If you picked up Dark Souls 3 on PlayStation 4 (our review), it’s highly recommended that you update to version 1.03, with a Digital Foundry analysis detailing significant frame-rate improvements with the newest patch.
Following reports from the Japanese launch that Dark Souls 3 suffered from frame-rate issues later on in the game, Digital Foundry played three areas – Farron Keep, Irithyll of Boreal, and Lothric Castle – with update 1.03 installed. Although Lothric Castle falls to 28fps in some sections, “the game maintains a 30fps average fairly easily” otherwise, showing that From Software has addressed some of the issues found at launch.
In the above video, Digital Foundry takes a look at Dark Souls 3 version 1.01 vs version 1.03, showing that 1.03 has an advantage of 5fps in some areas near the beginning of the game. They then tackle later sections with 1.03 installed, which you may want to avoid as the video does contain spoilers.
Despite the improvements with update 1.03, Digital Foundry noticed that frame-pacing is still an issue:
As things stand, there are some minor drops to frame-rate in the current code, but the more noticeable, persistent issue concerns frame-pacing. In a 30fps game, each frame should persist on-screen for 33ms in order to provide an even, consistent presentation. In Dark Souls 3, however, we see a wide variation in frame persistence times ranging from 16.7ms to 50ms. The end result is an intrusive micro-stutter effect – combine that with minor performance drops, and you get an experience that feels much jerkier than the average frame-rate numbers might suggest.
They add, ” Is [the frame-pacing] a game-breaker? Well, not quite. But in combination with outstanding performance issues, it takes off some of the sheen away from a brilliant game.”
Have you noticed any issues with Dark Souls 3’s frame-rate?