The Elder Scrolls: Castles brings medieval fantasy politics right to your phone

The Elder Scrolls: Castles
(Image credit: Bethesda Softworks)

Bethesda announced a new mobile game in the Elder Scrolls series in a tweet (via TechRadar) - The Elder Scrolls: Castles.

Castles is a mobile castle management simulator from the team behind Fallout Shelter and functions very similarly to the hit Fallout tie-in title. Castles has already been soft-launched in the Philippines while more countries will see the game launch in the coming months, though pre-registration available now for iOS and Android.

Announced three months after it first launched

The Elder Scrolls: Castles

(Image credit: Bethesda Softworks)

Elder Scrolls superfans may have already gotten their hands on the game and reviews are already live. Bethesda quietly launched The Elder Scrolls: Castles on the Google Play store for Android devices back in September, and the game remained playable up until the end of 2023 according to IGN.

We don't yet know what, if anything, has changed in the time the game was down but the timeline of this launch is rather odd. Most of the time games are announced before they're widely available, with Alpha and Beta test phases typically being part of a separate registration process, especially where iOS mobile versions are concerned.

According to Bethesda's tweet, "this soft launch is one of the first steps as we get your feedback and make changes before it launches worldwide." So it is likely some changes have already been implemented from the version available in September 2023.

Castle management is a first for the series

Much like with Fallout Shelter, The Elder Scrolls: Castles sees players building their own dynasty and overseeing their lives year to year. As Bethesda's announcement describes, "citizens are born, they die, rulers change, and can be betrayed." Every day is a new year for the Castle, so time will pass pretty rapidly.

The Elder Scrolls: Castles

(Image credit: Bethesda Softworks)

Players can craft new items to customize their castle, make decisions about the ruling of their dynasty, and even engage in combat to complete various quests.

While other Elder Scrolls games have included the ability to build or purchase homes and decorate them to your heart's content. However, that is typically where homeownership ends even in Skyrim and The Elder Scrolls Online. So Castles brings a fun management simulator aspect to the series. Much like with Fallout Shelter, this unexpected addition to the series may prove popular. 

This is the third Elder Scrolls mobile game, the first being The Elder Scrolls: Legends which is a mobile collectible card game which launched in 2017. The Elder Scrolls: Blades, a mobile RPG launched in 2019. 

Castles is also likely to be the only new Elder Scrolls game we see for a while, as reports indicate The Elder Scrolls 6 is still about four years away from launch with a potential release date in 2028 at the earliest.

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Madeline Ricchiuto
Staff Writer

A former lab gremlin for Tom's Guide, Laptop Mag, Tom's Hardware, and Tech Radar; Madeline has escaped the labs to join Laptop Mag as a Staff Writer. With over a decade of experience writing about tech and gaming, she may actually know a thing or two. Sometimes. When she isn't writing about the latest laptops and AI software, Madeline likes to throw herself into the ocean as a PADI scuba diving instructor and underwater photography enthusiast.