Escape From Tarkov

Escape From Tarkov: How to Fix Low FPS, Lag, Stutters, Crashes, and other Performance Issues

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Escape From Tarkov came out of the left-field when it entered the largely Battle Royale-dominated gaming space. The game brought an entirely fresh idea into the mix which appeased the hardcore FPS PC audience. It wasn’t another rehashed battle royale with its own gimmick. Instead, Escape From Tarkov introduced stakes that even lasted between different games.

In an ordinary Battle Royale like Warzone or Fortnite, you jump in with other players and strive to be the last one standing. Escape From Tarkov throws that notion away in favor of a much more realistic experience. You either enter the map as a Scav (scavenger) or PMC (private military company) and collect as much loot as you can. However, you don’t even have to be the last one standing, you just have to literally escape from Tarkov.

In order to escape, you have to find an extraction point. However, since the game is a hardcore shooter, it has pretty much no HUD, and inventory management is a big part of it. Furthermore, there is no in-game map either and you’re stranded out in the wild to figure stuff out yourself. If you manage to escape with your loot, it gets added to your inventory which you can use for later runs or sell. However, If you take any loot/equipment into your next run, you risk losing it. So, nothing is permanent.

Escape From Tarkov
Image: Battlestate Games

This, added with the constant fear of someone ambushing you from behind, introduced a level of anxiety and high-stakes that no other game had attempted before. And, despite technically still being in beta, the game has established a strong audience and community over the past few years.

Escape From Tarkov has a lot of performance issues

Obviously, being a closed beta game many years after technically coming out means that it’s still not quite finished. And, due to that very reason, Escape From Tarkov suffers from some pretty serious performance issues. Not only that but the gear wipes that come every month to balance out the game bring in a lot of new players resulting in server connection issues and lag.

We just got a whole new wipe last week and that also expectedly brought similar issues back. Players all over the internet have been voicing their frustrations with issues in Escape From Tarkov like low FPS, lag, stutters, freezes, and even straight-up hard crashes. With that said, there are a few things that you can try to improve your overall experience until you wait for another official patch from Battlestate games. So, if you’re having performance issues in Escape From Tarkov, try applying one of the following fixes:

1. Escape From Tarkov System Requirements:

Escape From Tarkov is a gorgeous-looking game and that kind of graphical fidelity comes at a cost. This is a game that demands raw power from your PC, unlike other popular shooters like Fortnite or Valorant. The attention to detail within the world of Escape From Tarkov is incredible to behold and even very powerful PCs can struggle to run the game smoothly at higher presets.

Your performance issues like low FPS might just be because of your gaming rig being underpowered. So, before you dive into the other potential fixes, you need to make sure that your PC is powerful enough to run the game smoothly. Here are the official system requirements for Escape From Tarkov:

Minimum System Requirements

Processor: Dual-core processor 2.4 GHz (Intel Core 2 Duo, i3), 2.6 GHz (AMD Athlon, Phenom II)
Graphics Card: DX9 compatible GPU with 1 GB video memory
Sound: DirectX compatible audio card
Operating System: Windows 7/8/10 (64 Bit)
Network: Stable Internet Connection
Hard Disk Space: 8 GB

Processor: Quad-core processor 3.2 GHz (Intel i5, i7), 3.6 GHz (AMD FX, Athlon)
RAM: 12 GB
Graphics Card: DX11 compatible GPU with 2 GB or more of video memory
Sound: DirectX compatible audio card
Operating System: Windows 7/8/10 (64 Bit)
Network: Stable Internet Connection
Hard Disk Space: 8 GB

From the looks of things, the official system requirements for Escape From Tarkov are pretty tame and even most budget PCs should be able to run it. However, from our experience of testing and playing the game, these requirements feel very underreported. In reality, you need a decent mid-range PC with at least a 4th Gen Intel Core i7 processor and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 or above to have a decent playing experience.

However, if you continue to crank your settings high, even your RTX cards could start to struggle, such are the demands of this game. And, when you add to that the fact that Escape From Tarkov isn’t the best-optimized game out there since it’s still in beta, you get performance issues.

2. Update your NVIDIA/AMD GPU Drivers:

Escape From Tarkov isn’t a new game so you won’t find any game-ready drivers for it now. However, it is still a game that has continually been updated with optimizations and such. GPU manufacturers also have to stay on top of those optimizations and added features by sending out their own updates and patches for the graphics card drivers. Usually, most people have their GPU driver updates set to auto-download so they get them as soon as they’re released.

However, a lot of times these automatic updates can cause performance issues so some people keep them turned off. If you’re one of those people, you might have forgotten to download the latest driver update for your graphics card. Sometimes, new GPU driver updates can really improve the gaming experience by leaps and bounds. In order to update the drivers for your NVIDIA GeForce or AMD Radeon Graphics Cards, head over to the links given below.

NVIDIA GeForce Graphics Card Drivers

AMD Radeon Graphics Card Drivers

3. Adjust in-game graphics settings for Escape From Tarkov:

Before we tweak any of the external graphics card settings, we need to make sure that your in-game settings are set correctly. Whenever you launch a game after downloading it for the first time or sometimes after an update as well, it detects your system capabilities and automatically chooses optimal settings. These optimal settings are, in most cases, hit or miss though as they don’t take into consideration a lot of external factors like background processes, etc.

Escape From Tarkov

In addition to that, since Escape From Tarkov is all about getting that competitive edge over your opponent, every single frame, response time, and visibility matters as well. So, while making the game look pretty can be satisfying, choosing a balance between performance and quality can manifest better results for you. So, here are some graphics settings for Escape From Tarkov that are a good starting point for all types of gaming rigs. You can start from here and then tweak them even more to achieve your desired visual fidelity and framerates.

Escape From Tarkov Optimal Graphics Settings

  • Set the screen resolution to your monitor’s native resolution. However, if you’re rocking a 4K monitor, dropping down might be a better idea for greater performance.
  • Turn off V-sync. This will reduce the stutters in the game as the game won’t have to match your monitor’s refresh rate.
  • Set the overall graphics slider to the 2nd lowest setting, which would change most settings to either low or medium.
  • Change the texture quality to medium as they’re important for immersion but anything higher than medium will seriously hinder performance.
  • Set the shadow quality to low. Shadows are extremely resource-hungry, no matter what game you play, and turning them down usually results in a massive FPS boost. Turning off Grass Shadows can also improve performance.
  • Change the Overall LOD Quality value to 2. LOD quality determines how much detail the objects lose the farther they go. Setting it to a relatively low value can free up a lot of resources.
  • Switch the Overall Visibility to 400 since Escape From Tarkov is all about being aware of your surroundings and visibility is essential.
  • Set Anti-Aliasing to 2x or 4x depending on how powerful your PC is. This will help with smoothing out jagged edges in the game.
  • Turn off HBAD, SSR, and Anisotropic Filtering.
  • Set the Shadow Visibility to 50 so you can still spot enemies creeping around the corner.
  • Set the Lobby FPS Limit to 60 and Game FPS Limit to 120 so you can still have pretty much an unlocked frame rate for better response time even on a 60 Hz monitor.
  • Turn off post-processing filters like Z-Blur, Chromatic Aberration, and Noise.

4. Enforce dedicated GPU usage on laptops:

Most modern gaming laptops come with a dedicated GPU for intensive tasks and an integrated GPU for low-powered usage. Usually, your laptop is pretty smart about switching between the two to save battery and get performance when needed. However, sometimes, due to various reasons like power-saving features and games not being detected properly, your laptop can decide to run your games on a dedicated GPU. And, for a game like Escape From Tarkov, that is a major no-no and would probably result in catastrophically low framerates.

So, you could try to enforce the usage of your dedicated GPU for either all games or just Escape From Tarkov. Here’s how to do it:

NVIDIA users

  1. Head into the NVIDIA control panel and select Manage 3D Options.
  2. Within that, select Global Settings if you want to enforce it for all applications. If not, head over to the program list and find Escape From Tarkov. You can also click browse and look for the .exe file for the game if you’re unable to find it in the program list.
  3. Once selected, select maximum performance mode under power management.

AMD users

  1. Open AMD Radeon Control Panel and head over to Switchable Graphics.
  2. Select Installed Profiled Applications or Browse to search for Escape From Tarkov.
  3. Once added to the list, click Escape From Tarkov exe from the list and select High-Performance Mode.
AMD Radeon GPU Settings

5. Verify Integrity of Game Files on Steam:

Escape From Tarkov is not exactly the biggest game out there but it still has some pretty hefty file sizes. In addition to that, if you have an unstable internet connection, downloading those files can be a bit painful as well and can take a very long time. Not only that but you can also potentially download corrupted game files due to a lapse in connection or just have an incomplete set of game files required to run the game smoothly. A lot of times, automatic updates also break the game as they fail to download the correct game files for you.

So, in order to make sure that you absolutely have all of the game files required to run the game smoothly, you can use Steam to search through the game files, verify that all of them are complete, and repair them if it finds any corrupted files. Here’s how you can verify the integrity of Escape From Tarkov game files on Steam:

  1. Open Steam and head to your games Library.
  2. Right-click Escape From Tarkov and head into properties.
  3. Once you’re in, select the verify game files option.
  4. Start the search. It will take a while to scan through all of your game files and look for any potential anomalies. Once it finishes, restart your PC and launch the game again.

6. Adjust GPU Settings for NVIDIA and AMD Cards:

Most modern graphics card utilities come with their own set of graphics and performance settings that are meant to enhance the experience. However, a lot of times, these settings, especially if they’re left on default, can end up hindering the experience rather than elevate it. Most of these settings are geared towards providing better visual fidelity and thus, end up sacrificing crucial performance in the process. These include things like post-processing filters, pre-rendering frames, vertical sync, and much more.

Thankfully, GPU manufacturers like NVIDIA and AMD allow users to tweak these settings to their liking and find the optimal solution for them. Obviously, someone with a beefier rig would turn those settings up and keep most of them on. However, we’ve found an optimal set of settings that’s a good starting point for mid-range and higher-end users alike. Those on the lower end of the spectrum though are advised to disable most of these settings to boost performance. Anyways, here are the optimal GPU control panel settings for both NVIDIA and AMD users:

AMD Radeon Control Panel Settings:

If you’re an AMD user, right-click anywhere on the desktop and open up the AMD Radeon Control Panel Settings. Once you’re in, change the following settings:

  1. Turn off all post-processing and proprietary AMD settings. These include things like Radeon Anti-Lag, Radeon Boost, and Radeon Chill.
  2. Also, disable Image Sharpening Mode, VSync, Maximum Tessellation Level, FPS Target Control, Anisotropic Filtering, and OpenGL Triple Buffering.
  3. Enable FreeSync if your monitor supports it.
  4. Also, enable Surface Format Optimization.
  5. Set the Tessellation and Shader Cache option to AMD Optimized mode.
  6. Change the GPU Workload to Graphics Mode.

NVIDIA Control Panel Settings:

If you’re an NVIDIA GeForce user, right-click anywhere on an empty spot on the desktop and click NVIDIA Control Panel to bring it up. Once you’re in it, head to Manage 3D Settings and select the Global Settings option. If you wish to change these settings only for Escape From Tarkov, you can select Program Settings instead and look for the game from the list. If the game isn’t present in the list, you can hit browse and look for the executable file instead. Once selected, change the following settings:

  1. Set the Power Management to Performance Mode.
  2. Turn off Image Sharpening and Low Latency Mode.
  3. Set the value of pre-rendered frames to 1.
  4. Change the Texture Filtering Quality to Performance Mode.
  5. Enable G-Sync if you have a monitor that’s compatible with it.
  6. Disable Ambient Occlusion,
  7. Set the Anti-Aliasing Mode to the Application Controlled setting.
  8. Turn off DSR Factors.

Escape From Tarkov is currently in closed beta and is available to purchase on Steam. You can check it out right here.

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