Rockstar, please stop changing my Red Dead 2 settings every time there's a patch

Red Dead Redemption 2
(Image credit: Rockstar)

There's a fine feeling—mostly relief—when you've been tinkering with the settings of an incredibly demanding game and you manage to find just the right balance of performance and visuals. It can take ages, carefully tweaking some settings from Ultra to High, others from High to Medium, cranking a few up all the way and turning others off completely. Finding that sweet spot means a lot of time spent in the menu.

And of course there's the testing of each configuration to see how it affects your framerates and fidelity, which sometimes requires running benchmarks or restarting the game or just roaming around in the world for a while to see if things have gotten better or worse (or both, or neither). It's a long, tedious process, but it's absolutely worth it.

And then Rockstar releases a patch for Red Dead Redemption 2 and you discover all your hard, painstaking work has been undone because your settings have been completely reset to default. That's what happened again with today's 3GB patch, and I'm begging you, Rockstar, to stop. Fix the game, by all means! Just leave my damn settings alone.

(Image credit: Rockstar)

This has happened three times now. With two of the patches, all my settings were cranked back up to Ultra across the board, and turning back on MSAA and Vsync and motion blur, the stuff I'd deliberately turned off. I started the game and was wondered why my performance has dropped from around 90 fps to maybe 25 or 30. And then it finally dawned on me that everything had been cranked up to run on a supercomputer.

The patch last week, weirdly, turned all my settings down to low. And hey, it was briefly fun to see my fps skyrocket until I noticed the massive hit to the visuals.  But either way, what this means is I now have to go back in and start experimenting with my settings all over again.

And I have kept track of them! After the first reset, I took a screenshot of the settings screen when I got the game back in balance. But having to go back in and dink with everything after each patch is annoying—and there are like 40 different settings, so even if you have total recall it takes a lot of clicking. Most importantly, it's gotta be completely unnecessary. I think other games have mastered the art of pushing across major game updates without touching my system profile. That sort of technology shouldn't be out of reach for Rockstar. I don't remember it happening with GTA 5, which kept my settings intact even after I'd uninstalled and reinstalled it.

I'm happy the PC version is getting patched because I know there are still some big issues with it. I just hope the next patch has a fix for patches erasing my settings, and I hope that patch doesn't erase my settings in order to install that fix. If that makes sense. I'd just like to spend more time in the game and less time in the menu.

Christopher Livingston
Senior Editor

Chris started playing PC games in the 1980s, started writing about them in the early 2000s, and (finally) started getting paid to write about them in the late 2000s. Following a few years as a regular freelancer, PC Gamer hired him in 2014, probably so he'd stop emailing them asking for more work. Chris has a love-hate relationship with survival games and an unhealthy fascination with the inner lives of NPCs. He's also a fan of offbeat simulation games, mods, and ignoring storylines in RPGs so he can make up his own.