Starfield Early Access: How it works and when you can play

Starfield early access - an astronaut walking in front of a spaceship
(Image credit: Bethesda)

The Starfield gates are open—and players of all types can voyage the stars. Starfield officially launched on September 6, but for the impatient types Bethesda's latest ambitious adventure was available a whole five days sooner with Early Access. 

Joining an increasing number of big game releases in recent times (like Diablo 4), Bethesda opted to let you jump the starting laser pistol if you pre-ordered one of the more expensive available editions. Here's everything you need to know about Starfield Early Access and when you can play.

How "Early" is Starfield Early Access?

Starfield global launch times confirming August 31 at 5pm PDT for Premium Edition and September 5 at 5 pm PDT for Standard Edition.

(Image credit: Bethesda Game Studios)

The specific wording Bethesda used was "up to five days," with a note that "actual play time depends on purchase date and will be subject to possible outages and applicable time zone differences." The simpler version is that, players with Early Access across the globe were able to play by the end of September 1. Starfield doesn't require a constant internet connection to play, so the bit about outages was just referring to issues Steam or the Xbox desktop app may have run into installing and validating your copy.

How do you get Starfield Early Access?

To get Early Access to Starfield, you had to purchase the Premium Edition (physical or digital) or the Constellation edition (a physical-only collectors box). The former is $100 and comes with one story expansion, a skin pack, and digital copies of the artbook and soundtrack. The latter will run you $300 and comes with all of that plus a bunch of physical goodies. The $70 Standard Edition did not come with Early Access, nor did the version you can play for no additional charge with your Game Pass subscription.

Will people think I'm cool for having had Starfield Early Access?

I can't speak for everyone, but I think you're pretty cool just for making it to the end of this article. Personally, I gave Bethesda the extra five days to squash any major bugs that the first wave of players run into.


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