Deathloop is the big triple-A game of the moment, and it’s an amazing experience – provided you don’t struggle with your gaming PC to keep it running smoothly. Bethesda is aware of this and a patch seems to be on the way. But as Digital Foundry’s Alex Battaglia explains in this in-depth video, there may be a few things you can try right now to resolve the issue, including a strange, non-intuitive trick that got my seemingly stuttering performance running smoothly right away.
Here is the TL; DR.
- Apparently: Reduce your quality settings
- Far less obvious: Try the beta hotfix: “juliannashotme” in Steam> Deathloop> Properties> Betas
- Counterintuitive: Lock your frame rate to 60 or 120 fps
Let’s start with the latter because it worked for me – and it may be the only thing that works if you have a fancy G-Sync / FreeSync variable refresh rate monitor. Just go to the game Video settings Side, turn off V-sync complete and set your FPS limiter to 60 fps.
You might be wondering, “Isn’t it the point of V-Sync and my fancy VRR monitor to prevent this kind of stuttering?” Yes, but as Digital Foundry explains, what you see has more to do with mouse movement than syncing the frames of your GPU with the refresh rate of your monitor. This is not the tearing you see when frames hit in the middle of an update, or the micro-stuttering you may have experienced when frames are delayed.
In fact, Battaglia shows that Deathloop can deliver excellent frame times – there’s only a discrepancy when you spin your digital character’s head at non-standard refresh rates like what your variable refresh monitor is supposed to provide. With an RTX 3080, my GPU was able to easily send 80 fps to my G-Sync monitor in many scenes with a resolution of almost 4K, but locking it to 60, contradictingly, made everything feel much smoother.
One other thing you might want to do (although you might want to undo it after the next public patch too: try the hotfix that Bethesda is currently asking for help with testing. Right click on Deathloop in your Steam Library, choose properties and then beta, Type juliannashotme in the access code field, press Check code, then and Register the public_beta branch that should appear.
Digital foundry reports that the beta appears to solve one of the mouse problems, although Battaglia points out other issues in his full video, including one where you may have to finish a mission or move to the next level before it solves itself.
After all, it is possible that you only choose those graphics settings that are unnecessarily high for a fairly demanding game. Deathloop looks great at high levels of detail, often with barely noticeable differences from Very High or Ultra, as you can see in the video at the top of this post. Don’t knock until you’ve tried it?
For DEATHLOOP PC players, we’ve released an update addressing Steam Achievements and adding descriptive bug reporting for crashes on startup. We are also investigating reports of “stuttering” on the PC and investigating corrections. Further information: https://t.co/uO6qu7Vrzb
– DEATHLOOP (@deathloop) September 16, 2021