If you caught the full reveal of Starfield‘s gameplay, the first word that probably came to your mind was “big.” While we knew that Starfield was going to be one of Bethesda’s biggest RPGs yet, few were prepared for the revelation that the game will allow you to explore over 1,000 planets. Of course, hearing that the game is that large made quite a few people wonder if Starfield will actually let you explore that massive universe with friends via some kind of multiplayer or co-op mode.
Traditionally, Bethesda RPGs don’t officially offer any kind of multiplayer mode. While the company has turned some of its RPGs into multiplayer titles via spin-offs (Fallout 76 and The Elder Scrolls Online), those base RPG experiences are generally built on the idea that you are the star of your own journey. Honestly, there are very good reasons to doubt that Bethesda’s game engine could even properly support a multiplayer experience that wouldn’t force them to drastically compromise the scale and design of their RPGs.
Sadly, a lack of any notable multiplayer modes seems to be yet another Bethesda RPG tradition that Starfield will keep alive.
In 2020, Bethesda’s Todd Howard confirmed that Starfield will be a single-player game (you can skip to around the 45-minute mark in that video to hear his exact comments). While Howard, didn’t reinforce that point during Starfield‘s full gameplay reveal, he didn’t give any indication that the studio’s plans for that part of the game have changed either. Experience tells us that if there were any plans for Starfield to offer any kind of official multiplayer modes, that would probably have been one of the first things Howard and the Starfield team told us about the title.
Besides, what we do know about the game’s development leads us to believe that we’ll all be very lucky if Starfield hits its nearly 2023 release window without a record number of bugs and glitches that could make…well, other Bethesda RPGs blush.
Not all hope is lost, though. As noted above, it’s not exactly unheard of for Bethesda to turn one of their popular single-player RPG properties into a multiplayer game sometime down the line. Indeed, there’s already been some loose talk about ideas for a possible Starfield MMO (though I honestly wouldn’t treat those ideas as anything but loose talk until well after Starfield is finished and shipped).
Considering that Starfield will also feature a wide array of customization options, it’s highly likely that the game will at least support some kind of system that allows you to share your custom creations online. Said system may not amount to more than an elaborate photo mode, but at least you’ll be able to see what other players are up to.
Finally, since Starfield is coming to PC, there is a very good chance that someone will inevitably create some kind of multiplayer mod for it. While the technical quality of those mods is often representative of the…oh, let’s say the incredible unofficial nature of their development, modders typically work as quick as possible to find some way for PC gamers to share Betehda’s worlds without having to resort to playing Fallout 76 (we kid because we love).
Mind you, not everyone is going to be in a hurry to try to play Starfield with others, even if they have the option to do so. One of the best things about Bethesda RPGs is that they allow you to lose yourself in a world free of player-generated distractions, and it certainly seems like that’s what Starfield will try to offer when the game is released sometime next year.