Destiny 2 Performance Guide – Fix Lag, FPS Drops, Crashing And Freezing

It has been almost two years since the launch of Destiny 2 and the game has only gotten stronger day by day. Bungie had already built an enormous community with Destiny and Destiny 2 only helped to increase that to a much higher level. According to destinytracker the game has now over 14 million players and the numbers are only increasing.

If you have been living under a rock and you don’t know about Destiny 2 then let me tell you that Destiny 2 is a multiplayer first-person looter and shooter game developed by Bungie. The game was published by Activision until early 2019, when Bungie acquired the publishing rights to the franchise. It is the direct sequel to 2014’s Destiny and contains various PvP and PvE modes.

Similar to the original Destiny game, Destiny 2 is a first-person shooter that consists of role-playing and massively multiplayer online (MMO) elements. There is something for everyone. There are strikes, raids, weekly bounties, etc for players who enjoy PvE and there are various Crucible modes like quickplay, competitive, private matches, etc for players who are more into PvP. The game mainly revolves around 3 classes. The Titan, the Hunter and the Warlock, and players can choose to play either a single class or all three classes to get access to some more content.

Now that you know what Destiny 2 is which I am pretty sure you already did, otherwise you wouldn’t have opened this article in the first place, lets talk about the performance of the game. This article mainly focuses on the performance of Destiny 2 on PC so if you are a console player then unfortunately we don’t have anything for you here. Destiny 2 has always been brilliantly optimized for the most part. In fact this is one of the most optimized titles that I have ever played. But from the last few months I have been noticing few performance issues in-game. Though the game never crashed for me but I noticed the frame rates have significantly dropped for me and this was more noticeable in Crucible where even a single fps drop could cause you to lose a fight.

That is when I decided to install Destiny 2 on my old and trusty medium end gaming PC that is rocking a Nvidia GTX 1050 ti, Intel i3 8100, 16 GB of DDR4 RAM and a standard 7200 RPM 1 TB hard drive. I had already played Destiny 2 on this PC on high to maximum settings and I remember easily getting 60-70 fps on all maps. But this time I noticed something different. With Anti-aliasing set to SMAA and Screen Space Ambient Occlusion set to HDAO I was hardly getting 50 fps. Crucible almost seemed like a nightmare. So I went ahead and checked the forums and saw that a lot of players have been complaining about the performance of Destiny 2 lately. Lag, fps drops, insanely low fps, crashes, random freezing, everything was there.

So I decided to come up with a basic performance guide that might help you to increase the performance of Destiny 2 on your PC. The guide consists of some basic methods that will allow you to squeeze out some extra performance from the game. Here is how you can fix lag, fps drops, crashing and freezing in Destiny 2:

Destiny 2 Performance Guide – Fix Lag, FPS Drops, Crashing And Freezing

Check whether your PC specifications are enough to run Destiny 2 or not

Lets take a look at the system requirements of Destiny 2:

Minimum RequirementsRecommended Specifications
Operating System
Windows® 7 / Windows® 8 / Windows® 10 64-bit (latest Service Pack)
Windows® 7 / Windows® 8 / Windows® 10 64-bit (latest Service Pack)
Processor: Intel
Intel® Core™ i3 3250 3.5 GHz or Intel Pentium G4560 3.5 GHz
Intel® Core™ i5 2400 3.4 GHz or i5 7400 3.5 GHz
Processor: AMD
AMD FX-4350 4.2 GHz
AMD Ryzen R5 1600X 3.6 GHz
Video: NVidia
NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 660 2GB or GTX 1050 2GB
NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 970 4GB or GTX 1060 6GB
Video: AMD
AMD Radeon HD 7850 2GB
AMD R9 390 8GB
Hard Drive Space
104 GB available hard drive space
Broadband internet required

Just because the game was so well optimized and ran so smoothly I never actually bothered to check the recommended specifications for the game but when I did I realized that Destiny 2 is actually a pretty heavy game. A game that requires a Ryzen 5 1600X and a GTX 1060 6GB to run at 1080p 60fps is no joke.

Check whether your graphics drivers are updated or not

People often don’t realize that one of the biggest reasons of lag in games is outdated graphics drivers. People often tend to skip driver updates which at times causes them to sit with buggy or unoptimized drivers. They keep on looking for advanced fixes when the actual fix is pretty simple and straightforward. That is why it is always recommended that you keep your drivers up-to-date

Here are the links to the latest drivers for AMD and Nvidia graphics cards:

  1. Nvidia Drivers
  2. AMD Drivers

Best Video or graphics settings for Destiny 2

So as I told before, I went ahead and ran Destiny 2 on a very basic and mediocre gaming PC in order to come up with a combination of settings that is a good balance between decent visuals and good performance. Here are the full specifications of our rig:

  • CPU : Intel i3 8100
  • GPU : MSI GTX 1050 ti 4GB
  • RAM : 16GB DDR4 2400mhz
  • HDD : 1 TB 7200 rpm

Here are the settings that we thought gave the best performance without sacrificing much on the visuals part:

Go to Settings > Video

Window Mode : Fullscreen

Resolution : 1920 x 1080

V-sync : Off

Framerate Cap Enabled : Off

Field of View : 90 [Personal preference]

Anti-Aliasing : SMAA [FXAA makes the game look way too blurry]

Screen Space Ambient Occlusion : Off

Texture Anisotropy : 4x

Texture Quality : Medium

Shadow Quality : Medium

Depth of Field : Low

Environment Detail Distance : Medium

Character Detail Distance : High

Foliage Detail Distance : High

Light Shafts : Medium

Motion Blur : Off

Wind Impulse : Off

Render Resolution : 100%

Chromatic Aberration : Off

Film Grain : Off

To test these settings we spawned in one of the most graphically demanding locations in the entire map which is Watcher’s Grave on Nessus. I noticed that the fps boost was almost close to 15 minimum. I was getting 60+ fps in most of the areas. Though I would still recommend that you bring your settings all the way down to low if you want to do good inside the crucible playlist.

Tweaking settings in Nvidia Control Panel

[Note: This is for Nvidia users only]

The first thing you should do is click on ‘Adjust image settings with preview‘ located on the left side under 3D settings and make sure that ‘Use the advanced 3D image settings‘ is selected. Now:

  • Click on Manage 3D settings on the left bar
  • Click on the Program Settings tab
  • Locate Destiny 2 from the drop down menu under “Select a program to customize”
  • If you cannot find it on the list then click on the Add button and another list will appear
  • If you still don’t see Destiny 2 then you need to add the .exe file manually. Just click on Browse
  • Locate the folder where you have installed the game
  • Select the executable file or the .exe file which in this case should be Destiny2.exe
  • Once added the program settings will now be available for the game
  • Now make the following changes:
    Monitor Technology : G-Snyc (if available)
    Maximum pre-rendered frames : 2
    Threaded Optimization : On
    Power Management Mode : Prefer Maximum Performance
    Texture filtering – Quality : Performance

Leave everything else untouched. Apply the settings and restart your PC once.

Update your Windows 10

If you didn’t know but there was a Windows 10 update in March of 2019 that affected the performance of Destiny 2 greatly. It was the Windows Update KB4482887 and it made Destiny 2 almost unplayable for a lot of people in the community.  Even people having RTX 2080 TIs were suffering with low performance. The update made the game sluggish and players with high end gaming PCs were barely getting 60 fps. If you want detailed information on this then you can check out this reddit post.

Your present windows version or build might be slowing your system down without you having any idea about it. So check whether you have Windows updates available or not. Here is how you can update your Windows:

  • Go to Settings
  • Go to Update & Security
  • Click on Check for updates
  • Wait for the updates to get installed
  • Restart your PC

Increase the Priority of Destiny 2 from the Task Manager

This method is quite silly in my opinion but it surprisingly works.

  • Launch Destiny 2
  • Press Alt+Tab to minimize the game
  • Open Task Manager
  • Click on Details tab
  • Search for the process called Destiny2.exe from the list
  • Right click on the process and Set Priority to High
  • Click on the View tab on your Task Manager
  • Change Update Speed to High

Performance issues for AMD Ryzen 3000 users

If you recently upgraded to one of the newly launched AMD Ryzen 3000 series CPUs then chances are you are struggling to get Destiny 2 to run on your PC. A few threads started popping up on the Destiny 2 forums and reddit claiming that Destiny 2 is not working on AMD Ryzen 3000 processors. And worst part is the problem is happening with majority of the users.

The good news is Bungie is well aware of this issue and they are trying to figure out the root cause of this problem. So all you have to do is be patient and have faith on Bungie.

Terminate all overclocking applications or utilities running in the background

Looks like Destiny 2 is one of those games that gets affected by the silliest things that otherwise shouldn’t cause any issue whatsoever. If by any chance you are experiencing micro stutters and random freezing in Destiny 2 or the game is crashing for you, check whether you have any overclocking application like Afterburner running in the background or not. If you are a person who likes to overclock his graphics cards to squeeze out some extra performance, then there is a bad news for you. It looks like Destiny 2 gets affected by overclocking as well so just to be on the safe side try to avoid CPU or GPU overclocking.

[Note: All the methods listed above are basic troubleshooting methods. Some may work for you and some may not. We have not included any advanced method because we do not want people to mess with the in-game files as it might cause the game to break down completely]

You are good to go!

Check out our other Destiny 2 guides:

That’s all folks!

3 thoughts on “Destiny 2 Performance Guide – Fix Lag, FPS Drops, Crashing And Freezing”

  1. Well the only efficient and effective way is to let Bungie find the root cause of the problem and have patience and faith in them on rectifying this lag and drop in frame-rates that has been plaguing gamers alike for the past few years and on the occasion too

  2. Also, Steam and the rest of the online gaming platforms that created and made this game to collaborate together and find the root cause of the persistent fundamental lag in the frame-rates

    If there is a network issues that might seem to be the cause of the frame-rates and lagging consistency,Bungee should look into this as well and let them handle the issue and resolve permanently and keep tabs on this persistent issue if it still crops up for international destiny gamers alike and resolve it if it still persists

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