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Starfield Performance Boost Guide: Fix Low FPS and Stuttering

Starfield Performance Boost Guide - Fix Low FPS and Stuttering

Let's dive right into it: Starfield has gripped the imaginations of countless gamers, but not without its share of performance hiccups. Issues like low FPS, frame drops, stuttering, and even freezing have certainly put a damper on the experience for some Starfield players.

Luckily, we've got your back. In this guide, we'll be delving into various methods to boost your Starfield performance.

Unquestionably, you'll be navigating those interstellar highways with unparalleled smoothness in no time!

How to Boost Performance, Fix Low FPS, Frame Drops, and Stuttering Issues in Starfield

If you've found yourself beset by lag spikes and low frame rates, don't fret—there are fixes.

We've compiled a comprehensive list of troubleshooting steps to obliterate those annoying performance issues in Starfield.

Let's buckle up and get started!

1. GPU Drivers

First and foremost, keeping your GPU drivers up-to-date is crucial for optimal Starfield performance.

Old or corrupted drivers could be your worst enemy when it comes to stuttering and FPS drops in Starfield.

So make sure your graphics drivers are up-to-date!

NVIDIA Users: Download Latest Drivers

AMD Users: Download Latest Drivers

Intel Users: Download Latest Drivers

2. Best Graphics Settings for Performance

Navigate to Settings > Display to fine-tune your settings. Here are some recommended tweaks:

  • VSync: Turning this off will make the gameplay more fluid, though at the risk of some screen tearing.
  • Shadow Quality, Volumetric Lighting: These are the most demanding settings; consider lowering them for a smoother experience.
  • Upscaling: Set this to FSR2 (FidelityFX Super Resolution 2) to boost performance in Starfield.
  • If you have a graphics card with 8 GB of VRAM or more, you're unlikely to encounter VRAM-related issues in Starfield, as the game doesn't have graphics settings that are particularly VRAM-intensive. Even at lower resolutions, 4 GB of VRAM could be sufficient.
MinimumPerformanceQuality-Performance
Render Resolution Scale506075
Graphics PresetCustomCustomCustom
Shadow QualityLowLowMedium
Indirect LightingLowMediumHigh
ReflectionsLowMediumMedium
Particle QualityLowMediumHigh
Volumetric LightingLowLowMedium
Crowd DensityLowMediumHigh
Motion BlurLowOFFOFF
GTAO QualityLowLowHigh
Grass QualityLowMediumUltra
Contact ShadowsLowLowMedium
VSyncOFFOFFOFF
UpscalingFSR2FSR2FSR2
Enable VRSONONON
Enable Depth of FieldOFFOFFOFF

3. Best NVIDIA Control Panel Settings

For NVIDIA graphics card users, the NVIDIA Control Panel can be an invaluable tool to address Starfield's low FPS and stuttering issues.

Shockingly, many gamers overlook this potent platform for game optimization.

To open the NVIDIA Control Panel, simply right-click on your desktop and select it from the context menu.

Then, navigate to 3D Settings > Manage 3D settings > Program Settings. Next, select Starfield from the list.

Here are the key settings you should adjust for a significantly smoother Starfield experience:

  • Power Management Mode: Set this to "Prefer Maximum Performance" to ensure that your GPU is always running at its full potential while playing Starfield.
  • Texture Filtering - Quality: Change this to "Performance" or "High Performance." This will slightly degrade texture quality but can offer a noticeable FPS boost.
  • Vertical Sync: Turn this Off within the Control Panel as well, unless you're experiencing unbearable screen tearing. This will reduce input lag and can increase frames per second.
  • Threaded Optimization: Set this to "On." This allows the NVIDIA driver to utilize multiple CPU cores, resulting in a performance uptick.
  • Maximum Pre-rendered Frames: Reducing this to "1" can minimize input lag, albeit at the risk of more stuttering. Experiment to find the sweet spot for your system.
  • Triple Buffering: Turn this Off for better responsiveness. The minor increase in visual smoothness is usually not worth the performance hit.

Now, apply these settings, relaunch your Starfield, and you should notice a marked improvement in issues like low FPS and stuttering.

Indeed, the NVIDIA Control Panel settings can make a night-and-day difference in your Starfield gaming experience.

4. Best AMD Software Settings

AMD users are not left behind. Similar to NVIDIA's Control Panel, AMD’s software suite offers numerous optimization options. Surprisingly, a small tweak here and there can make a world of difference.

For those rocking an AMD graphics card, the AMD Software can be a game-changer in rectifying Starfield's low FPS and stuttering problems.

Oftentimes, players tend to ignore the adjustments available here, not realizing the performance boosts they're missing out on.

To access the AMD Software, simply right-click on your desktop and select AMD Radeon Software.

Here are some pivotal settings you should tune for an optimized Starfield experience:

  • Graphics Profile: Set this to "eSports" if available. This profile is optimized for higher frame rates at the cost of some graphical fidelity.
  • Anti-Lag: Turn this On. This feature is designed to reduce input latency, thus making your Starfield gameplay more responsive.
  • Radeon Chill: Turn this Off. While it's designed to reduce power consumption and heat by limiting FPS, it could interfere with achieving the highest frame rate possible.
  • Texture Filtering Quality: Set to "Performance". Similar to NVIDIA, this will reduce texture quality a bit but can improve FPS.
  • Wait for Vertical Refresh: This is AMD's equivalent to V-Sync. Set this to "Off, unless the application specifies" to minimize input lag and potentially increase FPS.
  • Surface Format Optimization: Turn this On. It should boost performance without significantly affecting graphics quality.
  • Tessellation Mode: Set this to "Override application settings" and choose a lower level of tessellation. This will reduce geometric complexity and can improve frame rates.

Apply these settings and then restart Starfield .

You should experience noticeable improvements, especially if you've been dealing with stuttering and low FPS.

The key here is to find the right balance for your specific system, but these AMD Software settings offer a strong starting point for optimization.

Related: Starfield Crashing, Not Launching, Black Screen Fix

5. Power Options

For any PC gamer, the computer's power settings might seem like a minor detail, often overlooked in the grand scheme of things.

Yet, for tackling issues like low FPS and stuttering in Starfield, adjusting your system's power options can be incredibly impactful.

Let's not forget, more power to your CPU and GPU usually equates to better game performance. So, why compromise?

How to Access Power Options

  1. Right-click on the Windows Start button and select "Power Options". Alternatively, you can type "Power Options" in the Windows Search Bar and hit Enter.
  2. You'll see a menu with various plans like "Balanced," "Power Saver," and possibly "High Performance" or "Ultimate Performance" depending on your system.

Best Power Settings for Starfield

  • High Performance or Ultimate Performance: If these options are available, choose one. The aim is to provide maximum power to your system, thereby reducing issues like stuttering and low FPS in Starfield.
  • Minimum Processor State: Navigate to "Change Plan Settings" > "Advanced Settings" > "Processor Power Management". Set the Minimum Processor State to 100%. This ensures your CPU operates at full capacity while gaming.
  • USB Selective Suspend: Set this to "Disabled." Although not directly related to Starfield, turning off this feature ensures that no USB devices go to sleep, potentially interrupting your gaming session.
  • PCI Express Link State Power Management: Under the same "Advanced Settings," find the PCI Express option and set Link State Power Management to "Off." This ensures that the power to the GPU is not throttled, offering consistent performance.

After making these changes, click "Apply" and "OK," then restart your system for the settings to take effect.

Certainly, changing your power options can seem like a minor tweak, but in a graphically demanding and expansive game like Starfield, it can make all the difference.

Once you've adjusted these settings, you're less likely to experience frustrating episodes of stuttering, frame drop, or low FPS, allowing for a much smoother voyage through the cosmos in Starfield.

6. Windows Update

Believe it or not, keeping your operating system up-to-date is essential for maintaining peak game performance, especially for a resource-intensive title like Starfield.

An outdated OS can create a plethora of issues in Starfield on Windows PC, including but not limited to stuttering, frame drops, and low FPS.

Your OS manages all your hardware and software, so it's critical that it functions optimally to get the best out of your gaming experience.

Why Updates Matter for Starfield Performance

Windows updates often include performance improvements, bug fixes, and new features that can help your system run more smoothly.

In particular, certain updates are designed to improve system compatibility with advanced graphics engines or enhance CPU performance, both of which are extremely relevant for Starfield.

How to Update Windows 10

  1. Click on the Start button (Windows logo) in the bottom left corner of your screen.
  2. Select 'Settings' (the gear icon).
  3. Navigate to 'Update & Security'.
  4. Click on 'Windows Update' on the sidebar.
  5. Here, you'll see the update status. If an update is available, click 'Download' and then 'Install'.

How to Update Windows 11

  1. Click on the Start button and then select 'Settings'.
  2. Go to 'Windows Update' on the sidebar.
  3. If you see 'Updates available,' click 'Download and install.'
  4. After the download and installation are complete, you may need to restart your PC to apply the updates.

7. Game Mode

Game Mode is designed to optimize your system's CPU and GPU to prioritize gaming performance.

By reallocating system resources, it aims to reduce background activity and improve the smoothness of your gameplay.

This can result in a noticeable uptick in frame rates, and a decrease in annoying issues like stuttering and frame drops in Starfield.

How to Enable Game Mode

  1. Press Win + I to open Settings.
  2. Go to 'Gaming'.
  3. On the sidebar, click on 'Game Mode'.
  4. Toggle the switch to "On."

While Game Mode generally boosts performance, keep in mind that it's not a one-size-fits-all solution.

In rare cases, you might experience reduced game performance. If that happens, simply reverse the steps to disable Game Mode and see if the issue is resolved.

However, don't forget that individual experiences may vary, so feel free to test it out to see if it improves your Starfield journey.

8. Windows Graphics Settings

When it comes to gaming, especially in visually stunning epics like Starfield, every frame per second counts.

Beyond in-game settings and specialized software, your Windows Graphics Settings can also make a considerable impact on your gaming experience.

Tweaking these settings can provide a much-needed boost in performance, reducing those pesky occurrences of low FPS, sudden frame drops, and stuttering in Starfield.

Why Modify Windows Graphics Settings?

The idea here is simple: Windows has built-in settings that help manage how your system resources are distributed for different tasks.

By customizing these settings, you can tell your system to prioritize Starfield, thus potentially improving its performance.

How to Access and Change Windows Graphics Settings

  1. Right-click on the desktop and choose 'Display settings' from the context menu.
  2. Scroll down and click on 'Graphics settings' near the bottom of the window.
  3. Browse to find the Starfield executable file and add it to the list.
  4. Once added, click on 'Options'.
  5. You'll see three choices: 'Power Saving,' 'Balanced,' and 'High Performance'. Opt for 'High Performance' to give Starfield the highest resource allocation.

Note: If you're on a laptop, be cautious when choosing High Performance, as this will consume more battery life.

Different systems react differently to these adjustments. Feel free to experiment with the settings to find what works best for you.

You might discover that the 'Balanced' option provides enough of a performance boost without drawing too much power.

9. SSD

You're journeying through the cosmos, captivated by the mysteries that Starfield's universe holds, when suddenly—lag, stuttering, and painful loading screens pull you back to reality. Sound familiar?

If you've installed Starfield on a Hard Disk Drive (HDD), then this grim scenario might be all too common.

Starfield, with its expansive world and intricate details, demands a lot from your system. Its system requirements clearly state an SSD as a necessity, not merely a suggestion.

When you're dealing with a game that pushes graphical fidelity and world-building to its limits, using an HDD can result in long loading times, textures taking forever to load, and even contribute to low FPS and stuttering issues.

If you're still on an HDD, it's high time to consider moving Starfield to an SSD. If you don't own an SSD yet, seriously consider investing in one.

10. DLSS Mod

While Starfield doesn't natively support DLSS (Deep Learning Super Sampling), the modding community has come to the rescue.

A DLSS mod has been released specifically for Nvidia RTX users, effectively replacing the in-game FSR2 with DLSS technology. Remember, this mod will only work for those with NVIDIA RTX graphics cards.

How to Install DLSS Mod in Starfield

Step 1: Download Mod Files

  • For the Steam version, download the mod files from here.
  • For the Xbox app/Microsoft Store version, download from here.

Step 2: Extract Files to Game Directory

You'll receive a zip file. Extract its contents (which should include FSR2Streamline.asi among other files/folders) into the game directory, right next to Starfield.exe.

To navigate to the game directory:

  • For Xbox app:
    • Right-click on Starfield > Click on 'Manage' > Click on 'Files' > Click on 'Browse...' > Navigate to Starfield > Content
  • For Steam:
    • Go to Library > Right-click on Starfield > Manage > Browse local files

Step 3: Download NVIDIA DLSS DLLs

Download the latest NVIDIA DLSS DLL and NVIDIA DLSS 3 Frame Generation DLL. Place them in the 'streamline' folder in the game directory.

Step 4: Launch the Game

Once you've placed the required files, launch Starfield.

Step 5: Enable DLSS in Game Settings

Go to Settings > Display and enable FSR2, which should now be replaced by DLSS. Use the regular in-game settings resolution slider and dynamic resolution option to configure DLSS to your liking.

Once you've adjusted these settings, you're likely to experience a significant performance boost, making your Starfield adventure even more immersive.

11. Intelligent Standby List Cleaner

If you've tried nearly everything to optimize your Starfield gameplay and are still encountering issues like stuttering or low FPS, then Intelligent Standby List Cleaner (ISLC) could be the final piece of the puzzle.

This nifty little program serves as a real-time optimizer that helps clear out Windows' standby memory, allowing your system to allocate more resources to running Starfield smoothly.

Intelligent Standby List Cleaner automatically purges the standby memory list when it reaches a certain limit, thus preventing stutter and lag.

It's especially beneficial for those who are running the game on systems close to the minimum required specs or for those who like to multitask while gaming.

How to Download and Install ISLC

  1. Go to the official website: Navigate to the site where ISLC is hosted. Always make sure to download software from reputable sources.
  2. Download the software: Choose the latest version and download the ZIP file.
  3. Unzip the File: Use a program like WinRAR or 7-Zip to unzip the file to your desired location.
  4. Run the Software: Locate the Intelligent Standby List Cleaner ISLC.exe and run it as an administrator.

Best ISLC Settings for Starfield

After launching ISLC, you'll be greeted with various settings and options. Here's how to optimize them specifically for Starfield:

  1. List Size is at least: Set this to 1024. This means that ISLC will start cleaning the standby list when it reaches 1GB.
  2. Free Memory is Lower Than: Set this to half of your available RAM. For example, if you have 16GB RAM, set it to 8192.
  3. Enable Custom Timer Resolution: Tick this box.
  4. Wanted Timer Resolution: Set this to 0.50 for optimum performance.
  5. ISLC Polling Rate: This determines how often the program will check the standby list. A value between 500 and 1000 is usually good.
  6. Start Minimized and Start ISLC Minimized: These are optional but can help if you want the program to run unobtrusively.

After you've adjusted these settings, click 'Start' to let ISLC do its magic.

It's always a good idea to run a few tests after configuring these settings to ensure that they provide a noticeable improvement.

If you start experiencing better performance with fewer instances of stuttering or low FPS, you'll know ISLC is doing its job well.

12. Process Lasso

For those experiencing high CPU usage, Process Lasso can help redistribute your CPU’s attention and prioritize Starfield. Definitely a worthwhile utility to check out.

Process Lasso is a real-time CPU optimization and automation utility. It adjusts the priority class, I/O priority, and other settings for active applications in real-time, dynamically tweaking them to ensure optimal performance.

Downloading and Installing Process Lasso

  1. Navigate to the Official Site: Visit Process Lasso's official website to download the most recent version of the software.
  2. Install the Software: Run the downloaded installer and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation process.
  3. Launch the Program: Once installed, open Process Lasso and run it as an administrator for maximum control over processes.

Best Process Lasso Settings for Boosting Starfield Performance

Here's a step-by-step guide to configure Process Lasso for optimal Starfield gameplay:

  1. Find Starfield in the List: Once Process Lasso is running, find Starfield in the list of active processes. You might need to launch the game first for it to appear.
  2. Right-click and Set Priority: Right-click on Starfield, navigate to Priority Class, and choose High.
  3. Enable ProBalance: Make sure that the ProBalance setting is enabled. This feature allows Process Lasso to make real-time adjustments to ensure that background activities don't interfere with your gaming.
  4. Disable Hyper-Threading for Starfield: If your CPU supports Hyper-Threading, consider disabling it specifically for Starfield. Right-click on Starfield, navigate to CPU Affinity > Always > Disable SMT (Hyper-threading).
  5. Bitsum Highest Performance Plan: If you click on the power icon in the main menu, you’ll find a Bitsum Highest Performance power plan. Enable it while playing the game.

Additional Tips

  • IdleSaver: This is an optional setting that allows your PC to go into a power-saving mode when it’s idle but automatically switches back to high-performance mode when you start using it again.
  • SmartTrim: This is another optional feature that can help you manage your system's memory more efficiently, potentially reducing stutter and low FPS.

After you've applied these settings, launch Starfield and put it through its paces to see if the high CPU usage has been alleviated and if the game runs more smoothly.

Process Lasso can make a night-and-day difference in your gaming experience. You might just find that those vexing episodes of high CPU usage, stuttering, and low FPS in Starfield become a thing of the past.

Wrapping Up the Stellar Journey

There's no one-size-fits-all solution to fix all your Starfield performance woes, but by diligently following this guide, you can dramatically improve your gaming experience.

Most importantly, these steps are crucial for making the endless universe of Starfield feel as seamless as intended.

Now that you're armed with this knowledge, go out there and conquer the stars, free from the shackles of low FPS and stuttering. Happy gaming!

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