An astronaut walks through a futuristic city.

Image: Bethesda

Starfield is only a few weeks away, and Bethesda is still drip-feeding new information to players desperate to finally get their hands on the long-awaited Xbox console exclusive. Will you be able to buy apartments in the cities you travel to? Will you get to smuggle illicit items across galactic borders? Will you go to jail if you do crimes? The answer to those questions and more is “yes.”

Bethesda held an August 16 Q&A with fans on Discord, picking and choosing which comments to respond to as it walks a pre-release tightrope of hype in the lead-up to the RPG’s September 1 launch. Lead designer Emil Pagliarulo and lead quest designer Will Shen provided the answers, and although many of them are what you might expect from the studio behind The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Fallout 4, they also shed light on new possibilities that weren’t previously confirmed.

Here are the highlights:

  • Dwellings can be acquired in all major cities, some by purchasing and others through quests
  • Some items will be considered contraband and need to be hidden on your ship using special modules to pass inspection
  • Faction quests are not mutually exclusive and can all be completed independently
  • There are up to 20 named characters that can join your crew, follow you around, and carry your stuff
  • Commit crimes and you can go to jail, pay a fine, or resist arrest
  • The mechs are in ruins and not usable
  • A fully nonlethal playthrough isn’t possible

Both designers also spoke at length about some of the worldbuilding in the game, including the role religion will play in Starfield’s futuristic univierse. There are Sanctum Universals who believe space exploration is a way to get close to God, and a group of atheists called The Enlightened who are focused on secular, humanitarian programs. And then there’s House Va’ruun, a death cult that loves snakes. Here’s how Pagliarulo describes it:

So, in the game, you’re not really sure what the complete truth is, but…The gossip among the guards is this: A colony ship sets off for a new world, making grav jumps along the way. After one of the grav jumps, one of the passengers claims he spent that time communing with a celestial entity known as the Great Serpent. What was a few seconds for everyone else was…much longer for him. And he brought back a mandate, which is basically, “get onboard, or be devoured when the Great Serpent encircles the universe.”

So make sure to be on the lookout for a magic time-bending space snake while charting undiscovered planets, mining resources, and maintaining your trade routes. With any luck, Starfield will have plenty more bizarre secrets just like it.

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