Bethesda Game Studios is gearing up to launch Starfield next month, but that isn’t stopping it from sharing more gameplay details. The Fallout studio gave fans yet another taste of what’s in store during a recent Q&A discussion on its Discord server (which was then shared in its entirety by Reddit user ninjabell). Although the team has shown hours of Starfield footage, it’s clear that there is still so much we don’t know. For starters, players looking for housing will be in luck, as base locations can be found in all major cities, with some able to be unlocked by completing certain quests.
Bethesda wants players to feel immersed in the experience, but things won’t be too realistic. Time, for example, will only pass while you’re actively playing the game, so you won’t need to worry about things going wrong while you’re not logged in. Additionally, the developers promise that you will be held accountable for your crimes and can even go to jail, though players should expect the threat of jail time to operate more like it did in Skyrim than Fallout 4.
“There’s civilization, there’s government, and there are laws,” lead designer Emil Pagliarulo said. “And in a couple cases, we actually explore the themes of crime and punishment in our futuristic universe.”
Contraband was another topic of discussion during the Starfield Discord Q&A. Fans have known that smuggling would play a role in the game for some time, but the team took the time during the discussion to shed more light on how it works. Lead quest designer Will Shen confirms that some specific items will indeed be considered Contraband. If players want to keep those items, they’ll need to sneak them past security ships or risk punishment. For those looking to keep their illegal items safe, special ship modules can also be purchased.
Your Starfield journey is important, but so are the friends you’ll make along the way. Specifically, Bethesda says players will be able to have more than 20 named characters in their crew. These NPCs will be more than soulless counterparts, however, with all named characters coming with their own backgrounds to explore.
“When we first began Starfield pre-production, we looked back at our previous games, and realized how popular and effective the companions were,” Pagliarulo said. “So they were a big priority for us, and we really wanted to tie them directly to the main quest. There are some really big moments with them specifically.”
These companions will also have their own perks and specialties, too. While some might be skilled with a rifle, another might be able to help increase the range of your gravity jump. These skills and perks stack with the players’ abilities, meaning the crew you build might have a hand in whether you accomplish or fail missions.
“Some are there for flavor, to highlight the companions’ backgrounds and interests,” Pagliarulo added. “But you’ll really feel the benefit of the ship- and combat-related ones. Getting a boost to your shields, or seeing your companion laying down fire with a weapon they’re proficient in, are pretty sweet moments.”
Starfield was announced more than five years ago, but we still have so much to learn. All will be revealed when the game finally launches for PC, Xbox Series X | S, and Game Pass on September 6, 2023.