Starfield all but dead on PC with just 3 percent of peak players still active

Will they come back when updates arrive?
The Eye, a spacestation orbiting Jemision in Starfield.
Screenshot by Dot Esports

We’re only five months into the lifespan of Bethesda’s ambitious new title Starfield, but the universe is already becoming lonelier by the day on PC, with over 97 percent of the Steam player base having abandoned the game sinch launch.

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Starfield arrived with quite a bit of fanfare back in September 2023 before raking in a modest 330,000 concurrents on Steam and blasting older sister title The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim‘s record in the process. However, the vast majority of those day-one players are now long gone, with Starfield recording just a hair over 7,000 concurrents at the time of writing, according to stats webpage SteamDB (and first reported by PCGamesN).

Dragonborn shielding himself against Dragon's fire in Skyrim.
Skyrim swiftly overtook Starfield once the hype for the game died down. Image via Bethesda

In fact, Skyrim—which turns 14 this year—is outselling the spacefaring game in recent days and has already blown past Starfield for concurrent users again with over 34,000 players exploring the wonders of Tamriel over the past 24 hours. Starfield can’t even knock down Fallout 4, which has nearly twice the active player base on Steam.

The loss of a huge chunk of players on Steam is not unique to Starfield. One Reddit user pulled up numbers for other single-player titles like Elden Ring, The Witcher 3, The Last of Us, and God of War to compare, with all of them also falling significantly within six months. And Starfield’s Steam player base is only a subset of the total, with numbers for console users on Xbox and those playing via Game Pass not counted.

Nevertheless, it’s a worrying sign for the title that remains a major focus for Bethesda and Microsoft, who said in December that longevity was the name of the game for Starfield well into 2024 and beyond. The community also seems less than enthused, with many put off by ongoing reviews of Starfield stating a “soulless” lack of depth after the completion of the game, the addition of unnecessary clutter, and a high price tag.

With Steam reviews only just leveling out to “mixed,” it’s clear to say Starfield has not met the expectations of its fans who waited through a decade of development to get their hands on the space adventure. There’s a glimmer of hope, however; devs promised new content and regular bug-fix updates starting in February.

This, combined with the first expansion Shattered Space coming soon, a rumored PlayStation 5 release, and continuous fan-made mod support, means we could eventually see Starfield become the long-running spacefaring game many had once hoped it would be.

Author
Nicholas Taifalos
Weekend editor for Dot Esports. Nick, better known as Taffy, began his esports career in commentary, switching to journalism with a focus on Oceanic esports, particularly Counter-Strike and Dota. Email: nicholas@dotesports.com
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