Starfield has officially gone gold. For those unfamiliar with industry lingo, this means that the main development of the game has been completed. It’s working — hopefully bug-free — and ready to move into the manufacturing stage where it will be sent off for replication, packaging, and shipment.
Going gold is a major milestone for a developer, but the work is hardly done. Of course, with two weeks left to go until the launch of Starfield, Bethesda will continue to work on the game, polishing it and making small adjustments which will likely go live with a launch-day (or launch-week) patch. With most of the main work done, some of the team will also likely start to focus on working on DLC.
Of course, these days, many simply prefer to purchase and download a digital copy of a game. If you’ve gone the digital route for Starfield, Bethesda has confirmed that you will be able to pre-load the game.
Starfield pre-load dates for Xbox Series X|S, Windows PC and Steam
In an accompanying tweet, Bethesda has confirmed that pre-loads for Starfield will begin on Thursday, August 17 for Xbox Series X|S and Windows PC. This means if you’re pre-purchased the game on either of these platforms or have Game Pass for Xbox Series X|S or Windows PC, you can pre-load the game.
If you purchased the game on Steam, you’ll have to wait a bit longer as pre-loading won’t begin until August 30. That’s still a few days before early access for Starfield begins on September 1 and well ahead of its full launch on September 6.
Unfortunately, the exact times for when pre-loading will start on Xbox and PC were not announced. But when they do begin, you’ll be able to pre-load them any time after that up until launch.
The big benefit of pre-loading is getting that massive download out of the way and having the game ready to go so that you can jump in and start playing the moment it unlocks on release. At the very worst, you’ll have to download a small launch day patch. But it’s better than having to fully download the entire 120-plus GB game on launch day.