All Pokemon Scarlet and Violet Performance Issues Explained

Paldea is looking extra grainy...

by Elliott Gatica

Now that we have our hands on an actual new generation of Pokemon, there are exciting times ahead. However, this wouldn’t be a new game without some kind of controversy. Past games have been scrutinized for removing the National Dex and having bad graphics. So what does Gen 9 have? Well, Pokemon Scarlet and Violet are a bit rough on the edges when it comes to their performance and other issues plaguing the game. We’ll go more into it below.

Pokemon Scarlet and Violet Performance Issues Explained

If you have noticed from streamers playing the game, content creators uploading full playthroughs, or from your own experience, Scarlet and Violet do not perform at a stable 30 FPS. The frame rate can get to that level, but it oftentimes dips in busy areas, especially with a lot of movement.

When standing idly, the game looks serviceable. You can look around, but you’ll notice that objects in the distance either disappear or become very low quality in terms of texture. There are also a lot of pop-ins that occur at all distances which can be very disorienting.

Not to mention, when you’re out in grassy areas, it’s hard to tell where certain Pokemon are. You’ll oftentimes find yourself encountering things in the grass because frame drops cause your inputs to be a bit delayed. The more movement out in the world, the bigger these frame drops are.

There are even moments when moving fast where the game might freeze for half a second. There’s a lot to process in these worlds. It’s a mix of aged hardware and poor optimization that leads to some hilarious or “janky” moments.

While it is a grey area between legality and morality, people have taken to third-party software to emulate Nintendo Switch games. Scarlet and Violet are not the first instances of a game being played on unintended hardware for better performance. This should hopefully pressure Game Freak into optimizing the game post-launch.

People have posted such incidents on social media to show just exactly what these performance issues entail. Pop-ins and slowdowns happen even during battles. Luckily in a game like this where you don’t need to move too precisely around unless for locking onto wild Pokemon, this can be dealt with.

In a gaming generation where the norm is 60 FPS and 1080p, Switch owners do have to make some compromises. Most games can be handled at 30 FPS and 720p. Even games like Monster Hunter Rise and Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild don’t run as poorly and unoptimized as Scarlet and Violet. Granted, the world here is much more vibrant with many more assets to load.

Hopefully, there will be needed optimization fixes for Scarlet and Violet. As it stands right now, the game is playable. With that said, the lag and pop-ins make it playing difficult. It can really be frustrating to start a new generation with poor optimization. Even Pokemon Legends Arceus didn’t run this poorly. The hardware is only to blame to a certain degree.

Pokemon Scarlet and Violet are available now exclusively for the Nintendo Switch.

- This article was updated on November 18th, 2022

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