Starfield timeline and lore explained

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Screenshot: Bethesda

The Starfield universe and lore is incredibly expansive, but it can be quite confusing. Bethesda’s latest RPG is an entirely new IP and sci-fi world. This means that every player will be a novice when it comes to its history. Luckily, Bethesda released information on the basic timeline of the story so far. This includes information on wars, characters, and history that all players should look into before jumping into the game. We’ve explained the Starfield timeline and lore below, so continue reading to learn about this new universe.

Starfield: History, lore, and timeline explained

Keep in mind that all this information takes place before your own journey. Bethesda released this information itself, so this really isn’t spoiler territory. If you want to go into the game blind, be our guest. But understanding the basic lore before jumping into the game may make the story easier to digest. The Starfield lore and history is explained below, in order of the timeline.

Starfield timeline and lore explained

Screenshot via Bethesda Softworks

2050-2195: The birth of interstellar governments

Over this 146 year span, this is when outer space is first truly conquered. The timeline begins in 2050, when humans first arrive on Mars. And just 50 years after that, humans are living in space. In 2156, humans arrive in Alpha Centauri, which is 4.37 light years away from Earth. This is a triple star system seen in the constellation of Centaurus.

Three years later in 2159, humans established The United Colonies. The UC is a large interstellar government, a centralized republic, and is one of the many factions you can ally with; it’s also the most powerful with a strong military force. Then just one year later, they founded New Atlantis, which became the official capital city of the United Colonies another year later in 2161.

Seven years pass, and in 2167 Solomon Coe settles in the Cheyenne star system. He then founded its first settlement Akila City. In 2188, Coe invites the Volii star system to join Cheyenne in a new alliance of their own. They named it The Freestar Collective, which they officially formed in 2189. Now you have another interstellar government, but instead they’re a libertarian confederation.

Finally, five years later in 2194, the UC makes the first move by positioning a star station—the Clinic—in orbit around Deepala in the Narion System. The people in the Narion system are unaffiliated, and they see this as the UC’s attempt to force their border expansion. They demand that the UC removes the Clinic, but the UC refuses. In retaliation, the people of the Narion system join the Freestar Collective. By 2195, the Freestar Collective mobilize to protect their new system.

Starfield timeline and lore explained war

2196-2308: The Narion War and the Settled Systems

As governments do, a war brims to the surface. In 2196, the UC moves a fleet to the narion system, Freestar responds, and the Narion War takes off. After 20 years of a dragging war, the public sentiment sours. By 2216, the UC and Freestar sign the Treaty of Narion to end the conflict. From this term coins another term, which is the ‘Settled Systems‘.

Five years pass, and The Freestar Rangers are founded. They’re an elite protective and investigative force who dedicate themselves to serving Freestar citizens. We jump another 54 years, and we see another organization forming. Sebastian Banks forms Constellation, who are a group of people committed to discovering the mysteries of the galaxy. There are quite a few notable original members:

  • Chloe Bao: Accomplished physicist.
  • Aja Mamasa: Sebastian’s protégé and the youngest member.
  • Darius Andris: Botanist and xeno-flora specialist.
  • Bernadette Laurent: Wealthy heiress and adventurer.
  • Everado Gil: Former smuggler.
  • Kadri Toma: physician and biologist.

In New Atlantis, they built The Lodge to house the people of Constellation for generations to come. In 2305, a new member joins Constellation. Barrett is an adventurer, explorer, and scientist. Two years later, Freestar starts farming on the planet Vesta in the Lunara system.

In the span of a year, the UC claims that by establishing a colony in a fourth star system, Freestar violated the Treaty. Diplomatic talks don’t seem to work, so the UC lays siege on Vesta, killing anyone who stayed behind to defend it. Now a new war comes to light, which is named The Colony War.

Starfield timeline and lore explained constellation

2309-2330: The Colony War and Constellation

In 2310, Constellation gains possession of their first Artifact and tucks it away into their archives. It seems to be an alien device, but there isn’t enough information to figure out much else. Four years have now passed since the Colony War began, and in 2311, it finally comes to an end. The Battle of Cheyenne marks the finale of the war as a flotilla of civilian and military Freestar ships takes down the major UC ships with hit-and-run tactics.

In response to the Freestar’s use of civilian ships, the UC Vanguard is founded. This is their own civilian navy that relies on civilians using their own ships who pledge to protect the UC. What is the reward for being apart of the Vanguard? Citizenship in the UC. I think we can start to really see who are the good and bad governments in this universe. Sarah Morgan in 2319 becomes the youngest head of the UC Navigator Corps. Sadly, the position doesn’t last long, as this division shuts down one year later. Although cast adrift, Morgan is eager to put her training to use, as she joins Constellation.

By 2321, we start to see Constellation really coming to form. Walter Stroud—co-owner of one of the Settled Systems’ premier starship manufacturers—joins Constellation to be its primary financial backer. A year passes, and the former Crimson Fleet pirate Vladimir Sall joins as well. In 2325, Sarah Morgan is promoted to Chair of Consellation, and in the same year, theologian Matteo Khatri joins as well. One year later, Barrett finds the original Artifact in the archives and discovers just how special it really is.

In the next few years, Freestar Ranger Sam Coe, his daughter Cora, and Andreja join Constellation. Finally in 2328, Barrett was able to convince Constellation to purchase Starstation L-868 to modify it as a deep space scanner nicknamed ‘The Eye’.

Starfield’s official story begins in 2330. Your journey unveils from this point on, and you’ll slowly come to realize that you have a big part to play in discovering the mysteries of the galaxy. Now that we’ve explained the story, lore, and timeline of Starfield, we hope that your understanding of this universe is a little more understandable.

Starfield is available on Steam.

Anyka Pettigrew
About The Author
Anyka Pettigrew has been a Staff Writer for PC Invasion since November, and a Contributing Writer since February 2023. She is a Canadian graduate of a Bachelor of Arts degree who has been writing in games journalism for three years. Anyka writes anything from news pieces, to guides, and even reviews. Having a never-ending passion for video games for as long as you can remember gets you into a plethora of genres like story games, RPGs, horror, puzzles etc. Some of her favorite franchises are God of War, Persona, The Last of Us, Zelda, and Resident Evil. She also enjoys reading fantasy and sci-fi books, as well as drawing digital art. Anyka also regularly listens to podcasts on gaming news from 'Kinda Funny Games', and 'Play, Watch, Listen'.