Back in E3 2018, Bethesda revealed The Elder Scrolls 6. That is, if you can call a trailer lasting under a minute a reveal.
However, it was a clear statement that there is a sixth Elder Scrolls game in the works, despite Bethesda having plenty of other things on its plate, such as Fallout 76 and Starfield. And while it may be some time before we see a new Elder Scrolls game, it’s still exciting stuff. After all, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim was critically acclaimed and a huge financial success, especially considering its spread from the PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 to the PS4, Xbox One, the Nintendo Switch, and even virtual reality.
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As it stands, there’s really not a lot of information out there about what will be in The Elder Scrolls 6. But we’ve heard murmurs, and going by Bethesda’s previous Elder Scrolls titles, we can certainly speculate about what the game will entail. So here’s what we know so far about The Elder Scrolls 6.
The Elder Scrolls 6 release date
Unsurprisingly, there’s no release date for The Elder Scrolls 6 yet. And that’s not likely to change any time soon. Bethesda has said that its space game, Starfield, will come out before a new Elder Scrolls game, and that title doesn't yet have a release date, either.
Furthermore, Bethesda boss Todd Howard told IGN at E3 2019 that “everyone should be very patient”. Then ahead of the now-cancelled E3 2020 Peter Hines, SVP of global marketing at Bethesda, tweeted: "If you’re coming at me for details now and not years from now, I’m failing to properly manage your expectations.”
It’s after Starfield, which you pretty much know nothing about. So if you’re coming at me for details now and not years from now, I’m failing to properly manage your expectations.May 10, 2020
In short, we’re very unlikely to hear about a release date for The Elder Scrolls 6 soon. And with E3 2020 cancelled, all hope for some snippets of Elder Scrolls information seems to have bottomed out.
But if we were to hazard a guess, we’d be surprised to see The Elder Scrolls 6 arrive before late 2022, at the earliest. Most likely, it will turn up close to 2024 and tap into all the power that developers are likely to squeeze out of the PS5 and Xbox Series X, both of which should be more mature games consoles by that time.
The Elder Scrolls 6 trailer
There’s only one trailer for The Elder Scrolls 6, and it shows very little about the game. No game footage was released, nor did we learn any details beyond the game's basic title and a sweeping shot across some mountains. The music was a riff on the familiar theme that has been present in the last several Elder Scrolls games.
Despite the scant information in the trailer, it has that uncanny ability to conjure up excitement among Elder Scrolls fans. We still remember how the initial trailers for Skyrim set the pulses of open-world RPG fans racing.
The Elder Scrolls 6 location
All Elder Scrolls games take place on the mythical continent of Tamriel, with the past few games being located in specific nations on the continent: Morrowind in The Elder Scrolls 3, Cyrodill in The Elder Scrolls 4 and Skyrim in The Elder Scrolls 5. There hasn't yet been a single-player Elder Scrolls game that made it to the nations of Valenwood or Black Marsh, homes of the Wood Elves and the Argonians respectively.
But going by the mountains in the trailer, there’s been speculation that the game could take place in Black Rock, home of the mage-centric Bretons, or in Hammerfell, the land of the warrior-like Redguard. Or the game could span several of the Tamriel provinces, which is why it's simply been called The Elder Scrolls 6.
The Elder Scrolls 6 gameplay
With no game footage released for The Elder Scrolls 6, we can only guess that it will share some of the core game elements of Skyrim. The game will likely be a massive open-world game where you won’t have to follow the main story, and can instead wander well off the beaten path to clamber up mountains, plumb the depths of cave systems, and poke around ruined fortresses and towers.
We do hope Bethesda will make a more compelling story in The Elder Scrolls 6, as the one in Skyrim was decent, but some of the side quests felt more compelling. Bethesda could take notes games like Red Dead Redemption 2 and The Witcher 3, which have a lot of side quests that relate to the games’ core stories.
More dynamic combat and spell-casting wouldn’t go amiss. Neither would the ability to do more in the open world, like establishing a stronghold or leaving more of a mark on the world. If you planted a tree, for example, perhaps it would eventually grow. And we absolutely want Bethesda to find ways around repeated dialogue from NPCs. We're tired of hearing guards spout about how they used to be adventurers until they suffered arrow-related injuries to the lower parts of their bodies.
Given that Bethesda is the publisher of the Dishonored games, the company could draw some inspiration from those titles and add some immersive sim elements into The Elder Scrolls 6. We’d like to be able to better traverse the open world and find new ways to tackle enemies, other than hacking away at them with swords and blasting them with fireballs.
In short, we’re expecting The Elder Scrolls 6 to be a significant evolution over Skyrim, but still very much an Elder Scrolls game at its core. With the potential power that the Xbox Series X and PS5 can bring to bear, not to mention gaming PC hardware over the next few years, The Elder Scrolls 6 should look spectacular. We expect to see a whole lot of dramatic screenshots of vistas and skylines on social media when the game finally comes out.
The Elder Scrolls 6 features and mods
Skyrim spread across a load of platforms, and eventually ended up being a game you could play in VR. It's one of our picks for the best VR games. So we’d not be surprised to see The Elder Scrolls 6 build upon that, and deliver a more refined and dynamic virtual experience for people with powerful PCs and some of the best VR headsets you can buy.
Support for mods has seen Skyrim go from a vast open-world game to an RPG that can still feel fresh nearly a decade after its release in late 2011. With Steam Workshop mod support, it became trivially easy to add mods into the PC version of Skyrim. As a bare minimum, we’d expect The Elder Scrolls 6 to have a similar level of mod support. But we’d also like to see some form of mod support for the game on the next-generation consoles, including the Nintendo Switch 2, if that system comes out in the next few years.
If Bethesda can do this, as well as create a compelling open-world game with a stellar plot and clever game systems, then The Elder Scrolls 6 could be a worthy follow up to Skyrim. But we’ll need to wait a while before we get an idea of how the game will to take shape, so come back here next time you’re hungry for Elder Scrolls news.