Starfield, Bethesda’s gigantic space-based RPG with over 1,000 planets, has gone gold, meaning it’s passed certification and will soon be ready to hit store shelves both physical and digital. As such, the studio announced that preloading on PC and Xbox will start very soon.
On August 16 Bethesda Game Studios revealed on X, formerly Twitter, when you can pre-install Starfield on PC and Xbox Series consoles: Xbox folks can preload it on August 17, while PC (via Steam) players will have to wait until August 30 to download the game before its September 6 launch.
What this means is you can have Starfield loaded up and ready for launch one to three weeks before it comes out in September. Talk about preparation.
If you wanted to be a little mischievous, though, you might be able to bypass Starfield’s official September 6 release on console. See, before Cyberpunk 2077 dropped on December 10, 2020, some folks were playing early by manipulating the Xbox Series X/S’ location and time data. Because time zones are a thing, if the game came out early in, say, New Zealand, Xbox players simply changed their console timezones to New Zealand and boom, they were speeding through Night City hours before other folks. Kotaku senior reporter Ethan Gach tested this at the time to make sure it worked and yeah, it did. So, it might be possible to do the same thing with Starfield, though it doesn’t always work (see Star Wars Jedi: Survivor) and could end with you getting locked out (like with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.)
But with over 1,000 planets to explore, if the region swap trick actually works, I’d take any additional time I could get. This game sounds massive, maybe the most ambitious project Bethesda has done since The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Let’s just hope it isn’t as busted as Skyrim on Switch that or (gulp) Fallout 76.