Starfield NPC Creepy Smile Explained by Game Dev

Their eyes look dead, but that's actually not their fault.

Starfield Trade Authority cover

A game developer recently explained the reason behind the creepy smiles of the Starfield NPCs.

Since the earliest 3D video games made by Bethesda, the gaming community has criticized the game company for its human characters in-game due to its fake and creepy smiles. Fans were hoping that the latest game, Starfield, would finally break this creepy curse but unfortunately, it comes back and it comes back HARD.

One game developer revealed that there is actually a reason behind these “smiles”.

Character and Tech Artist Delaney King shared interesting details about the smiling issue in Starfield. He revealed that it is due to the “orbicularis oculi muscle not contracting to vie a ‘Duchenne smile’”. This particular muscle is responsible for the voluntary closure of the eyelid. If this does not contract after smiling, the character’s face would look fake or as they would call it, the “liar’s” smile.

A follow-up post of King revealed another information about fake smiles. King said that the characters in Starfield do not use their zygomaticus major muscle, which is an expression muscle connected to the cheekbone that pulls at the corner of the mouth. A fine example of this was demonstrated by Anthony Starr as Homelander in The Boys.

Bethesda has yet to explain why its developers have not fixed this issue yet. Maybe it is how they brand their characters in-game, a trademark of a Bethesda game. If one fan encounters a character wearing a fake creepy smile, then they would know it is from a Bethesda title.