Skyrim Creator’s Starfield Tops One Million Concurrent Players on Launch Day
Starfield has already surpassed the one million concurrent player mark across all platforms after just one day, Xbox boss Phil Spencer tweeted late Wednesday.
Bethesda announced Starfield in 2018 during its E3 presentation and released the Xbox and PC game to much fanfare five years later on September 6. The sci-fi action role-playing game is Bethesda Game Studios’ first new IP in 25 years, following the massive success of game series like The Elder Scrolls (Skyrim) and Fallout. Microsoft, which owns Xbox, acquired Bethesda and its parent company ZeniMax back in 2021.
Starfield currently ranks fifth on Microsoft’s list of “Most Played” games on its online store, only trailing behind games like Fortnite, Call of Duty, Rainbow Six Siege, and Roblox. Starfield has already surpassed Apex Legends, Grand Theft Auto 5, and Minecraft on Microsoft’s list. Players who paid for the pricier Premium Edition of Starfield were able to start playing on September 1.
Steamdb data shows that Starfield peaked Wednesday with over 269,000 concurrent Steam players on PC—and has roughly 200,000 at time of writing.
Starfield has already received over 23,300 Steam store reviews with a “Very Positive” score, meaning that 83% of Steam reviewers gave the game a positive rating. Starfield has a rating of just under 4 stars out of a possible 5 on the Xbox store at time of writing, with roughly 5,200 reviews so far.
On Steam, users applauded the game’s environments, non-player characters (NPCs) that stare “deeply into your soul,” and enjoyable quests, with many writing that Starfield is an upgrade from previous Bethesda titles.
While many Steam reviewers enjoyed Starfield’s immersive experience, others reported issues running the game smoothly, writing that higher-end graphics cards and an SSD instead of a hard drive will allow gamers to play without crashes or frame rate issues. Some users reported that it was difficult to get more than 60 frames per second (FPS) with Nvidia GeForce RTX 20-series graphics cards—and others reported performance issues even with the more powerful 30-series cards.
Other users were disappointed that they can’t experience the process of space travel itself—instead, the sci-fi RPG is more destination-focused, with loading screens that take players through space. Multiple players also said that Starfield takes about 12 hours of gameplay time before things get interesting.
The game also launched to broad acclaim from professional critics, with the Xbox version sporting an average review score of 86 per aggregator Metacritic. However, there are some middling appraisals in the mix. Polygon, for example, wrote that “Starfield often feels sterile, and it buries its best moments beneath so much tedium.”
Starfield is currently included as a part of Microsoft’s Game Pass subscription service and is available for Windows PC and Xbox Series X and S. Notably, the game is not available for Sony PlayStation consoles, but players can use their PlayStation controllers to play the game on PC.