Tue. Sep 26th, 2023
Bethesda Game Studios

PC gamers often complain about poor optimization when it comes to games. However, it’s important to understand what PC optimization actually means. Optimization is not a single button that magically makes visually impressive games run smoothly on weaker hardware.

One recent example is the game “Starfield.” The director, Todd Howard, was asked why the game was not optimized for PC. Howard’s response was simple: “Uh… we did.” While the game may benefit from further optimization, it is not poorly optimized; it is demanding.

On the other hand, there are games that are poorly optimized, such as “Star Wars Jedi: Survivor.” This game had issues with scaling CPU performance, as the Unreal Engine 4 it runs on falls short in this area. Unreal Engine 4 is designed to run on two CPU threads, which can cause stuttering and blockages in highly complex games like “Star Wars Jedi: Survivor.” Developers can optimize the game by moving tasks to other CPU threads and creating asynchronous structures to reduce waiting time.

Optimizing games on PC involves various techniques, such as caching shaders, managing VRAM and CPU usage, and using techniques like Variable Rate Shading (VRS) to prioritize important areas of a scene. It is a process that starts in the conception stages of a game and continues even after its release.

It is also important to differentiate between a poorly optimized game and a demanding game. “Starfield” falls into the latter category. It supports features like VRS, can scale based on different hardware, and is stable with minimal crashes. While it is taxing on hardware, the game provides graphics options to improve performance without sacrificing image quality.

In conclusion, PC optimization is about ensuring a game can take full advantage of the hardware available while looking its best. While there may be room for further optimization, “Starfield” is not a poorly optimized game but rather a demanding one that offers decent performance on a wide range of hardware.