A recent increase in performance issues and hardware demand in the PC version of GTA V has been linked to just-released DLC. Known for being a visual masterpiece, GTA V’s final port was always notoriously needy on the higher settings, though the mid range was well enough optimized that it could run smoothly on most machines. Modding also added a new factor into the equation, with both graphics enhancing mods which upped the requirements, or performance improving mods, which occasionally achieved their results at the price of worse visuals.
Even so, GTA V had a bit of a bumpy road on PC. There was a time when hackers and modders in GTA Online got so bad that Rockstar opted for the rather extreme solution of cluttering up the game files with heaps of dead code. They succeeded in making modding no longer viable both in single player and in Online, however they also accidentally made the game a tad broken.
However when that was fixed, the troubles of the PC players weren’t over. A large portion of PC gamers have rigs running AMD graphics cards. Despite being generally weaker than their nVidia counterparts, AMD cards have the massive advantage of a balanced price-value ratio. While nVidia GPUs are a bit stronger, they’re more than a bit pricier. You’ll be able to run mostly the same settings with a high-end AMD card as a high-end GeForce, at a smaller price.
You might imagine then how big of an issue graphical bugs that only affected AMD cards were. AMD even put fixing GTA V compatibility on the top of their list of yearly goals. Efforts are still underway.
A new issue has seemingly popped up too. Ever since the Be My Valentine DLC was released, some players have begun to report performance issues and specific graphical bugs with shadows.
The subreddit dedicated to the PC version of GTA V suddenly saw an influx of new posts complaining about a change in the quality of shadows throughout the game. Even worse, the pixellated darkness covering parts of the screen, which was the AMD exclusive bug until now, has been encountered with nVidia GPUs as well.
The issues are pretty complex and different fixes seemed to have worked in different cases. One of the first things you should try is cycling through all the available shadow settings. It seems that the update tweaked each setting level in some way, so maybe something that worked before is no longer optimal for your setup.
The second step is attempting to tweak your post-processing settings, both in game and the native settings of your GPU (if possible). You’ll need to be careful here, as these are some of the most taxing graphical features.
A different cause some GTA V players have discovered is that the game is less tolerant of low-end HDDs ever since the update. Depending on the RPM of the drive you have GTA V installed on, you may be experiencing issues with texture pop-ins. This means that even after the loading screen is gone and you’re in-game, some textures and objects haven’t loaded and will appear randomly.
Adding to the issues with shadows, nVidia’s own shadow rendering system, PCSS has seemingly stopped working properly since the update. If this setting is selected, shadows will disappear entirely beyond a certain altitude with no reason.
There are other general issues as well, such as lower framerates and the HUD flashing in and out across all specs.
Have any of you guys encountered these issues in GTA V since the DLC was released?