We already have a fair idea of everything we can expect from Starfield.
Bethesda is among the best gaming studios when it comes to open-world RPGs, and they’ve already set new benchmarks with this release.
I’m looking forward to Starfield, even more than Baldur’s Gate. But surely there’s more to Starfield than Bethesda’s revealed so far.
But is Starfield Multiplayer?
The short answer – No. Starfield is not multiplayer. It does not support multiplayer in any capability at all. As an Xbox exclusive also available on Windows, it’s only natural that Starfield is single-player and wants to first dole out the best single-player experience.
Starfield does come packed with a game system that will procedurally generate worlds and interactions with the main character – you. So much so, Bethesda’s vocal about unique gaming experiences. Since it’s procedurally generated, 2 players may not have the same story or game experience at the same juncture of their storylines.
Here’s a deeper look into Starfield gameplay mechanics.
Now think about this – If 2 players don’t necessarily have the same storyline experiences, will Starfield ever be able to accommodate multiplayer or co-op gaming?
Let’s just say Bethesda can.
Will Starfield be Multiplayer?
There is no official announcement or confirmation on this, but Bethesda has not come out to say no either. Why?
If you’ve played Skyrim or Fallout, you’ll know that there are separate storylines and multiplayer modes available in-game or at the most, separate gaming portals for multiplayer and co-op gaming experiences.
Will Bethesda add Multiplayer to Starfield?
They can and it looks like the game already has the necessary foundations required for multiplayer capabilities like –
Huge Open World
The first prerequisite to multiplayer RPGs is a vast open world. Skyrim’s done that. Starfield is bigger than Skyrim. Starfield might just be the biggest open-world game yet, bigger than No Man’s Sky (since Starfield may add more relevancy to each world).
Multiplayer gaming needs a big enough environment to accommodate all live players. It’s like an interactive cloud where each player adds an interactive variable with the game system.
This is a common theme in all Starfield content from Bethesda’s so far. And it looks like it despite the leaks.
Do anything right from the character creation dashboard for hours. Do anything on the planet you land on. Wander off the LZ to literally ‘explore’ the world as it is created. There’s a catch – if worlds are procedurally generated, they won’t remain the same when you return. (But isn’t that how space and time work?)
Expansive Shipbuilding and Weapon Crafting
I’ll spend more time on these two than maybe roaming around in space and looting cargo ships with a fast, decked-up fighter (or maybe not).
The shipbuilding UI and the weapons crafting systems are pointing more towards multiplayer gameplay, a common thematic feature of RPGs. Bethesda wants players to create unique identities.
We do have the 4 main constellation companions but we already have an idea of more companions who’ll be common crew members and play a part in the storyline too.
But let’s say Bethesda wants to go multiplayer. They can simply keep plot touchpoints on these NPC companions and instead of letting us add them to our crew, they can let us add our friends. Sounds simple enough.
Why Isn’t Starfield Multiplayer?
Same reason Starfield is not on PS5 (yet).
Multiplayer gaming requires a foundational single-player build at the bottom. And Starfield is an audacious project that’s tediously crafted to hit the ground running. Although I don’t buy Bethesda spending 25 years making Starfield, I’m sure it did take a large team of devs months to create this and more –
Starfield is not multiplayer on launch and that’s good. Bethesda’s taking it one step at a time and that’s only natural considering the size of the game and the number of players who’ve hit Bethesda servers from Early Access.
Starfield Multiplayer Gameplay: How It Will Play Out
IMO, multiplayer gameplay in Starfield will include –
A Bustling Economy System
Bethesda’s Gameplay Deep Dive already showed a lot of food for items, especially sandwiches. So much so, that I’m sure I’ll start hoarding sandwiches whenever I can. I’ll buy weapon crafting items, ores and minerals, and ship items or whole ships with sandwiches.
We even had peeps hoarding potatoes –
Although that’s not an accurate representation of the kind of economy Starfield will have in-game, we’ll get to hoard a large variety of items.
Already we have a foundation for things to come.
Factions and Clans
We have a sneak peek into the 3 main cities in Starfield, distinct cities with specific traits and characteristics all along.
So, it won’t be too far-fetched to imagine Bethesda turning cities into core empires with specific character traits, skill trees, ships, etc. I can only hope Bethesda does more than a simple bi-factional system.
Starfield is big so each server can accommodate more than the 100 or 1000-player limits, common in most Battle Royales today.
And despite the complexities of it, Bethesda’s hosting servers for long enough to know how it works and how it doesn’t (with Fallout 4).
With Starfield, I expect Bethesda to take the same route as EVE Online, not Stellaris. The game is designed to be a lot bigger than the individual player.
Although I am worried about how 20+ ships in combat will look on a server and whether the game will be able to handle it in the first place, I’m sure Bethesda will do something about it and do it well.
Bottomline – Starfield maybe a multiplayer in the making. Mark my words, Bethesda’s put a lot into this project, and it looks like they’ve pulled it off so far. But right now, let’s just enjoy Starfield as the biggest single-player title till GTA 6 comes out.