If you own Dishonored 2 on PC, there’s another beta patch available from Arkane Studios. PC players suffered from performance issues, which prompted the studio to release the first patch six days after release. This second update--less than two weeks post-launch--seems to add even more optimizations to the game across multiple categories.
For Nvidia users, it’s important to update your driver to version 375.95. Arkane Studios said there are issues in previous driver versions (375.70 and 375.86) that are “unique to Dishonored 2 which impacts performance.” It seems there are no similar issues with AMD GPUs, but it’s best if you update your drivers anyway.
The update includes a plethora of changes. In terms of performance, the game now manages the maximum pre-rendered frame, which means that you can eliminate any custom options in your graphics driver settings. Framerate stuttering was also reduced, but the game’s overall framerate is capped at 120 frames per second (fps). Arkane Studios’ reasoning behind the cap is to “prevent physics issues which occur above 120fps.” If you’re still having issues, you can limit framerate even with V-Sync disabled with the new Framerate Limiter.
There were also some specific fixes related to hardware. For example, the game’s auto-detect graphics settings were adjusted for the AMD Radeon R9 290X2 GPU. Support for Horizon Based Ambient Occlusion Plus (HBAO+), which is Nvidia-based technology that improves in-game shadows, was also added to AMD GPUs. Finally, the studio also improved the game’s use of the CPU cores for “high and low-end machines.”
Even after two updates, there are still some issues with the game. Fortunately, the studio made a list of known issues, which is available below, as well as temporary workarounds for each problem until the next update is available.
Incorrect labels in the Options menu: ---- “Windowed Mode” should be “Display Mode.” ---- “Adaptive Resolution FPS Threshold” should be “Adaptive Resolution FPS Target.” ---- “Borderless windowed mode” should be “Borderless Fullscreen.” ---- “Field of Vision” should be “Field of View.” ---- “God Rays” should be “Light Shafts.” ---- Adaptive Resolution FPS Threshold setting is not accurately reflected in the Visuals menu after restarting the game when FPS Limiter is used. ---- Adaptive Resolution FPS Threshold becomes locked to the previous FPS Limiter setting when V-sync is enabled. ---- Workaround: Toggle V-Sync off, then change the FPS Limiter to the desired setting before re-enabling V-Sync. A visual distortion may occur at the bottom of the screen when toggling Triple Buffering while in-game. ---- Workaround: Toggle Triple Buffering at the Main Menu, or turn it off then back on while in-game to remove the distortion. The in-game framerate may remain locked to 60 FPS when the V-sync setting is set to Full on a monitor that supports higher than 60Hz refresh rates. ---- Workaround: Disable V-Sync and manually set the FPS Limiter setting to higher than 60 to achieve framerates above 60 FPS. The FPS Limiter setting only displays text in English and is not localized. ---- Workaround: None. Localization is expected to be implemented in a future update. The Adaptive Resolution setting will change to display as Manual when exiting and re-entering the Visual settings menu after setting it to Always. ---- Workaround: None. This is a visual issue with the menu. The Adaptive Resolution setting will still be enabled and set to the default for the Always setting. Keyboard and Mouse controls may display latency in menus and during gameplay when V-Sync is set to Half. ---- Workaround: Either Disable V-Sync or change the setting to Full. Framerate may not be accurately locked to 30 FPS when setting V-sync to Half ---- Workaround: Disable V-Sync and change the FPS Limiter setting, or increase the V-Sync setting. Multiple confirmation prompts may appear when cancelling a change to the Triple Buffering Setting. ---- Workaround: None. Cancel the prompt again until it no longer appears. Framerate may be decreased when using V-Sync without Triple Buffering Enabled ---- Workaround: Enable Triple Buffering to see if that increases performance, or disable V-sync. Controls may become locked if a controller has been disconnected while the game is running ---- Workaround: Use Alt+Tab to leave the game window then return, or reconnect the controller. Setting the Adaptive Resolution to Off changes the Adaptive Resolution FPS Threshold to 29. ---- Workaround: None. This is a visual issue with the menu and does not affect the actual in-game framerate.
For the full update notes, visit the the game’s Steam page. If you continue to have performance issues with the game that aren’t mentioned in the update, you can report the problem on Bethesda’s forums.