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Starfield timeline: What year is Starfield set?

Discover the year in which Starfield takes place

A spacesuit-clad Starfield protag aims a pistol in front of the Frontier, which has landed nearby.
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Bethesda Softworks

What year is Starfield set in? Starfield takes place in a futuristic sci-fi version of the universe, in which humans frequent in interstellar travel and the Earth has become a barren desert. That begs the question, though, of when exactly Starfield takes place. If you're seeking such answers, then you're in the right place.

In this guide, we'll explain when Starfield takes place, including the year in which Starfield is set.

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Starfield timeline: When does Starfield take place?

Starfield takes place in 2330. Below, you'll find a brief summary on the events that lead to humans colonising space in Starfield's futuristic setting:

  • 2050: Humans land on Mars (which the ESA's head of branding and partnerships, Emmet Fletcher, said is an "ambitious" timeline in an interview with Eurogamer)
  • Early 2100s: Dr Victor Aiza, who works for NASA, finds an Artifact on Mars, which warns him not to develop Grav Drive technology. He does it anyway.
  • 2112-2132: Humans create the colony of Cydonia on Mars, and begin researching interstellar colonisation.
  • 2149: Researchers discover that Earth's magnetosphere has been harmed through the development of Grav Drive technology. Powerful figures given advance notice evacuate Earth, but it is otherwise kept secret.
  • 2150: Information surrounding the collapse of Earth's magnetosphere becomes more public, and scientists discover that it will end the human race by 2200. The evacuation of Earth begins.
  • 2150-2160: The United Colonies are formed to find a new home for humanity. Humans reach Alpha Centauri and create New Atlantis on Jemison. It becomes the capital of the UC.
  • 2167: Solomon Coe, father of companion Sam Coe, founds Akila City on the planet of Akila (creative name).
  • 2188: Solomon Coe invites Volii to join a pact, forming the Freestar Collective.
  • 2190: House Va'Ruun is secretly formed.
  • 2196: The Narion system votes to join the Freestar Collective, and the Narion War begins between the UC and the Freestar Collective.
  • 2199: The evacuation of Earth ends prematurely, leaving billions to die as the atmosphere collapses.
  • 2203: Earth's atmosphere is destroyed.
  • 2216: The Narion War ends.
  • 2230: House Va'Ruun reveal their existence.
  • 2240-2263: The Serpent's Crusade takes place, in which House Va'Ruun tried to conquer the Settled Systems. It ends with the death of leader Jinan Va'Ruun.
  • 2275: Constellation, the group of explorers that you join in the main story, is formed.
  • 2308-2311: The Freestar Collective expands out of their current claimed systems, allegedly breaking the Treaty of Narion and inciting the Colony War with the UC. This ends in 2311, as involved parties form a peace treaty known as the Armistice. During this time, the city of Londinion is also mysteriously attacked by an alien threat known as the Terrormorphs.
  • 2305-2330: Various members join Constellation, forming the group that you meet in the main story.
  • 2330: Starfield begins, as you find an artifact on Vectera during a routine mining job.

As you can see, Starfield's universe fills the time between our current day and the start of it's in-game story with wars, technological leaps, and the collapse of our home planet. It's a future that's barely recognisable, then, but one which feels all too possible. Sure, we probably won't destroy the planet with Grav Drive technology, but climate change poses just as significant a threat.

That wraps up our guide on when Starfield takes place. If you're busy planning your character, take a look at our guides on all Starfield traits and all Starfield backgrounds, as well as our list of the best builds in Starfield. For more, make sure to check out our Starfield leveling guide, and learn how to get rich quick in Starfield.

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