Batman Arkham Knight Stuttering and Faltering for AMD Users on PC [Update]

Turns out Batman has a few chinks in the armor for AMD hardware users.
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Update 3: Gotham’s finest just can’t catch a break tonight, it seems. Now apparently Nvidia GPU users are now also reporting issues. Additionally, it seems that while some have found upcapping the framerate has improved performance, others are reporting it actually further increases the stuttering frame rate.

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Update 2: It seems users have already managed to figure out how to uncap the game’s frame rate manually, and disable the otherwise permanently present Motion Blur effect. Bear in mind, this involves manipulating .INI configuration files, so be careful what you tinker with and backup the file just in case. For those who want to give it a whirl, here’s the guide.

Update: It seems this is an issue that will impact all AMD users. To address this, Rocksteady has made a last minute change to the minimum graphics card requirements for AMD users. You now need, at minimum, and AMD 7950 with 3 Gigabytes of Video RAM in your graphics card in order to run Arkham Knight.

AMD themselves have also released a pair of driver updates, one for regular users, and for ones using Radeon 300 architecture. However, for these updates, they cite warnings that the game may crash when closed (seriously), or when you use the in-game benchmarking tool. Also, changing the resolution to 1680×1050 may make the screen turn black or pink (once again, not a joke). Bear these possible problems in mind if you plan on updating your drivers in advance.

Rocksteady has said they are working hard with AMD to fix the problem, so it is possible the game may become properly optimized within the coming weeks. Until then, AMD users should make sure their rigs can handle the game in its current state.

Original Story:

It’s not even officially released, yet those with early access to Arkham Knight on Steam are reporting poor optimization for AMD. Apparently with the pre-Day One patch version of the game, you are locked in at 30 frames per second, half the speed the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions are touting. User reviews also cite an inconsistent framerate as well, even with the 30 FPS cap.

One thing left unclear is whether or not the Nvidia-exclusive features, such as Nvidia Gameworks, is the culprit for these issues. The Arkham series has always had Nvidia-exclusive features, so it might not be the case, but this is also an entry that has pushed its code to the limit, due to seamless environment streaming and extremely high quality model renders.

While it is too early to confirm if this is fixed by the Day One patch (which is reportedly 3.5 gigabytes, on top of the game’s already sizable 50 gigabyte install), this may give concern to those who pre-ordered for PC. To say the sentiment on Steam is negative is an understatement, with negative reviews currently outnumbering positive ones.

Some more or less just in a froth of anger:

Others more mournfully disappointed:

We’ll have to wait and see until the Day One patch hits, but if you have the option, it may be time to make a quick swap to the console version. For those without an option, you want to consider wrapping up anything you have left to complete in the previous games until Rocksteady cleans up their act on PC.

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Elijah Beahm
Grumpily ranting at this computer screen since before you were playing Minecraft. For more of my work: