Elder Scrolls 5 is coming up on 10 years old, and it’s only fair to wonder when The Elder Scrolls 6 is finally going to launch. The good news is that Elder Scrolls VI is coming, but the bad news is that it’s still quite a ways off with at least one other AAA title being launched before it. There are rumors about Elder Scrolls 6 flying around everywhere and with very little being confirmed by Bethesda since the Elder Scrolls 6 Teaser Trailer from E3 2018, there’s a lot we still don’t know. With all the questions and speculations, we’ve compiled a guide to get you up to date with everything we know about Elder Scrolls 6 so far.
Elder Scrolls 6 Teaser Trailer (E3 2018) and Confirmation
Elder Scrolls VI was officially confirmed at E3 2018 with the teaser trailer that you see above. That was 7 years after the launched of Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, and outside of the short 36-second video, all we learned is that Bethesda is, in fact, working on Elder Scrolls 6.
Bethesda Is Saying Next to Nothing About Elder Scrolls VI
After the short teaser at E3 2018, we were all hoping that we’d here more at E3 2019. Sadly, we got the big nothing burger that was the phrase “I think everyone should be very patient” – Todd Howard via IGN. With a lot of nothing in 2019, we thought that we would for sure hear something at the E3 2020, but that event, which barely happened thanks to Covid-19, yielded yet another nothing burger with Bethesda’s VP of public relations essentially admitting that Elder Scrolls VI is years off:
It’s after Starfield, which you pretty much know nothing about. So if you’re coming at me for details now and not years from now, I’m failing to properly manage your expectations.— Pete Hines (@DCDeacon) May 10, 2020
The Elder Scrolls 6 Will Come After Starfield
If you’re wondering how far Bethesda is in terms of developing Elder Scrolls 6, then we’re sorry to break it to you, but the answer isn’t one you’re going to like. Bethesda is, in fact, developing Elder Scrolls VI, but its main focus right now is Starfield. However, when Todd Howard showed off the trailer for Starfield, he loosely admitted that the company was working on The Elder Scrolls 6 at the same time:
“Starfield is a game we’ve spent years thinking about and working on, something we feel uniquely positioned to pull off, and we’re incredibly excited about. But we’re also building toward the game after that… and it’s the one you keep asking about.”
So what exactly does that mean? It means that while some development on ES6 is ongoing, Bethesda won’t devote most of its stamina to the game until after Starfield is on the market. Howard later said that Elder Scrolls 6 is in pre-production while Starfield is currently playable. “We can’t wait to have everybody be able to play this game, but that’s us, too. We want to play it.”
Technology Could Be Holding Back The Elder Scrolls 6
With Bethesda devoting most of its efforts into Starfield, it’s not that surprising that TES6 is barely visible in our distant future, but there’s more to the holdup than you realize. According to Tod Howard back in 2016, their vision of Elder Scrolls 6 can’t be met with the currently available technology:
“I could sit here and explain the game to you, and you would say, ‘That sounds like you don’t even have the technology—how long is that going to take? And so it’s something that’s going to take a lot of time, what we have in mind for that game.”
And, while that doesn’t sound to good, there’s a reason it’s coming after Starfield. In a separate interview Howard exposed us to the news that Bethesda was working on a “major engine rewrite” for Starfield. That’s the same engine that will power The Elder Scrolls 6 and part of the technology that isn’t yet available. With that said, however, Howard promised us in 2019 that the massive gap between Skyrim and Elder Scrolls 6 will be worth it:
“The gap in between is going to be long. It already is. On one hand, I think it’s good to miss things. I think that makes people come to it with really, really fresh eyes, and I think when they eventually—eventually—see the game and what we have in mind, they’ll understand the gap more in terms of technology and what we want it to do.”
The Elder Scrolls 6: Redfall
If you pay attention to what goes on behind the curtains in terms of legality, then you probably know that Bethesda’s parent company ZeniMax Media was fighting to trademark the name “Redfall.” Now, there’s no definite confirmation from Bethesda that Elder Scrolls 6 will carry the Redfall name, and it’s not a place in Tamriel, but some folks on Reddit that are really into Elder Scrolls lore are theorizing that Redfall could be a plague and, in fact, the basis for Elder Scrolls 6. We got a hint of this in one quest in Skyrim in which people were catching something, projectile vomiting, and developing red skin. This so-called plague is tied to Daedric prince Peryite. This is all speculation of course, but if you remember the quest and its ties to High Rock, then it does kind of make sense.
Don’t Expect Bethesda To Say Much About Elder Scrolls 6 for a While
If you look back at how Bethesda has handled other game launches, you’ll instantly realize that we won’t see much for Elder Scrolls 6 for quite a while. The studio didn’t show of much of Oblivion, Fallout 4, or Skyrim until they were nearly finished with small windows of waiting time between that moment and their release. So, that shot of the mountains that we saw in the teaser we’ve embedded above, could be the last thing we see until the game is nearly finished. The only reason we even know that Elder Scrolls 6 is in development is because Bethesda wanted to give fans somewhat of a roadmap for what the studio is working on. Unfortunately, that decision led to expectations that we’d see The Elder Scrolls 6 before 2025 and that might not be the case.
The Elder Scrolls 6 Won’t Be An Xbox Exclusive
Despite the fact that Microsoft has acquired Bethesda, future games like Elder Scrolls VI (and Starfield, for that matter) won’t be Xbox Exclusives. You’ll still be able to play them on PC, PS5, and Nintendo (when available), however, you might not get the best experience if you’re not playing on Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, PC, or XCloud. During a conference call with Jefferies Interactive Entertainment, Xbox CFO, Tim Stuart declared that Elder Scrolls VI will be a cross-platform game, but there is a be caveat:
“What we’ll do in the long run is we don’t have intentions of just pulling all of Bethesda content out of Sony or Nintendo or otherwise. But what we want is we want that content to be either first or better or best, or pick your differentiated experience, on our platforms. We will want Bethesda content to show up the best on our platforms.”
The Elder Scrolls Could Be Set in The Lost Island of Yokuda
I know the smart money’s on The Elder Scrolls 6 being in High Rock, but I keep looking at these 3 peninsula in the trailer & thinking about the lost island of Yokuda. That landscape does look a bit like a tidal wave scoured it flat. pic.twitter.com/665lb6W4ij— Leon Hurley (@LeonHurley) June 11, 2018
The most popular theory going right now is that The Elder Scrolls 6 will be set in High Rock – something that also goes along with the theory we discussed above that suggested it will be called Redfall. However, the mountains in the teaser trailer hint at the lost Island of Yokuda. As you can see from the tweet embedded below, it actually makes some sense. When Yokuda was still above water, it was said to be a place with rocky, barren hills and that’s exactly what we see in the teaser along with the three peninsulas. Coincidence? Possibly, but there’s at least some evidence that makes the theory hold water.
The Elder Scrolls 6 won’t launch until after Starfield, which current has no set released date and a short teaser trailer. Estimates put the launch for Elder Scrolls VI sometime in 2023 to 2024.
The Elder Scrolls 6 won’t be an Xbox Exclusive, but it could launch on Xbox first. Following Microsoft’s acquisition of Bethesda, Xbox CFO, Tim Stuart, has confirmed that Bethesda games will be available on PS5 and Nintendo alongside Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S. However, he also says that Bethesda content will “be either first or better or best….We will want Bethesda content so shup up the best on our platforms.”
Elder Scrolls 6 will be available on Xbox Games Pass at launch, along with all other new Bethesda games following Microsoft’s acquisition of the studio. If you subscribe to Xbox Games Pass, you won’t have to purchase Elder Scrolls 6, and you’ll be able to play it from launch with your subscription.