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Starfield DLC roadmap

Where is the Starfield DLC, and what future expansions, and content packs are likely on the DLC roadmap given Bethesda's previous games?

Starfield DLC roadmap

Now that Starfield has been out for quite some time, many players are wondering what Starfield DLC is on the way, when it will be released, and what it might contain. The first DLC is now expected to launch as early as September 2024 following a video interview between Todd Howard and Kinda Funny Games.

The June 2024 showcase has revealed a full Starfield Shattered Space trailer, and has announced the arrival of the Creation Kit and accompanying Creations store. 

We’ve also looked back on 18 years of Bethesda games and DLC releases to model what Starfield’s DLC roadmap is going to look like, using examples from Fallout 3, Fallout 4, Skyrim, and more. But, be warned: Starfield’s DLC roadmap looks much more long-term than previous Bethesda games following recent statements from Todd Howard during a Starfield interview.

First Starfield DLC – Starfield Shattered Space story expansion

The first Starfield expansion is the Starfield Shattered Space DLC. It is set to expand upon the game’s story, as well as introduce “new locations, new gear, and much more.”

As predicted, the first DLC will expand upon the House Va’ruun faction, and introduce a dedicated storyline to the all-but-absent faction. Unlike the base game, Shattered Space is set to focus on a singular location which will make minimal use of procedural generation, according to statements made by Todd Howard during a MrMattyPlays interview on June 16, 2024.

The Starfield Shattered Space release date has been set for Fall 2024.

It was anticipated that the first DLC would be released by May 2024 given Bethesda’s historical patterns for DLC releases. However, perhaps because of a slew of Starfield bugs and the game’s declining player count, it is possible that the DLC was delayed to afford Bethesda more time to release additional Starfield updates.

Luckily, those who secured a premium Starfield pre order don’t have to worry about purchasing the first DLC expansion, as they are automatically entitled to it when it does launch.

Future Starfield DLC

Once the first DLC is out of the way, Bethesda are unlikely to return to a familiar release schedule similar to the ones they have employed over the last 18 years. Starfield Shattered Space has been in development longer than any other Bethesda DLC package. In fact, by the time the DLC is released, it will have been in active development for nearly a full year. 

In line with this, Todd Howard has stated that future DLC packages, of which at least one has been confirmed to be in the works, will follow an “annular story expansion” format. As such, the next DLC package likely won’t arrive until 2025.

Given the slow release schedule, it is quite possible that Starfield will have fewer DLC packages than previous games, potentially reaching two or three over as many years.

However, it is worth noting that Bethesda are working on substantial updates, including one introducing Starfield vehicles, which will be dotted in between DLC releases. So, in theory, you will never be short of new content. Bethesda also launched the Creations store, which could provide a steady stream of Bethesda-developed Starfield mods alongside fan-created content.

With all of this in mind, the second DLC pack is likely to be a content update similar to Fallout 4’s Nuka World or Fallout 3’s Broken Steel expansion. An expansion to outpost/settlement building seems likely, mirroring a trend with previous Fallout games, but no concrete details are yet known. Given that Starfield outpost building on the whole feels underutilized, it’s quite likely that the second Starfield DLC pack, or a subsequent DLC release, will expand upon this mechanic.

If the DLC doesn’t tackle outposts, there are plenty of areas in Starfield that could easily be expanded upon with a DLC release. Redditors have long been crying out for a number of features, from Starfield mechs – which a modder managed to bring to life as a fully-fledged boss monster – to expansions on ship building, new mechanics like space station building, and more. 

Starfield cosmetic DLC

In the past, Bethesda has released mini-DLC packs typically cheaper than larger expansions. These “cosmetic” DLCs have added skins, decals, and higher resolution texture packs in a variety of flavors.

Rather than releasing these cosmetics as DLCs, it seems very likely that these packs will be sold on the Creations store – the revamped Creation Club which sells Starfield mods for a premium currency, or gives them away for free.

At present, Starfield lacks a lot of cosmetics in-game. Though you can heavily customize your ship, you can’t repaint your Starfield armor, guns, or melee weapons. A limited number of skins exist, and were by and large exclusive to the Starfield Constellation Edition (the collector’s edition of the game) and premium pre orders. These skins included an orange wrap for the Cutter tool, and a repaint of the Constellation armor set.

Several legendary weapons do possess a unique design, but overall there is very little variety to choose from in-game. With so few customization options present in the base game, we predict that Bethesda may well flesh out this sparse selection of skins by releasing premium weapon, armor, ship, and even outpost skins.

Many mods already provide a number of cosmetic choices, so hopefully Bethesda will consider making a few of them official, or design a few of their own in-house.

Starfield DLC roadmap

Bethesda announced a rough roadmap for Starfield updates on December 20, 2023. Numerous small features were slated to be added to the game alongside the first story expansion DLC at a regular pace of “roughly every six weeks.” Bethesda did not provide any specific timelines for exact features on their roadmap, nor state what order the content would arrive in.

However, taking Todd Howard’s latest comments into account, and looking back at historically Bethesda DLC release schedules, it is highly likely that the Starfield roadmap will look something like this:

  • June 2024 – Creation Club support (Confirmed)
  • September/October 2024 – Starfield story expansion – Shattered Space 
  • September 2025 – second story expansion pack – unnamed, but in development
  • September 2026 – a third and possible final expansion pack

Our timeline is speculative in nature, and Bethesda’s commitment to releasing high quality updates could well delay the release of several DLC packages. As such, we will be back to update our roadmap whenever an announcement is made. We also won’t take into account anything Bethesda releases to the Creations store as it is unclear whether Bethesda plans on releasing more content beyond its Trackers Alliance expansion in the 1.12.30 Starfield update

Starfield season pass

At present, Starfield does not have a season pass granting players access to all future DLC. Bethesda did once imply that Starfield would get a season pass, but only if the value of all DLC exceeded $40. While a season pass for Starfield is not currently available, it is worth noting that Fallout 4 did not receive a season pass until March 2016, five months after the game’s initial release. Starfield has been out much longer than that, but it could well still get a season pass in the near future once the first DLC is released. 

If, however, Starfield does take this approach, a season pass may not be available until the last DLC is released in, as we are projecting, 2026.