New PS3 Skyrim 1.4 patch: has the update fixed your lag?
That’s the 1.4 million dollar question. The PS3 Skyrim lag debacle has been spindling a web of framerate-related sadness like a giant, unruly Frostbite Spider since the game’s release in November. Now, though, it looks like Lagzilla might finally have been put out of its misery, thanks to the new Skyrim 1.4 PS3 patch. Well, ‘might’.
The latest online fix went live on PSN sometime last night. Soon after its release, many Skyrim fans were hopping on the Bethesda forums with mixed results. While some proclaimed their lag had been slain like the mightiest Macho Man-inspired dragon, others noticed only slight improvements to framerates or no change at all.
“I was level 32, with an 8MB save, but after patching it dropped to 6.5MB and unbelievably, Whiterun (which was the area with biggest frame drops in my case) is certainly lag free,” said Bethesda forumite Tsoglani. “I believe this patch is working, although I am not giving the all clear yet.”
On the flip side, CaptainMarvelQ8 said: “Guys, I’m sad to say that this fix is only a temporary one. After three hours playing the lag is back in full force, even worse at times.”
Taking the middle ground was Seti18, who told the forums: “It’s very slightly better or the same as before… still no constant 30 fps. The fall forest is definitely running a bit smoother for me. I think they definitely cleaned up come dirty code and the game runs generally, away from the memory issues, a bit better overall.”
The unifying factor between Skyrim fans seems to be the general shrinkage of save files, with many Dragonborn-enthusiasts stating their save file had shrunk thanks to the 1.4 patch. In case you’ve been trapped in a Bolivian cave since November, it was the game’s ever expanding save file sizes that were believed to be the main cause of Skyrim’s PS3 lag.
Former OPM UK editor Tim Clark (who’s now editor in-chief at Future Games) also braved Bethesda’s fantasy tundra last night post 1.4. “I only played for an hour, but it seemed like a vast improvement,” says Tim. “It was noticeably much smoother and stable even from initial boot, and I didn’t experience any problems after. Would need to play longer to be sure, though.”
So semi encouraging, although sadly still mixed messages, then. While things may not yet be entirely quiet on the lag front, a post by Bethesda on the forums at least provides some tips for giving Skyrim’s 1.4 patch the best chance of success…
“The 1.4 patch for Skyrim includes many performance-enhancing updates for the PlayStation 3. A few important things to note:
1. To ensure the fastest jump in performance after applying the patch, be sure to first create a new manual save by entering the save menu and choosing “save game.” You should then restart your PlayStation 3 before continuing to play.
2. If you encounter strange behaviour while playing immediately following application of the patch, do not be alarmed – this is a temporary effect of Skyrim scripts correcting themselves after the update. Once this process runs its course, be sure to make a new save and restart your PlayStation 3.”
If you’ve downloaded Skyrim 1.4 patch, please let us know how you’re getting on with lag in the comments. Only together can we defeat such a formidable foe… y’know through loads of moaning to Pete Hines on Twitter.