How Long Is Starfield? Hours to Beat and New Game Plus, Explained
Here's how long Bethesda's massive space opera will take you to explore.
In a year full of massive, highly anticipated, big-budget video games, Bethesda’s Starfield still stands out in terms of hype and sheer scope. As the first game in Bethesda’s signature first-person RPG style since 2015’s Fallout 4 — and the developer’s first new IP in 25 years — Starfield has an unfathomable amount riding on its success. Even before the game launched, it was clear Bethesda would spare no expense to bring its next massively anticipated adventure to life.
When Bethesda boasted in 2022 that Starfield would include “over 1,000 planets all open for you to explore,” players naturally started wondering, just how big is this game? And how many sick days will I have to use to play it all? With Starfield launching on September 6 and early access available for premium edition players on August 31 or September 1 (depending on where in the world you live), we finally know just how long it will take players to explore the depths of its expansive universe.
How long is Starfield?
Disappointing though it may be, the answer is, “it depends.” Like other Bethesda games, Starfield prizes roleplaying and offers players plenty of freedom to tackle the game at their own pace. That means your own personal playstyle will have a huge impact on how long it takes to beat Starfield.
For a general idea of Starfield’s length, we can look at its main story, though most players will likely spend a considerable amount of time chasing their own goals between quests. Players who just want to make a beeline through the main story while ignoring most of its side content could feasibly sprint through Starfield in as little as 30 hours. For Inverse’s review, editor Jen Glennon spent around 40-45 hours before wrapping up the main story, while taking on a reasonable number of side quests along the way.
But Starfield isn’t just about the main story. Exploring side quests and other optional content could easily boost its length to 120 hours or more. Even that staggering figure is before you take into account players who could while away hundreds more hours by getting deep into ship customization and base building.
Other reviews bear out that scale. Reviewers who dug deep into side quests report spending 70 to 90 hours in the game. On the high end, VGC reports spending more than 100 hours in Starfield, though that also includes some time after finishing the game once.
Because of its open-ended structure, Starfield doesn’t have discrete chapters or acts like other recent heavy-hitters to make it easy to tell how far through the game you are. It’s up to you to guide your own pace.
Does Starfield have a Post-Game or New Game Plus?
If its staggering hour count still isn’t enough for you, Starfield does include a New Game Plus mode, which unlocks after you finish the campaign for the first time.
When you enter New Game Plus, you start the game over while keeping all of your skill tree upgrades and perks intact. That means your character’s essential build will remain the same, and you’ll have a lot more freedom to explore the galaxy and triumph over conflicts from the very start. You won’t keep any of the items, money, or equipment you collected during your first playthrough, though, so you’ll still have plenty of goals to reach for.