Elden Ring: How to Fix Low FPS, Lag, Stutters, Crashes, and Other Performance Issues?

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FromSoftware has had an interesting journey leading up to the release of its biggest game yet, Elden Ring. Starting off way back in the 80s and developing fan-favorite franchises like Otogi and Armored Core, the FromSoftware of today is very different from those days. Most people these days only know FromSoftware as the studio behind the industry-shaking Soulsborne/Soulslike genre. However, things were not always smooth sailing for the Dark Souls team.

Demon Souls, which was the studio’s first foray into this new world of souls games was actually rejected by Sony back in the PlayStation 3 era. Due to the game’s unusually difficult and unorthodox gameplay, the early reactions to the Demon Souls reveal were mostly negative. This prompted Sony to forego the publishing opportunity and thus the game was eventually picked up by Bandai Namco instead. And, while the release of the game did not have an earth-shattering impact, it set the wheels in motion for what was going to be something truly sensational.

After Demon Souls, FromSoftware had its biggest breakthrough yet, Dark Souls. Spearheaded by Hidetaka Miyazaki, the Dark Souls franchise turned the studio’s fortunes around and really cemented its place in the top tier of developers. Dark Souls dominated the conversation within the video game industry for months after its release due to its challenging nature and focus on precise combat. However, while many did slate it for being sluggish and counter-intuitive, the influence that Dark Souls had on games of the future would be seen for years to come. In fact, most modern melee combat mechanics in-game are somewhat derived from the original Dark Souls formula with an emphasis on dodging, parrying and timing your strikes.

Elden Ring is FromSoftware’s biggest game yet

They didn’t just stop there though as FromSoftware continued to release award-winning games like Sekiro and Bloodborne apart from their Dark Souls series. However, while these games were very popular, they still didn’t quite reach the level of franchises like Assassins Creed or The Elder Scrolls, mostly due to their steep learning curve. After years of build-up though, it finally seemed like FromSoftware was ready for its biggest mainstream success yet. And, that’s exactly what has happened with the release of perhaps their best work yet, Elden Ring.

Developed in collaboration with the A Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones) writer George R. R. Martin, Elden Ring is FromSoftware’s biggest game by far. It far outweighs every other game to come out of Hidetaka Miyazaki’s mind and the sheer scale and discoverability of Elden Ring cannot be overstated. You start off as a lowly tarnished in the Lands Between, a region that has been ravaged by war and destruction. The Elden Ring has broken into pieces and your job is to claim these shards to reunite the land and become the Elden Lord.

While the story of Elden Ring might not be its main focus and is pretty par for the course with FromSoftware games, where it truly shines is in its world-building and level design. This is an open-world game unlike anything we have ever seen before. In a world where open-world games have bloated maps with checklists and intrusive UI elements, Elden Ring scales all of that back to give you a true sense of wonder and the purest of video game experiences.

Exploration is key in this fantasy epic

Elden Ring

From the minute you step out into the open world, there is nothing guiding you apart from the little streak of light coming out of a Site of Grace. There are no quest logs, no checkpoints, or any visible objectives. You are made to feel weak and alone in this massive world where every corner holds a surprise. The world of Elden Ring has been meticulously crafted with the context of each individual item, NPC, or enemy being very deliberate. Everything makes sense and the world feels as immersive as a video game can be. You have to figure out what the NPCs want from their dialogue, and each enemy presents a different type of challenge which feels incredibly satisfying to overcome.

The first boss you encounter in the open world of Elden Ring is almost unbeatable, setting the tone for the rest of the game. Elden Ring does such an incredible job of making sure that the players never feel like they are stuck. For instance, if you are unable to defeat a boss, you can just veer off into another direction and fight something easier. And, once you have leveled up and honed your skills, you can come back and fight your nemesis again. This gameplay loop of figuring out if you are strong enough for a certain area or boss and then finally overcoming that challenge makes Elden Ring one of the most satisfying games to play.

Elden Ring is one of the highest rated games of all time

Furthermore, the variety in all the different regions, biomes, and dungeons of Elden Ring continues to amaze you even after you have clocked a hundred hours into the game. It is truly an experience that will influence future games for years to come. And, with a Metacritic score in the high 90s, the game’s critical success has also translated into sales numbers. In its first 10 days after release, Elden Ring has already sold over 12 million units, making it the fastest-selling third-party game from a Japanese studio ever. In comparison, the Dark Souls franchise has taken over 10 years to reach 25 million sales, and Sekiro, which won the Game of the Year award in 2019 has only sold 2 million units.

So, there is no doubt that Elden Ring is one of the biggest and best-selling games of all time already, and it will also cettainly be up there in the debate for this year’s game of the year awards.

Elden Ring Performance Issues

With that said, while the game itself is absolutely phenomenal, there are some critical issues with Elden Ring that can hinder the player experience a lot. Firstly, the game does not perform well at all; not on consoles, and definitely not on a PC. The optimization of Elden Ring has been rather poor and while console performance has been somewhat playable, the same can not be said for PC. In fact, the performance situation is so dire on the PC side for Elden Ring that even those with high-end RTX 3000 series graphics cards have been struggling with frequent frame drops, low FPS, lag, stutters, frame timing issues, and even straight-up crashes.

And, while the latest big patch 1.03 did introduce a lot of bug fixes, additional content, and balancing changes, it didn’t quite manage to fix the performance issues for the game, especially on PC. Furthermore, after this big patch, we don’t know when the next big optimization patch might come. And, waiting for it while everyone else is playing the game just does not feel right. Thankfully, there are a few other tweaks you can make that help with improving the Elden Ring performance on PC including issues like Low FPS, frame drops, stutters, and crashes.

Elden Ring System Specification Requirements:

Before we get to the fixes themselves though, please make sure that your PC is powerful enough to run the game at specified settings in the first place. Elden Ring has a pretty big memory drain problem as it loads up a lot of assets even when they are not in use. This leads to RAM and VRAM requirements to skyrocket, thus making Elden Ring a rather demanding game. Even those with rigs having the latest NVIDIA and AMD graphics cards have been struggling to run the game smoothly, which means that even the official specifications may not be enough for a smooth experience. Nevertheless, here are the official system specification requirements for Elden Ring:

Minimum System Specification Requirements

  • Operating System: Windows 10 or Windows 11
  • Processor: Intel Core i5-8400 or AMD Ryzen 3 3300X
  • Memory: 12GB RAM
  • Graphics Card: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 3GB or AMD Radeon RX 580 4GB
  • DirectX: Version 12
  • Storage: 60GB available space
  • Sound Card: Windows-compatible audio device
  • Operating System: Windows 10 or Windows 11
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-8700K or AMD Ryzen 5 3600X
  • Memory: 16GB RAM
  • Graphics Card: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 8GB or AMD Radeon RX VEGA 56 8GB
  • DirectX: Version 12
  • Storage: 60GB available space
  • Sound Card: Windows-compatible audio device

1. Enforce dedicated GPU usage for Elden Ring:

One of the strangest launch performance bugs plaguing Elden Ring on PC is the fact that the game just does not fully utilize the GPU sometimes. Instead, it decides to sometimes opt for the integrated GPU on your laptop or PC, ultimately bogging down the performance by a lot. In addition to this bug, this phenomenon is also caused by power-saving features on most modern laptops that shift over to integrated graphics to save power and battery life. However, there is an easy way to switch this setting and always use the full power of your PC though. Here’s how to do it:

NVIDIA Graphics Cards:

If your gaming PC or laptop has an NVIDIA GeForce graphics card, open the NVIDIA Control Panel and follow these steps:

  1. Head into the Manage 3D Options tab and select the Application Settings. If you wish to change this setting for all applications, choose Global Settings instead.
  2. Within Application settings, look for Elden Ring on the list. If you are unable to find the game in the program list, hit browse and head over to the installation directory of the game to select the executable (.exe) file.
  3. Once selected, change the power settings to high-performance mode.

AMD Graphics Cards:

If your PC or gaming laptop has an AMD Radeon graphics card, open the AMD Radeon Software and follow these steps:

  1. Select the Systems option and once you are in, head over to the Switchable Graphics tab.
  2. From the list of games, search for Elden Ring. If it is not visible in the list, you can hit browse and add the executable file for the game manually from the installation directory.
  3. Once added, click the drop-down menu on the game and select the High-Performance mode option.
  4. Restart the game.
AMD Radeon GPU Settings

2. Install the latest AMD or NVIDIA GPU Drivers for Elden Ring:

Elden Ring is still a new game which means that the GPU manufacturers are still pushing out regular updates for their respective GPU drivers to optimize the cards better for the game. Usually, the utility applies these updates automatically. However, in certain instances where automatic updates are off, your GPU drivers may not be up to date. In that case, you can either open your respective GPU update utility or download the latest drivers from there. Alternatively, you can also head over to the links given below and download the latest Graphics Card drivers for both NVIDIA and AMD manually. These will make sure that Elden Ring is making full use of your GPU and no performance is going to waste.

AMD Graphics Card Drivers
NVIDIA Graphics Card Drivers

3. Elden Ring Optimal Graphics Settings:

As we have already established above, not only is Elden Ring a very power-hungry game but it is also not optimized very well. This results in frame drops and other performance hits like stutters and freezes, especially if you are running the game at higher resolutions or settings. And, while the game does automatically assign a graphics preset when you boot it up, it is based on the system requirements which we have already established do not represent actual performance due to poor optimization. So, the best thing is to turn some settings down to give your PC a bit more breathing space. However, choosing the settings that affect performance a lot but do not change the visual makeup of the game by much is extremely crucial for any set of optimal settings.

So, we have tested the Elden Ring in-game graphics settings on a range of different machines and have found these settings to be the best mix between visual fidelity and performance. Just head into the Graphics Settings on Elden Ring and apply the following:

  • Texture Quality: Medium
  • Antialiasing quality: Medium
  • SSAO: Medium
  • Depth of field: Off
  • Motion blur: Off
  • Shadow quality: Low
  • Lighting quality: Medium
  • Effects quality: Medium
  • Volumetric quality: Medium
  • Reflection quality: Medium
  • Water surface quality: Low
  • Global illumination quality: High
  • Grass quality: Medium

Thankfully, Elden Ring is one of those games that looks great even at low settings due to its impressive art style. However, if you are still struggling with performance even after turning the settings down, we’d suggest turning down the resolution as well. This game does not perform very well at 4K, so we recommend a 1440p resolution for mid-high end machines and 1080p for budget builds.

4. Turn off Thread Optimization:

Another bizarre bug that Elden Ring players have faced in the performance department is the sudden decrease in performance despite seemingly making no changes. Players have reported 100% GPU usage with little to no performance actually coming out of it. However, there is a strange but easy fix if you are encountering this issue as well. Apparently, all you have to do is turn off threaded optimization. This usually works for those with lower-end CPUs but somehow this also works for high-end ones in the case of Elden Ring. So, in order to turn off thread optimization, follow these steps:

  1. Open NVIDIA Control Panel.
  2. Select the Manage 3D Settings tab on the left.
  3. Choose Program Settings and either hit Global or look for Elden Ring from the Application list.
  4. Once selected, select the X-Plane profile.
  5. Turn off Threaded Optimization.

Elden Ring is out now on PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series S|X, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5. You can check it out right here.

 

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