By now, most Starfield players have already discovered one of the game’s best minor features: Any screenshots captured using the in-game photo mode are automatically added to your pool of loading screens. It’s a brilliant touch – one that encourages even those without any experience to dive in and play around with focal lengths, filters, and perspective. Starfield is turning as all into virtual photographers.
Photo modes, while often far from perfect, are nothing new in video games. But the act of incorporating a player’s own screengrabs in an official capacity seems to have spurred a wealth of engagement. And with that interest, plenty of artistic interstellar snaps have begun to appear online. And oh boy are they pretty.
Naturally, the virtual photography community has leapt directly into the cockpit, firing up their finely tuned aesthetic thrusters to flood Starfield hashtags on social media with gorgeous captures from across the galaxy. Serene planetary vistas, Earthrise-style skylines, space stations, and the after-effects of a dogfight – everything in the Settled Systems is fair game for photography.
It helps, too, that Starfield’s photo mode is a rare case in that it actually features decent overlays. Instead of a gaudy border with the name of the game plastered on top, Starfield is willing to have a bit more fun. Retro-styled text overlays allow users to craft images that wouldn’t look out of place on an Asimov novel. Starfield’s circular logo, meanwhile, pairs smartly with the heavenly bodies that gravity has filled our skies with.
Crucially, there's no need to feel intimidated by the work other share online. You don’t need to be an expert to get started taking snaps in Starfield. A game in which you can cruise past a planet to watch its distant sun light up the horizon is a bounty of spontaneously beauty. All it takes from you is a momentary pause to add the instance to your personal loading screen gallery. So the next time you head off into the twinkling unknown? make sure you remember to pack a camera.
Keen to learn more about virtual photography? Read the first of our series of interviews on what makes it so special here.
Header image by Shinobi.