Starfield fans are already reverse-engineering the game's map

Starfield trailer
(Image credit: Bethesda)

It's going to be a fair bit longer before we finally get to explore Starfield's galaxy. Unless, of course, you're dedicated enough to reverse engineer Bethesda's star-map based on six fleeting seconds of trailer footage, compile it into a 3D executable, and release it into the wild for curious fans.

That's exactly what coder Sebastian Werhausen did with Starfield Navigator, a tool that lets you explore a rough approximation of Starfield's galaxy based on what we know so far, which is just a very quick shot from the gameplay reveal trailer.

"That scene was used to track all visible stars and reconstruct their ingame position," Werhausen explains in a readme. "The footage included seven named stars, three of them are real star systems (Sol, Alpha Centauri and Porrima). The real-life position of those stars were used to calibrate the reconstruction."

(Image credit: Sebastian Werhausen)

In an insights section, Werhausen notes that of the 100+ stars promised for the final game, 75 were visible in the trailer. Of the seven labelled systems, three are real stars—and by using distance, position and colour, he was able to identify three more (Altair, Barnard and Sirius).

The map lets you view from three fairly restricted camera types, but a neat wee trick also reveals jump paths based on a selected jump range, or even chart a route between two given stars. Given that ships in Starfield appear to have different ranges based on how you build them, this could provide neat insight into how much space you can explore at early and late game.

Of course, it could all be totally wrong, and we won't know until Starfield's release in early 2023. But even at this early stage, it's fun to get a tangible sense of just how many wonderfully boring worlds we'll be able to explore in Bethesda's interstellar sandbox come release.

Natalie Clayton
Features Producer

20 years ago, Nat played Jet Set Radio Future for the first time, and she's not stopped thinking about games since. Joining PC Gamer in 2020, she comes from three years of freelance reporting at Rock Paper Shotgun, Waypoint, VG247 and more. Embedded in the European indie scene and a part-time game developer herself, Nat is always looking for a new curiosity to scream about—whether it's the next best indie darling, or simply someone modding a Scotmid into Black Mesa. She also unofficially appears in Apex Legends under the pseudonym Horizon.