Valve solves performance issues for Elden Ring’s Steam Deck

Elden Ring just got a giant patch which, in theory, should have fixed most performance issues for PC gamers. Elden Ring can prove that frame rate isn’t everything, but it would definitely be nice to play without stuttering. Our own hardware team looked at the patch’s performance and still found examples of the game having issues, despite the promise of a fix for “shutdowns on occasion”.

Valve’s Pierre-Loup Griffais spoke to Digital Foundry about the game’s performance on the Steam Deck, giving some insight into what he believes is causing these issues in the settings. It should be noted, of course, that the Steam Deck is a fixed specification, and it’s much easier to identify and fix issues on a single device than it is on the myriad possible PC versions.

A possible explanation given for the problems is the loading of shaders: but Griffais considers that this is not as big of an issue as it is being painted.

“On the Linux/Proton side, we have a pretty extensive shader pre-cache system with multiple levels of binary and source-level cache representations pre-seeded and shared among users,” Griffais told Digital Foundry. “On Deck, we’ve taken this to the next level as we have a unique GPU/driver combination to target, and most of the shaders you run locally are actually pre-built on servers in our infrastructure. shader compilation via your graphics API of choice, these are often ignored as we find the precompiled cache entry on disk.”

(Image credit: FromSoftware)

Griffais explains that the pre-1.03 game had some efficiency issues at certain points, the example given was queuing up command buffers and directing memory resources to “overdrive”: basically the CPU telling the GPU to render too many things at once.

“Shader pipeline driven stutter is not the majority of the big issues we’ve seen in this game,” says Griffais. “The recent example we highlighted has more to do with the game creating many thousands of resources like command buffers at certain points which was causing our memory manager to go into overdrive trying to handle this. more aggressively now, which seems to have helped a lot.

“I can’t comment on whether this is the issue the game experiences on other platforms as well, but we’ve played Deck with all of these elements and the experience has been very smooth.”

My experience with Elden Ring, even on slightly older hardware, has been more or less smooth, although I have stuttered when the game is transitioning to a new area (a descent into Volcano Manor seems to cause it to have kittens). This patch seems to have improved things a bit, but there is clearly a way to go.

In addition to the performance issues, Elden Ring’s first major update addressed some major flaws, including questlines that didn’t directly end. O map now shows the location of NPCs, a bugbear for many, and adds more NPC summons around bosses. Most fun of all, at least for me, it was a big nerf to the Imitate Ashes Tears. My friend had acquired this and was bragging about how they melted the bosses that destroyed me so it’s a good thing their cheap trick doesn’t work anymore. the mime was lovedbut such is life in the Middlelands.

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