Stray Has Some Annoying Problems On PC

My colleagues played Stray on PS5 and, by all accounts, it was an absolute joy. However, I have played on the PC, where things are not so rosy.

It’s not a disaster; even on my average PC I can run it perfectly at 4K and 60FPS, which is always appreciated, and of course it looks great most of the time, but throughout the game I’ve been hit with instances of annoying little stutters that aren’t bad enough to torpedo the experience, but are just bad enough to remain a thorn in my side.

As always with PC performance issues, I wondered if it was just me or if the problem was more widespread. It turns out that it is very widespread. It affects almost everyone.

The culprit, as Digital Foundry explains below, is familiar to PC gamers: it’s the compilation of shaders from Unreal Engine 4, a problem that seems to be increasingly plaguing all games developed on the engine these days. On consoles, which are pre-built and standard in all areas, developers can pre-compile the shaders of a game, which means that anyone who plays the game on PS5 will not be bothered by it.

But since every PC is different, developers are never offered this luxury on the platform (with rare exceptions, such as the recent Horizon port), which is why most games are forced to compile shaders on the fly.

The result is a constant stream of micro-stutters, which over the hours of play can start to get a little annoying! The video below (which gives some examples)goes into great detail about this, and I set it to autoplay on the PC performance part, but if you want to see how the PS4 and PS5 editions performed, you can see them earlier.

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