Fans eagerly awaiting the launch of Starfield in September are likely craving a similar experience to help pass the months away.

Fortunately, there are a lot of games that a bonafide Starfield enthusiast will likely enjoy. From hundreds of hours-long space sims to more narrative-driven RPGs, there are so many great games you can play while you wait for Starfield.

With Starfield set to launch on September 6 (or September 1 in Early Access), here’s what you should be playing in the meantime!

Every Game You Should Play Before Starfield Launches

Outer Worlds

  • Available On: PlayStation 4/5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch, PC

The Outer Worlds by Fallout New Vegas developer Obsidian Entertainment is the perfect game to play while you wait for Starfield.

It offers a space-faring adventure across multiple planets and space stations full of alien-blasting action, morally complex decision-making, and side quest distractions.

The Outer Worlds Gameplay

The Outer Worlds also manages to capture the Bethesda charm effortlessly with its cast of quirky misfits and suitably epic soundtrack.

Every character you encounter has their own story to tell, deeply detailed personality, and expertly crafted dialogue. If you’re excited for Starfield’s sense of adventure and rich narrative, The Outer Worlds is for you.

FTL: Faster Than Light

  • Available On: PC

FTL may not have the budget or scale of Starfield, but it still offers engrossing space combat akin to what we’ve seen shown off in Starfield’s showcase.

In FTL, you micromanage a ship and its crew, going so far as to name and customize each crewmate, and must navigate treacherous space as you take on all manners of aliens, bandits, and more.

FTL: Faster Than Light Gameplay

It’s your job to make sure everything from life support to your individual weapons remains functioning, diverting power between them, much like in Starfield’s dogfight combat, to prioritize whatever you need at that moment.

If the space combat side of Starfield sounds up your alley, then FTL: Faster Than Light is for you. This roguelike indie game has a lot to offer, and you can easily sink hours into it before Starfield’s launch.

Elite Dangerous

  • Available On: PlayStation 4/5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PC

Elite Dangerous is similar to Starfield in many ways, offering players 400 billion star systems to explore, customizable ships, an evolving narrative, and the ability to be whoever you want to be.

The main difference is that Elite Dangerous is an MMO and builds a lot of its gameplay systems around the interactions you can have with other players.

Elite Dangerous Gameplay

Some of the best aspects of Elite Dangerous are the community events and movie-worthy stories about players helping each other out in amazing ways.

If you’re looking for an expansive and detailed open-world space sim with multiplayer components, Elite Dangerous is for you.

X4: Foundations

  • Available On: PC

X4: Foundations is a space-sim sandbox that promises players the ability to go from a lone pilot to the ruler of their own empire.

It’s an ambitious sim in which players exist within a fully simulated world full of AI-controlled characters going about their business independently of you.

X4: Foundations Gameplay

You can build and fully customize your own space station, control a fleet of starships, switch from first-person boarding to detailed and complex strategy gameplay, and so much more.

If you’re looking for an incredibly in-depth space simulation game to scratch the Starfield dream of venturing out into space and carving your own destiny, then X4: Foundations is for you.

No Man’s Sky

  • Available On: PlayStation 4/5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch, PC

No Man’s Sky, in many ways, laid the groundwork for Starfield as it offers players boundless exploration across a procedurally generated universe in both first and third-person perspectives.

Thanks to countless substantial updates, No Man’s Sky is now a feature-rich space sim with base building, a planet-hopping narrative, intense combat encounters, settlements, and so much more.

No Man's Sky Gameplay

Much like Starfield, No Man’s Sky is all about being who you want to be in the endless depths of space, allowing you to carve out your own unique story through character customization and a plethora of unique ship types.

If exploring 18 quintillion planets, taking part in breakneck dogfights, owning your own freighter, going from planet to space seamlessly, and mining for resources sounds fun, then No Man’s Sky is the game for you.

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

  • Available On: PlayStation 4/5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch, PC

Bioware’s seminal classic Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic tells a sprawling story set in the lore-heavy Star Wars universe filled with dynamic characters and tough choices.

The strongest aspect of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is the companions you meet along the way, who can join your crew, much like in Starfield.

Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic Gameplay

Of course, you’ll also be planet-hopping between familiar and unfamiliar locations from across the Star Wars universe, letting you live out the ultimate Star Wars fantasy.

If a more story-driven sci-fi adventure experience is what you’re craving in the wait to Starfield, then be sure to check out Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.

Mass Effect: Legendary Edition

  • Available On: PlayStation 4/5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PC

The Mass Effect: Legendary Edition took three iconic and revolutionary sci-fi RPGs and updated them for players’ modern tastes.

The improved visuals and myriad other quality-of-life changes make this the definitive way to experience these groundbreaking classics.

Mass Effect Gameplay

If you’ve never played through the Mass Effect trilogy, you’re in for a treat, as they are often regarded as the best sci-fi games available today.

Of course, if you’ve already played them before, there’s no time like the present to start a new playthrough on an even harder difficulty!

Rebel Galaxy Outlaw

  • Available On: PlayStation 4/5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch, PC

Rebel Galaxy Outlaw lets you live out your Han Solo-esque space mercenary fantasies, seedy space bar and gambling mini-game included.

This lesser-known indie title is a fully open-world space adventure game filled with dogfights in the dark depths of space, a detailed storyline, ship customization, and more.

Rebel Galaxy Outlaw gameplay

There’s a lot to do from playing pool while jamming out to music to living out either a mercenary, trader, or pirate lifestyle in space.

Rebel Galaxy Outlaw may not have the budget to match Starfield, but it offers an expansive open-world space adventure experience unlike anything else.

Red Dead Redemption 2

  • Available On: PlayStation 4/5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PC

This may seem like a strange entry, but Todd Howard himself, the Director of Starfield, believes that Red Dead Redemption 2 has more in common with Starfield than you may think!

He claimed in an interview with IGN that Red Dead Redemption is a closer approximation of the type of experience players can expect to get from Starfield than Skyrim or Fallout.

Red Dead Redemption 2 Gameplay

Howard said: “So I think it also as a flow, probably has more of a feeling of a [Red Dead Redemption 2], right? Like I’m living the Western fantasy. So in this, you’re living this science fiction explorer fantasy.”

So, if you want to get an idea of what kind of feeling you’ll get from Starfield, the best game to play is Red Dead Redemption 2, at least, according to Todd Howard.


  • Available On: Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PC

Starbound is a 2D survival game in the same vein as Terraria that features seemingly unlimited randomly generated planets for you to explore, build bases on and fight dangerous aliens.

There’s a rich, detailed universe to explore, filled with unique races, alien species, resources, and quests for you to discover.

Starbound gameplay

You can also create your own structures, much like in Starfield, on any planet you visit, as long as you have the resources.

With an amazing soundtrack and hundreds of hours of content to experience, Starbound is a perfect way to pass the time before Starfield’s release date.

Former Staff Writer
Whether it's an indie platformer or a 100-hour JRPG, Tom loves talking about games. So much so, he made it his career. Since starting in 2020, he's covered a wide range of topics at sites including TheGamer and The Game Crater.