TR Member Perks!

Arkane Studios’ new entry into the Dishonored franchise released today for people who preordered their copy, but there’s a growing number of players that are reporting significant performance issues with the PC version of the game.

Some players affected by these issues have been sharing their experiences with other players in a megathread on Reddit’s Dishonored sub. Amongst the issues reported are claims that the game’s engine struggles with rendering glass, dropping the performance from a stable 60fps to a rather low 40 fps. The player reporting this also notes that the game’s performance improved markedly after he broke one a glass display in the room his character was in.

As soon as I get past it or turn around, everything is good. I guess the glass is the same reason throne room has poor performance, because all of the shattered glass.

Reddit user tonebacas notes that this might have something to do with the shaders used on glass objects in the game.

Once SefuVostru broke the glass, there was less surface area which means there’s less fragments/pixels to shade with whatever algorithm they use for reflections.

Some other users report “unplayable” framerates once they got to the main city Dishonored 2‘s story is built around.

GTX 1080 here. game still runs terrible. Fps fluctuates like crazy in Karnaka between 30-60 (vsync on). My GPU might be the culprit though (i5 3770k). But still, you would expect far more from a 1080. Doom for example runs at 150-200 fps at nightmare settings which has basically a variant of the same engine.

That doesn’t sound very good. Hell, it looks even worse in this YouTube video of the game running on a system it shouldn’t have much of a problem with running the game decently well.

The Steam Community forums for Dishonored 2 are also full of players complaining about the game’s performance and a perceived lack of optimization for the PC version.

At the very least, Arkane Studios and Bethesda are aware of the issues and released a statement stating that they’re working on improving the performance of Dishonored 2 on the PC.

We have been monitoring the PC forums and social channels and while we’re excited to hear that many of you are enjoying the game, we are disheartened that some of you are experiencing PC performance issues on some systems.

We are actively working to provide an update to address your concerns. The patch and its release notes will be available in the coming days.

They’ve also released a launch FAQ that lists a few things you can do to improve the game’s performance in lieu of an official patch that includes handy recommendations like “lowering the resolution”, not alt-tabbing while you’re playing the game and making sure you’ve enabled V-Sync. Makes the whole bit below the tips about the game going gold seem a little less worthy of celebration in hindsight.

If you’re looking to buy Dishonored 2 it seems like the right course of action would be to wait until the major issues have been patched out before throwing down the money. If you want to learn more about the game, you can check out our first impressions of Dishonored 2 and stay tuned for our full review.

Dishonored 2 is out now for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One (which apparently run pretty good comparatively) and the PC.

More About This Game

Chris Anderson

Assoc. News Editor

I've been playing games since I was just barely able to walk, and I never really stopped playing them. When I'm not fulfilling my duties as senior staff writer and tech reviewer, I'm either working on music, producing one of two podcasts or doing freelance work.



  • vonSanneck

    This only harms the early days of release (the most profitable time) and Bethesda’s new review copy policy (which is a real rotten pie in the face for them). I did hear it didn’t do anything new with the promise, just another player character & new abilities. Also mainly focused on killing and little on ghosting.

  • Zepherdog

    AFAIK People are talking about how it’s a slightly prettier, more casual version of the first game. There’s also the talk about gender politics that may or may not have been shoehorned into the game, which may discourage a huge portion of the target audience.

  • who thought making all the menus different fonts looked good in any way… did an intern make the game’s UI or something?

  • Corey Marshall

    Played a PC pre-alpha demo build at EB Expo in October. The game is great but performance was pretty bad at around 30-40fps – even on 1080’s, which some of the boxes were running on apparently.

    The mansion level was great though. Will buy the game but might wait for a patch or two… and a GPU upgrade lol.

  • Casey

    “handy recommendations like “lowering the resolution”, not alt-tabbing
    while you’re playing the game and making sure you’ve enabled V-Sync.”

    “Sir? Sir?! IS it plugged in? Are the batteries in your keyboard working? The disc tray is not a cup holder!”

  • Zepherdog

    This is Bethesda we’re talking about, they know jackshit about anything and everything.

  • Chris Anderson

    Yeah just the tone of it. As if the people experiencing these issues wouldn’t ever think of trying these things. Then again, there’s probably a lot of people that don’t try anything and blame the game instead. Guess those tips are meant for the people in the latter group.

  • Chris Anderson

    A statement that gets easier and easier to agree with as time goes on.

  • hurin

    Playing it right now, it is huge and looks amazing. People on mid-range systems might want to wait until after it gets patched.

  • Another reason why preordering a game is dumb.

  • Casey

    Maybe… but I would have to guess that anyone remotely cares about FPS and resolution would already be savvy enough to try these options. In the meantime I’m getting a hint of Batman Arkham Knight off of this statement. A bit of “Some users continue to be unsatisfied.” vibe.

  • vonSanneck

    My main problem with the use of gender or racial politics in video games is the disregard for subtlety, which comes out condescending.

    The visuals seem just slightly better than the original games, that much is true. The mechanical changes might be a bit off-putting for repeat playthroughs, especially the ghost runs where some NPCs now have hawk eyes with jellyfish positioning for whatever reason (“why & how did you spot me with your back turned a room & a hallway away” moment)