Starfield is set some centuries after the current events in our timeline, and in that time, humanity began to settle on in 2050, then further and further into distant star systems over the next 200 years. In the timeline of Starfield, there’s an awful lot of humanity spread among the stars, from Cheyenne’s , to Centauri’s . However, there’s not much mention of , and in fact, there appears to be a mystery as to what happened to Earth in Starfield
What Happened to Earth?
Earth as we know it in Starfield is a barren desert devoid of all fauna and flora. You can visit it early in the game too, and look at it for yourselves. You get knowledge about what happened to Earth from the Martian perspective, as it is a UC-controlled solar system. You get sent there as part of the main storyline, to learn more about the mysterious objects and the possible alien origin.
It is here you learn that Earth lost its Atmosphere, which several UC members you encountered mentioned to you, However, the process wasn’t immediate, and it happened over a 50-year period. This is likely when the full evacuation of the earth happened. The earth evacuation likely took them to all the corners of the UC, since Sol is a UC-controlled system. It explains why there’s no fauna or flora left, but, you can still get water from the planet, as gravity will still allow it to keep its seas. This is a similar theory to what modern-day scientists believe actually happened to Mars, as it lost its ability to retain surface water. You can check that theory out via some light science studies.
As you explore the galaxy, you will also learn more about Earth via little stories in the environment or through certain distant enclaves of humanity lost to time,. For example, you can find some intellectual societies across the main cities in the game, one of which is the Terran Preservation Society. Terra, is the Roman name for a goddess of the earth, hence its alternative Latin name for Earth.
As you explore the galaxy, you can find small enclaves. One of the enclaves that was shown before the game launched spoke of these humans, thinking they were the only ones to escape earth. Escaping the earth implies something bad happened to it.