Expect to see Starfield gameplay in Summer 2022

a screenshot from Starfield
(Image credit: Bethesda)

Update: The Starfield hype engine is approaching warp speed, especially since Bethesda design director Emil Pagliarulo has said the upcoming sci-fi game will see players “lose their minds.” And on top of that new Starfield behind-the-scenes has shown off robot companion Vasco, and it could be the antidote to Skyrim's dull companions.

It might be a good eight months before we see actual game footage of Starfield, the highly-anticipated NASA-inspired sci-fi game from Skyrim developer Bethesda. 

That’s according to Bethesda Games Studios director Todd Howard who, in a Reddit ask-me-anything thread, said that rather than tout specific game elements, Bethesda wants people see the game in action. "We prefer to just show it, which should be next summer," said Howard. "We're happy with the advancements we've been able to make, some of which you can see in the trailer shot in-game."

Starfield release date

(Image credit: Bethesda)

Next summer is likely referring to E3 2022, which will take place next June. That's because Bethesda has long held a conference at the games expo, with last year's event done in conjunction with its new owner, Microsoft, to what was considered a major success. 

In some ways, that would be quite late in the year to show off Starfield game footage given it’s set to launch on November 11, 2022. But we get the impression that Bethesda will only want to show off Starfield when it knows it’s got a rather complete game, especially as this is a brand new IP for the developer. 

I remember the first gameplay reveal trailer for the Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, which presented a very polished selection of game footage punctuated by a simply huge soundtrack. We’d expect Bethesda to do the same for Starfield, only with a more sci-fi-than-philharmonic fantasy soundtrack. 

Given there’s likely to be a lot of Skyrim’s exploration DNA in Starfield, we’d not be surprised to see its launch follow in the footsteps of what is arguably Bethesda’s magnum opus; until The Elder Scrolls 6 arrives. 

Speaking of similarity to Skyrim, Howard also mentioned how Starfield will have full mod support: "Our plan is to have full mod support like our previous games. Our modding community has been with us for 20 years," he said. "We love what they do and hope to see more make a career out of it."

This is very good news given mod support is what makes Skyrim still very playable today, a decade to the day on from its release on November 11, 2011. Of course, this means there's likely to be very high hopes for Starfield, especially as it’ll be ‘exclusive’ to Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S and PC.

Roland Moore-Colyer

Roland Moore-Colyer a Managing Editor at Tom’s Guide with a focus on news, features and opinion articles. He often writes about gaming, phones, laptops and other bits of hardware; he’s also got an interest in cars. When not at his desk Roland can be found wandering around London, often with a look of curiosity on his face.