The 'Dishonored 2' PC Launch Is a Mess

The latest title from Arkane Studios isn't very cooperative on PC. 

Nicholas Bashore

The sequel to Arkane Studios’s dark, supernatural stealth title Dishonored hit store shelves today on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC, allowing players to head back into the fray as either Corvo Attano or his daughter Emily Kaldwin as a new conspiracy kicks up. Based on what we’ve played here at Inverse, Dishonored 2 is shaping up to be better than the original across the board. Unless, of course, you’re playing it on PC.

Yesterday, during the early access release of Dishonored 2 for those who pre-ordered, PC players started reporting issues regarding the performance of the game on their machines. These included poor frame rates which would kick in when entering open areas, crashes that would occur when starting up the game, and player control issues when using a mouse and keyboard.


When I started up Dishonored 2 on my system yesterday, I ran into many of same problems players were reporting on both Steam and Reddit. Numerous frame rate dips were present when I was running the game on a combination of medium and low settings that would tank me down to 30 FPS in open areas. It wasn’t completely unplayable, but it was certainly disappointing seeing that Dishonored ran so well on PC for me.

Following a few changes and a reinstall of the game, I’ve been met with continuous crashes right as I boot up the game. I’m unable to see anything outside of a blinking screen, even though the audio of the main menu seems to be coming through okay, and this is all with the game running on a rig with a 4GHz Intel i7-6700K and EVGA GTX 1080 FTW too, which handles games like Battlefield 1 and The Witcher III without dropping below 60 FPS on maximum settings at a 1080p resolution.

In short, my rig should be fine.

Nicholas Bashore

In response to the performance issues many players are having on PC, Bethesda has posted a guide with recommendations on how to increase performance which include adjusting resolution, keeping V-Sync activated, and disabling TXAA Anti-Aliasing. Arkane Studios also announced that they are actively working to provide an update to the PC version of the game which will allow for more consistent frame rates and smoother input for mouse controls. No release date for this patch has been given, but we should see it in the coming days per the update post.

The poor performance of Dishonored 2 on PC at launch comes just a few weeks after Bethesda’s new review policy announcement too, where the publisher said that they would not be sending out review copies until one day before release — meaning folks weren’t exactly aware of this sooner. But Dishonored 2 isn’t the only multi-platform title to launch with poor PC performance in recent memory, with both Mafia III and XCOM 2 having to be patched to increase performance and allow stable frame rates as well while their console counterparts performed as expected.

It looks like PC players will have to mostly forgo playing Dishonored 2 on launch, but, rest assured, there will likely be an optimization patch early next week.

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