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All Elder Scrolls 6 rumors and spoilers leaked so far

To say that The Elder Scrolls 6 is one of the most highly anticipated sequels this side of Tamriel is an understatement. The follow-up to Bethesda's The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim has been the subject of much speculation and many rumors over the years, whether it would be a proper installment or Skyrim 2 or if the studio was working on the game at all. Now that Bethesda has finally revealed that yes, it is making The Elder Scrolls 6, the internet has only become more obsessed with the game.

Fans and games journalists alike have spent the weeks since the game was formally announced picking apart the short trailer that debuted at E3 2018, trying to figure out where in Tamriel the sequel is set as well as what it might be about. But the truth is that Bethesda hasn't shared too many hard facts about The Elder Scrolls 6, so we've been left to wonder about what will one day be.

Here are the best Elder Scrolls 6 rumors out there.

There are several rumors about the setting

The setting of the next Elder Scrolls game has been the subject of much speculation. The truth is that no one (except Bethesda) knows for sure where the next game takes place. Some believe the short announcement trailer that debuted at E3 offers clues, but even educated guesses have sent fans searching all over Tamriel. People just can't seem to agree.

Eurogamer presents some pretty convincing evidence that the mountains shown in the trailer belong to the land of Hammerfell. The coastline, dry climate, and greenery all point to Hammerfell, which is located on the west coast of Tamriel bordered by Skyrim, Cyrodiil, and High Rock. The outlet also points to a fan-made map from 2014 that makes a good case for why the city in the trailer is in fact Sentinel from Hammerfell.

Inverse, on the other hand, says the setting is most likely High Rock. Their argument is that the bits of High Rock that players get to visit in The Elder Scrolls Online are in line with the trailer, particularly the mountains and its "rugged beauty." The magic-wielding Bretons and Orcs live in this region, which could provide some interesting conflicts. Inverse also suggests that the next game could actually take place away from Tamriel and on the continent of Akavir, home of the mysterious Akaviri people the series has been teasing for so long. They call that their "peak tinfoil" theory, though.

Elder Scrolls 6 will have multiplayer

The gaming industry has gone through lots of change since Skyrim was released in late 2011. For one thing, the business has been moving away from the finite, single-player experiences of traditional Elder Scrolls games and towards multiplayer and live services. While a game like Skyrim is certainly huge and full of possibilities that will keep you playing for ages, you could also choose to simply follow the main storyline through and be done with it, creating a linear path for yourself from start to finish.

But as Electronic Arts argues, linear games aren't as popular with gamers anymore, which is the reason why the publisher decided to cancel Visceral's action-adventure Star Wars project. Even a traditionally single-player, story-focused studio like BioWare is experimenting with the online multiplayer title, Anthem.

Bethesda has mostly kept its foothold in the single-player arena, but the upcoming Fallout 76, an always-online multiplayer game set in a traditionally single-player universe, shows that the studio is willing to experiment as well. Does this mean that The Elder Scrolls 6 will inevitably have multiplayer?

Gameranx points to an old job listing from 2017 as proof because it asked for a game developer with "experience developing for online multiplayer environment." Now, since this post is from last year, it's more likely that Bethesda was hiring for Fallout 76. That said, the potential success of that postapocalyptic experiment could mean a more multiplayer approach to the next Elder Scrolls.

It's likely a next-gen game

It's going to be a while before you get to play The Elder Scrolls 6. How long will you have to wait? At least until Bethesda is done working on Fallout 76 and its first new IP in 25 years, the space-set Starfield, which is a next-gen title.

In an interview with Geoff Keighley at E3 (via VG247), Bethesda Game Studios executive producer Todd Howard revealed that Starfield is a bit further along than The Elder Scrolls 6. In fact, the next Elder Scrolls game still has a ways to go.

"I would say Elder Scrolls 6 is in pre-production, and Starfield is in production. It's a game we've been making for a while," Howard said. He then clarified that "Starfield is playable, Elder Scrolls 6, not in that way yet."

So, if Starfield is a next-gen title — meaning that it won't be out for the Xbox One or PlayStation 4 — and Elder Scrolls 6 will come after Starfield, then your return to Tamriel is still a few years and at least another generation of consoles away.

The game will offer VR support

Along with online multiplayer experiences, the gaming industry has also embraced virtual reality. In fact, Bethesda has experimented heavily with VR in the past few years, introducing a more immersive way to play many of its big franchises. Skyrim, Fallout 4, and Doom have all been turned into VR titles. At E3 2018, Bethesda also announced that Prey and Wolfenstein would be coming to VR in the form of a new mode called Typhon Hunter VR and a standalone game called Cyberpilot, respectively.

It stands to reason that Bethesda will continue to explore VR in the future, which could mean that The Elder Scrolls 6 will launch with VR support already built in. Of course, the studio hasn't confirmed that this Elder Scrolls 6 VR is anything more than speculation. Still, the fact that Skyrim VR is a thing is a good indicator of what we should expect from the next game.  

It could be a prequel

There's also the question of when The Elder Scrolls 6 might take place. While most Elder Scrolls games have taken place in chronological order — from Arena to SkyrimThe Elder Scrolls Online is actually a prequel to the entire series. Some are speculating that The Elder Scrolls 6 may follow suit.

Gamingbolt suggests that if the game is indeed a prequel, this would offer players the chance to explore the thousands of years of lore already established in its predecessors. It would also help Bethesda avoid repetition if the game is to take place in a land players have already explored.

"Not only could we potentially see the origins of several historical factions and groups in the series' mythos, but we could also actually witness several historic events that have only been mentioned in the series, but have never actually been portrayed. For fans of the series, that is a mouth-watering prospect indeed."

Bethesda hasn't said a word about when the game might take place, though.

Elder Scrolls 6 continues the Thalmor storyline

The Third Aldmeri Dominion was one of Skyrim's most intriguing additions to the lore. The game takes place during an era of political turmoil for Tamriel. The Septim dynasty has been replaced by the Medes dynasty and the people of Skyrim aren't happy about the Empire's new leader. But there's more to this conflict than meets the eye.

As pointed out by Player.One, the High Elf state, the Third Aldmeri Dominion, is the actual ruling body in charge of Tamriel after fighting a war that left the Medes dynasty weakened and basically subservient to the elves of the Summerset Isles. While the Empire is still "independent" for appearance's sake, the Third Aldmeri Dominion keeps its foothold on all regions of Tamriel with the help of the Thalmor, its secret police, which you encounter in Skyrim at several points.

"The Aldmeri Dominion's defeat of the Empire is a compelling narrative that's only been touched on so far," the outlet writes. "[We] would love to see that storyline explored in full. That doesn't mean the game has to be set in the Summerset Isles, of course, although that would certainly be cool. All of the Empire is touched by the Dominion now."

Could the next Elder Scrolls game be called "Dominion?"

The game will be about a vampire invasion

The fact that the Empire is very weak by the end of Skyrim, especially after the Dragonborn assassinates Emperor Titus Mede II, adds fuel to the fire of this next rumor: that the next Elder Scrolls game will involve stopping an Akaviri invasion. The theory comes from GamesRadar, which points to a few lines of dialogue from the third Elder Scrolls game, Morrowind. According to the outlet, the lines spoken by the priest Lloros Sarano in the Ald'ruhn Temple predict the story of Elder Scrolls 6.

"I've heard rumors that Akivari is making preparations to invade us again," the priest says to the player. "They are apparently only waiting for the Empire to collapse in Civil War or some other crisis. We'd certainly need a Hortator then — if we had one, maybe they could travel to Akaviri [sic] before the invasion and weaken or stop it."

Skyrim seems to be the story of that civil war and collapse, so it would stand to reason that Elder Scrolls 6 would focus on the Akaviri invasion. This is exciting since it could lead players to the continent of Akavir, which is east of Tamriel, as well as finally reveal what the Akaviri look like — one of the big mysteries of Elder Scrolls lore. Rumor has it that the Akaviri are "snake-like [and] vampiric."

Elder Scrolls 6 could feature the Maormer

While The Elder Scrolls Online mostly features races we've already met in past games, it does introduce one new race of elves: the Maormer, also known as Sea Elves. Up to this point, the Maormer haven't appeared in any of the main installments in the series despite being mentioned in Morrowind, Oblivion, and Skyrim. They are finally encountered in the Summerset Isles region of Tamriel in The Elder Scrolls Online.

According to PCGamesN, the Maormer's inclusion in The Elder Scrolls Online might be a sign that these particular elves are also going to appear in The Elder Scrolls 6. How much relevance they'll have to the main story remains to be seen. It might all depend on whether you'll be able to choose a Maormer as your character in the game.

The Maormer are distinct from other elf races in the series. They have grayish-white skin and eyes, and hail from the continent of Pyandonea, which is located south of Tamriel.

The game could have a new lead writer

Bethesda veteran Emil Pagliarulo has served as lead writer and design director on several of the studio's games, including Fallout 3, Skyrim, and Fallout 4. That may change for The Elder Scrolls 6, at least from a writing standpoint.

According to Gamingbolt, Pagliarulo updated his official title on his Twitter bio in 2017 to simply say "Design Director at Bethesda Game Studios." While this is not a confirmation that Pagliarulo has moved on from writing games, Gamingbolt suspects that this change might be good for The Elder Scrolls 6 and a possible new direction for the franchise.

"Elder Scrolls and Fallout games have never been known for good writing, and in a genre such as this one, which relies so much on things such as characters, quests, and the narrative, that's not a good thing at all. However, it looks like that might be about to change when The Elder Scrolls 6 comes around — whenever that might be."

Pagliarulo's status change might not mean anything at all, though. "Of course, he may still be involved in the process, and there's even the chance that the development process isn't far enough along to even have a narrative lead yet," Gamingbolt says.

Upgrading the same old engine

Much to the dismay of their fans and critics, Todd Howard announced that Bethesda Game Studios will not be building a new engine for The Elder Scrolls 6. Instead, the game developer will be using an upgraded version of the same Creation Engine that they used for Skyrim, Fallout 4 and Fallout 76. The news was met with a mixed reception, as some publications seem to think that the engine's technical limitations and glitches cannot compete with those of its AAA competition. These concerns were reinforced after the overwhelmingly negative reception of Fallout 76.

Although the Creation Engine was revamped for Fallout 76 using a new renderer, lighting system, and landscape generation system, the game's release was plagued with performance issues. From endless bugs to server crashes, Fallout 76 continued to disappoint and frustrate players. Amazingly, several of the patches Bethesda implemented only seemed to make matters worse by introducing new problems. Despite the calls to build a new engine from scratch, Bethesda has remained adamant about using their old Creation Engine. Howard did however mention that Bethesda would continue to improve the engine for Starfield and Elder Scrolls 6 during an interview with Gamestar.

Rumors of settlement building

There has been quite a bit of speculation that the settlement building features from Fallout 4 may be carried over into Elder Scrolls 6. Although there has been no official confirmation from Bethesda, it is not too far a stretch to assume. The game developer has continued to incorporate elements of settlement building into their most recent titles, and some rudimentary building features have already appeared in the last Elder Scrolls game.

Through the Hearthfire expansion DLC, Skyrim players were first introduced to some basic building mechanics that allowed them to upgrade and customize their properties. Since then Bethesda has stepped up their building mechanics in Fallout 4 with features to build entire settlements and armaments to defend them. The developer continued to lean into building mechanics with Fallout 76, which actually focuses on rebuilding civilization. Even the recent mobile game The Elder Scrolls Blades involves building and naming your own town before you are able to move on in the story.

Skyrim Grandma will be an NPC

YouTube sensation Shirley Curry, endearingly nicknamed the "Skyrim Grandma" by her fans, will be appearing as a non-playable character in The Elder Scrolls 6. The 82-year-old YouTube content creator will be included in the game thanks to a petition on Change.org. The petition went viral after Curry commented that she might not be able to play The Elder Scrolls 6 since the game will not be released for a number of years.

The movement gained just under 50,000 supporters and caught the attention of Bethesda, who confirmed that Curry will be immortalized in the game. The announcement also showed her being 3D scanned with photogrammetry technology that will be used to recreate a detailed digital model in-game. Bethesda discussed this tech during The Elder Scrolls 25th Panel in PAX East, revealing that they have also been using it to scan real-world landscapes and digitally reconstruct them in future games. Afterwards, Curry released a video on Twitter showing her meeting Howard.   

The composer is not currently on the project

Even though you might not know his name, chances are you have already heard his music. Jeremy Soule was the composer behind the last three Elder Scrolls titles and has created some of the most memorable soundtracks of the entire video game industry. Despite that, Soule confirmed that Bethesda studios have not reached out to him about The Elder Scrolls 6.

Since Soule was instrumental in creating the iconic music for Morrowind, Oblivion, and Skyrim, it would be surprising if Bethesda did not enlist his talents for their upcoming Elder Scrolls game. However, a disagreement between Bethesda and Soule back in 2016 could explain why he was not contacted. Soule publicly complained that he was not consulted about the Skyrim in Concert event Bethesda held in London. Since the concert used transcriptions, which are often fraught with errors, instead of his original scores, Soule dissuaded his fans from attending. Soule's public criticism of Bethesda might have permanently damaged his relationship with the video game developer and caused them to seek out a new composer.

We probably won't see The Elder Scrolls 6 until 2024

Don't hold your breath waiting: The Elder Scrolls 6 will not be coming out anytime soon. Based on the time frame that Pete Hines (Bethesda's SVP of Global Marketing and Communications) gave Eurogamer back in October 2018, the earliest we might see The Elder Scrolls 6 would be 2024. When questioned about the release date for Starfield and Elder Scrolls 6, Hines told Eurogamer, "About as long as you'd expect when you look at Fallout 3 to Skyrim to Fallout 4 to Fallout 76. It's still going to be those periods of time, that hasn't changed."

Since he also said that Starfield is coming out before Elder Scrolls 6, Elder Scrolls fans have enough information to predict the release of the new Elder Scrolls game. Calculating that Bethesda took an average of three to four years between the games Hines mentioned, Starfield will come out around 2021, and The Elder Scrolls 6 will be released around 2024.