Matt Wales

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Starfield‘s hype handle cranks ever-more furiously in the run-up to its September release, and Bethesda has now fired out a scattershot volley of fresh details, courtesy of a new Discord Q&A.

Subjects tackled are inevitably rather chaotically broad (and, alas, disappointingly sandwich-free), guided as they were by fans with radically differing concerns, but the end is still a fascinating peek into a game that remains a little enigmatic so close to launch.

We now, for instance, know (thanks Games8) that Starfield will feature various possible punishments for those caught doing naughty things like smuggling contraband. Illegal goods are frowned upon across the galaxy (which is said to operates within a fixed economy, although buy and sell prices can be influenced with certain skills), and must be smuggled past security ships orbiting major settlements by stuffing them inside special purchasable ship modules.

Our latest look at Starfield gameplay footage.Watch on YouTube

Get caught with your 300 tonnes of illicit Jonas Brothers paraphernalia (or whatever, I don’t know), and you’ll have law enforcement to deal with. Sure, you can try resisting arrest and orchestrating your escape, but failure will either result in jail time or, for those less keen on small spaces, a fine to be paid.

Players hoping for some moments of quietude between all the sci-fi bombast will be able to purchase houses in all major cities (other homesteads become available as quest rewards), and still on domestic matters, Bethesda notes that players’ in-game parents will be generated based on features chosen for the protagonist during character creation – which, incidentally, also includes an option for an “anonymous” backstory, should you wish to play with no traits.

And, of course, friends being the family of the future, or however the expression goes, there’ll be plenty of companions to befriend on your galatic travels. Bethesda says to expect 20 in total – four from Constellation, while others are connected to main quests – all with their own backgrounds, who’ll merrily follow you around and carry your stuff. Alongside companions, players can hire generic crew members to work on ships and at outposts.

From this point on, topic breached get a lot more random; there’s confirmation that time in Starfield will only pass when you’re actively playing, and that players with an aversion to violence can make use of non-lethal weapons, although Bethesda says pacifist playthroughs will be difficult. Additionally, there are three main religions in-game, with House Va’runn being a primarily antagonistic religion; all faction quests can be completed independently; you can become an undercover agent within the United Colonies SysDef military, and more.

Today’s Q&A bonanza follows the reveal of preload dates for Starfield on Xbox Series X/S and PC, which get underway tomorrow, 17th August, unless you’re playing on Steam. The full game, of course, arrives on 1st September, which isn’t far away at all.

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Starfield has housing system, player jail, and more reveals Bethesda in new Q&A