Outriders, the online shooting, looting, and superpower-slinging game from People Can Fly, finally has a way to pause, but to do it you’ll need to be using an Nvidia graphics card (via Kotaku). Despite working as a single-player game, Outriders requires an internet connection to play, which means pausing in the middle of a battle was impossible until this workaround. Even with your menu open, enemies could still attack you.
Using Ansel, which is a feature of Nvidia GeForce RTX graphics cards that enables a kind of photo mode even in games without one built in, you can “pause” Outriders by pressing “Alt F2” on the fly, and get up and take care of business. Because Ansel is specific to the Nvidia’s Geforce Experience software, pausing is limited to PC players, which means anyone playing on console or with a different brand of graphics card is out of luck.
The handling of pausing and single-player content in Outriders is similar to Destiny 2, to which it shares some aesthetic and mechanical similarities. Destiny 2 sells a battle pass and yearly expansions with new story content, and it justifies — at least in part — it’s online-only requirements with the promise of new weekly and monthly changes in the form of live events and other features.
The difference is that Outriders is very explicitly sold as a more traditional single-player game, with the game’s publisher Square Enix addressing the issue on its site, “Outriders is a complete experience out of the box,” it writes. For some reason, an internet connection is still required, which, beyond hindering a basic feature like pausing the game, also seemed to contribute to Outriders’ launch on April 2nd being kind of a mess. Players had issues connecting with the game’s servers to play in single-player and multiplayer, for which developer People Can Fly acknowledged and apologized publicly.
The game seems to be working fine now, and this weird Nvidia loophole means the experience of playing single-player could be a little bit more comfortable, but Outriders definitely illustrates the ongoing problems of making a game online-only.