Weather in Games—best you've seen?

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@Slasken That is a good question! I'm inviting you to make a thread with that topic if you so choose. No problem either way off course, I just liked the question:)

I do camp through it occasionally. In Dayz Namalsk mod there is some type of radioactive weather that drops bombs or something like that and if you are not inside you will get damaged. When it rains a lot, I'm almost always inside or cramped under some tree while I try to drench out the water from my clothes.

In Metro Exodus, there are nuclear storms that I believe can hurt you, or at least I did hide in small shacks whenever the sky got really bad. It's actually quite frightening being in the open with that nuclear storm going on.

The only "bad weather" I sometimes sleep through are nights in Dying Light. It's not really bad weather, but some of the zombies walking around are quite dangerous, so at times it is nice just to skip it and get the sunny and nice morning with easy zombies to kill.
Skyrim has some great terrain and weather graphics, even more so with the right mods.
After all these years, the best weather effects that I've seen in a game are with a modded Skyrim. The weather effects with the landscape, as well as the day/night cycles and how they affect the lighting really make that game immersive for me.

There are snowflakes with individual textures instead of just white dots falling:

There is mountain fog that clings to the peaks:

And ground level fog (I love fog, I have to living in Maine):

And there's thunderstorms and lightning:

(and farmers will hoe their cabbages regardless of lightning or dragon corpses)

Many games I've played, and I'm speaking just from an RPG perspective, forgo having weather effects (or even a day/night cycle), but I always appreciate it when those elements are present in a game.
May 11, 2022
In open world games, do you sometimes set up camp and rest through bad weather?

I find myself doing that a lot. I prefer exploring in sunlight.
I've been trying to have this idea that it isn't real, the bad weather, and just carry on.

But in HZD the sand storms get to much sometimes and you can't see. All that equipment and no goggles!

And in RD2 it's just worth sleeping through the heavy or hazy storms because again can't see.

But RD2 on a clear night, full moon, just as good as sunlight.
In open world games, do you sometimes set up camp and rest through bad weather?
I don't get much avoidable weather in what I've played, but some day-night cycles. Where they're avoidable, I usually avoid—just like I generally avoid games with a dark or dreary setting. My sight isn't good enough for dark play.

I did my first Far Cry Primal playthru leaving the night cycle active, because there are different predators around at night, and I needed some of their pelts for crafting or perks. Did not enjoy it tho, since it was almost all my least fav melee play, and the gollygoshdarned skins had to be harvested one at a time, complete with animation—I could easily have a dozen wolves at my feet after an encounter, so all in all a real PITA. On replay I did night only to get the minimum skins, and then went for a snooze.

Same in Sniper Ghost Warrior 3, I snoozed each night—need daylight for sniping!


Community Contributor
That reminds me... lightning is a bit of a sore point in games. A monitor can't do that level of brightness, so it won't ever look quite right, but even then, the light effects often seem weak. They end up looking light white lines drawn in the distance. Maybe there will be some white up near the clouds, but nothing else is lit up. I hope ray tracing can help on that front.

I remember once back in the 80's, being on a roof and watching a BIG thunderstorm that was actually spawning some tornadoes. I didn't see the tornadoes (it was late at night), but the lightning was crazy. The storm was far enough away that it wasn't raining on us. Suddenly, there's a big flash in the storm and many parallel strands of lightning went weaving through the clouds all the way from the storm, above our heads, and presumably past us. Incredible!

Make a game do that, gorram it! Preferably in VR, so the scale of it comes through.

I can't remember, does vanilla Skyrim have rain?


Community Contributor
Jan 14, 2020
When it comes to visual effects, I'd say Cyberpunk 2077 has one of the most beautiful rain in history of gaming. Night City looks stunningly when it rains, especially with all those ray tracing effects enabled.

When it comes to atmosphere, I have to mention STALKER series as well. Although the games graphics didn't age well, exploring the Zone in full rain is something that's impossible to forget. If you pair that with the Weather Overhaul mod, you'll get a really unique experience in terms of atmosphere. Can't wait to see the weather effects in STALKER 2!
That reminds me... lightning is a bit of a sore point in games. A monitor can't do that level of brightness, so it won't ever look quite right, but even then, the light effects often seem weak.
You're right, but I've seen lighting effects that come close. If you can make the graphics/atmosphere as dark as possible and get people's eyes acclimated to that, and then have a flash of the brightest white a monitor can output, it can still be a shock to the eyes.
Jan 13, 2020
We all remember C&C2 Tiberian Sun's Ion Storm. One of the most atmospheric and immersive weather effects to this very day.

I remember Far Cry 2 decades ago and was blown away by the wind effects, especially when combine with fire. World of Warcraft had some weather effects but they never showed up enough, I never got to see a heavy blizzard or snowstorm during the 2004-2007 era and I saw heavy rain maybe once.

STALKER and expansions had excellent weather effects.

GTAV, Witcher III did an amazing job with weather effects all around, Cyberpunk 2077 has a great sandstorm and rainstorm, but no thunderstorms--sad, sometimes it's just fog and that's boring.

I was pretty disappointed that Zeta Halo has zero weather effects but does have excellent ambient lighting, even Combat Evolved from 21 years ago had weather effects.

Most games today underestimate weather generation and how important it is for immersion and atmosphere, especially in a first person or third person game.
Jun 29, 2022
The weather in the Witcher 3 is the winner for me. I used to really love taking Roach out for a ride near shorelines in Skellige during early evening. Also the weather and the accompanying music you hear when you're in Kaer Morhen(once you beat the main storyline) is really something amazing.