Hogwarts Legacy PC players are cursed with stuttering and other performance issues

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(Image credit: Tyler C. / Avalanche Software)
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Some Hogwarts Legacy early access players are having trouble getting the game to run smoothly on PC, even with hardware that meets its minimum system requirements.

The open world game will be available for everyone tomorrow (opens in new tab) with a day one patch, though it's already playable for those who purchased the $70 deluxe edition. The Friday patch will include fixes for game crashing, stuttering, lag, and other performance improvements, according to Warner Bros. But right now, the game appears to struggle on a variety of hardware configurations.

The most common issue seems to be stuttering, a sadly common problem for many games (not all! (opens in new tab)) that run on the Unreal Engine. I've seen it myself in the opening section of the game: the in-game scene starts and everything chugs as if your PC couldn't handle it. It also causes the scene to go out of sync with the voice acting.

For some, the stutters don't happen outside of them, but our reviewer Morgan Park has experienced consistent stuttering (opens in new tab) when moving between the towers of Hogwarts. I've seen reports from other players who encounter hitching when they're running through the open world, too. Assuming this is a shader compiling issue, it seems to be at its worst when you enter a new area. Right now, it doesn't seem to matter how good your PC is and how low you drop the graphics settings.

The game's minimum system requirements recommend an Nvidia GeForce GTX 960 or AMD Radeon RX 470 paired with an Intel Core i5 660 or AMD Ryzen 5 1400 to run it. As far as minimum requirements go, these are pretty manageable if you've built a medium-end PC in the last five years. In a thread on the Hogwarts Legacy subreddit (opens in new tab), players report having issues with much better hardware, including Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070s and Intel Core i9 13900Ks.

"I have an RTX 4090 and an Intel 13900k, and I can't even launch the game because it crashes while compiling shaders," reddit user Chromatik (opens in new tab) wrote. "I've tried a dozen 'fixes' from various forums." 

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There are fixes being tossed around, but your results may vary. Steam user Klånylol2.0's (opens in new tab) Nvidia DLSS fix has the most support behind it. The game uses an old version of Nvidia's AI video rendering tech and you can manually update it. The comments are full of reports that it mostly fixes the stuttering and fps issues, but not everyone is seeing success.

For other performance issues, including crashes, you can try to turn down the graphics settings and update your graphics card drivers. I'd recommend knocking the global quality preset down to something like medium and change the upscale type to Nvidia DLSS or AMD FSR 2. This might help your PC gain some overhead for the game to work with. Otherwise, you might have to wait until the patch tomorrow or see if anyone discovers a fix on the official forums (opens in new tab)

Associate Editor

Tyler has covered games, games culture, and hardware for over a decade before joining PC Gamer as Associate Editor. He's done in-depth reporting on communities and games as well as criticism for sites like Polygon, Wired, and Waypoint. He's interested in the weird and the fascinating when it comes to games, spending time probing for stories and talking to the people involved. Tyler loves sinking into games like Final Fantasy 14, Overwatch, and Dark Souls to see what makes them tick and pluck out the parts worth talking about. His goal is to talk about games the way they are: broken, beautiful, and bizarre.