Should you buy Starfield, or get it on Game Pass?

Purchasing Starfield can be expensive, so we've found the best and cheapest ways you can play Starfield without breaking the bank.

Should you buy Starfield, or get it on Game Pass?

With the most epic Bethesda experience to date on the horizon, many are wondering if they get a Starfield pre order, or get a Starfield Game Pass. We’ve put together a Starfield buyers guide to see whether it’s better to grab Starfield on a Game Pass subscription, or through a Starfield sale. You’ll need to decide quickly, as the Starfield release date is just around the corner!

Should you get Starfield via the Game Pass?

The cheapest way to play Starfield is to get it on Game Pass.

If you’re looking for value, grabbing the Game Pass Ultimate for $16.99 a month is a great way to access Starfield on September 6, 2023, and net yourself a massive library of other games in the process.

You can actually get Game Pass from $9.99 a month if you get the PC Game Pass or Console Game Pass.

A Game Pass subscription won’t net you five days of Starfield Early Access by itself, and you won’t get any of the exclusive pre order Starfield skins, or access to the first of Starfield’s DLC.

However, that doesn’t mean you need to buy Starfield if you’re a Game Pass subscriber looking for Early Access. You just need to get the Starfield Premium Edition upgrade.

Does the Starfield Premium Edition upgrade apply to Game Pass?

Game Pass subscribers can get five days of Early Access, pre order exclusive skins, access to the first Starfield DLC when it releases, and access to the digital artbook by purchasing the Starfield Premium Edition upgrade.

At $34.99, the Starfield Premium Edition upgrade feels quite steep in price considering the Starfield Standard Edition retails for $69.99.

Factoring in the cost of Starfield’s DLC and five days of Early Access, the $34.99 price tag somewhat balances out, but you might find it strange to spend so much money on a game you get for free on Game Pass.

Should you buy Starfield?

The best way to play Starfield long-term is to buy it outright.

Starfield pre orders are currently retailing between $69.99 for the Standard Edition and $99.99 for the Premium Edition of the game. $69.99 is quite the increase over the price of a Game Pass subscription, but pre ordering Starfield confers a few bonus incentives depending on the edition you get.

At $69.99, the Starfield Standard Edition nets you:

  • Base game
  • Old Mars Skin Pack
    • Deep mining helmet and pack
    • Laser cutter

For roughly four times the cost of Game Pass Ultimate, buying Starfield gets you exclusive pre order skins for your equipment and Cutter tool. You will also get a physical copy of the Starfield disc, which is only present in the Standard Edition.

However, if you want to net yourself some truly worthwhile Starfield bonuses like the five days of Early Access, you can spend a bit more to get the Starfield Digital Premium Edition.

At $99.99, the Starfield Digital Premium Edition comes with:

  • Base game
  • Five days of Early Access
  • Starfield DLC: Starfield Shattered Space – First story expansion
  • Constellation skin pack
  • Official soundtrack and art book
  • Old Mars Skin Pack
    • Deep mining helmet and pack
    • Laser cutter

For an increase of $30 from the Standard Edition, you get more than enough added value with five days of Early Access, and the first Starfield story pack expansion (when it is released). 

The Starfield Digital Premium Edition is certainly worth the price, but you could get the exact same experience for roughly $52 if you grab a Game Pass subscription and buy the Starfield Premium Edition upgrade. 

Is it better to pre order Starfield or get it on Game Pass?

The biggest questions you have to ask yourself are:

  • How long will I play Starfield?
  • Do I already have a Game Pass subscription?
  • Do I want 5 days of Early Access?

If you don’t already have a Game Pass subscription, and you think you’ll be playing Starfield for months or even years into the future, buying the Standard Edition is right for you. If you have some extra cash to splash and want to play Starfield as early as possible, go for the Premium Edition.

However, if you don’t think you’ll play Starfield for that long, grabbing a Game Pass subscription is the right call. A subscription is much cheaper than buying Starfield outright, even if you go the Starfield Premium Edition upgrade route to get Starfield’s Early Access on Game Pass.

From a pure cost perspective, a $69.99 pre order of Starfield on Steam or elsewhere is equivalent to about four months of Game Pass.

Once you’ve decided if you want to grab Starfield via the Game Pass or with a pre order, check out our fully updated Starfield skills database so you can get a headstart on creating your first Starfield character build.

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Tim has sunk at least a thousand hours into Bethesda games over the years, and has now completed Starfield with over 200 hours in-game. So, if he's not busy updating our Starfield weapons database, he’s eagerly installing the best Starfield mods and DLC, or planning his dream outpost.