Hopes are high: Starfield rockets to second place in Steam's global bestsellers list

Starfield companions - a man in a white space suit, speaking, next to an overlay showing his skills
(Image credit: Bethesda)

Starfield is available for pre-purchase now, and Bethesda's space RPG is already the number two bestseller on Steam, beneath only Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.

The chart is based on revenue, which is what explains why a free-to-play game like CS:GO can sit at the top. On the US chart, Starfield is in third place, with the $399 Steam Deck overtaking it for second, which is again explained by revenue being the deciding factor as opposed to the number of units sold.

Starfield ain't exactly cheap either, though. The Starfield base edition costs $70, reflecting a recent industry-wide price bump for certain "triple-A" games. There's also a $100 Digital Premium Edition, which gets you five days of early access, the first story expansion (which they've already announced the name of: Shattered Space), some skins, and digital copies of the soundtrack and artbook.

The Starfield Direct, an all-Starfield showcase that followed the broader Xbox Games Showcase on Sunday, clearly did the job Microsoft and Bethesda were looking for it to do: People want this dang game. It's seen as the next Skyrim, which is still one of the most played games on Steam over a decade after it released. Big shoes.

There's lots to like about what we've seen. Starfield's trait system looks like a lot of fun, for instance: just some proper open world RPG goofiness, like the option to have alien DNA or parents you can visit, and the return of the Adoring Fan from The Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion. 

We've also had some less positive reactions on the team—Robin's not into the cowboys—but clearly a lot of people are confident that Bethesda's going to deliver a game they're happy to have spent 70-plus dollars for at launch, even with Bethesda's record of buggy launches.

(Microsoft did say that, with Starfield's delays and the QA muscle it added with its acquisition of Bethesda, this will be the least-buggy game Bethesda Game Studios has released, but I'll believe it when I see it.)

What Bethesda will really not want are comparisons to the launch of Cyberpunk 2077—players expected something groundbreaking from that game, and got a decent game that did a lot of breaking. Cyberpunk is currently third on Steam's global bestsellers list, so it certainly didn't bomb, but it did deflate CD Projekt's reputation as a vanguard in the RPG scene, and the studio had to spend two years fixing it up. 

On the topic of Cyberpunk, here's our recent look at Cyberpunk's incoming expansion, which is the only one planned. That's another reveal from the past week that's on Steam's bestseller's list, in 8th place. Cities: Skylines 2, which we learned at the Xbox Showcase will be out in October, is also on the list at number 13.


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

Tyler Wilde
Executive Editor

Tyler grew up in Silicon Valley during the '80s and '90s, playing games like Zork and Arkanoid on early PCs. He was later captivated by Myst, SimCity, Civilization, Command & Conquer, all the shooters they call "boomer shooters" now, and PS1 classic Bushido Blade (that's right: he had Bleem!). Tyler joined PC Gamer in 2011, and today he's focused on the site's news coverage. His hobbies include amateur boxing and adding to his 1,200-plus hours in Rocket League.