Possible Fix Discovered for Starfield PC Performance Issues

An observant user potentially discovered a solution to the performance deficiencies of Bethesda's latest game, Starfield, on PC.

Bethesda’s latest game, Starfield: Performance-related issues & Potential Solutions

Bethesda’s latest game, Starfield, has had its fair share of performance-related issues since its launch on September 5. Specifically, the game's performance on PC platforms has been less than satisfactory - a problem that has been a cause of concern for many. Observant individuals have made possible strides in identifying a partial cause of Starfield’s performance issues on PC. This could potentially help to rectify a major problem related to how the game communicates with the hardware via its code, although it will not be a one-fix-solution for all users nor will it fix every aspect of the game.

Potential Solution

The potential solution comes from the codebase of the Vulkan port to Proton, Valve’s translation layer for Linux that enables the playability of Windows games. Within the change log, developer Hans-Kristian Arntzen details issues with Starfield’s hardware communication. He explained how Starfield’s use of 'ExecuteIndirect' hammers multi-dispatch COMPUTE + root parameter changes. This action, however, was previously accompanied with an exceedingly slow workaround.

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Understanding The Issue

For the sake of clarity, the ExecuteIndirect command is sent by Starfield multiple times to your system's GPU. Sending incorrect information causes the hardware to restart the process multiple times. Once this occurs, the backlog of commands, unfortunately, begins to hamper performance or even cause game crashes.

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Implications and Future Possibilities

At this point, the fix seems to be limited to this particular fork of code. However, the shared information is crucial for hardware manufacturers such as Nvidia and Intel to figure out why the game’s performance is subpar. Intel has already had to grapple with multiple problems with its new line of graphics cards, the Intel Arc GPUs, which continue to experience crashes during gameplay.

User Requirements and Criticisms

During an interview with Bloomberg, Todd Howard emphasized that Starfield is primarily optimized for PC and that some users might require system upgrades. This, however, has faced criticism as even those with the latest RTX 4090 and CPUs are facing issues. Despite the setbacks, this possible solution discovered for the game’s performance issues does indeed shine a ray of hope for improving Starfield’s playing experience on PC.