Starfield is planned solely to be a single player game at time of writing, with no multiplayer or online modes to speak of (at least that we know of so far). In accordance with Bethesda’s long-running traditions, the bulk of their first-party output is focused on individual, personal single-player experiences, with little consideration for online co-op or competitive elements. So don’t expect a Starfield battle royale any time soon.
What single player and multiplayer modes will Starfield have?
Right now the only mode we know that Starfield is going to have is a single player campaign, in the same vein as Skyrim or Fallout 4. Back in a 2020 interview, Game Director Todd Howard referred to it in passing as a “single player game” (check the 45 minute mark exactly), and we’ve seen no reason to suspect that anything’s changed in the time that’s elapsed since then.
Likewise, there’s no indication that the game will require any online capacity, though we can’t be as certain about this. Some games that are single player still have a DRM element or need to be online for some reason, but right now there’s no reason to think that Starfield will be one of them, especially when its brethren single player games have never needed the same thing.
And no, there’s no multiplayer element that we know of, whether co-op or competitive, or even local couch co-op. There’s an argument to be made that it wouldn’t be very feasible in the kind of experience that Bethesda are clearly intending Starfield to be – something personal to the player with an emphasis on worldbuilding and roleplay. You can’t really have somebody kicking their heels waiting for their friend to finish the intricacies of Starfield ship customization, can you?
Of course, it’s entirely possible that additional features and gameplay modes for either single player or multiplayer could be patched in later. Online spaceship arena combat seems entirely valid as an idea, and the consistently prevalent modding community that always springs up around Bethesda’s RPGs, you’ll probably want to be hooked up to the internet at some point to tinker with it.
Starfield on PS4 or PS5 | Starfield backgrounds and starting skills | Starfield skills | Starfield crafting and research | Starfield traits