Starfield, Bethesda’s brand new space sci-fi RPG, is all set to come out in the first half of 2023. Fans recently got an extended showcase of its gameplay revealed right from the stage of the Xbox Bethesda Games Showcase. While the scale of the game had everyone awestruck, some fans have been wondering whether Starfield will let players explore that massive universe with friends via some kind of multiplayer or co-op mode.
The answer to that question is no. Starfield (just like Fallout 4 and Skyrim before it) is all about its single-player campaign. Bethesda has been focusing on delivering self-contained single-player experiences, with the only exception being Fallout 76.
Starfield will be strongly focused on delivering a single-player RPG experience, with no multiplayer planned to be added to the game
So far, all we know about Starfield is that it will have a single-player campaign, similar to that of Skyrim or Fallout 4. In an interview from 2020, Game Director Todd Howard casually mentioned it being a single-player game (check around the 45:00 mark of the embedded interview), and since then, there hasn't been any indication that anything's changed.
In the same vein, the game most likely will not have any always-online requirements, although this can’t be said with utmost certainty. In the recent era, we have seen quite a few single-player games with a DRM element that requires the game to always be online. However, as it stands, there is no reason to believe that Bethesda's upcoming title will follow the steps of these games, especially considering that other successful games from the studio never opted for the same.
Going by the vision that Bethesda has expressed regarding their next title, multiplayer does not really gel with the rest of the game. It is envisioned to be a personal story as players hop through the different planets of the Settled Systems, meeting new factions and characters, managing and customizing spaceships and settlements, and uncovering the fate of humanity in this NASA-punk-themed sci-fi world.
However, we have seen the popularity of the Skyrim Together project, which is a multiplayer mod of the 2011 Bethesda RPG that lets players join hands in their adventures across the northernmost province of Tamriel. It remains to be seen whether Bethesda’s upcoming title will see any similar mods come out for it in the future.
There is also a small chance that Bethesda will add a co-op or multiplayer mode to the game through later updates or DLCs if they feel there is a strong enough demand for it.
Which platforms is Starfield releasing on?
Bethesda’s upcoming title is slated to be released on Xbox Series X|S and PC. It is coming to Game Pass on Day 1 of its release. The game will be exclusive to the Xbox ecosystem, which means it won’t be released on the PlayStation.
This is the first time since The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind (2002) that a Bethesda game hasn’t come out on the PlayStation. Since Xbox’s acquisition of Bethesda and its parent company Zenimax, the console exclusivity of further Bethesda titles has always been on the cards, and Starfield will be the first game where it comes into action.