If you bought Resident Evil Village on PC but put off playing it due to horrible performance issues, you may be in luck. Over three months after the port’s release, Capcom has released an update to fix performance issues related to DRM and, according to Eurogamer, it appears to have resolved the larger performance issue, too. Before the patch, Eurogamer reports frame rates tanking from over 100fps to around 30fps in certain scenes, making the PC version of the game significantly worse to play than the console version. The update also includes support for AMD’s upscaling tech to help improve your frame rates even more, if you’ve got a supported graphics card.
The problems, which may have been caused by DRM (though Capcom has not confirmed this) were noted both by outlets like Eurogamer and a good number of reviewers on the game’s Steam page (though it is worth noting that the game does still have “Overwhelmingly Positive” Steam reviews overall). Some players noted hitches, stutters, and fps drops, mainly in combat when either killing an enemy or taking damage. As Eurogamer noted, these aren’t exactly ideal times for your game’s performance to tank.
An important update for Resident Evil Village players on Steam:— Resident Evil (@RE_Games) July 20, 2021
- FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR) from AMD is now supported. FSR supports higher frame rates on PC for an improved gaming experience.
- Adjustments have been made to optimize the anti-piracy technology.
Worse for Capcom was that the pirated version of the game actually ran significantly better, according to Eurogamer and Digital Foundry. A patch released by a pirate who goes by Empress meant to remove the game’s DRM also reportedly fixed the performance issues, meaning that people who paid for the PC port were getting a worse experience than both pirates and console players.
Digital Foundry has a comparison between the pre-patch, patched, and pirated versions, which you can watch down below. It provides a good look at what the issues were for those of us who hadn’t had the misfortune of playing the DRM-hampered version — to my eye, the stutters are so noticeable that it almost seems like an intentional effect (similar to how Cuphead pauses for a split second after you parry off an attack). Shooting zombies with a shotgun causes the whole game to freeze before the muzzle flash is even off the screen, and encountering one of the game’s Maidens turns the game into a slideshow.
The update also added support for AMD’s FidelityFX Super Resolution technology, which allows users to maintain playable frame rates while running at higher resolutions. The tech achieves this by rendering the game at a lower resolution, then upscaling to your desired resolution, similarly to Nvidia’s DLSS, though the two technologies achieve this through very different means. Nvidia’s version uses AI that’s powered by special hardware included in its newer GPUs, where AMD’s tech algorithmically upscales frames that have been anti-aliased. Digital Foundry also does a deep dive on FSR’s effect on Resident Evil Village’s frame rate and image quality in the video above.