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Here’s When You Can Actually Start Playing Starfield

Officially, Starfield launches on September 6 on PC, Xbox Series consoles, and Game Pass. However, because of time zones, multiple editions, and early access, things are a bit messy. If the stars align for you (and you shelled out extra money for its special editions), you’re already playing Bethesda’s highly anticipated RPG—and have been as early as 5 p.m. on August 31 in California.

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Starfield was announced all the way back in 2018—alongside Elder Scrolls VI—and over the last five years the hype has been building. This is Bethesda’s first big single-player RPG since 2015’s Fallout 4, and the first new IP from Bethesda in over two decades. And it sounds huge. It might take you over 50 hours to get through the main quest, and it’ll contain over 1,000 worlds, mixing handcrafted planets with procedurally generated ones to achieve such a wild number. So yeah, this is a massive game.

But people have been somewhat confused about when this massive game is actually available to play. Sure, it’s on Xbox Game Pass, but that doesn’t mean you get to try it out during its brief Early Access period from September 1 to September 5. To do that, you’ll need to have bought one of the special editions.

There are technically four versions of Starfield: the Standard edition ($70), Premium edition($100), Upgraded Game Pass Premium edition ($30), and finally the Constellation edition ($250). If you want to play Starfield five days before its official September 6 launch, you’ll need to buy either the Premium or Constellation editions. If you have Game Pass (or already bought the basic version of the game), you can upgrade to the Premium version for $30 and gain access to Starfield a few days early, too.

When is Starfield early access?

Here’s how that breaks down:

Starfield early access kicked off on September 1, assuming you bought one of the special editions or upgraded your copy, at 12:00 UTC. For those with early access who are currently living in the United States, Canada, or South America, they were able play on August 31. In California, players started eploring Starfield as early as 5:00 p.m. PDT on that day.On September 6, Standard edition owners or Game Pass subscribers can start playing at 12:00 UTC. (Click here to convert to your time.)And because of timezones, if you live in the United States, Canada, or South America, you’ll be able to start playing on September 5. As before, Californian players can start as early as 5:00 p.m. PDT.

If you want to maximize your Starfield playtime, you can also preload the RPG on Xbox and Steam right now. (Remember, this game isn’t coming to PlayStation 5 or Switch. It’s also not playable on Xbox One.) However, you’ll need to clear out some room on your SSD, as Starfield takes up a decent amount of space—specifically, around 139 gigabytes on PC and 126 gigs on Xbox Series X/S consoles.

Depending on your internet connection and which version you pre-ordered, you might need to start downloading the game pretty soon—it’ll take a minute.

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