Skyrim – Are you suffering from lag?

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Believe it or not, there’s apparently a more terrifying prospect in the vast tundra of Skyrim than getting trampled by Woolly Mammoth or having your face liquefied by a Frostbite Spider. A fate worse than arachnid mug-melting allegedly springs up if your save file exceeds over 5-6MB on your PS3’s hard-drive, which, according to many gamers on Bethesda’s forums, results in crippling lag.

It’s a problem that’s been widely reported over the last couple of days. And it finally started to hit a few of our colleagues last night. So we want to know if your Skyrim save has been afflicted by this apparent save file-linked lag.

The first cries of Tamrielian Timber Wolf were heard in forum threads on Bethesda’s official site. There are now dozens upon dozens of posts from angry PS3 gamers citing unplayable lag, not being able to interact with NPCs or complete quests once they surpass 5-6MB of stored save data.

Ex OPM UK Editor Tim Clark is just one Elder Scrolls enthusiast whose dragon-slaying shenanigans have been temporarily banjaxed by these laggy woes.

“I first started encountering serious lag at around the 25-hour mark, and since then it’s been the same: I boot up, play for an hour or so, then the framerate gets choppier until I ultimately need to restart the PS3. I’d actually already noticed that the file was creeping up in size every time I saved”, says Tim.

According to some tech-wise folk on the forums (which we obviously can’t confirm) the problem doesn’t seem to stem from having too many manual saves. Instead, it seems even just having a single save slot can cause these issues.

Save data appears to grow in size the longer you play, with the more quests you complete adding to the accumulative data storage. It means deleting manual save files may not be a solution, as your data will continue to get bigger the longer you play in Bethesda’s megaton RPG.

Thankfully, there do seem to be some temporary workaround solutions. As Tim says, restarting your machine seems to fix the lag (although seemingly only for an hour or so). Turning off the autosave also helps. “Obviously, I’m no more a Cell chip programmer than I am a gynaecologist, but switching off all the autosave features does seem to have helped slightly. It’s frustrating though. I’m bonkers for the game and don’t want the experience soured by it turning into a flickbook. Bethesda surely have to patch it with a fix.”

We contacted Bethesda for comment on these PS3-specific problems and received the following response: “All we can reiterate at this stage is what Pete Hines has said on his Twitter feed.”

Specifically, they’re referring to tweets from the VP of PR and Marketing at Bethesda released this week: “We are continuing to work on an update for all platforms to address issues, any bugs and perf issues we can.”

Clearly, Bethesda are on the case. So lets hope an imminent patch can fix the above problems. Because other than these technical hiccups, we’re bloody adoring the game so far. Our Skyrim review should be posted early next week. But there are already tens of people in the office who’ve lost upwards of 30 hours in its ultra engaging fantasy world.

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