The Starfield community discovers that rain only ever falls on the player, developers explain why

Some within the Starfield community were surprised to learn that rain will only fall on the player this week after a Reddit post revealing the normally invisible trick received nearly 30,000 upvotes.

“In Starfield, it only rains in a small area around the player,” wrote Redditor thelastfastbender alongside a screenshot showing the effect in photo mode.

The Reddit post then made its way to social media, where the video game community helped explain what was going on. It turns out that pretty much all video games deal with rain this way, although usually in a slightly different way.

Thomas Francis, lead visual effects artist at Darkest Dungeon 2 developer Red Hook Studios, Posted That said, rain is usually related to the camera rather than the player character, which is why the effect is visible in Starfield’s photo mode. This is done “because it is less power intensive than simulating particles everywhere.” Why create particles all over the world when a few hundred particles in front of the camera will do the job just as well,” Francis said.

This technique is used for pretty much everything, Francis added, including snow, dust and even blades of grass. “Anything that flies across your screen as you move around a zone/biome is probably using something like this,” Francis explained. “It is optimized and easy for us developers to control.”

The Starfield Rain Reddit post sparked another fascinating “developer tricks of the trade” moment on social media. Francis explained further that rain in video games doesn’t make anything wet, but triggers a system that tells the environment to “look wet.”

The Starfield Rain has even sparked a debate about whether learning how to make the sausage ruins players’ immersion in the sausage. As Francis put it: “Sometimes it’s better to believe in the magic than to know the trick behind it.”

Polygon has a helpful article where developers explain more about what’s going on with Starfield’s rain. 3D environment artist Karl Schecht said: “Whether you’re in first or third person, the rain looks solid. However, switch to photo mode, zoom out, and you’ll see that the rain is actually a small particle system about 3 x 3 meters hanging over your character.”

The Starfield rain discussion brings back memories of Fallout 3’s Metro, which is just an NPC with a train on his head.

In 2017, Stray Kite Studios co-founder Paul Hellquist revealed that in BioShock, if the player took their last point of damage, they would instead be invulnerable for a second or two to trigger further “barely survived” moments.

In other Starfield news, Bethesda development boss Todd Howard recently revealed that planetary exploration was brutal before it was “toned down.” IGN also spoke to the creator of Starfield’s controversial paid DLSS mod, which hit back against pirates.

If you play through the game, be sure to check out IGN’s Starfield walkthrough.

Photo credit: reddit / u/thelastfastbender

Wesley is the UK news editor for IGN. Find him on Twitter at @wyp100. You can reach Wesley at or confidentially at

Chrissy Callahan

Chrissy Callahan is a Worldtimetodays U.S. News Reporter based in Canada. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Chrissy Callahan joined Worldtimetodays in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

Related Articles

Back to top button