam.

Despite hope or fears from fans, there's no indication that the game will require any online capacity. There's a possibility that the game might need to be online to play, but that doesn't mean it has online features. Redfall, which can be played single player or up to 4 player co-op did have an online requirement in single player, but that's currently being removed after a fan backlash. If Starfield had anything similar the Redfall feedback could see that changed before anyone ever knew. 

The kind of experience that Bethesda are clearly intending Starfield to be makes multiplayer unlikely as well. There's a big emphasis on worldbuilding and roleplay across a huge galaxy full of Starfield star systems to explore. Unless you tied players together, multiplayer would need the game to work with players potentially literally light years apart. Plus, with all the character building and crafting it's not going to be much fun waiting for a friend who's spending hours in the Starfield ship customization menus.

It's possible that there might be some online stat sharing between friends, and I'm sure there will be some ambitious Starfield multiplayer mod attempts. But intentionally, and for the time being, Starfield is a single player experience. 

Joel Franey
Guides Writer

Joel Franey is a writer, journalist, podcaster and raconteur with a Masters from Sussex University, none of which has actually equipped him for anything in real life. As a result he chooses to spend most of his time playing video games, reading old books and ingesting chemically-risky levels of caffeine. He is a firm believer that the vast majority of games would be improved by adding a grappling hook, and if they already have one, they should probably add another just to be safe. You can find old work of his at USgamer, Gfinity, Eurogamer and more besides.

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