Almost seven years after the release of Skyrim, Elder Scrolls fans were treated to a glimpse of the future back at E3 2018, with Bethesda Game Studios confirming it was officially working on The Elder Scrolls 6. The newest entry in the iconic RPG series was unveiled with a cryptic teaser following the official announcement of Starfield. Since then, even after the release of Starfield, we have yet to see any additional trailers or footage about the upcoming game.
That being said, Bethesda hasn’t been entirely silent on it. Whether it’s discussing the game’s current stage of development or the potential platforms it’ll release on, the studio has offered several updates on The Elder Scrolls 6. Below, we’ve compiled all the information we currently have about the upcoming sequel, so grab yourself a sweet roll and get ready to recap everything we currently know about Bethesda’s next adventure through the vast realms of Tamriel.
Potential Elder Scrolls 6 Release Year
The biggest question surrounding The Elder Scrolls 6 is when exactly we can expect to play it. Although there’s very little information about a potential release date, the one thing we do know is that it won’t be anytime soon. Bethesda Game Studios has been very vocal about the fact that Starfield is currently its main priority, and considering the sci-fi RPG only hit shelves last September, it’s safe to assume the team has a lot of loose ends to tie up before they can turn their full attention to Skyrim’s successor.
In an interview with Vandal that was later transcribed by ResetEra user Shoot back in August, Bethesda Head of Publishing Pete Hines revealed that The Elder Scrolls 6 is currently “in early development”, confirming that: “Starfield is our focus for now, and it’s going to remain our priority for a while before we talk about anything else.”
As for exactly when we can expect the conversation to shift to the next Elder Scrolls entry, Xbox Head Phil Spencer noted during Microsoft’s FTC trial back in June that the game was still “five plus years away.” In short, it’s going to be a while before we learn more about The Elder Scrolls 6, and even longer before we get to play the game for ourselves, with a tentative potential release year of 2028 at the earliest.
Will Fallout 5 and Indiana Jones Affect The Elder Scrolls 6’s Release?
Outside of the major questions, what else do we know about Elder Scrolls 6? Well, for one, it’s confirmed that it’ll be coming before Bethesda’s next project, Fallout 5. Speaking with IGN back in 2022, Todd Howard confirmed that Fallout 5 is the next project in the pipeline after Elder Scrolls 6, although he noted that it’s still many years away.
According to the developer, there’s a “one-pager on Fallout 5” with a rough outline of what the team wants to accomplish, however, it won’t be the studio’s focus until after Elder Scrolls 6 hits shelves.
Todd Howard is also involved in another major project, with The Elder Scrolls director acting as a producer for Machine Games’ upcoming Indiana Jones title. Speaking on whether the role would affect The Elder Scrolls 6’s release, Bethesda’s Head of Marketing, Pete Hines, confirmed via Twitter that Howard’s work on Indiana Jones won’t delay Bethesda Game Studios’ projects. “Todd is currently EP on many BGS and other projects,” Hines told fans. “His main focus remains Directing the upcoming Starfield and TES6 games.”
What Platforms Will The Elder Scrolls 6 Release On?
Although The Elder Scrolls 6 is still a ways off, one thing we do know is that it’ll very likely be an Xbox and PC exclusive. With Microsoft acquiring Bethesda and its parent company Zenimax back in 2020, the publisher’s extensive range of franchises now falls under the Xbox banner. As we saw with Starfield’s Xbox console exclusivity earlier this year, it seems pretty likely that The Elder Scrolls 6 will become a flagship exclusive for Microsoft, releasing on PC and Xbox consoles but skipping PlayStation.
What about PlayStation Consoles?
Starfield isn’t the only evidence suggesting The Elder Scrolls 6 may be forgoing PlayStation consoles either. A recently leaked document from the Microsoft vs. FTC court case, spotted and shared by Axios reporter Stephen Totilo over on Twitter, revealed that the game is internally planned to launch on Xbox and PC. Microsoft has yet to officially confirm or deny the details leaked in the document, but early signs point to the sequel eyeing up an exclusive release on Xbox consoles.
That being said, which Xbox consoles it’ll launch on is still a mystery. While the Xbox Series X and S are currently Microsoft’s core platforms, the aforementioned leaked Microsoft vs. FTC court documents reveal that plans are already underway for the next generation of Xbox hardware. According to the leak, this mysterious next generation of Xbox is tentatively planned to hit shelves in 2028. With The Elder Scrolls 6 said to be at least five years away, there’s a good chance Bethesda will launch the sequel on this new Xbox platform.
The Elder Scrolls 6 Teaser Trailer
Back when The Elder Scrolls 6 was announced at E3 2018, it came with a 36-second teaser trailer. The footage doesn’t offer viewers much information about the sequel, but might hint towards the setting, showing a brief look at a sprawling landscape.
Elder Scrolls 6 Potential Setting
Speaking of the setting, Bethesda has remained tight-lipped on where the latest Elder Scrolls will take place. In terms of confirmed information, all we have to go on is the game’s 36-second announcement teaser, which presents a towering stretch of mountains and a picturesque coastline overlooking a vast ocean. But that hasn’t stopped eager Elder Scrolls buffs from trying to work out where exactly the next game’s adventure will lead us.
The prevailing theory is that the sequel will let players loose in Hammerfell – the central setting of The Elder Scrolls 2: Daggerfall and The Elder Scrolls Adventures: Redguard, as well as a visitable location in The Elder Scrolls Online. With tropical forests, harsh mountains and scenic coastal cities, Hammerfell’s depictions in previous Elder Scrolls games seem to align pretty perfectly with the teaser, hinting that we may be set to explore the Redguards’ homeland once again.
Considering the lore established in previous entries, there’d be more than enough in store to warrant a visit to Hammerfell. Whether venturing through the harsh Alik’r Desert, climbing to the mountainous orcish capital of Orsinium or returning to the Iliac Bay years after Daggerfall, a modern take on Hammerfell could easily be the franchise’s most varied and diverse setting yet.
But there are plenty of other locations The Elder Scrolls 6 could take us to instead. Speculation has pointed to High Rock potentially being the central setting of Elder Scrolls 6, with the locale’s environments and terrain quite accurately mirroring Hammerfell as they’re neighboring regions. With the power of a potential next-generation platform on Bethesda’s side, we could even be set to explore multiple regions. Until we get more official information, we’ll just have to wait and see.
Elder Scrolls 6 Gameplay Rumors
Much like the sequel’s setting, we currently know very little about how The Elder Scrolls 6 will play. However, early comments from Bethesda appear to hint it’ll follow in Starfield’s footsteps of being a project that Bethesda hopes players will enjoy for years to come.
During our IGN Unfiltered interview with Todd Howard back in 2020, the Bethesda Game Studios director revealed that “this is a game we need to design for people to play for a decade at least.” It seems the idea is to create a project that’s constantly evolving and infinitely replayable, keeping players invested in the years between major Elder Scrolls releases.
When we caught up with Howard during a later episode of IGN Unfiltered, he also hinted that interactivity is a big focus going forward. Speaking on what he felt could be improved about The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim, Howard notes that “there are a number of parts of it where we don’t go deep enough. Where it’s a veneer in terms of its interactivity.” Elaborating on this point, he claims that the team’s new approach is to look at each of the game’s systems and think “whatever that system is, how deep can we make it.”
That approach is pretty evident in the team’s latest RPG, Starfield, which gives players the options to engineer ships, modify weapons and create large outposts on planets. It appears this same desire to create a deeper level of interactivity will be present in The Elder Scrolls 6.
Will The Elder Scrolls 6 Be Todd Howard’s Final Elder Scrolls Game?
As for other info we know about the sequel, this could potentially be legendary Bethesda Game Studios director Todd Howard’s last Elder Scrolls game. Speaking to us about the lengthy process of developing modern games back in June, Howard claimed: “as we look to an Elder Scrolls 6, that is one where… I probably shouldn’t say this. But if I do the math, I’m not getting any younger. How long do people play Elder Scrolls for? That may be the last one I do. I don’t know.”
With Todd Howard being a fixture of the series for decades now, his departure would be the end of an era for The Elder Scrolls franchise.
What Engine Will The Elder Scrolls 6 Be Made On?
We also know that the game will benefit from an upgraded version of Bethesda’s Creation engine. The engine used to develop The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim, the Creation engine has long been controversial among fans, many of whom believe it’s outdated.
Over the last few years, Bethesda has been working on a vastly updated version of the Creation engine, which was implemented in Starfield and will be used to develop The Elder Scrolls 6. Speaking in a Develop: Brighton keynote session, Todd Howard called the upgrade “the largest [overhaul] we’ve probably ever had, maybe larger than Morrowind to Oblivion,” praising its rendering, pathing, procedural generation and animation.
With Starfield showing us our first full glimpse at the Creation engine upgrade in action, it stands to reason that the tech behind Elder Scrolls 6 will share a lot in common with Bethesda’s sprawling open-world space RPG.
Callum Williams is a freelance media writer with years of experience as a game critic, news reporter, guides writer and features writer.