Starfield Guide – How Long to Beat

Bethesda's latest is pretty overwhelming in its scope. Here's how long it takes to finish the main quest and everything else.

Posted By | On 04th, Sep. 2023


If it weren’t obvious enough, Bethesda Game Studios’ Starfield is a massive game. It offers a decently long main quest (depending on how slow you take it), but the sheer amount of side quests, optional content, systems, and more will have you playing for a long time. This is without taking mods or future DLC into account, of course.

So, how long does it take to finish the space-faring RPG? Let’s break it down. Beware of spoilers, though, especially for what occurs after the ending.

How Long to Beat

Starfield has 18 main quests to complete. Like any Bethesda Game Studios RPG, each has multiple steps. You must visit different planets and systems to complete them all while engaging with different mechanics like space combat, crafting, speech checks, lockpicking and more. Check out the full list below in sequential order:

  • One Small Step
  • The Old Neighborhood
  • The Empty Nest
  • Back to Vectera
  • Into the Unknown
  • All That Money Can Buy
  • Starborn
  • Further Into the Unknown
  • Short Sighted
  • No Sudden Moves
  • High Price To Pay
  • Unity
  • In Their Footsteps
  • Unearthed
  • Final Glimpses
  • Entangled
  • Revelations
  • One Giant Leap

According to director Todd Howard back in 2022, it can take 30 to 40 hours to finish Starfield if you ignore all the side content. However, according to reports, many are finishing the main quest in 17 hours when rushing through. Playing more leisurely means it will take about 21 hours or so.

It’s advised to play at Normal difficulty for a more balanced experience. Hard increases enemy health, making it more manageable, while Very Hard makes enemies extremely tanky. It’s a waste of ammo and slows you down considerably. Fortunately, you can change the difficulty any time, so choose the one that suits you.

How Long to 100% Starfield

En route to finishing the story of Starfield, there is a lot of content to complete. Here are all the different things you can do:

  • Build (and customize) outposts
  • Mining materials
  • Recruit all the companions
  • Build bigger and better starships
  • Engage in space battles
  • Space piracy
  • Collect weapons and space suits
  • Companion quests
  • Survey all +1000 planets
  • Strange Encounters (which are random encounters in space)
  • Explore Derelicts
  • Smuggle contraband
  • Side quests
  • Faction quests (UC Vanguard, Freestar Collective, Crimson Fleet)

Remember that this doesn’t account for all the different side quests and missions you can pick up by wandering through the various cities and settlements. You also have Traits like Kid Stuff and Dream Home, which provide unique features in a playthrough. It also doesn’t account for all the secrets, Easter Eggs, and other discoveries.

Together with the story, the additional content can take about 43 to 44 hours to complete when rushing through. However, taking your time means this can balloon up to 78 to 79 hours. If you want to do everything possible in a single playthrough, it will take about 182 hours when rushing. A more leisurely run increases that to about 200 hours or so. Again, that can change based on how much time you engage with systems like weapon modding, crafting, outpost building, starship building, etc.

Is There New Game Plus?

Yes, Starfield has New Game Plus. After finishing the main quest, Revelations, you have two choices: You can return to your universe and continue playing, perhaps mopping up any existing content, or you can start New Game Plus.

New Game Plus puts you in an “alternate” universe. It’s much like the previous one, except you don’t carry over any items, crafting materials, weapons, spacesuits, ships, and Credits. All of your planetary scans are gone, so you need to scan them all again, and any outposts are also gone. The only things that carry over are your Traits, Skills, any powers obtained during the previous playthrough and the Frontier, which is available from the outset.

What’s the point of New Game Plus? You get the Starborn Guardian 2 ship and the Starborn Spacesuit Astra, which includes a helmet and boost pack. Note that finishing a New Game Plus run and doing it again will award the Starborn Spacesuit Materia, which has different bonuses.

The main quest is skippable, and you can side with The Hunter or The Emissary at Oborum 3. The Starborn Trader is also available to meet in the Feynman System, orbiting Feynman 1. He sells the Frenzy Calibrated Negotiator (a Legendary heavy weapon), the Avatar and The Last Breath (both Rare rifles), and materials like Aldumite and Vytinium.

Starfield is available for Xbox Series X/S and PC via early access for those who own the Premium Edition. You can check out our review here. It’s out on September 6th for Standard Edition owners and Game Pass subscribers.

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