Fans have finally gotten their first significant look at Starfield, and in addition to new details about space exploration and combat, players now know how character creation and skills work in Bethesda’s new RPG.
As part of the Xbox and Bethesda showcase, Starfield game director Todd Howard described Starfield’s character creator as the studio’s “most flexible yet,” with nearly every element of a character, including how they walk, able to be customized.
When starting out, players will select from a list of character backgrounds that assign three starting skills. Starfield’s debut gameplay trailer showed well over a dozen backgrounds to choose from, ranging from Cyber Runner to Diplomat. The skills granted from these backgrounds can be as simple as dealing more damage against certain types of enemies to being more persuasive in speech challenges.
Players also have the ability to select up to three traits in addition to their background. Traits are optional and according to Howard grant unique advantages and disadvantages. Examples from the gameplay trailer showed traits like Spaced, which grants temporary health and endurance bonuses when the player is in space, but health and endurance debuffs when on a planet’s surface. Another trait called Starter Home grants players “small house on a peaceful little moon,” but comes with a $50,000 mortgage payment.
It wouldn’t be a RPG without skill trees, and Starfield has those too. The gameplay trailer shows five different skill trees to choose from: Physical, Social, Combat, Science, and Tech. Each tree has a number of different skills to choose from. Howard said Starfield’s skill system “combines the best” of skill systems from previous Bethesda RPGs. New skills are unlocked by leveling up. Skills can then be ranked up by using that corresponding skill alongside completing associated challenges, further increasing the skill’s effectiveness.
Starfield is definitely a RPG, but will also include elements like base building and space combat. According to Howard, over 1,000 planets will be present in Starfield for players to explore.
Originally slated for a November 2022 release, Starfield was delayed and is now set to release in the first half of 2023 for Xbox Series X|S consoles and PC.