Starfield launches on September 6, but if you shelled out a few extra credits for the premium edition, you might already be well on your way to charting out your path among the stars. Either way, if you haven’t finished the main quest and have been hearing about the game’s New Game Plus mode (a first for Bethesda), I’m here to answer the question: Should you rush the main quest?
Feel free to read on without concern about spoilers, as I’ve left out as many as I possibly could.
Like Bethesda games that have come before, Starfield features a core set of main quests in addition to a mind-boggling number of side quests, alongside base building, ship building, and the joys of simply touching down on a planet to see what’s going on.
And like Fallout 4 and Skyrim, folks might choose to get Starfield’s main quest out of the way, then go on to do everything else. Others, however, might prefer to soak up all the sidequests and activities they possibly can, before ending with the main quest as a way to send off the journey. It’s just that this time there’s a twist. Starfield has a New Game Plus mode, and its existence could entirely redetermine how you want to approach the game.
Before we weigh the narrative impact of saving or not saving the main quests, let’s discuss exactly what carries over to a New Game Plus playthrough.
Starfield: What carries over to New Game Plus?
“One Giant Leap” is the title of the final quest of Starfield’s main plot, and on completion you’ll end up with a choice whether to start into New Game Plus, or delay it by turning around and doing other activities until you’re ready to finish the game. Once you proceed onto NG+, here’s what carries over:
- Your character’s visual appearance, and traits selected at the game’s beginning
- All progress made in the Perks trees
- Your level (Starfield has no level cap. You can max out everything)
- Any abilities earned during gameplay
And that’s it! You will not be able to carry over your credits, gear and items, or your ships. Likewise, outposts, character relationships, and mission progress won’t carry over either. New Game Plus strips you down to your character’s essentials as they were at the end of the main quest, and sets you off to play the game again.
This is very important to keep in mind for those wanting to build massive collections of gear, build epic starships, or set up outposts throughout the galaxy. New Game Plus pushes a big reset button on that stuff. So if you plan on spending countless hours collecting and building, keep that in mind before you see the heart of the game to its conclusion.
Starfield: Why you shouldn’t rush through the main quest
Without getting into spoilers, Starfield’s main quest is one of Bethesda’s best in many years. At its conclusion, you are almost certainly going to want to play it again, and then possibly again. And then again
The big reset of all the other quests might feel a little laborious. Do you really want to aid the scientists with scanning trees again? Do you really want to help out mining efforts on Mars again? Do you really want to deal with that ship orbiting Porrima II again? It might be best to get your fill of the side quests early on, and then not worry about doing them again.
Sure, the main story is a bit different the second time around, but side quests are basically the same. So it might be best to get your fill of everything the universe has to offer first before chasing the main quest a second time, where repeat playthroughs will likely just see you focusing on that core quest line.
Starfield’s main story is filled with intrigue and wonder, and that’s only amplified by having spent more time in the galaxy accomplishing other activities. The bigger this galaxy feels to you by way of thoroughly exploring it all, the more impactful its ending will be narratively.
If you save it for last, the main Constellation story will serve as a mind-bending climax to your character’s epic saga across the stars.
Note: If you choose to save the main quest for later, however, and you don’t want spoilers, you might have to get clever about which sections of the internet you avoid in your downtime, as Starfield’s New Game Plus is sure to spark discourse the more people start exploring it.
Starfield: Why you should rush through the main quest
The central Constellation story is wonderful, with the potential for some meaningful emotional impact. And there are some great quests within it to boot, featuring some surprising revelations about humanity’s past, and one particular mission that ought to make Dishonored 2 fans happy.
There is a valid, roleplaying-based reason to want to see this quest to the end as soon as you can: You can see it as the way your character begins their epic journey through the cosmos. And since you’ll get a second shot at it all (the main quest the second time around does feature some…twists, I’ll say no more for now), including all other sidequests in the galaxy, it’s not a bad idea to just knock it out and then take in the sights and extra stories the second time around.
If you finish it as soon as you can, the main Constellation story will serve as a dramatic opener to more stories that will follow as you continue to explore the galaxy.
There’s a very unique and clever secret hidden at the bottom of Starfield’s main quest, and it’s up to you to determine if finishing the main story is where your character begins their journey, or if it’s the thrilling climax to countless hours spent scouring the galaxy. Hopefully with this information, you’ll feel more equipped to decide how to play.