Even an insane overclock can’t fix Batman: Arkham Knight on Switch
Batman: Arkham Knight’s performance issues on Switch are so deep that even overclocking can’t fix it
The Batman Arkham Trilogy is now available on Switch, and Arkham Knight, the trilogy’s final game, is not running well on Nintendo’s hardware. The game is failing to keep the game running at locked 30 FPS. This doesn’t just prevent the game from running smoothly, it ruins the game’s fast paced combat with stutters and pauses.
Modern Vintage Gamer, a popular gaming YouTuber, has attempted to fix the game by overclocking his Nintendo Switch. He noted that the game’s driving sequences ran especially poorly on Switch. The YouTuber noted framerate dips to 18 FPS in some occasions, stating that others have reported even larger framerate dips.
Using a newer Switch model, Modern Vintage Gamer has managed to squeeze huge amount of additional performance from his handheld. Be has managed to crank the system’s CPU from its stock 1,000 MHz to 2,397 MHz. The Switch runs its GPU at 460 MHz in handheld mode, and this has been cranked up to 1,075 MHz. Finally, the system’s memory was cranked up from 1,600 MHz to 2,500 MHz. The game was then ran in handheld mode with an unlocked framerate to showcase any performance improvements.
An unstable 60 FPS, but only in some areas
During the opening of Arkham Knight, results are promising. The game often ran at an unstable 60 FPS on Modern Vintage Game’s heavily overclocked Switch. This was a major improvement over the game’s stock performance, but that changed once the Botmobile got involved. Despite staggering increases to CPU, memory, and GPU performance, Batman Arkham Knight’s Batmobile scenes on Switch ran very poorly. With dips below 30 FPS, poor frame pacing, and stutters, these sequences were, frankly, unplayable.
It is believed that these low performance levels are not simply due to a lack of CPU or GPU grunt. It is likely that the game’s streaming system runs poorly on Switch, and that the Switch’s storage is not fast enough to deliver data to the system to frequently flush out the system’s memory. Remember, the Switch only has 4GB of system memory, and Arkham Knight was not originally designed for that little memory.
Previously, Modern Vintage Gamer has managed to get Red Dead Redemption running at 60 FPS on Switch with a lower system overclock. Sometimes a Switch overclock can do wonders, but not for Arkham Knight.
Can Batman: Arkham Knight be improved on Switch?
It is possible that the performance of Arkham Knight’s Switch version could be improved through future game updates. Perhaps changes can be made to the game to improve performance. This could be done by recreating some of the game’s systems for Switch, or by dialling back some intensive features during taxing scenes.
On Switch, a lot of cuts had to be made to get the game running on Nintendo’s hardware. The game already has low resolution textures and visuals that are much worse than the game’s other console versions. Even so, the game still runs poorly on Switch, despite these cutbacks. The question now is whether or not Warner Brothers are willing to invest money into fixing this game, or if they will abandon it and leave it as it is. Frankly, I think gamers deserve better than this, and so does Arkham Knight.
You can join the discussion on Batman: Arkham Knight’s Switch version on the OC3D Forums.