Horizon Zero Dawn on PC currently has some very mixed reviews on Steam, and that’s likely down to crash issues some gamers are facing.
Looking through the review section confirms that players are struggling to complete parts of the game due to performance issues.
One example explains: “This isn’t a no, this is a not yet. The game is great, I get good performance (cutscenes stutter, but it works well in-game, even when you get mobbed by a whole nest of machines) even on a three-year-old laptop, but I can’t finish a “boss” type battle without immediately crashing.
“None normally, but I’ve fought two of the big ones so far, and both times the game died right after I beat them.”
The good news is that Guerilla Games have shared an update on what’s happening with the PC port.
This includes an update on their patching plans for the game, although it’s unclear at this point when the first big one will arrive.
PC gamers will be hoping that a new patch to help fix these latest crashing issues will be released sooner, rather than later.
The message from Guerilla Games confirms that crash report from gamers are being looked into, telling fans this week:
“We have been enjoying a whole new wave of screenshots with the in-game Photo Mode, live streams and videos from content creators, and seeing so many new players start their journey with Aloy.
“We have been monitoring all of our channels and are aware that some players have been experiencing crashes and other technical issues. Please know that we are investigating your reports as our highest priority.
“We appreciate those who have already taken the time to report their issues on Steam, Reddit, or via our website. If you are still encountering crashes or bugs, please continue to use those spaces, or refer to our FAQ if you are unsure of how to proceed. Your reports are and have already been, incredibly helpful for our teams.
“Thank you for your patience as we continue to investigate issues; we will update you all as soon as we have more news.”
This new update will be shared on the official Horizon Zero Dawn Steam page and will likely offer a breakdown on when the next patch will be arriving, or what it contains.
Gamers have been sharing their own plans for getting the game to run correctly, and have been offering advice on what to do while waiting for the next patch.
One handy guide from Reddit user Fehbari includes these observations on what to do with the current performance issues:
“After hours of tweaking I was eventually able to get it running very close to flawless. Locked 60 at 4K/80% scaling, High settings + medium reflections, almost* no stuttering, working Gsync/VRR (super smooth during minor 2-5 FPS drops, like when it rains).”
Turns out the game doesn’t like any kind of outside interference and has a few quirks of its own. It’s very, very finicky.
Nvidia Ansel overlay (sharpening filters, etc) caused low GPU use and big FPS drops. Turned off.
Windows 10 background game recording drops performance up to 10% in my system and increases stuttering. Turned off too.
In-game Vsync can also tank performance. Better enable in CP.
In-game Anisotropic setting doesn’t work. Nvidia CP setting for AF caused texture glitches. Turning on AF via Nvidia Inspector works fine. Alternatively, try resetting the shader cache after setting AF in the CP (delete PSOCache.bin in [game install location]LocalCacheDX12 folder)
Finally, and this is a big one: game seems to hate Full Screen Optimizations (Google it). Turning it off in the .exe Compatibility settings eliminated most of the stuttering for me.
Bonus: game has a weird bug in 4K displays (noted by Digital Foundry). When you launch in full-screen, it’s in half-resolution and requires switching to and back from borderless. But I noticed this bug doesn’t happen at all if I set refresh rate to 59 Hz instead of 60 Hz. It’s super odd, but did it for me. YMMV
stuttering: can still happen very briefly and occasionally during fast traversal in dense areas. I can lower graphics a touch and eliminate it entirely, but it’s so minor now I don’t mind.