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The Elden Ring PC Backlash Has Begun

Even before its release, "Elden Ring" caused a stir in the gaming community. Critics almost universally praised the open-world FromSoftware title, even as rumors stirred that the PC version of the game left something to be desired. Unfortunately, it seems that the PC rumors were true, and even with a hefty Day One patch, "Elden Ring" still has some problems, especially for PC gamers.

For those who have been living under a proverbial rock, "Elden Ring" is the latest entry in the "Soulsborne" genre, a creation from FromSoftware and fantasy author George R.R. Martin, who helped director Hidetaka Miyazaki in the initial steps of world-building. Martin later commented that he hadn't been involved in "Elden Ring" for "years," leaving fans to think that he only consulted during early development. Regardless, Hidetaka Miyazaki has enough ideas to create a beautiful fantasy world all on his own if need be, and "Elden Ring" seems to have combined the best parts from the minds of the two creative giants. In other words, "Elden Ring" has a rich pedigree and comes with a built-in fan community that has been loyal to FromSoftware for years.

In the months leading up to the release of "Elden Ring," fans had plenty of time to get excited. Gamers and journalists alike scoured the world for information about any detail they could find — like why "Elden Ring" has so many poison swamps. However, PC gamers continue to wonder when (or if) performance issues will be addressed. Here's what's up with the performance of "Elden Ring" on PC, as well as how fans have responded.

What's going on with the PC version of Elden Ring?

Despite glowing reviews from critics and a 95 on Metacritic, "Elden Ring" has a mixed review score on its Steam page. "Elden Ring" has about 16,000 positive reviews and 11,000 negative reviews on Steam, accounting for its mixed rating. Many gamers have reported framerate issues and graphical stuttering, which made the game almost unplayable. After all, it's impossible to pause most FromSoftware games, and combat requires some amount of precision and strategy.

Review after review mentioned graphical issues. One player quipped, "Elden Ring? More like stuttering." Another said they couldn't even get into the game, writing, "I can see why people say that these 'Souls-like' games are hard. Because I can't even beat the first enemy called 'launch.'" One reviewer claimed to have a good gaming PC, but was still unable to run the game. Aside from that, they commented on other issues with the PC port, like PlayStation commands appearing in the PC version, unnavigable menus, and a disappointing co-op mode.

Other reviewers sought to help others by offering settings fixes for the performance issues, as tinkering with motion blur and grass quality can sometimes help relieve the stress of graphically taxing games. However, others commented that workarounds shouldn't be necessary for a new, full-priced title, and that companies should put more care into developing PC versions of games. One gamer noted that FromSoftware has a history of lackluster PC ports, and that it's possible that a late addition of anti-cheat software for PCs ruined the game.

While it's unclear why "Elden Ring" is having performance issues on PC, it's still selling like hotcakes, reaching over 760,000 concurrent players shortly after its release. Still, Bandai Namco felt the need to respond. 

Bandai Namco addressed the issues

In a statement on its website, Bandai Namco apologized for the issues PC users experienced. The company assured players that it was looking into the issues and asked for players' patience regarding fixes. However, instead of a vague promise to do better, Bandai Namco presented an actionable list of items it seeks to resolve, including issues with anti-cheat software, graphics stuttering, control sensitivity, and other bug fixes. The statement also explained some temporary fixes for the problems, like updating graphics card drivers and changing settings. Bandai Namco also promised to look into a data error on the PlayStation 5 version of "Elden Ring" that inferred with players saving their games correctly.

The official Twitter account for "Elden Ring" shared the statement, and fans shared additional issues they had encountered in the replies. One player joked that they needed to implement an easy mode for the punishing game, but others had legitimate concerns, such as server issues, lack of ultrawide support, and framerate problems on consoles. As of now, it's unclear when Bandai Namco and FromSoftware will release patches for these issues, but the statement on the matter indicates that these fixes should arrive sooner rather than later.