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Fallout 4’s actual game speed is tied to its framerate on PC, and framerate is capped

by Joey Davidson | November 10, 2015November 10, 2015 9:40 am PDT

Gamers have discovered that not only is the PC version of Fallout 4‘s framerate capped, but that the speed of the framerate is actually tied to the speed of the game.

Of course this launch couldn’t go off without a hitch. Right, obviously? Fallout 4 is here, and it’s working pretty well across the board. The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions of the game hang around 30fps with a few framerate dips, while the PC version runs at 60fps on decent rigs.

Here’s where we have some major problems. First, Bethesda promised that Fallout 4 would arrive with an uncapped framerate on the PC.

That’s not really true. Players are actually opening up the game’s files and editing them in order to remove the framerate limit. I’m seeing numbers like 60fps and 72fps being tossed around as caps, with the latter reserved for 144mHz displays.

When players remove the framerate limit, the game runs at a faster rate. Makes sense, obviously. However, the framerate appears to be tied to the actual game’s speed, something that’s a big no-no in game development.

Basically, if the game runs at 60fps, everything is normal. Bump it up to, say 140fps, and the in-game speed is doubled. Bottles fall at around twice the speed, players are roughly twice as fast, and that problem waxes as the framerate increases on stronger machines.

Here it is in motion as captured by YouTuber Lord Socky.

This is a huge problem for a few reasons. First, Bethesda is selling a game to PC gamers with an FPS cap. Not only is that an issue because of the cap itself, but the company actually promised otherwise in the tweet you see above.

The second issue is that the framerate being tied to the speed of the game is a problem with the engine itself. As I understand it, this can’t be fixed by flipping a switch or releasing a simple patch.

The game is playable. It runs fine at 60fps, and some folks are saying that framerates can be uncapped as long as Vsync is turned off. Is this ideal for the PC gaming crowd? Absolutely not, and I expect more backlash in the coming days.

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Joey Davidson

Joey Davidson leads the gaming department here on TechnoBuffalo. He's been covering games online for more than 10 years, and he's a lover of all...

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