2 months in, Elden Ring's PC performance issues are a real drag

Elden Ring's Diallos
(Image credit: FromSoftware)

Elden Ring's 1.04 patch, released on Tuesday, is full of changes to the Lands Between: balance adjustments for colossal weapons and spells, buffs for loads of weapon ashes, and a heaping helping of bug fixes. What it doesn't do, despite one bullet point promising "other performance improvements," is fix Elden Ring's frequent stuttering on PC. 

Two months since Elden Ring's release on February 24, FromSoftware hasn't indicated when or if it'll attempt to patch out the PC performance problems. The developers have at least acknowledged that those problems exist: just after launch, a Bandai Namco blog post stated "We are currently experiencing some issues that are preventing the game from playing properly under some conditions." The post went on to add that they "will be constantly working to improve the game so that it can be played comfortably on various PC environments and platforms" and asked for patience. 

I feel like I've been patient, and I've enjoyed my time with Elden Ring despite its technical shortcomings. As we wrote in March, Elden Ring's success is proof that framerate isn't everything. But two months in, I'm increasingly frustrated by moments of slowdown (and then speeding up as the game catches up to where it's supposed to be) and stutters. Every play session up until the 1.04 patch I'd experience at least one hard crash to desktop, and I haven't played enough since 1.04 to know if that problem's been completely fixed. Despite 1.04 promising "increased online multiplayer stability," I still had multiple summoned players simply vanish from my game in the course of an hour, clearly the result of a lost connection.

Elden Ring does at least perform far better than FromSoftware's earlier games when they were first released on consoles, and Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition was infamously broken on PC. But as the success and prestige of From's games has grown, so have the standards—as Digital Foundry declared on launch, Elden Ring's PC version simply is not as good as it should be. It's a shame to see limitations like the 60 fps lock and lack of ultrawide support, and the poor mouse/keyboard binding options are a baffling miss for something that should be relatively simple.

But it's the stuttering, which is likely caused or exacerbated by Elden Ring's switch to DirectX 12, that especially rankles. This wasn't a problem with FromSoftware's last PC game, Sekiro—that one ran beautifully, even if it was locked at 60 fps without mods. In Elden Ring the stutters happen even on high-end hardware, so there's frustratingly little we can do other than wait for the developers to make improvements.

Hopefully they come. FromSoftware has clearly been busy updating Elden Ring, fixing bugs and making balance changes, and is traditionally not the type of studio to provide a roadmap for pending improvements. So I'm not exactly surprised we haven't heard anything about what's causing these issues or what's being done to fix them. I love that FromSoftware's games leave me to uncover their mysteries without much guidance, but I can't say the same for their post-launch support.


Elden Ring guide: Conquer the Lands Between
Elden Ring bosses: How to beat them
Elden Ring map fragments: Reveal the world
Elden Ring weapons: Arm yourself
Elden Ring armor: The best sets

Wes Fenlon
Senior Editor

Wes has been covering games and hardware for more than 10 years, first at tech sites like The Wirecutter and Tested before joining the PC Gamer team in 2014. Wes plays a little bit of everything, but he'll always jump at the chance to cover emulation and Japanese games.

When he's not obsessively optimizing and re-optimizing a tangle of conveyor belts in Satisfactory (it's really becoming a problem), he's probably playing a 20-year-old Final Fantasy or some opaque ASCII roguelike. With a focus on writing and editing features, he seeks out personal stories and in-depth histories from the corners of PC gaming and its niche communities. 50% pizza by volume (deep dish, to be specific).