Pour one out for Starfield's 'pet rock' bug, now patched thanks to a new update

(Image credit: u/ReverendRoo on Reddit)

What you need to know

  • A new update has been released for Starfield that fixes one of the game's most common bugs.
  • Specifically, the patch has solved a "pet rock" issue that caused trees, containers, and most commonly, asteroids, to trail the player's ship whenever they flew through space.
  • Existing "pet rocks" will be removed the next time players load their save after downloading the update.
  • The patch also fixed an issue preventing loot from spawning in Weapon Cases, as well as a problem specific to the Xbox version of the game that was causing crashes during long playthroughs.

If you had an asteroid inexplicably tailing your ship last time you played Starfield, you'll find that it's returned to its proper place in the universe next time you boot up Bethesda's new RPG.

That's because a new Starfield update has patched out the game's "pet rock" bug, which has commonly affected players ever since it launched in September. This comical glitch could cause everything from shipping containers to entire forests to trail your ship whenever you blasted off into the expanse, but by far, the thing people spotted in the rearview the most was a space boulder.

Bethesda says any existing "pet rocks" will be wiped from your game the next time you load a save after downloading the update. However, players experiencing a rarer, but similar glitch that allows them to take all of New Atlantis into space will have to wait for a fix that's coming in a future patch.

In one of my weirdest Bethesda glitch experiences, I've got a tiny asteroid that's been following me for the past 30 hours from r/Starfield

This bugfix aside, the rest of the update is quite small. It solves an issue that prevented loot from spawning in Weapon Case containers after loading a save, and takes care of a problem specific to the Xbox/Microsoft Store version of the game that could result in crashes when players saved their game during a long playthrough as well. There's nothing more beyond that, though.

I have to say that I'm a bit sad to see this bug get squashed, even if the developers were right to do so. For me, silly and relatively benign glitches like this one add to the charm of Bethesda's massive RPGs, and this was one of the only widespread ones that Starfield had. Sure, every once in a while you'll hear about a wild snafu like someone stealing an entire pirate space station, but this isn't Skyrim or Fallout 4; compared to past Bethesda titles, it's remarkably polished. And that means there are fewer things for me to laugh at.

Rest in peace, pet rocks. We hardly knew ye.

Starfield is one of the best Xbox games and best PC games for lovers of space exploration, deep RPG gameplay, and the sci-fi genre as a whole. You can play it now on Xbox Series X|S and Windows PC via Steam or the Microsoft Store, as well as Xbox Game Pass.

Brendan Lowry

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.