Red Dead Redemption 2 (RDR2) – Fix lag, fps drops, crashing and stuttering

One of the best gaming titles of 2018, Red Dead Redemption 2, that was only available on the consoles, has finally arrived on the Windows PC platform. It is true that everything about this game on the consoles is already extremely good. The PC release has made things only better.

Even though RDR2 has already proven itself to be highly successful on the PC platform as well. Some players are experiencing performance issues like lag, fps drops, low frame rates, random crashes and freezing.

This is not new as most of the AAA games of 2019 has already faced performance related issues. Titles like Borderlands 3 had horrible performance issues during launch. People were complaining about lag, low frame rates, sudden fps drops, random crashes, freezes every 5 seconds, etc.

While players who are using high-end gaming rigs are not facing as many issues, low-medium end users are experiencing some good amount of problems. That is why we decided to come up with a basic lag fix guide that will show you some simple tweaks that you can try in order to fix the performance issues that you are having. Here is how to fix lag, fps drops, crashes and stuttering in Red Dead Redemption 2.

Red Dead Redemption 2 (RDR2) – Fix fps lag, low fps, fps drops, crashing and stuttering

How to fix lag, fps drops, crashing and stuttering in RDR2 – Step 1

Check the hardware specifications of your PC

Red Dead Redemption 2 is a fairly demanding title so check the system requirements for the game and compare them with the specifications of your PC. Here are the system requirements of RDR2:

Minimum Specifications:

  • OS:  Windows 7 – Service Pack 1 (6.1.7601)
  • Processor:  Intel® Core™ i5-2500K / AMD FX-6300
  • Memory:  8GB
  • Graphics Card:  Nvidia GeForce GTX 770 2GB / AMD Radeon R9 280 3GB
  • HDD Space:  150GB
  • Sound Card:  DirectX compatible

Recommended Specifications:

  • OS:  Windows 10 – April 2018 Update (v1803)
  • Processor:  Intel® Core™ i7-4770K / AMD Ryzen 5 1500X
  • Memory:  12GB
  • Graphics Card:  Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 6GB / AMD Radeon RX 480 4GB
  • HDD Space:  150GB
  • Sound Card:  DirectX compatible

So as you can see you need to have a GTX 1060, 12 GB of RAM and a whopping 150 GB free HDD Space in order to play this game at 1080p 60 fps. But it is understandable as this is not a cheap port. The game has been totally redesigned for PC. If you look at Nvidia’s recommended GPUs for this game then you will see that Nvidia has recommended a RTX 2060 if you want to play this game at 1920×1080 resolution at 60 fps.

How to fix lag, fps drops, crashing and stuttering in RDR2 – Step 2

Download the latest graphics drivers

People often tend to ignore driver updates and sit with buggy or un-optimized drivers. Outdated drivers could be the reason behind many performance issues on your system. Therefore 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

How to fix lag, fps drops, crashing and stuttering in RDR2 – Step 3

Best or Optimal Graphics Settings for Red Dead Redemption 2

We are still playing with graphics settings of the game to find out the best combination of settings that will not only provide you smooth gameplay but also stable 60+ frame rates. So give us some time and we will update this section as soon as possible.

Update – Check out our Red Dead Redemption 2 Best/Optimal Graphics Settings guide

How to fix lag, fps drops, crashing and stuttering in RDR2 – Step 4

For Nvidia Graphics card users

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:

  • Open Nvidia Control Panel
  • Click on Manage 3D settings on the left bar
  • Click on the Program Settings tab
  • Locate Red Dead Redemption 2 from the drop down menu under “Select a program to customize”
  • If you don’t see the game on the list then click on the Add button and another list will appear
  • If you still cannot spot the game then you need to add the .exe file manually.
  • 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 rdr2.exe
  • Once you have successfully added the game, you will then see the program settings become available for the game
  • Now tweak the following settings:
    Threaded Optimization : On
    Power Management : Prefer Maximum Performance
    Low Latency Mode : Off
    Texture filtering – Quality : Performance

How to fix lag, fps drops, crashing and stuttering in RDR2 – Step 5

For AMD Graphics card users

Go to AMD Control Center or control panel.

  • Anti-Aliasing Mode: Use Application settings
  • Anti-aliasing Method: Multi-sampling
  • Morphological Filtering: Off
  • Anisotropic Filtering Mode: Use application settings
  • Texture Filtering Quality: Performance
  • Surface Format Optimization: On
  • Wait for V-sync: Off
  • OpenGL Triple Buffering: Off
  • Shader Cache: AMD optimized
  • Tesselation Mode: Override application settings
  • Maximum Tesselation Level: Off
  • GPU Workload: Graphics
  • Chill: Off
  • Frame Rate Target Control: Disabled

How to fix lag, fps drops, crashing and stuttering in RDR2 – Step 6

Update your OS if you are using Windows 10

If you are a Windows 10 user then you should definitely consider updating your OS. The recent Windows 10 updates have already caused loads of problems for a lot of AAA titles. The Windows 10 KB4512941 update that was released few days ago gave some serious trouble to gamers all over the world. From high CPU usage to constant stuttering while playing games or running heavy applications, people had to face everything. Well, we are not sure whether Red Dead Redemption 2 has a chance to get affected by these updates or not. But it is better to stay on the safe side.

Thankfully, Microsoft has already released an update that fixed the problem mentioned about. But who knows, there might still be some users who have not updated their Windows since then out of fear and are still facing performance issues. So check whether you have pending Windows updates or not and then update your OS. Here is how to do it:

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

How to fix lag, fps drops, crashing and stuttering in RDR2 – Step 7

Verify the in-game files

Epic Games users has an option to verify the game. This feature will allow the launcher to scan the game folder and find out the missing or corrupted files. If your game is missing any valuable file then the launcher will download that file.

  • Launch Epic Games Launcher
  • Go to you Library
  • Click on the Settings icon below Red Dead Redemption 2
  • Click on Verify
  • Wait for the process to finish
  • Restart the launcher

How to fix lag, fps drops, crashing and stuttering in RDR2 – Step 8

Discord Hardware Acceleration

Disable the Hardware Acceleration feature in Discord if you are using it as it uses the power of your GPU. Here is how to do it:

  • Launch Discord
  • Go to User settings
  • Click on Appearance
  • Under Advanced you will notice Hardware Acceleration
  • Turn it off if it is turned on

How to fix lag, fps drops, crashing and stuttering in RDR2 – Step 9

Use the Game Mode feature in Windows 10

If you are a Windows 10 user then you are probably already aware of the Game Mode feature in Windows 10. What Game mode does is it prevents Windows Update from performing driver installations and sending restart notifications and it also helps your system towards achieving more stable frame rates depending on the specific game and system. Here is how to turn on Game Mode:

  • Press the Start button
  • Click on Settings
  • Select Gaming
  • Now select Game Mode for the side bar
  • Turn Game Mode On

How to fix lag, fps drops, crashing and stuttering in RDR2 – Step 10

If by any chance you are witnessing random crashes and freezes in Red Dead Redemption 2 then chances are it is being caused by an overclocking application or utility running in the background. A lot of games have been suffering from crashes lately due to applications like MSI Afterburner or Zotac firestorm. So it is best to stay on the safe side and run your graphics card on default speeds.

These are all the steps or methods that you can follow in order to fix performance issues like lag, low frame rates, etc. One thing to keep in mind, none of these methods are advanced and are pretty basic. There is no guarantee that these steps will fix your problem 100%. If the problem you are facing is a serious one then the best option would be contacting Rockstar support.

If you think this guide had helped you then let us know in the comment section below. Also, if you are facing problems that are not mentioned on this article then also you can comment below. We will try come out with a fix. Good luck!

That’s all folks!

Last Updated on November 27, 2019

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