Starfield’s main quest is about 20% bigger than previous Bethesda games such as Skyrim and Fallout 4, with Todd Howard saying that means it should take around 30 to 40 hours to complete – without stepping away to do side content.
Speaking to IGN after the gameplay reveal at the Xbox-Bethesda showcase, Bethesda veteran and Starfield director Todd Howard said the game’s main story is longer than normal due to the sheer number of quests.
“This one’s ending up a little bit longer [than our previous games] and we may tune that some still,” he said. “It’s more quests, so it might be 20% more than our previous ones.”
While players mileage may vary, he added, with some taking longer than others to complete it, if the main quest of a previous game was pegged at 25 hours, Starfield’s “might be in the 30s, maybe 40”, Howard said. As a point of comparison, IGN sister site How Long To Beat estimates that the Skyrim Special Edition sees players take 25.5 hours to complete the main quest, while Fallout 4 takes around 27 hours.
Powering through the main quest isn’t how Bethesda games are typically played, of course, with side quests, faction routes to explore, base-building, and so on entertaining the players attention, and Starfield will be the same as previous titles in that respect. In fact, it should offer considerably more content in the form of 1000 fully explorable planets, which will offer procedurally generated content that no one player will feasibly ever see all of.
Howard believes the modding community will keep Starfield fresh for a long time, even on top of DLC expansions Bethesda will inevitably create.
“We’ve learned that people do play our games for a really, really long time,” he said. “They’re still playing Skyrim – not straight for 10 years, but they leave it and they come back and there’s extra content. Certainly we’re going to be doing extra content for this game, and we love our modding community. We actually think this game, for our modding community, is going to be a dream as there’s so much they could do.”
Starfield Combat and Exploration – Xbox and Bethesda Games Showcase 2022
Howard revealed the first deep dive into the gameplay of Starfield during the Xbox and Bethesda Games Showcase on June 12. He revealed the game will have more than one thousand planets for players to explore, what feels like just as many customization options, and Star Wars -esque dogfighting in space.
Players are also speculating whether our own Solar System will be a plot point in the game but Bethesda has at least confirmed some story details thanks to a new trailer, though fans will no doubt continue analyzing and speculating about Starfield until it is finally released in 2023 .
Ryan Dinsdale is an IGN freelancer who occasionally remembers to tweet @thelastdinsdale. He’ll talk about The Witcher all day.