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Starfield preload dates confirmed as game goes gold

Some players will start preloading Starfield as soon as tomorrow

Starfield developer Bethesda has just revealed that the game has gone gold and confirmed preload dates for Xbox Series X|S, PC, and Steam players.

Bethesda took to Twitter on Wednesday to announce that Starfield has now "gone gold," meaning that main development of the game has been completed and it is ready to release. In the post, the studio also announced the start dates for Starfield preloads and confirmed that the Steam version can also be preloaded.

Xbox Series X|S console owners and PC players who have pre-ordered the game via the Microsoft Store, will be able to start preloading tomorrow, August 17, 2023, through their consoles and the Xbox app on PC. Xbox Game Pass subscribers will be offered to play the game at no additional cost, and should be able to preload, too.

There will also be preload for players who have pre-purchased the game on Steam, but they will have to wait until August 30, 2023, to begin downloading the game files.

Starfield promises to be an enormous open-world RPG, with an equally huge download size of 125GB, so having a preload option on all platforms for which it's launching, including Steam, is more than welcome. 

The preload date for Steam users is set just in time for Starfield's five-day early access, which starts on September 1, 2023, for all platforms, and will be available to players who have pre-ordered the digital Premium Edition and the more expensive physical Constellation Edition.

Previous leaks pointing to an earlier preload start, based on an Amazon listing, proved to be wrong. A soft or "fake" preload for the game has been available on Xbox consoles for quite some time now, but this only downloads a small placeholder file of some 350MB and any deluxe edition and pre-order bonus entitlements when players purchase Starfield, but not the full game.

Players who have installed this file should have their consoles start downloading the full game files automatically tomorrow, if they have automatic updates enabled, and if there's enough free space on their consoles' SSDs.

Starfield releases on September 6, 2023, for Xbox Series X|S and PC via Microsoft Store and Steam. It also launches as a day-one release on Xbox Game Pass.