After 200 hours and 44 pages of speculation, one Starfield fan thinks they've found all there is to know about the game's abilities

Sci-fi Aliens with astronaut
(Image credit: Bethesda)

As spotted by GamesRadar yesterday, a Starfield fan has spent over 200 hours on the game without even playing it—by assembling a full 44-page speculative document on its skill trees.

"Below is the result of around 200 hours of painstakingly reverse-engineering Starfield’s skill system," writes Reddit user asd8dhd on the document, which they released via a Reddit thread earlier this week. "I am fairly confident that this is as close as we will get [before release]." They then go on to unravel the game's skill system with a level of specificity that'd make Sherlock Holmes blush. 

Asd8dhd speculates that Starfield'll have a rough level cap of 326. While this astronomical number might seem far fetched, it's not unprecedented for Bethesda games to let you reach absurd levels of character power. Skyrim's level cap sits at 252, and Fallout 4 just doesn't have one, though the game allegedly crashes at level 65,535.

They've also put together a rough map of the challenges you need to do to unlock skill ranks. For example, they suggest you'll need to sneak attack over 160 enemies to get to the highest ranks of the Stealth skill—that's a lot of crouching, so your futuristic stealth archer's gonna have some killer glutes.

To back their theories up, asd8dhd has also compiled a massive thread over 82 images long, which features screenshots and specific developer statements from various interviews. Some tidbits are a bit of a reach, however—such as the implication you can build your own orbital star stations around colonised planets, which is something I think Todd Howard might've brought up.

Still, this is the second time in a month I've written about a massive google doc from a dedicated gamer. Just over two weeks ago, one superfan cobbled together over 1,000 pages of pre-release footage in a compendium that's still staggering to think about.

It shows a ravenous appetite for info that's completely unsurprising, given this is Bethesda's first single-player RPG since 2015. Gamers are hungry for any info they can get their hands on, but we already know that only Todd Howard is authorised to speak on such highly-classified matters. 

Starfield releases September 6. If you want to read something a touch less speculative in the mean time, you can check out Len Hafer's collection of skills we know about and get theorycrafting.

Harvey Randall
Staff Writer

Harvey's history with games started when he first begged his parents for a World of Warcraft subscription aged 12, though he's since been cursed with Final Fantasy 14-brain and a huge crush on G'raha Tia. He made his start as a freelancer, writing for websites like Techradar, The Escapist, Dicebreaker, The Gamer, Into the Spine—and of course, PC Gamer. He'll sink his teeth into anything that looks interesting, though he has a soft spot for RPGs, soulslikes, roguelikes, deckbuilders, MMOs, and weird indie titles. He also plays a shelf load of TTRPGs in his offline time. Don't ask him what his favourite system is, he has too many.