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Destiny 2 still runs at ~40 FPS on AMD RX 6000 series

Published: 22:26, 05 April 2021
Destiny 2 - Spider's Lair in Tangled Shore
Destiny 2 - Spider's Lair in Tangled Shore

Beyond Light released in Destiny 2 almost half a year ago, ruining PC performance in the process. Even today, some players are stuck with 40 FPS and stuttering, despite having top of the line GPUs.

Destiny 2: Beyond Light released on November 10, 2020. That is the date many Guardians curse, some because their favourite gear was made obsolete, others because almost half the game was removed and PvP community hated because Stasis arrived. However, the entire PC community had a problem with this specific date because this is when their frame rates dropped drastically.

Thankfully, at least those using Nvidia GPUs got some sort of a fix along the way but as of April 5, 2021, AMD GPU users are still suffering horrendous performance in Destiny 2. 

Expensive, top-notch GPUs that were released a week after Beyond Light, can not run the game with stable frame rates. RX 6800 and RX 6800 XT are successfully competing with Nvidia's high-end lineup of this generation, but this is not the case with Destiny 2. Then again, Nvidia GPUs also performed better before the expansion kicked in, the latter fix only restored some of the performance.

The reason seems to be messed up multi-threaded rendering and it affects all AMD GPUs. While a humble RX 580 was able to run the game at smooth 75+ FPS before the expansion, a 5700 XT keeps dipping into 40 FPS with stuttering now, even when playing at 1080p. That's on a GPU meant for 1440p.

Overall, the poor Destiny 2 performance is present across all AMD graphics card tiers, across several generations and the problem has no persisted for six months. Bungie has been silent on the matter for about three months now, since late January 2021 , even though reports from affected players keep pouring in on a daily basis, in the same thread.

In the six-month period since Beyond Light's release, players came up with more than one workaround. Some users rolled their drivers back to 20.4.2 , which is not possible on RX 6000 series cards since that driver is from May 2020, six months before they were released, and as such, does not have support for these GPUs.

Others took to forcing the game to use multi-threaded rendering, which brought back a large chunk of the performance but caused severe artefacts in the Tower, the hub that is visited fairly often.

Destiny 2

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A man with an axe running through a forest in SCUM
Players will earn the Tirastrella Ghost Shell after completing 5 Crucible matches and visiting Lord Shaxx in the Tower.
Destiny 2

Even those that can revert to year-old drivers should not be doing so since this little manoeuvre will cost users system stability as well as performance in other, newer, games.

Considering that being able to enjoy PvP in Destiny 2 often relies on having smooth frame rates, stuttering in the Crucible is easily one of the worst offenders when it comes to losing games. With all that in mind, one wouldn't be too optimistic regarding the question of whether AMD users will need wait another half a year before their $579 and $649 GPUs will be properly utilised in Destiny 2.

AMD's representative on Reddit, RetroB, has previously noted they tried escalating the issue with both AMD and Bungie and this may have produced a glimmer of hope for the AMD Guardians, with a hint that software teams may have found a fix .

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