Box art - Red Dead Redemption 2

Red Dead Redemption 2 PC Stuttering Fix | Reflections and water physics adjustments

Red Dead Redemption 2’s transition to PC hasn’t been very smooth, with plenty of crashes on startup and a rampant Rockstar launcher exit bug. In fact, it’s been so rough that Red Dead Redemption 2 is getting review-bombed by players upset about its poor performance. One of the major issues plaguing the game is frequent frame rate dipping and slowdown. Luckily, the community has found a few possible fixes for FPS issues as it waits for a more substantial patch from Rockstar. In this Red Dead Redemption 2 PC stuttering guide, we’ll discuss a few workarounds the Red Dead community has discovered.

Red Dead Redemption 2 PC | FPS-altering graphical settings

Red Dead Redemption 2 PC _ FPS-altering graphical settings

If you’re experiencing lots of slowdown, the simplest fix could simply be adjusting Red Dead Redemption 2’s graphical settings. There are a lot of them, however, which makes it difficult to know whether adjusting any particular setting will actually have an impact on frame rate. Luckily, Reddit user loopy750 compiled a list of settings that appeared to have little to no impact on performance and settings that noticeably affected frame rate.

ALSO: Red Dead Redemption 2 PC update 1.0.9.164 patch notes (November 5)

Obviously, your game’s performance will depend on your PC’s hardware, but loopy750 notes that their tests were conducted using an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 graphics card, the Vulkan API, and a benchmarking tool, targeting 1080p resolution and 60 FPS. You’ll find a full list of settings below that affect and don’t affect FPS — along with the frame rate change loopy750 noticed — according to loopy750’s testing.

Does not affect FPS

  • Anisotropic Filtering
  • Lighting Quality
  • Global Illumination Quality
  • Far Shadow Quality
  • Mirror Quality
  • Particle Quality
  • Tessellation Quality
  • Temporal Anti-Aliasing (TAA)
  • Fast Approximate Anti-Aliasing (FXAA)
  • Unlocked Volumetric Raymarch Resolution*
  • Particle Lighting Quality
  • Long Shadows
  • TAA Sharpening
  • Tree Quality
  • Parallax Occlusion Mapping Quality
  • Decal Quality
  • Fur Quality

*Although loopy750 said this did not affect FPS, they recommended setting it to “Off” for users with older graphics cards.

Affects FPS

  • Texture Quality
    • Reduced performance by 3 FPS on maximum settings
  • Shadow Quality
    • Reduced performance by 6 FPS on maximum settings
  • Reflection Quality
    • Reduced performance by 14 FPS
  • Water Quality
    • [Exact performance reduction unknown]
  • Volumetrics quality
    • Reduced performance by 10 FPS on maximum settings
  • Soft Shadows
    • Reduced performance by 2 FPS on maximum settings
  • Grass Shadows
    • Reduced performance by 1.5 FPS on maximum settings
  • Full Resolution Screen Space Ambient Occlusion
    • Reduced performance by 2 FPS on maximum settings
  • Reflection Multisample Anti-Aliasing (MSAA)
    • [Exact performance reduction unknown]
  • Geometry Level of Detail
    • Reduced performance by 2 FPS on maximum settings
  • Grass Level of Detail
    • Reduced performance by 2 FPS on maximum settings
  • Multisample Anti-Aliasing (MSAA)
    • [Exact performance reduction unknown]

Unknown (not tested)

  • Resolution Scale
  • Motion Blur

With these tests in mind, consider first lowering the “Affects FPS” settings if you’re experiencing frame rate issues. Many of the major FPS limiters seem to be related to reflections, with the general “Reflection Quality” setting reducing the frame rate by a whopping 14 FPS when maxed out. If reducing these settings to minimum fixes the problem, you may be able to set the “Does not affect FPS” stats to “On” or to their respective maximum values.

Red Dead Redemption 2 PC | Other possible stuttering fixes

Red Dead Redemption 2 PC freezing fix _ Process Lasso

If messing with these settings doesn’t fix your stuttering issues, the problem is likely stemming from a deeper issue. You may be able to fix your FPS drops by switching between the Vulkan and DirectX 12 APIs, which some players have found success with. Otherwise, if you’re experiencing more of a freezing issue rather than a simple frame rate dip, you may want to try out the Red Dead Redemption 2 PC freezing fix with the Process Lasso program.