Constructing a compelling plot is difficult when the player can go anywhere, but if anyone knows how to manage open-world storytelling, it’s Bethesda. Starfield elevates the difficulty to a new level by allowing the player to explore over a thousand planets. The game tells the story of the Spacefarer and their journey to understand and assemble a broken artifact. During their exploration, they’ll align themselves with and against multiple factions, including the United Colonies, Freestar Collective, Ryujin Industries, and the Crimson Fleet. In a game that contains twists as big as Starfield, there’s a lot to cover. Here’s everything you need to know to understand Starfield’s story and its ending.
Starfield Story Summary
The Spacefarer is working as a miner when they come into contact with a fragment of a mysterious artifact. After some enigmatic visions, they lose consciousness. When they come to, they meet the mining expedition’s benefactor, Barrett. He’s a member of Constellation, a group of explorers devoted to discovering the artifact’s purpose and collecting its scattered pieces. The Spacefarer travels to the Lodge, Constellation’s headquarters in the city of New Atlantis. There, the Spacefarer meets Constellation’s other members, including the group’s leader, Sarah Morgan. Sarah wants the Spacefarer’s help in collecting the remaining pieces and unraveling the mystery of the gravity anomalies they cause. This request begins a lengthy investigation into the whereabouts of the remaining fragments.
The Spacefarer travels with their companions seeking out artifact pieces on other worlds as Starfield’s story continues. They are assisted by Vladimir Sall, a Constellation member who uses the Eye space station to detect anomalies throughout the universe. Some of these anomalies are located at temples, and entering these temples grants the Spacefarer strange powers. Constellation is sure these powers connect back to the fragments somehow, so the search for more answers continues. Their search is hindered by the intervention of the Starborn. These mysterious figures are also searching for the missing fragments and possess technology far beyond that of Constellation. Constellation is divided: some members believe the Starborn are aliens, while others believe they are simply humans with advanced technology.
Starfield Ending Explained
With every artifact fragment the Spacefarer collects, Starborn attacks become more frequent. A Starborn known as the Emissary threatens the Spacefarer’s ship, and one known as the Hunter attacks the Eye as well as the Lodge. Forced to choose which location to defend, the Spacefarer unwittingly sacrifices one of their companions to the Hunter. The Spacefarer learns the artifact’s name, the Armillary, but its purpose remains mysterious. Given the recent attacks, Constellation has no choice but to move the Armillary from the Lodge to keep it safe while investigations continue. A word the Starborn used is their only clue: “Unity.”
Keeper Aquilus and other religious leaders reveal connections between the Armillary and humanity’s foremost faiths, proving that the artifact is somehow deeply entwined with human history. At last, the Spacefarer is invited to speak with the Hunter and the Emissary at Oborum 3. The Hunter reveals himself to be an alternate version of Keeper Aquilus, while the Emissary reveals themselves to be an alternate-universe version of the companion who died during the Hunter’s assault on Constellation. The Emissary wants to control access to the Armillary to keep it from the undeserving. The Hunter, meanwhile, believes the artifact’s power belongs to anyone strong enough to take it.
New Game Plus and Beyond
Using a key received from the Starborn, the Spacefarer journeys to investigate the NASA Launch Tower on Earth. There the Spacefarer learns it was the artifact that enabled humanity’s first Grav Drive and the species’s colonization of space. The Spacefarer now makes the difficult decision of whether to align themselves with one of the Starborn or oppose them both. The search for the final artifact fragment eventually leads the Spacefarer to Masada 3. After fighting their way past the Emissary, the Hunter, and other Starborn, the Spacefarer finally retrieves the last fragment and assembles the Armillary.
The Spacefarer activates their ship’s Grav Drive, triggering the artifact’s power. This transports them to Unity, a space between universes, where Starfield’s story comes to an end. There the Spacefarer confronts themselves, and the other Spacefarer reveals that the universe is just one of many alternate timelines. There are countless parallel universes, each with its own versions of the same people and planets. The Spacefarer has one last choice to make: continue life in the present universe or use Unity to cross into a new universe and start over. If the Spacefarer chooses to move on, they arrive in a universe untouched by their previous decisions, free to forge a new path.
Starfield is available for PC and Xbox Series X/S.