This study aims to quantify the impacts of atmosphere–ocean coupling on simulated and projected tropical cyclone (TC) precipitation globally. We used global climate model (GCM) simulations over 1950–2050 from the High Resolution Model Intercomparison Project (HighResMIP) and compared its fully coupled atmosphere–ocean GCMs (AOGCMs) with atmosphere-only GCMs (AGCMs). We find that ocean coupling generally leads to decreased TC precipitation over ocean and land. Large-scale sea surface temperature (SST) biases are critical drivers of the precipitation difference, with secondary contributions from local TC–ocean feedbacks via SST cold wakes. The two driving factors, attributed to ocean coupling in the AOGCMs, influence TC precipitation in association with decreased TC intensity and specific humidity. The AOGCMs and AGCMs consistently project TC precipitation increases in 2015–2050 relative to 1950–2014 over ocean for all basins, and for landfalling TCs in the North Atlantic and western North Pacific.