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9 things we learned about Starfield during the Xbox & Bethesda Showcase

Here are nine major takeaways from the Starfield gameplay reveal.

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During the 2022 Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase, we got our first look at gameplay in Starfield. The Bethesda Game Studios sci-fi RPG showed off a suite of new features and mechanics. Let’s take a look at nine things that we learned from the Starfield gameplay reveal.

9 things we learned about Starfield during the Xbox & Bethesda Showcase

These are nine unique takeaways that we found in the gameplay reveal for Starfield that premiered during the 2022 Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase.

1. You can build your own ship

starfield shipbuilding
Shipbuilding in Starfield.

Spaceships are key to exploring the great beyond, and Starfield will allow players to build and customize their very own ship. We see the player selecting and moving around different parts, with a ship’s components influencing its weight, speed, armor, and more. You’ll also be able to customize your ship crew. It’ll be neat to see how far the community is able to push this feature.

2. There’s ship combat

Space combat in Starfield.

The Starfield gameplay reveal confirmed that the game will include a heavily-requested community feature - ship combat. We see a player soaring through space in both third and first-person, firing away at enemy ships. Players can lock missiles onto enemy spacecrafts, and the hull meter in the UI lets you know how much damage your ship can take until it’s destroyed.

3. There are over 1,000 planets

One of more than 1,000 explorable planets in Starfield.
One of more than 1,000 explorable planets in Starfield.

We already knew that Starfield would be a galaxy-trotting adventure, but Todd Howard dropped the info bomb that the game will feature 100 systems with more than 1,000 planets that players can visit and explore. Players will also have the option to land wherever they want on a planet, rather than there being a singular landing zone. The new trailer shows off some of the unique environments that we can expect to traverse, as well as the dangerous (and friendly) creatures we’ll meet along the way. It’s likely that each planet’s mileage may vary, but it’s neat to know that there will be a lot to dig into.

4. Backgrounds determine your starting skills

Character background options in Starfield.

The character creator was briefly shown during the Starfield gameplay reveal, which confirmed that players will select a background when creating their explorer. Backgrounds will provide players with three starting skills. Some of the backgrounds seen in the footage are Beast Hunter, Chef, Cyber Runner, Diplomat, Gangster, Professor, and Ronin, among several others.

5. You can select three character traits

Character trait options in Starfield.
Character trait options in Starfield.

When designing your character, you’ll pick three traits that define who you are and influence how you interact with the world around you. Starfield seems to be leaning heavily into the role-playing aspect with this dynamic. Here are some of the trait descriptions we see in the gameplay footage:

Introvert: You really need your alone time. You have more endurance when adventuring alone, but less when adventuring with other human companions. (Can’t be combined with Extrovert).

Kid Stuff: Your parents are alive and well, and you can visit them at their home. But 10 percent of all the money you earn is deducted automatically and sent to them.

Neon Street Rat: You grew up on the mean streets of Neon. You gain access to special dialogue options, and better rewards from some missions on Neon. Crime bounty by other factions is greatly increased. (Can’t be combined with any other faction allegiance trait.)

Raised Enlightened: You grew up as a member of the Enlightened. You gain a significant discount at the organization store, but lose access to Sanctum Universum store. (Can;t be combined with any other religion trait.)

Starter Home: You own a small house on a peaceful little moon, but it comes with a 50,000 credit mortgage with GalBank.

6. Skills are upgraded by using them

The skill tree in Starfield.
The skill tree in Starfield.

When giving us a glimpse at Starfield’s skill tree, Todd Howard shared that players will be able to unlock skills when they level up. After initially unlocking a Rank 1 skill, it can be upgraded by using it in action. Skills appear to max out at Rank 4. Rank 1 of the Ballistics skill gives a 10 percent boost to ballistic weapons, while Rank 4 increases both damage and range by 30 percent.

7. You can research new craftables and weapon mods

The crafting menu in Starfield.
The crafting menu in Starfield.

Starfield will feature a crafting system that lets players create various items to help them in their travels. The crafting menu includes five categories: Pharmacology, Food & Drink, Outpost Development, Equipment, and Weaponry. In the Weaponry table, we see Iron, Nickel, and Sealant as requirements to craft different barrels, grips, sights, and muzzles.

8. You can build Outposts

The Outpost-building feature in Starfield.

Todd Howard describes Outposts in Starfield as “your home away from home.” Players select and place different structures, connecting halls, and airlocks to make bases on various planets. These Outposts can be used to generate different resources and serve as shelter. Players can hire characters to run their Outposts while they’re away.

9. You can mine for materials

A player mining for iron in Starfield.
A player mining for iron in Starfield.

Resources seem to be king in Starfield, and players will be able to use a laser drill to mine for different materials. In the footage, we see a player scan a cave wall for iron, and then use their drill to mine it and add it to their inventory. We also know that nickel and aluminum are other attainable resources in the game.


Those are nine things that we learned about Starfield during the gameplay reveal at the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase. The game is currently scheduled to be released in 2023, so be sure to visit Shacknews Starfield topic page for future updates on the sci-fi RPG.

News Editor

Donovan is a young journalist from Maryland, who likes to game. His oldest gaming memory is playing Pajama Sam on his mom's desktop during weekends. Pokémon Emerald, Halo 2, and the original Star Wars Battlefront 2 were some of the most influential titles in awakening his love for video games. After interning for Shacknews throughout college, Donovan graduated from Bowie State University in 2020 with a major in broadcast journalism and joined the team full-time. He is a huge Star Wars nerd and film fanatic that will talk with you about movies and games all day. You can follow him on twitter @Donimals_

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