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Starfield: Early Access Release Time and How to Join

Starfield: How to Join Early Access

Select gamers can play Starfield five days before launch, give or take whether they purchased the game before that date. How does a player become one of those lucky few? By purchasing anything other than the vanilla version of Starfield, naturally.

To join Starfield’s Early Access period, you’ll need to purchase one of the three premium editions of the game. Currently, Starfield comes in four editions: Standard, Digital Premium, Premium Upgrade, and Constellation. The vanilla version, priced at $70, comes with the game and pre-order bonuses, but that’s it. The other three versions include more extras, not the least of which is Early Access.

The Digital Premium costs $99.99, but Bethesda isn’t charging gamers an extra $30 just for an extra five days of gameplay. This version also includes the Constellation skin pack, a digital artbook and soundtrack, and the Shattered Space expansion (when it releases, that is).

The Premium Upgrade, meanwhile, offers exactly what you think it would: all of the extras from the Premium Edition, minus the base game, for $35. That sounds like a bad deal, especially for anyone planning to purchase Starfield, but it is more aimed at gamers who either received a digital copy of the game as a gift or own a Game Pass subscription. The Premium Upgrade also comes in physical form, but it trades Early Access for a Steelbock case and a physical patch (the kind you sow onto a jacket, not bug fixes).

The final and most expensive special edition that provides Early Access is the Constellation Edition. This version costs an astronomical $300 and includes all of the bonuses noted above. The Constellation Edition’s only additional piece of “content” isn’t anything you can use in the game but is instead a game code etched into a physical recreation of an in-game “credit stick,” as well as a limited edition watch and case. However, unlike the other special editions, the Constellation version is physical only and is currently sold out everywhere. Maybe stores will receive extra stock before the launch date, but don’t hold your breath.

If you can’t wait to play Starfield and want to get started on your galactic adventure before most gamers, you can purchase the Premium Edition, but if you have an active Game Pass subscription, the Premium Upgrade might be a better deal. 

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