Bethesda confirms your Starfield character will be a silent protagonist

Starfield character
(Image credit: Bethesda)

We finally got a good long look at Bethesda's space RPG Starfield over the weekend. The meaty, 15-minute Starfield gameplay trailer featured lots of details about how planetary exploration will work, how you're able to build, customize, and fly your spaceships, plus a look at combat, character creation, and the main storyline.

A few details weren't called out specifically, and one long-unanswered question wasn't addressed in the trailer: Will your Starfield character be mute, as in Skyrim, or will they have voiced lines like in Fallout 4?

Wonder no longer. Bethesda confirmed it today on Twitter: Your character in Starfield will be a silent protagonist.

See more

"Yes, dialogue in Starfield is first person and your character does not have a voice," Bethesda Softworks tweeted earlier today.

This was hinted at, though not entirely clear, in the gameplay footage. There were a number of characters speaking, but none of them appeared to be the player. A lot of character creation menu options were shown—body types, skin tones, walking styles, hair color and style, head shapes, and so on—but no voice selection option was evident. If I'd had to make a guess after seeing the trailer, I would have gone with the main character being silent, and it turns out that's the case.

The first-person only dialogue is a throwback to earlier Bethesda RPGs, too, like Oblivion. It can be a bit startling at times, such as when you're quietly sneaking around in someone's house and you're treated to a sudden smash-zoom into a guard's face as they scream threats at you. Hopefully, Starfield's transitions from third-to-first person will be a bit smoother.

The lack voice lines for our Starfield astronauts feels like a course correction from Fallout 4, which featured a fully voice player character, and this is sure to bring out some differing opinions among players. Heck, in the PC Gamer Slack channel alone, a few of us were fans of the talking character in Fallout 4 and a few of us definitely weren't.

Personally, I'm happy with a silent character. When I'm immersed in a role, it can be jarring if I don't like my character's voice or even their inflection when all their lines have been recorded by an actor. And the nice thing about a silent protagonist is they can still speak inside my head (thanks to imagination) and they'll sound exactly how I want them to.

Image

Starfield factions: Find a cause to quest for
Starfield cities: See the big spaces in space
Starfield companions: Collect cosmic comrades
Starfield traits: Give your hero some history
Starfield ship customization: Make your spaceship special

Christopher Livingston
Staff Writer

Chris started playing PC games in the 1980s, started writing about them in the early 2000s, and (finally) started getting paid to write about them in the late 2000s. Following a few years as a regular freelancer, PC Gamer hired him in 2014, probably so he'd stop emailing them asking for more work. Chris has a love-hate relationship with survival games and an unhealthy fascination with the inner lives of NPCs. He's also a fan of offbeat simulation games, mods, and ignoring storylines in RPGs so he can make up his own.