- Bethesda “tied” Fallout 4 to 60fps by enabling vsync and not giving us an easy way to turn it off.
- For others, it may be due to poor hardware.
- Not all causes may be applicable in your case.
I, too, still experience lag spikes and constant stuttering in Fallout 4 despite the fact that it was released so long ago. Many people are experiencing this problem because Bethesda enabled vsync and did not give us a way to turn it off, which made Fallout 4 “tied” to 60 frames per second. Some may have poor hardware that is causing it.
In Ultra/High mode, my computer can usually run most games at about 50-60 frames per second without VSync turned on, even though it is not the most powerful. The jerking effect I experienced in FO4 caused me to become very annoyed from time to time when I was unable to maintain 60 frames per second. While I achieved 50-60 frames per second, I also experienced very annoying lag spikes.
My search turned up a quick and easy solution to these horribly annoying problems, so I decided to do something about them. If you are able to modify the settings yourself (if you have the know-how), or by using one of the various FO4 customization tools you can find, that is another option.
It does not matter which way you play Fallout 4, you’ll be able to enjoy it more.
What Causes Fallout 4 Lag Problems on the PC?
After receiving several reports from users and doing our own research, we’ve come to the conclusion that there are several reasons for the lag in Fallout 4. Some of them are listed below:
Note: Not all causes may be applicable in your case. If you haven’t found a single solution that fits your scenario, don’t worry; just keep following the solutions and the game will run smoothly again in no time.
Fallout 4 Freezing
Check to see if the freezing persists. Data from previously installed mods stays in the save game, causing CTDs, freezing, etc. As wtiger27 said, data from previously installed mods remains embedded in the save game and can cause a variety of issues. You will likely still need to uninstall and then reinstall the game once you find out what was causing it (see the Stickies for how to do a clean uninstall and clean re-install).
A lagging mouse and a 60FPS cap lock are two Fallout 4 issues that can be fixed with these steps.
FPS limit: By default, Fallout has an FPS limit that automatically reduces the maximum number of frames per second you can get on your computer. In this case, changing the settings will work.
Third-party apps: If other apps are running in the background and consuming your resources, Fallout won’t get the processing power it needs, causing delays in your game. Here you can try to diagnose any third-party apps running in the background and close them.
Fallout 4 Stutter
You should update your graphics drivers if your hardware cannot run the game. Most commonly, it is just a driver update that is required. If you use a Nvidia card, make sure the ‘Weapon Debris’ setting is turned on.
Fallout 4 Fps Fix
Fallout 4 has been reported to fix low FPS issues by turning off volumetric lighting. To see if it brings any changes, it is best to try playing with little or no God rays. There are two ways in which you can do so.
Fallout 4 Low Fps
Try starting the game vanilla without any mods added, including graphic upgrades, and see if you still get low FPS. Make sure none of your mods are breaking or conflicting with other mods you have. You should probably review your mod list to locate the culprit(s) if it works properly without mods. If it does work properly without mods, it is probably a software problem like drivers.
High settings in the game: There are times when the game settings are very high and there are not enough resources to meet the requirements. In this case, it is useful to reduce the settings or enable windowed mode.
Conflicting GPU settings: We have also come across several cases where the GPU is clogging up the game due to power saving and other settings. In this case, setting the GPU to maximum performance can help.
Outdated graphics drivers: Graphics drivers are the main components providing the link between the game and the hardware. If they are not properly updated or have problems working, you won’t get the results you want.
Low priority in Task Manager: If the Fallout process is not prioritized in Task Manager, your computer will not see it as a real-time game and will be reluctant to give it high resources. Changing the priority level in Task Manager will help in this case.
Low computer specs: This is the most common reason for the slowness in Fallout 4. If you have a low-powered computer, the game won’t get the processing power it needs (obviously!) and will cause delays when events occur or when navigating a graphically complex scene.
Incorrect BIOS settings: We don’t usually recommend users to update the BIOS because of the risks involved, but we have encountered many cases where resetting the BIOS settings has completely solved the problem. This could be due to the configurations stored in it.
Fallout 4 Framerate Fix
Choose fallout 4.exe under the program settings tab in the NVIDIA control panel, change vertical sync to adaptive and set max frame rate to 60. You may need to add it to the list. It works best for me if you set it to 72 frame rate. Anything over 60 will kinda break your game.
Fallout 4 Stuttering
Upgrading your graphics card and memory is the best way to deal with Fallout 4’s stuttering issue. Upgrading each means faster speeds and lower stutter levels.
I was playing hundreds hours in F:NV and suffered from awful stuttering/tearing when i moved my mouse. It doesn’t matter what PC specifications I had, what graphics settings I used. So today i tried to find anooother one fix for it and watched a bunch of videos. In one of them it said something like “fallouts engine is running at 64 tickrate”. So i tried to lock my fps at 64 in RTSS and OH MY HOWDY PARTNERS! It run so smooth like never before. Even running speed now feels like real (slower and smoother). So if someone noticing that stutter/tearing, try to lock your fps at 64.
Many rookie PC players have been knocked out of their minds by this exceedingly common fix. You need to remove anything heavy in the background when you are playing a graphics-intensive game such as Fallout 4. Your PC may be being slowed down by another program and preventing the game from running smoothly.
Bad mods: If you use third-party mods in your game, there is a good chance that they will conflict with the game and cause display or loading screen problems.
If you are not logged in as an administrator, ensure you have an active Internet connection before starting troubleshooting.
How to Solve Fallout 4 Lag Problems on your PC
Stop applications that are overloading the processor and memory
It is advisable to close all CPU/memory-intensive applications on your computer before starting Fallout 4 so that you can speed up your computer’s processing speed.
- Enter taskmgr in the Run dialog box by pressing the Windows logo key and the R key simultaneously on your keyboard.
- You can end a process that is consuming CPU or memory by right-clicking on it, bringing up its context menu.
- The issue may be alleviated if you temporarily disable the antivirus software.
Update your video card drivers
Your video card’s drivers should be updated regularly to avoid causing FPS drops or game crashes.
You can also try updating the drivers of all potential devices (e.g. CPU and audio), if updating graphics drivers doesn’t solve your problem.
A driver update program can automatically detect your system and find the appropriate drivers if you do not have the time, patience, or technical knowledge to update drivers manually.
The third-party driver updater will handle all the work for you, and you won’t need to worry about running the wrong driver or making a mistake during the installation process.
Unlocking FPS limitation
The following steps will tell you how to change certain values in Notepad to unlock Fallout 4’s FPS limit:
- To locate the game file, go to the following folder:
You can find Fallout 4 at C:/Users/YourWindowsName/Documents/My Games
- Choose Open with -> Notepad from the context menu of the file Fallout4Prefs.ini.
- Enter iPresentInterval in the Find dialog box after opening the file and pressing Ctrl + F.
- iPresentInterval=1 should be changed to iPresentInterval=0 when you locate the line.
- Notepad should be closed after saving the file.
Tip: According to some players, removing the FPS limit can lead to unsightly side effects, such as “the UI loads” (thanks to Russian Lyokha’s comment). If you encounter such problems, please cancel the modification. Just reset iPresentInterval to 1, quit the game, and restart it.
Change the video card settings
- Select NVIDIA Control Panel by right-clicking on a blank area of the desktop.
- The left pane of the pop-up window should contain the option Manage 3D settings.
- Once you have found and selected Fallout 4, click Add.
- Changing this program’s settings is now possible.
- In the section Specify program settings, you will see the following:
- You can change these items by scrolling down to the bottom of the page:
- Make sure that Prefer Maximum Performance is selected for power management.
- Turn on triple buffering.
- Pre-render up to one image
- You can enable vertical synchronization by turning it on.
The video card settings need to be adjusted once again to see if Fallout 4’s lag problem has been resolved.
Adjusting the game settings
Adjust the game settings if you are experiencing lag in Fallout 4.
- Click the Options menu in the Fallout 4 Start menu once you have started the game.
- Make sure your monitor’s resolution matches yours.
- Check the Borderless and Windowed Mode checkboxes after that.
- Your changes will be saved when you click OK.
- This time, try running the game.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Start Fallout 4 on your computer and run the launcher.
- Then click Options on the main screen.
- You can then either select the Low Detail option or click Advanced and manually change the settings.
- Try changing the Ultra setting to Medium or Low.
The real reason is the absurd amount of character calls caused by poorly implemented shadows and all the dynamic objects. That's why your FPS drops in cities and GPU usage is low. The CPU just doesn't have time to generate these character calls and pass them to the GPU.
For many people, this problem is likely due to the fact that Bethesda "froze" Fallout 4 at 60fps by enabling vsync and not giving us an easy way to turn it off. For others, it may be due to poor hardware. Also, the hash effect with vsync enabled without the ability to maintain 60fps quickly became annoying.
- Make sure you have the correct system requirements for Fallout 4.
- Change your computer resolution to the recommended size.
- Change the game mode and resolutions by editing the game file.
- Close unnecessary background processes.
- Run Fallout 4 in compatibility mode.
- Adjust the frame rate in Fallout 4.
Mark Ginter is a tech blogger with a passion for all things gadgets and gizmos. A self-proclaimed "geek", Mark has been blogging about technology for over 15 years. His blog, techquack.com, covers a wide range of topics including new product releases, industry news, and tips and tricks for getting the most out of your devices. If you're looking for someone who can keep you up-to-date with all the latest tech news and developments, then be sure to follow him over at Microsoft.