Starfield will let you return to Earth, join multiple factions, and decide characters’ fates

Be the space traveler you want to be.

Image via Bethesda

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We’ve still got a bit of a wait before Starfield arrives, and Bethesda has been filling the time with developer diaries that give us an inside scoop on what the interstellar RPG will offer. The latest one is all about quests.

The newest entry in Bethesda’s Constellation Questions series features Will Shen, lead quest designer on Starfield. The discussion begins with a question about random encounters. Not only will Starfield have them, but they’ve been scaled up: you’ll randomly find whole settlements with mini quests to complete as you explore the game’s many planets. One of those planets is of course Earth, and Shen confirmed that players will be able to return home as part of certain quests. Earth is known as “the old neighborhood” in Starfield — a term that really helps to convey the scale of the game.

Shen also fields some questions about factions. Fallout and Elder Scrolls are known for making the player choose sides, but in Starfield, you’ll be able to join any faction at any time without being locked out of the others. There will likely be points of no return for each faction, but until then, you’ll be able to make decisions about each group’s politics and members. Similarly, your decisions as a player will determine the fate of major characters in the story, as is the Bethesda tradition.

Your companions will even be able to do some of this interaction for you. Of course, that can go good or bad depending on the companion in question. We imagine VASCO the robot is pretty diplomatic and straightforward, but Bethesda games have always had some slippery sidekicks too.

The first Constellation Questions video featured Todd Howard himself. The director provided quite a few answers, going in-depth about Starfield’s trait system. These allow for additional character customization, albeit with some tradeoffs. For example, you can get your own personal dream home built, but you’ll incur a debt of 50,000 credits in the process. Howard also stated that you’ll be able to remove the negative effects of certain traits by completing quests, such as paying down that home loan.

The biggest “constellation question” at this point is, when is the release date of Starfield? The game has been already been delayed, but it’s launching sometime in 2023. It’ll be an Xbox console exclusive when it arrives, and it’ll also be available on Game Pass for Xbox and PC on day one.