Starfield will let you join an evil pirate fleet

Starfield will let you join a number of factions, including a deadly pirate fleet.
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In a new roundtable, Bethesda developers have discussed work on Starfield, as well as how the game’s factions tie into moral choices in gameplay. Game Director Todd Howard, Design Director Emil Pagliarulo, Lead Quest Designer Will Shen and Lead Artist Istvan Pely shone a light on the upcoming adventure, and talked in depth about what defines each in-game faction players may join.

First up, there’s the United Colonies, which represents the idealised future of the ‘space republic’. There’s also the Freestar Collective, which presents the ‘space western fantasy’ of the game; people out on the frontlines battling for their lives.

Then there’s Ryujin Industries, which represents a cyberpunk-ish corporate lifestyle – developers described this faction as having the ‘best start’ in the game, which will see players hired to work at some kind of megacorp.

Read: Phil Spencer wants Starfield to be bigger than Skyrim

In addition to these factions, Todd Howard also described another group, the Crimson Fleet. This Starfield faction appears to be filled with deadly pirates – and while Howard labelled the group a ‘foe’, he also made clear it’s a perfectly viable option for players to join them.

It appears you’ll be able to go along with their antics, or act as a kind of snitch for the other factions in the game. Your choices will be your own, guided by a branching dialogue system.

According to the team, this system is partially inspired by lessons learned from Oblivion, with new systems allowing players to make meaningful, non-binary choices.

While the roundtable didn’t include any additional gameplay, it did feature new stills and fresh looks at each faction. It’s clear Bethesda has high hopes for the title, and for players looking to dive in with the game.

‘At the end of it, we want players to have told their own journey, but then look back at it and we’re asking the big questions – Why are we all here? Where is it leading, and what’s next for humanity?’ Howard said.

Bethesda aims to answer these questions when Starfield launches for Xbox series X/S and PC on 11 November 2022.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.