Starfield’s sun doesn’t shine on AMD graphics cards

Starfield is one of the most highly anticipated PC games of the year. Bethesda Softworks’ first new role-playing game IP since Fallout 3 promises a distinctly unique NASA-punk art style, massive star systems to explore, and a fully dynamic universe that varies depending on your GPU’s capability. Considering the game’s demanding CPU-bound nature, it’s no surprise that Bethesda has built in support for AMD’s DLSS and FSR spatial upscaling technology to keep frame rates high enough to enjoy the game’s full potential.

Unfortunately, that attention to detail has led to a bug in Starfield that renders the game’s sun completely invisible on AMD graphics cards. According to a popular Reddit post titled “Dear AMD Card User,” the game won’t render a star when you travel in-game to the dayside of any planetary body or moon without an atmosphere. This includes planets with a thin or full class M atmosphere as well as asteroid belts and moons in other solar systems. The problem only appears to impact users with AMD Radeon graphics cards, as Nvidia GeForce GPUs are not affected.

This is a bit of a shame, as the issue seems to be a simple fix for Bethesda and AMD. The aforementioned Reddit post shows a photo of the skybox from a moon without an atmosphere rendered with a Radeon RX 7900 XT, followed by a screenshot from that same spot taken with a Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti. The difference is striking.

Seeing as AMD has been the exclusive PC partner for the Starfield launch, this seems like a simple oversight on both parts. It’s not as if the game isn’t optimized for AMD hardware, as it runs a lot faster on the company’s chips versus Nvidia’s RTX series of cards. But, even if the developers only had time to focus on optimizing Starfield for Ryzen and Radeon GPUs, it shouldn’t have been that hard to ensure that the game properly renders all of its features, including those supported by AMD’s own FSR spatial upscaling technology.

It’s a bummer to see this issue in Starfield, especially as Bethesda’s other recent releases, from Remnant 2 to Cyberpunk 2077, support AMD FSR and DLSS with flying colors. With the release of a modded version of the game on the horizon, it’s probably not a bad idea for both AMD and Bethesda to come together and figure out how to resolve this missing star issue as soon as possible. Otherwise, the game may not be the immersive experience many players were hoping for. That’s a shame for everyone involved. Check out our review of the Radeon RX 6800 XT to find out why it’s a great choice for PC gamers on a budget. It offers a solid 1440p gaming performance that rivals a pricier Nvidia GTX 1070 for $100 less. And, if you do decide to pick up an RX 6800 XT or another AMD Radeon card, remember to get the best CPU for gaming as well.