The allure of exploring the stars is strong in Starfield, so you’ll be tempted to put the campaign to one side soon after it gets underway.
Though it is tradition to somewhat ignore the main story in a Bethesda game — at least for a while! — for those who prefer to focus on the critical path, it’s useful to know how many missions there are, and how long it takes to complete them.
Starfield campaign length: How long to beat Starfield explained
Our estimate for completing Starfield’s campaign is between 20 and 30 hours for those prioritizing the story. For one staff member at Polygon, this one was on the lower end with their intent to mainline the campaign, bar some playing around with inventory management and light exploration in the early and late game.
It should also be noted that focusing on the story alone means you will run up against some nasty enemies at higher levels towards the end of the game — so be prepared for a challenge if you do.
You can, of course, play 20 hours before even getting into the meat of the story. Though we recommended you play at least some of the campaign before anything else, know there’s plenty to do out there beyond the main questline.
Starfield main mission list: How many story missions are there?
Within the first few hours, your quest log will be quickly filled with activities which distract you from the main narrative. so it’s easy to be pulled away and forget exactly how far you are through the story.
There are 18 story missions in Starfield, and here’s a list of every one in order (bar some exceptions, which we’ll address in the footnotes below):
- One Small Step
- The Old Neighborhood
- Into the Unknown *
- Back to Vectera *
- The Empty Nest *
- All That Money Can Buy
- Further Into the Unknown
- Short Sighted
- No Sudden Moves
- High Price to Pay
- Unearthed **
- In Their Footsteps **
- Entangled **
- Missed Beyond Measure ***
- One Giant Leap
* You’ll receive all three of these missions together, and they can be completed in any order you choose — though we have a recommendation of which mission to do first.
** These three missions are all connected; you’ll receive “Unearthed” and “In Their Footsteps” together, and in order to finish “In Their Footsteps,” you have to complete “Entangled.”
*** “Missed Beyond Measure” can be completed anytime after “High Price to Pay,” provided you wait five days — you can sleep in a bed to fast-forward to it if you prefer.