Elden Ring is here, and by all accounts, it's a masterpiece. It's one of the best-reviewed games ever; it's selling incredibly well; and fans are loving it. The folks at FromSoftware should be taking a well-deserved victory lap, right? Well, not exactly. Elden Ring, across all platforms, has serious, unavoidable performance problems. For almost all players, there are problems you're just going to have to deal with. In this article, we'll explain everything you need to know about Elden Ring's performance issues.
Elden Ring on PC: The Worst of the Worst
FromSoftware PC games aren't ever the best ports, but they've come a long way from 2011's disastrous Dark Souls PC port that still lives in infamy to this day. Since then, each new FromSoftware has played best on PC, even if the best for a FromSoftware game is relatively middling by modern PC gaming standards.
Unfortunately, Elden Ring is a different story. Stuttering and FPS drops are more common in the PC version than any other version, and regardless of your settings or PC, you're going to encounter regular performance problems with the game's current build.
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FromSoftware has acknowledged the issues on PC, and we are expecting patches to improve the situation, but as of now, if you've got access to any other platforms, you may want to consider either waiting for Elden Ring to be patched on PC or playing on a different platform.
Elden Ring on PS5 and Xbox Series S|X
On next-gen consoles, Elden Ring allows you to toggle between a performance mode and a quality mode, preferring either higher framerates or resolutions. Both modes, however, target 60 FPS, and neither manage to actually hit that mark consistently.
In performance mode, resolution is either a dynamic 4K or a dynamic 1440p on Xbox Series S, while in quality mode, the game is rendered at a fixed 4K or 1440p. This is the only major difference between the major graphics settings.
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In quality mode, image quality is cleaner, but it's not a big difference from performance mode, and more importantly, performance is terrible, oscillating wildly from 30 FPS to 60 FPS. The game is a stuttery, inconsistent mess in quality mode on next-gen consoles.
In performance mode, the game still can't hit a stable 60 FPS on any console, but it's a lot closer to it. All told, the game still stutters regularly and you will feel the regular FPS dips, but you'll be better off than you'll be running the game in quality mode without much of a hit to image quality.
Elden Ring on PS4 and Xbox One
The game runs at a lower resolution on PS4 and Xbox One as compared to all the game's other versions, and it's locked to a flat 30 FPS given the old hardware, but as far as 30 FPS FromSoftware games go, by all accounts, Elden Ring is a pretty decent last-gen port.
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You will experience some dips in FPS in certain areas or if there's something particularly crazy going on onscreen, but there aren't constant stuttering issues or as bad framepacing issues as have plagued other FromSoftware console ports.
Elden Ring also has come to PS4 Pro, opening up new ways to play, and given the backward compatible nature of console gaming, this last-gen version can also be played on PS5. With some different graphical settings and checkerboarded 1800p rendering, playing this version on PS5 allows for a consistent 60 FPS at the cost of image quality.
Currently, playing this older version of the game on a newer console is the best way to play the game anywhere, in terms of pure performance.
Elden Ring and VRR
Variable refresh rate technology, or VRR, like G-SYNC or FreeSync is a gamechanger when it comes to Elden Ring. Xbox consoles, alongside PC, support VRR technology, and if you have a compatible display and graphics card, you can use VRR tech with Elden Ring.
Related: Can You Play Elden Ring on Steam Deck?
VRR displays work by dynamically adjusting their refresh rate to whatever framerate the game you're playing is outputting, syncing the two, to hopefully help eliminate stutter and judder whenever you dip below your monitor's max refresh rate.
For Elden Ring, a game that's constantly stuttering and dropping frames, as you can imagine, this technology makes a big difference. While it won't make performance any better, using VRR makes playing the game a lot more smooth.
Unfortunately, at the time of writing, VRR isn't supported on PlayStation in any capacity. You'll need to be on PC or on Xbox, and considering the state of the PC port, Xbox is likely a better option. Unless you have a PS5 and don't mind making visual sacrifices for performance, which you can do for a stable 60 FPS experience by running the PS4 Pro version of the game on PS5.
Related: Is Elden Ring Coming to Nintendo Switch?
Elden Ring on Steam Deck
Steam Deck is still getting into the hands of reviewers and gamers alike, and Elden Ring is very new as well. As a result, there isn't a ton of information on Elden Ring's performance on Deck out there outside of the odd forum post.
However, while Deck can run the game and does have powerful enough hardware to actually run the game, the Deck won't be able to escape the performance problems of Elden Ring that plague all platforms. Suffice it to say you should expect stuttering and FPS drops on Deck.
Plus, Deck will run the PC version of Elden Ring, which is now the worst version of the game, so you can expect performance on Deck to be generally worse than console performance, at least until the game gets patched on PC.
Related: Elden Ring - Everything You Need to Know
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