Game Theory

Starfield Theory Hints at a Shocking Fate For Earth

A thing of the past.

Starfield is Bethesda’s take on the sci-fi RPG, transporting players to a massive “Nasapunk” universe, just begging to be explored. While we’ve seen a lot of Starfield’s gameplay systems, Bethesda has remained deliberately tight-lipped about the game’s story. However, a new lore dump on Starfield’s official site might have given us a crucial piece of the puzzle, that Earth itself could be dead.

Up until now, we’ve known the broad basics of Starfield’s setup and lore. The game takes place in what’s known as the Settled Systems, a huge swathe of space ruled by different factions and groups, with the main story picking up 20 years after something called the “Colony Wår.”

Shortly ahead of the game’s launch in September, Bethesda released a lengthy timeline of events on Starfield’s official site, walking players through the major bits of lore that lead up to the start of the game. This includes key events like the founding of New Atlantis, the capital of the United Colonies. What’s really interesting, though, is one stark omission, Earth.

Factions have always been a big part of Bethesda games, but they already feel absolutely integral to Starfield’s narrative.


Earth isn’t mentioned anywhere on the timeline, which is a conspicuous omission in a space game centered on humanity. Ostensibly, if Earth was still a major part of these factions' inner workings, it would need to be talked about. This can only mean that Earth is now entirely out of the picture, and a large part of Starfield’s lore revolves around humanity having to find a new home.

The first two lore entries are particularly telling here, as they are “2050: Humans arrive on Mars, by 2100, humans are living in space” and “2156” Humans arrive in Alpha Centauri (4.37 light years away from Earth).”

These two details seem to suggest humanity was trying to find a way to move off of Earth, and migrating to Alpha Centauri could even be some kind of Mass Effect: Andromeda situation, maybe some kind of ark had to transport the remnants of humanity away from a dead planet.

It seems entirely possible players could be visiting a desolate and ruined version of Earth in Starfield.


There are two possibilities here, the first being we’re seeing a new Golden Age of humanity, set hundreds of years after the entire species had to transplant itself to a new part of the universe. The second option is that humanity is flourishing in Alpha Centauri, but back in the Milky Way, there’s still a struggling remnant scraping by on a planet slowly dying. That second option could see players returning to, or discovering, a version of Earth much different from what we’re used to seeing in video games.

Calling it now: Earth’s omission in this lore dump means it’ll be integral to Starfield’s narrative in some way — whether that’s as a backdrop or active participant in events.

Starfield releases on September 6 for Xbox Series X|S and PC.

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