A hardcore Starfield fan has figured out the length of one of the game’s gigantic starships.
Why is this starship particularly important for the game? Well, it’s the one that comes up first in their launch date announcement trailer, which we reported on here. For those Xbox and PC players anticipating this game, that ship is fresh in their minds. Bethesda also deliberately positioned the ship to make everyone imagine its scale.
This analysis comes from Redditor LorefieldMitch. LorefieldMitch previously made an analysis of the size of New Atlantis, one of Starfield’s key locations.
LorefieldMitch’s process is rational, though there is a lot of guesswork involved. LorefieldMitch also assumes that all of the production materials and art that Bethesda has shared with us is internally consistent in the world of Starfield. After George Lucas made such things popular with the Star Wars franchise, it is reasonable to assume that Bethesda put that work into this too, but it is worth pointing out.
So, LorefieldMitch’s first step is to find something in the image that can be measured, or estimated somehow. They settle for the ship windows, which can be measured using the lights that emanate out of them.
Next, LorefieldMitch looks at production art showing a woman sitting on one such window. They make an estimate of the window size based on an average woman’s height.
And then, the meticulous stuff. Using a program called PixelZoomer, they zoom in on the picture and make measurements of the window sizes. They count the length of pixels for each window, and come to an average size for the windows.
Finally, LorefieldMitch counts the number of pixels the ship measures in the image itself. They compares those pixels for the ship to the number of pixels for the windows, and using the measurement of the windows, finally comes to a length for the ship itself: 1,249.2 feet long.
As LorefieldMitch points out, that’s about the same length as the Empire State Building. Just to put that in context, the Empire State Building was built all the way back in 1931, and is currently on the record books as the 54th tallest skyscraper in the world. The UAE’s Burj Khalifa itself is 2,717 feet.
Of course, most modern day shuttles don’t need to be the size of skyscrapers either. A fully assembled NASA Space Shuttle from the 1980s was only 184 feet tall. Modern day spacecraft initiatives are actually shifting to smaller ships.
We ourselves reported on Starfield’s scale from a different angle; on whether it could recreate the loneliness of space. We don’t think it’s possible to really measure that until players have the game in front of them to experience it themselves.
Starfield will be releasing on September 6, 2023, on Xbox Series X|S and Windows via Steam. It will also be Day One on Game Pass.