You might not realize this, but there’s supposed to be a big, freaking, shining star in the above image. It’s from Starfield, taken from the surface of the moon. But, as spotted by Twitter/X user Yoraxx, on AMD GPUs, the local sun is often missing. That’s a weird problem to have for an AMD-promoted game.
But given the reported problem, we wanted to check around and confirm that the issue exists, and also see if it happens on other GPUs. We tested an RX 7800 XT, RTX 4070, and Arc A770 16GB from the same save spot.
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Sure enough, the other GPUs look fine, though it is interesting to see how the ground gets rendered in a slightly different way, depending on the GPU (or perhaps just run-time procedural generation). There’s a fully dynamic universe running in the background, so the sun and stars do shift in position over time (within certain constraints), and there are lots of planets and moons where there’s really not much to go and see. Still, how the missing suns managed to get by testing suggests maybe that wasn’t a key factor in the game’s release.
You can also see the FPS counter in the top-left corner, where the 7800 XT at 1080p and ultra settings (at 100% scaling and with dynamic resolution turned off) was getting around 107 fps, the RTX 4070 got around 90 fps, and the Arc A770 only managed 38 fps. You can see our full (initial) Starfield benchmarks for more on how the game runs.
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It’s also not a problem on every planet you visit. For example, the above two screenshots show New Atlantis with a glaring ball of light in the sky. It looks the same between AMD and Nvidia in this case.
Given the current status of the game, it’s a safe bet that drivers or a game patch will fix the missing primary stars on AMD GPUs in the near future. Fixing performance on other GPUs will probably take a lot more work. Maybe we’ll just have to wait for the modders to come to the rescue, which is what happened with a lot of other Bethesda games over time.
If you haven’t picked up Starfield yet, then, maybe you’ll want to hold off a while longer. There are other issues making the rounds as well, like storage access being a bottleneck to performance. It’s a typical Bethesda release, in other words, with a huge game world to explore and plenty of bugs to keep you company on your journey. Don’t forget to pack some repellant!