Bethesda Game Studios’ Starfield, the game that took 25 years to make, has launched to rave reviews. Fans of sci-fi RPGs and/or open-world games are keen to explore the huge world the game offers, and many are already doing so. They are betting big on this magnum opus from the Microsoft-acquired US-based studio, and there are some who would love for Starfield to go beyond being a single-player game, thereby bringing in a total Starfield multiplayer experience.
Starfield Multiplayer: The Possibility
Some would say that a game of Starfield’s scale deserves to have a local co-op multiplayer option, if not online multiplayer. Exploring the planetary systems in Starfield alone and getting swept away by adventures would be quite satisfying for people who want the single-player experience only. But there are those who would want more. At least after they have spent considerable time planet-hopping so as to be eligible for a badge of a Starfield veteran.
In our opinion, not everyone would absolutely relish getting lost all by themselves in the Starfield galaxy for a very long time. Some would prefer having someone by their side in the game. Besides, the gameplay takes a whole different meaning when you are playing in a cooperative mode. A little bit of synergistic team effort is required, something that players could be interested in when playing Starfield. But for purists, it could snuff out the spirit of a single-player open-world adventure too. And it seems like Bethesda understands it all too well.
So, single-player or multiplayer? The opinions will be divided, and both sides are right in their own way. It’s up to the game studio now.
What Bethesda Has to Say
Bethesda is going with the single-player mode only for Starfield; they have made it very clear. They do have purely online multiplayer games like The Elder Scrolls Online and Fallout 76, but these have been kept separate from their single-player adventures. Another thing to note is that both the above-mentioned titles are Zenimax Online Studios titles, and not Bethesda Game Studios titles.
The Risk Multiplayer Could Pose
Starfield is designed as a personal space adventure in single-player, and it is somewhat like Skyrim when we look at the open-world gameplay elements. For example, there are different questlines that take you from one place to the other; you get to have your own room with a locker to stash the items you picked up (you bought Breezehome in Skyrim, btw). NPCs can accompany you on quests, you can join new groups, etc. The main difference is the setting and the scale of world-building. Skyrim has a fantasy world and is set on a continent, Starfield is set in a futuristic space, where humans have explored space that much so as to set up bases and colonies on remote planets and moons.
What we are trying to get at is that the fundamentals of Starfield are very much like Skyrim, and since they helped become Skyrim a hit, Bethesda would want to play it safe with Starfield. At least for 1-2 years.
Many longed for a multiplayer experience in Skyrim, but officially, Bethesda Game Studios did not add it and had to create a separate game. They wouldn’t want to risk adding a multiplayer option to Starfield. It would change how the game is perceived by players, change the way they approach the game, and, in some ways, curtail the freedom a single-player mode offers in an open-world space exploration game. Maybe they want to look at the progress and the popularity of the game for a year or two before thinking of adding a new gameplay mode.
As of now, Starfield is a single-player game, and it looks like it is going to be for a long time.
It would be a dream come true for many if Starfield gets multiplayer, but sadly, that’s not the case right now. On the bright side, Starfield has plenty of content to keep you busy for a long time. Perhaps the popularity of the game over time would compel Bethesda to bring out new DLCs to keep the revenue-and-fandom machine whirring. And one of those days, we might get to see a Starfield multiplayer mode too. But it does not look as if it will happen too soon. The game is not even a month old. If you long for a comrade in Starfield, you will have to settle for the NPCs.
Converting a single-player game into a multiplayer one would take a considerable amount of time and a whole lot of in-game changes so that the story comes out to be right, something which Bethesda could certainly plan for. But that depends on how well the game sinks into the collective consciousness of the gaming community. Plus, it could take years.
There is the modding community though; they converted the single-player Skyrim into a five-player Skyrim Together Reborn mod. In this mod, you could actually complete quests with up to four real-life companions together. We might see a multiplayer effort from their side faster than we would see from the original Starfield creators themselves.
Meanwhile, if you are thinking of buying the game, it is absolutely necessary to know the Starfield system requirements. Make sure that your gaming rig fits the developer’s specifications. Otherwise, you might have a sub-par experience with an excellent game.
Utkarsh has been in the ‘serious’ business of gaming for a long time and especially loves FPS and tactical shooters, co-op adventures, story-rich RPGs and RTS titles. Armed with a degree in engineering, he is passionate about writing, music,… read more