The Elder Scrolls VI: Everything You Need to Know – Decrypt

It’s been 12 years since the last Elder Scrolls game came out. Indeed, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim launched on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. That means it’s been more than a decade since “Fus Ro Dah!” was a thing gamers shouted at each other.

While time hasn’t flown by for fans of the franchise, a new entry is officially in the works, tentatively titled The Elder Scrolls VI. It was announced all the way back in 2018.

The next game will be “designed with longevity in mind so that people can play it for years after release with long-term support,” said Todd Howard, The Elder Scrolls VI game director and executive producer for Bethesda Game Studios.

Despite the dozen-year gap, Bethesda hasn’t revealed a lot of hard details just yet for the next big game, which may still be years away. But don’t fear: We’ve collected every scrap of news, leaks, and speculations in one place, and we’ll be updating this story regularly with additional details and announcements to come.

What is The Elder Scrolls VI?

The Elder Scrolls VI will be the next main installment in the Bethesda franchise, the first since 2011’s award-winning The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. 

As of now, there are very limited details on the new game—but Bethesda has released an official teaser trailer. Released five years ago, the teaser displays a misty CGI mountain range before showing the game title. Unfortunately, there’s not much to take from that.

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Howard said the game will again represent the fantasy genre, and it could be the last game he directs after playing a pivotal role in the rise of the Fallout and The Elder Scrolls series.

When is The Elder Scrolls VI coming out?

Short answer: nothing is official. But it’s going to be a while. The Elder Scrolls VI is next on Bethesda’s list of games to be released after Starfield’s launch earlier this month.

However, Howard claimed the game was only in “pre-production” in a June 2022 interview. Gamers’ worst fears were compounded a year later when Xbox head Phil Spencer said, “We’re talking about it being likely five-plus years away.”

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A Microsoft document provided to the United States Federal Trade Commission pointed to a release date that’s “expected 2026 or later,” though. In any case, it’s not going to be anytime soon.

But at least the game is moving along. Pete Hines, head of publishing at Bethesda, confirmed in September 2023 that the game is no longer in pre-production, but rather early development.

What platforms will The Elder Scrolls VI be on?

A recent development in the FTC v. Microsoft’s legal battle revealed that The Elder Scrolls VI will not be released on PlayStation consoles. A “highly confidential” chart showed that the game will only be launched on Xbox and PC, like Starfield before it. The chart also confirmed that there will be no cross-platform gameplay.

The Elder Scrolls VI will be the first game in the franchise to not release on PlayStation since 2002’s The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind—which was only released on Xbox and PC.

Despite it apparently being confirmed to be an Xbox and PC exclusive, we still aren’t sure which Xbox console(s) it will be released on. With its earliest release being 2026, but likely later, it could be launched on the next-generation Xbox expected out in 2028.

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Reddit’s best theories

Despite The Elder Scrolls VI game news being rarer than the Nightweaver’s Band, it hasn’t stopped a Reddit community from forming in anticipation for the new game.

Many posters attempted to break down the 36-second teaser trailer. One post claims that it is “definitive proof the game will take place in High Rock,” a region of Tamriel that has featured in previous Elder Scrolls games. Another Redditor claims that the game isn’t set in Tamriel at all, despite every prior game being set somewhere on the fictional continent.

An interesting post claims to have found a Bethesda artist’s Pinterest architecture mood board for the game. This rumor started to circulate because the account has a joint costumes board with the art director at Bethesda, Rick Vicens, and the ex-lead character artist at Bethesda, Lucas Hardi—who helped produce Starfield, Fallout 4, and Skyrim.

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The board features the expected deserts, rocky formations, and village huts of a fantasy game like this. But it also showcases large castles, modern buildings, and blue-tinted towns. The account has created a number of other boards that could be linked to the production of The Elder Scrolls VI—including pages on weapons, landscapes, and plants.

Truthfully, no one really knows the hard details around the next installment of The Elder Scrolls. Despite that, Redditors continue to speculate, make wish lists, and desperately plead for clarity around the new game.

“I am hungry, Bethesda,” wrote one Redditor. “Please feed me.”

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