How to fix FPS drops and Stuttering in Deathloop

Deathloop fps drops lag stuttering – Deathloop is undoubtedly an AAA title, we all know that by now. The problem is, most of the AAA titles released in 2021 have had issues at release. The only difference is, some of these come with a comparatively lesser number of technical issues, while some arrive with a lot. And since we are talking about Deathloop here, which has been developed by Arkane Studios. How can we forget about the Dishonored franchise. Who else remembers the release day of Dishonored 2? That game was stacked with performance issues.

Coming back to Deathloop, people have already started complaining about issues like fps drops, stuttering and lag. Check out this post from Steam user /Rox:

So Much Stutter
I’m using MSI Afterburner to keep track of my fps but I’m getting ridiculous stutters even when running the game at a stable 59-60FPS. I’m already using V-sync through the nvidia control panel. Anyone have any advice?
This guide will provide you with some basic fixes. These are common fixes that you can try without breaking your rig. The ‘very specific fixes’ have not started surfacing yet. So you might have to wait for 1-2 days. Also, it is impossible for me to know what issue you are experiencing personally. This guide is for a broader spectrum.

Deathloop – FPS Drops and Stuttering fix for PC

Deathloop Official System Requirements

First, you need to make sure that the frame drops or stutters that you are experiencing is from the side of the game, and they are not being caused by the hardware on your PC. If the hardware on your system is not capable enough, then there is no point moving further into this guide. Here are the system requirements of Deathloop:

# Minimum Specs: 1080p / 30 FPS with Low Settings Recommended Specs: 1080p / 60 FPS with High Settings Ultra 4K Specs: 4K / 60 FPS with Ultra Settings
OS 64-bit Windows 10 version 1909 or higher 64-bit Windows 10 version 1909 or higher Windows 10 64-bit version 1909 or higher
Processor Intel Core i5-8400 @ 2.80GHz or AMD Ryzen 5 1600 i7-9700K @ 3.60GHz or AMD Ryzen 7 2700X Intel Core i9-10900K @ 3.70GHz or AMD Ryzen 7 3800XT
Memory 12 GB 16 GB 16 GB system RAM
Graphics Nvidia GTX 1060 (6GB) or AMD Radeon RX 580 (8GB) RTX 2060 (6GB) or AMD Radeon RX 5700 (8GB) Nvidia RTX 3080 (10GB) or AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT (16GB)
DirectX Version 12 DirectX 12 Version 12
Storage 30 GB available space (HDD) 30GB available space (SSD) 30 GB available space (SSD)

Looking at the requirements, it is safe to say, that Deathloop is one of the most demanding games this year. You need a RTX 2060 and an i7-9700k, to play the game at 1080p, 60 FPS. Now, it is a known fact that Dishonored 2 was super unoptimized when it was released. But to think, that Deathloop, which is releasing almost 5 years after Dishonored, has the exact same problems. It boggles my mind. Anyway, it is what it is.

I personally didn’t experience any stutters or fps drops during my playtime. Here is Deathloop running at Maxed out settings on one of my personal rigs, consisting of a RTX 2060 and Ryzen 5 5600x:

Denuvo

Here we go again(*sigh*). Before you start moving any further in this guide. I just want to let you know that Deathloop incorporates a third party Denuvo Anti-Tamper DRM.

We all know, Denuvo is infamous for causing horrible performance related issues in games. And the problems you are experiencing with Deathloop, might just be because of Denuvo. As much as I would like to help you here, this is something that is out of my hand. Dishonored 2 had this issue in 2016, Deathloop has is it in 2021. We have come full circle, friends.

Void Engine

This post should explain what is going on:

VOID Engine needs to go to sleep. Permanently.

Only 2 previous games built on this engine with massive performance issues that could not be addressed. Even their next game was on a different engine. And what do they do? Make another game on this engine and expect people not to notice the atrocious, unfixable performance.

This went from a “can’t wait to play” to a “forget about it”.

So unfortunate.

Now that all the necessary info is out of the way, let’s get to fixing.

Drivers recommended by the developers

Arkane Studios have taken the time to recommend the Nvidia and AMD drivers, that they think are the best for Deathloop.

The recommended drivers for NVIDIA users are:
  • Recommended driver version: 471.96 (or newer)
  • Minimum supported driver version: 461.40

Download the latest NVIDIA drivers here.

The recommended driver for AMD users is:

  • Recommended driver version: 21.9.1

Download the latest AMD drivers here.

Please note: Failure to ensure your drivers are properly updated may lead to unexpected gameplay behavior, poor performance, or the inability to properly launch the game.
Deathloop - Recommended Drivers

Update – 09/20/2021

Nvidia has launched a new Game Ready Driver that provides optimal support for the latest update to Deathloop. The version is 472.12. Install it and let me know in the comment section below, if the game’s performance has improved for you or not.

Tweak the in-game settings of Deathloop

There is a chance that there isn’t any issue with the game at all. And the performance issues are being caused by the Video Settings of the game, set too High. In that case, you can check out my extremely detailed guide showing the best settings for Deathloop. You will find everything there.

AMD and Nvidia Control Panel Settings for Deathloop

Try tweaking the Control Panel settings of your graphics cards. Nvidia users, open Nvidia Control Pane > 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 select “Manage 3D settings” from the left bar and click on the Program Settings tab. Locate Deathloop from the drop-down menu under “Select a program to customize”. If Deathloop is not there on the list, just click on the Add button and pick it from the list. It should be visible:

Once you have successfully added the game, you will then see the program settings become available for the game. Now tweak the following settings:

  • CUDA – GPUs: Select your dedicated GPU
  • OpenGL rendering GPU: Select your dedicated GPU
  • Power Management: Prefer Maximum Performance
  • Texture filtering – Quality: Performance
  • Threaded Optimization: On
  • Vertical sync: Off

AMD users can also do something similar on their control panels:

  • Disable Radeon Anti-Lag, Boost, Anisotropic Filtering and Frame Rate Target Control
  • Turn off Image Sharpening, Morphological Filtering, V-sync, Maximum Tessellation Level, OpenGL Triple Buffering and Radeon Chill.
  • Set Tessellation Mode and Shader Cache to “AMD Optimized” and Anti-Aliasing Mode and Anti-aliasing Method to “Use Application settings” and “Multi-sampling” respectively
  • Set Texture Filtering Quality to “Performance” and GPU Workload “Graphics”
  • Finally, just enable Surface Format Optimization.

For Nvdia Laptop Users

I am hoping that nobody is going to play this game on their laptops. If you are, though. Make sure that you are using the dedicated GPU and not the integrated one. To do that:

  1. Just open Nvidia Control Panel
  2. Click on Manage 3D Settings
  3. Set ‘Preferred graphics processor’ to ‘High-performance Nvidia processor
  4. Restart your system.

Turn off Nvidia in-game overlay and disable Windows Background Recording

Nvidia in-game overlay has a lot of utilities that eat up a lot of resources. Especially, its Instant Replay feature. Turn if off from GFE. As a matter of fact, turn off every single overlay that you have at the moment.

Windows Background Recording could be a reason. Turn it off by heading over to the “Gaming” settings located inside the Windows Settings menu. There you should find something called “Captures” on the left. Click on it and disable the Background Recording feature inside it.

Fixes recommended by Community members

Update – 09/15/2021

Here is what Steam user /UnL1k3 recommends in his guide:

1) Limit your frames to 60
2) Turn on Vsync in the Nvidia/AMD control panel
3) Turn Nvidia Reflex to On+Boost
4) Turn Low Latency Mode On (According to some people this can make it worse so depending on what you notice change this.)
5) Turn FSR on if you don’t mind the game getting blurry even at Ultra Quality. If you are playing at 4K enable it.
6) Make sure you have AMD/Nvidia’s latest drivers installed

All suggestions are welcome and please do correct me if anything on here is wrong or counterproductive. Hope you have a smooth experience playing Deathloop!

Another fix from Steam user /pHENOMEENAL recommends in his guide:

PSA: Lock FPS at 60 or 120 through Nvidia Control Panel to fix stuttering
This worked for me. If your PC can cap at 120 fps, lock it at that, if not, 60 works perfectly until they fix it.
I tried locking it ingame, didn’t work. Locked it via outside means, ie control panel, and it fixed it for me. No more stuttering.

This article is being updated. Please check out the Steam discussions page of Deathloop until then. You will see a lot of discussions on the issues of Deathloop.

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