Red Dead Redemption 2 PC version ties major mechanics into the frame rate

One of the joys of PC ports is playing games at higher technical specs than what a console can provide. This can include graphical upgrades, mod support, and (most commonly) a higher frame rate and this applies to Rockstar’s recent cowboy epic. Those enjoying the Red Dead Redemption 2 PC version have the option to untether the game from its console frame rate of 30 FPS, but it seems that they’re paying for their technical hubris. As tested by Reddit user jimmyoneshot, several key mechanics break apart when played at high frame rates.

Red Dead has several stamina based mechanics that add to its realistic world. Its cores monitor how often your character eats and how appropriate their attire is for the environment. The PC version of Red Dead 2 counts each frame as a unit of time, meaning that players on massive rigs could find that their in-game days drain much more energy than intended. Not only does this throw the game’s balance out of whack, but it also affects things like your character’s weight and durability in a fight.

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Upon testing by user jimmyoneshot, Arthur in the PC version becomes hungry incredibly quickly when playing at a capped 120 FPS rate. Bump that down to a locked 30, and the game proceeds as normal. It is a fix, but it robs players of one of the major reasons to play the game on a computer rather than a console. Weight and other core management don’t become a big factor until Chapter 2 of the game, so it’s not surprising that this sort of issue is coming out a bit after the game’s launch on PC.

If this issue sounds familiar, that’s because a similar problem plagued players of Dark Souls 2 early in that game’s life on PC. Just trade weapon durability for Rockstar’s cores system and you have a perfect match. While Bandai Namco eventually patched the problem away, it caused quite a stir and led to the famous DSfix mod by Durante. The modder has since released fixes for other problematic PC titles, so it’s possible that someone could step up to fix Rockstar’s blockbuster game.

Another factor to consider is Google Stadia’s upcoming version of Red Dead Redemption 2. This would theoretically be a Linux build of the game and run with uncapped frame rates even easier. Would there be an easy fix for gamers on the cloud gaming service experiencing these issues? Would a Red Dead Redemption 2 PC fix extend out to the Google version of the game? It’s definitely worth considering if you’re looking to play Red Dead 2 on your phone in 2020. For now, it might be worth waiting for a patch before rounding up any more doggies.