No one ever said the final frontier would have so much required reading, but hey, no one’s ever been. Starfield, the latest giga-RPG from Bethesda Game Studios, is nominally about exploring a settled expanse of the Milky Way. Sometimes, you do so from the cockpit of a starship, or by strolling the plains of an uncharted exoplanet. Sometimes, you do it by thumbing through approximately 871 different menus.
But if there’s one thing Starfield nails, it’s the vibe. No amount of textual clutter can distract from the sensation that you are in freakin’ space. You can open up a map of the stars, select a star system only the nerds at NASA have heard about, point your ship at it, and go. You even get a jetpack — a “boost pack” in Starfield parlance — which proves once and for all that few things are cooler than hopscotching in low gravity.
Still, despite the immaculate and often wondrous science fiction place-setting, Starfield can be a lot to take in.
That’s where we come in. If you’re flummoxed by the character creator, we’ve broken down all the backgrounds and traits to help you determine your ideal explorer. Our beginner’s guide can show you the ropes, while our recommendations for what to do first can point you in the right direction. When you reach an inevitable fork in the campaign, we’ve also got you covered on what mission to choose.
We’ve additionally put together a 101-level curriculum on the many, many lessons Starfield refuses to teach you. We’ve broken down how fast travel actually works and how to persuasively talk your way out of trouble. We’ll also teach you how to carry more stuff — everyone loves stuff in the future, apparently — and where to see that stuff on your spaceship.
Also, there’s a confusing futuristic lock-picking minigame. Go figure.