Starfield: How To Fix Lag & Stuttering

Last Updated on September 8, 2023

Starfield Lag: The Bethesda offering isn’t doing well even for high-end PCs. The game has issues like Lag, FPS Drops, and Stuttering. The developers have promised that this will be fixed in upcoming updates; until then, there are a few tweaks that you can apply to put a band-aid on this issue.

How To Fix Lag in Starfield

To summarize, I have done the following to fix FPS Drops in my game;

  • I turned on AMD FSR.
  • Change Graphic Settings
  • Custom Nvidia Control Panel Settings
  • Lowered Graphic Settings
  • Updated Device Drivers

Turn on AMD FSR

To change this setting, launch your game, head to Settings > Display, and locate “Upscaling.” Change this setting to “FSR2”.

Best Graphics Settings for Starfield

Optimizing for Max FPS

If you want Starfield to run as fast and smoothly as possible, these are the settings to focus on:

  • Graphics Preset: Custom
  • Dynamic Resolution: On
  • Render Resolution: 75%
  • Shadow Quality: Medium
  • Volumetric Lighting: Medium
  • Reflections: Low
  • Crowd Density: Low
  • Motion Blur: Off
  • GTAO Quality: Medium
  • Contact Shadows: Medium
  • VSync: Off
  • Upscaling: FSR 2
  • Enable VRS: On
  • Depth of Field: Off

The two most important settings here are the Render Resolution and Upscaling. Lowering the render resolution to 75% takes a massive load off your GPU while enabling FSR 2 upscaling to maintain crisp image quality. I also found shadows, lighting, reflections, and crowd density major FPS killers.

FPS Gains from Lowering Settings

SettingFPS Increase
Render Resolution 75%+12 FPS
Shadows Medium+7 FPS
Volumetric Lighting Medium+5 FPS
Crowd Density Low+3 FPS

Maxing Out Graphics

If visual fidelity is more important than speed, these are the settings to max out:

  • Render Resolution: 100%
  • Shadow Quality: High
  • Indirect Lighting: High
  • Reflections: High
  • Volumetric Lighting: High
  • Crowd Density: High
  • Motion Blur: Off
  • GTAO Quality: High
  • Grass Quality: High
  • Contact Shadows: High
  • Upscaling: FSR 2
  • Depth of Field: On

With a powerful GPU, you can crank up resource-intensive settings like shadows, reflections, lighting, and crowd density to make the most of Starfield’s graphics. I’d keep motion blur disabled so the excellent visuals aren’t distorted. Using FSR 2 upscaling is also key to maintaining high FPS at max settings.

Other than that, continue reading the article to find more tips on improving performance in Starfield.

Change Graphic Control Panel Settings

For Nvidia Users:

  • Open up Nvidia’s Control Panel. Right-click on desktop > click Nvidia control panel
  • Click Manage 3D Settings > Program Settings
  • Find “Starfield” you can manually add the game if it’s not on the list
  • Now, make the following changes:

Monitor Tech: G-Sync (If available)
Maximum Pre-rendered frames: 2
Threaded optimization: On
Power Management: Prefer Maximum Performance
Texture Filtering – Quality:  Performance
Low Lateny Mode: Off (High or Ultra makes sense only for PvP Games)*

Nvidia Low Latency Mode is a feature found in Nvidia’s Control Panel. It is designed to help reduce input latency on Nvidia graphics card systems. Low Latency Mode can be used in games or any other application where you need to reduce the time it takes for your inputs to be registered.

For AMD Users

  • Anti-Aliasing Mode: Use Application settings
  • Anti-aliasing Method: Multisampling
  • 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

Turn Down Graphic Settings For Higher FPS

The first thing I tried was lowering my graphics settings. Reducing demanding options like shadows, lighting, texture quality, and more took the pressure off my GPU and instantly boosted the frame rate. I tweaked each setting incrementally to find the ideal balance of visual fidelity and high FPS for my setup.

You can test different settings while running the game to find out the best settings for you.

Update Drivers For Compatibility

Making sure my Nvidia drivers, chipset drivers, and Windows were fully updated ensured the best compatibility and stability with a new release like AC6. Driver updates often include enhancements tailored to major game launches. Head to Nvidia’s site or Windows Update to snag the latest.

Enable High-Performance Power Plan

I switched my Windows 11 power plan to High Performance, which forces your CPU and GPU to run at peak clock speeds. This prevented downclocking and throttling, which can tank game performance when hardware thinks it can take a break. Keeping my components at full throttle made a noticeable difference.

Turn On Game Mode for Further Optimization

Windows 11 has a built-in Game Mode that tweaks your system to optimize game performance. It allocates more resources to games and streamlines processes. Enabling it provided a nice little optimization boost for AC6.

Use Windows 10 Compatibility If Unstable

Clearly, Starfield still needs some work to run smoothly on Windows 11. Setting compatibility mode to Windows 10 in the game’s properties helped improve stability and framerates.

Fix Starfield Stuttering

Disable Microsoft Device Association Root Enumerator

This is a Microsoft service that used to cause micro stutters in Elden Ring; it turns out that disabling it works for Starfield, too.

To do so:

  • Launch Device Manager, and search for it using Windows Search
  • Click on Software Devices to expand the list
  • Locate “Microsoft Device Association Root Enumerator” > Right-click and disable it as shown in the screenshot below:

Move the game to SSD or faster HDD

A Reddit user reported constant stuttering in Starfield; someone asked him for his specs, and it turns out the guy had an SSD for C Drive, but the game was installed on the 5400 RPM drive. The user moved his game to the SSD, and the issue was fixed.

As technology continues to evolve, so does the need for better storage. Although hard drives have been around for a while, they are quickly being replaced by solid-state drives due to their increased speed and decreased energy consumption. SSDs are more expensive than hard disks but offer many more benefits. On top of the increased speed, they also consume less power. This is one of the critical reasons SSDs are being used in many new devices, from smartphones to computers.

Close any memory-hogging applications

Open up the task manager and check your memory and disk usage. Close all applications (non-windows) that are eating your memory and using a disk drive. If you are still stuttering with everything looking fine, you should probably wait for the hotfix update, which should be pushed out shortly.

Several memory-hungry apps can cause high RAM usage in Windows. One of the most notorious offenders is Chrome. Even when minimized, Chrome can take up a lot of system resources. Firefox and Opera also tend to use more RAM than Edge. If you’re experiencing regular crashes or slowdowns, it might be time to check your app’s resource usage and see if any of your favorites are guilty parties.

Use Process Lasso to limit CPU usage.

Process Lasso is software that helps you limit the CPU usage of a particular app. Download the software and use it accordingly. I dropped my CPU usage by almost 20% after using the software. Also, try switching between hyperthreading on/off.

Here are the steps:

  • Download Process Lasso
  • Click “Main” and make sure that “ProBalance” is enabled.
  • Launch Starfield and minimize the game.
  • Go to the Active Processes tab in Process Lasso.
  • Right-click the exe file of the game and apply the following:
    • – Priority Class > Always > High
    • – CPU Affinity > Always > Uncheck CPU 0
    • – I/O Priority > Always > High

These settings are the ones that helped me boosted my FPS by a little bit.

These settings and optimizations were tested on PCs with the following configuration:

  • i5 8500 with GTX 1060 @1080p
  • i3 10300 with RTX 2060 @1080p
  • i7 8700 with GTX 1650 @1080p
  • AMD Ryzen 5600x with RTX 3080 @2k

These few things helped me fix my Low FPS issue in Starfield. You can try them and let me know if they worked for you using the comment section below.

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Written by Vikas

Hey, I am Vikas. I've had a longstanding passion for computing and gaming for over a decade now. With a computer science degree under my belt sparking my initial interest in the industry from a young age, you'll often find me immersed for hours in the latest PC titles, especially enjoying multiplayer online games, while also enjoying sharing my insights and reviews. My work has been featured on IGN, Kotaku, MSN and Forbes to name a few. In my spare time, I read books and play with my cats.

You can read more about me here.

My favorite games are Destiny 2, Warframe, COD Cold War, and Minecraft.

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