Starfield’s Physics Put to Test With Thousands of Potatoes

An image of four potatoes is superimposed over a screenshot of Starfield. The Starfield screenshot features a character with their back to the camera, looking out over a barren landscape. A planet with rings can be seen in the sky.


An image of four potatoes is superimposed over a screenshot of Starfield. The Starfield screenshot features a character with their back to the camera, looking out over a barren landscape. A planet with rings can be seen in the sky.

The physics systems in Starfield have never been openly discussed by the development, and it's only now, with the official launch out of the way, players are discovering how impressive the underlying physics system is.

This week alone, we saw streamer Alanah Pearce travel to Pluto on her spaceship and uncover Starfield’s orbital mechanics.

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Credit: Twitch

Pearce discovered that Bethesda's open-world RPG does incorporate authentic orbital science, revealing itself when the planet Pluto kept drifting off her line of sight. That makes sense as planets travel in an elliptical pattern around our star, the Sun.

But that discovery didn't generate nearly as much excitement as the latest, with Reddit exploding with an extraordinary video from user Moozipan, who took the time to hoard 20,000 potatoes and cram them all into his ship’s cockpit. Afterwards, they pulled open the door to see how the game’s engine calculates the interaction between the objects.

The results were amazing - the piled-up potatoes tumbled out the door the way they would in real life, rolling into the empty space and making us all quite hungry in the process.

Digital Foundry’s John Linneman posted the video on X, formerly Twitter, and described it as “mind-blowing."

He also described being impressed that Todd Howard and his team had taken the time to develop accuarate physics, even for trivial items like potatoes. Some Reddit users also described the graphical performance as an improvement from Fallout 4.

Such actions do have some adverse effects on the game’s performance. Moozipan noted that, because of the sheer number of potatoes moving around, Starfield’s frame rate dropped to 20 from its promised 30 frames per second.

And while that 30 FPS cap is far from ideal, we are willing to give the developers a pass on this potato-induced madness.

There’s plenty of stuff to look forward to now that Starfield is fully available to those who were not able to upgrade to Premium or Constellation early access. Shipbuilding is one of the central activities that you’ll be doing in the game. Feel free to check out our shipbuilding guide before you jump into the game.

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