Home The Elder Scrolls 6: Release date speculation, potential platforms, setting, and more

The Elder Scrolls 6: Release date speculation, potential platforms, setting, and more

TL:DR

  • Bethesda has not confirmed a release date for The Elder Scrolls 6, but it’s likely to be after 2028.
  • The game’s setting remains speculative, with Hammerfell being a popular guess based on teaser clues.
  • The Elder Scrolls 6 will focus on single-player gameplay, available on PC and Xbox, not PlayStation at launch.

The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim has been released, rereleased, ported to different platforms, and updated to within an inch of its life since its launch on 11/11/11, but we’re all pretty saturated now, and we’re ready – where’s The Elder Scrolls 6?

It has been almost 13 years since the release of Skyrim, and while it is astonishingly still being updated, and still has a 30-day peak of over 28,000 players, Elder Scrolls fans have reached the stage of fanatic speculation over a single post on X. So we’ve compiled everything we know into this handy FAQ to make it easier to find all the confirmed information in one place.

The Elder Scrolls 6 release date speculation: When will  ES6 come out?

The most pressing question on everyone’s lips – what is the release date for The Elder Scrolls 6? Bethesda hasn’t confirmed anything about release dates, or even large stroke windows. We don’t know the year it will come out just yet.

However, we can make a few educated guesses based on things that have been said. Because Bethesda is now owned by Microsoft, documents and testimony from the recent FTC vs. Microsoft lawsuit can give us our first clue – they do not anticipate or predict The Elder Scrolls 6 will come out before 2026, so the game is still at least two years away.

In a 2021 interview with The Telegraph, Bethesda Game Studios director Todd Howard said it would benefit fans to think of the game as still being in the design phase. He detailed that Creative Engine 2, which the studio used for Starfield, has also been created with TES6 in mind.

Also arising from the hearings, Phil Spencer, CEO of Microsoft Gaming, said in 2023 that it was “likely five-plus years away,” putting us into 2028 – ten years since the game was revealed by Todd Howard at E3 2018.

Howard has been frank and open about how long a game of the scope of TES6 takes to develop, saying in an interview with IGN that their games “take a while, I wish they came out faster, I really do, we’re trying as hard as we can, but we want them to be as best as they can be for everybody.”

He expressed similar sentiments in a 2023 interview with Lex Fridman, saying “I wish it was soon. We want it out too, you know. I wish they didn’t take as long as they did, but they do. Look, I mean, if I could go back in time it would never have been my plan to wait as long as it’s taken for it.”

In March 2024, it did seem like some progress had been made – in a post on X celebrating the 30th birthday of The Elder Scrolls series, Bethesda mentioned “playing early builds” of TES6.

Howard has acknowledged that the success and longevity of Skyrim have changed how they approach TES6. “People are playing games for a long time, you know, Skyrim’s 11 years old…still probably our most played game and we don’t see it slowing down and people will probably be playing it ten years from now also, so you have to think about, okay, people are going to play the next Elder Scrolls game for a decade, two decades, and that does change the way you think about how you architect it.”

What will The Elder Scrolls 6 platforms be?

Again, while nothing official has been said on this topic, we can look to the details revealed by the FTC vs. Microsoft court case for information here. Bethesda games will always be PC games, that much seems reasonable to assume. However, now being owned by Microsoft means an increased focus on Xbox, so that can certainly be added to the list.

We also know from the filings that TES6 will not be available on PlayStation consoles at launch, just like Starfield. Starfield is also instructive in another way – it has not been released on the older generation of consoles (Xbox One, PlayStation 4), which suggests that TES6 will be current-gen only, whatever that may be when it launches.

Where will The Elder Scrolls 6 be set?

This is another source of intense speculation for fans. The Elder Scrolls games have all thus far been set on the continent of Tamriel. While the first game, Arena, was set across the entire continent, the rest have been more focused and there are still areas that haven’t been covered in the games.

Where all the Elder Scrolls games have taken place
by ingaming

TES2: Daggerfall was set in a small section of the provinces of High Rock and Hammerfell, but did not cover the entirety of the areas. TES3: Morrowind, covered the whole Morrowind region of Tamriel. TES4: Oblivion was set in the central province of the continent, Cyrodil, and featured the capital city. TES5: Skyrim was of course set in the cold northern province of Skyrim.

This leaves several areas that have never been explored in depth by the games: Black Marsh, home of the Argonians; Most of Hammerfell, which is where Redguards hail from; Valenwood, which is where the Wood Elves (or Bosmer) are from; Elsweyr, which is home to the Khajiit, a cat-like race; and the Summerset Isles, home of the High Elves (or Altmer).

Judging by the teaser trailer, we can probably rule out Black Marsh and Valenwood. The trailer looked more like scrubland, whereas Black Marsh is a swamp and Valenwood is covered in forest. Of course, there could be sections of these places that look like the land in the trailer, but why would Bethesda choose to show off an area that doesn’t represent the larger zone of the game?

We don’t have any official word on where TES6 will be set, but a New Year post from Bethesda at the end of 2020 has given plenty to speculate on.

People believe that the top candle represents The Elder Scrolls Online, the middle one represents Skyrim, and the bottom one is where Hammerfell would be if the map expanded, as per the caption.

A scratch on the side of a space ship that might look a little bit like the Illiac Bay
A scratch on the side of a spaceship that might look a little bit like the Illiac Bay. Image credit: Bethesda

To get deeper into the minutiae now, some eagle-eyed viewers spotted a mark on a spaceship in the 2021 Starfield trailer that could, if you squinted, look like the Illiac Bay. Illiac Bay is the area between Hammerfell and High Rock and was covered in Daggerfall, but there’s no reason why it couldn’t be revisited.

Will The Elder Scrolls 6 be multiplayer?

The main Bethesda games have all been single-player to date, with multiplayer efforts being focused on their large MMO games, Elder Scrolls Online and Fallout 76. Additionally, in an interview with IGN, Todd Howard said they are “absolutely” still committed to single-player games, adding “It’s part of who we are, it’s what we love about games.”

So, it seems unlikely that TES6 will be multiplayer first, though modders have a rich history of making single-player games multiplayer, including Skyrim and Starfield.

What is The Elder Scrolls 6 engine?

Many are speculating what The Elder Scrolls 6 engine will be since it’s almost 15 years since the release of The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim. While some are suggesting that because it will be a true next-gen game, we could see Unreal Engine 5 but, we highly doubt that will be the case.

This is due to all recent Bethesda games being made on Creation Engine, the internal propriety engine that has also had a recent upgrade for Starfield, adding a shiny new 2 on the end.

Whether The Elder Scrolls 6 will be on Creation Engine 2, or if it’ll be Creation Engine 3 by the time it releases, is yet to be seen. However, it’s pretty nailed on that it will be a form of Creation Engine.

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Ali Rees
Tech journalist

Ali Rees is a freelance writer based in the UK. They have worked as a data and analytics consultant, a software tester, and a digital marketing and SEO specialist. They have been a keen gamer and tech enthusiast since their childhood in are currently the Gaming and Tech editor at Brig Newspaper. They also have a Substack where they review short video games. During the pandemic, Ali turned their hand to live streaming and is a fan of Twitch. When not writing, Ali enjoys playing video and board games, live music, and reading. They have two cats and both of…

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