Serpent worship, space-parents, and other details hidden in the Starfield trailer

Starfield’s first gameplay trailer was revealed over the weekend, and it’s given rise to a mix of excitement, disappointment, and plenty of speculation. We learned a lot about Bethesda’s space RPG, like that it’ll contain over a thousand planets to visit, that you’ll be able to build outposts and even your own spaceships, that it’ll have dogfights in space and NPCs you can hire as your crew.

But there are a lot of smaller details in the trailer that weren’t specifically called out by Todd Howard during the gameplay presentation, and carefully rewatching the footage reveals some additional features that we didn’t know about. Here are the most interesting little tidbits revealed in the Starfield gameplay trailer, spotted by us and other eagle-eyed sleuths.

You can dock with other ships

We now know you can visit 1,000+ planets (which is either bad or good, depending who at PC Gamer you ask) and we’ve seen you can dogfight in space and build your own ships, but a brief moment in the trailer also shows you can dock your ship with other ships.

(Image credit: Bethesda)

It’s a small detail but a potentially exciting one. It could be used to meet with other NPC characters while you’re both in orbit, or maybe to board and explore derelict ships and possibly to add them to your customizable collection. Best of all, it could be a feature of bounty hunter missions, where you dock with and board a ship to take out the crew and their leader in a firefight. We do see a short clip of the player fighting someone in zero G in what might be the interior of a ship, so it’s definitely not out of the question. At any rate, it’s one more thing you can do with your ship in space.

You can potentially visit our solar system, including Mars

Todd Howard revealed there were over a hundred star systems and a thousand planets, and we got a quick look at Starfield’s galaxy map which showed destinations like Alpha Centauri, Jaffa, Narion, and others. But Brennanthenerd on Reddit (opens in new tab) spotted the Sol system—our solar system—among the tiny pips on the galaxy map, too. What’s more, another brief shot in the trailer shows the player walking past a half-buried object on a dusty, slightly reddish planet. 

(Image credit: Bethesda)

Qeldroma311 on Reddit (opens in new tab) speculates that this might be one of NASAs old rovers on the surface of Mars. And if we can visit our solar system and land on Mars, doesn’t that mean we can visit Earth as well? What’s the state of our own planet in the distant future Starfield presents? I’m sure Bethesda didn’t include a full simulation of Earth in Starfield—that would involve cramming the entirety of Microsoft Flight Simulator into the game—but the idea of visiting Earth is an intriguing one.

You can have a house, and space-parents

Among the handful of optional traits shown in the character creation menu, there are two that stand out. One trait is called Starter Home, which states “You own a small house on a peaceful little moon, but it comes with a 50,000 credit mortgage with GalBank.” That seems the most terrifyingly realistic detail in the entire game, if you ask me, and also confirms that like in Skyrim, you’ll be able to buy a house, if not several homes, in addition to building outposts.

(Image credit: Bethesda)

Another trait called “Kid Stuff” says “Your parents are alive and well, and you can visit them at their home. But 10% of all the money you earn is deducted automatically and sent to them.” Not only is it nice that you’re helping support your parents (and that you even have parents), but the idea of visiting your character’s folks is strangely appealing.

Landing on planets (probably) isn’t seamless

There have been comparisons to No Man’s Sky (including my own) and Star Citizen, but both of those games have seamless planetary landings. You start in space, you enter the atmosphere, you eventually land, and there’s no break for a loading screen.

(Image credit: Bethesda)

We pretty much know Starfield doesn’t work that way because they would have shown it and said it: There’s no word developers like more than “seamless.” At a few points in the trailer you can see the prompt “X” to land, and every landing we see looks like a cutscene or in-engine cinematic. You can fly around in space, but when you want to land it looks like you’re automatically set down at your destination. Same with takeoffs, as far as I can tell.

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