Fallout 4’s Stuttering and Lag Issue & How I Fixed Them – Nvidia / AMD GPU

In Games, Misc by Branton31 Comments

fallout 4 stuttering and lag fix

Fallout 4 has been out for about a while now, and lots of people are still having issues with random lag spikes and/or constant stuttering – myself included. For a lot of people, this issue likely spurs from Bethesda “locking” Fallout 4 at 60fps by enabling vsync and not giving us an easy way to turn it off. For others, it might just be substandard hardware.

fallout 4 stuttering and lag fix

I don’t have the most powerful PC, but it’s generally capable of running most games on ultra/high around 50-60fps without vsync on. Although I was getting those 50-60fps in FO4, I was also experiencing really annoying lag spikes from time to time, and it was killing the game for me. Plus, the choppy effect from having vsync on without being able to maintain 60fps was getting old, quick.

Because of this, I set out to find a way to fix these horribly annoying issues, and what I found was really quick & easy to do. There’s another option available which involves tweaking settings yourself either in the .ini files (if you have the know-how), or by using one of the various FO4 config tools that people have made.

Whichever way you go, you’ll be playing Fallout 4 in a way smoother Commonwealth that you have been up until now.

The “Quick” Fix

The quickest and easiest fix that I found was one by someone who goes by Tayten, and his fix pretty much just turns off vsync and disables mouse acceleration in a FO4 config file. Once you’ve installed the fix, Tayten suggests going into the Nvidia Control Panel and toggling vsync to “adaptive”. Without this, minigames, consoles and some other things will be sped up and/or broken.

It’s pretty easy to do, and I’ve even broken it into 4 steps:

  1. Head over to Nexus and download the files
  2. Follow along with Tayten’s installation video
  3. Enable “Adaptive Vsync”(Nvidia) or “Dynamic Vsync”(AMD) – Steps below
  4. Play Fallout 4 stutter free!

DIY Fix

Instead of using Tayten’s, or another modder’s .ini files, you can always make the edits yourself and gain a similar performance boost. There have been a few configuration tools created by various modders and uploaded to places like Nexus Mods, using one of these is by far the more preferable option and you’ll have access to way more options.

One pretty important thing to keep in mind is that after you’ve used any of these config tools, you should not (and sometimes won’t be able to) make changes to the Fallout 4 graphics settings via the launcher – it will overwrite things you have done via the config tool.

The Fallout 4 Tweaker is the most popular tool on Nexus Mods it’s probably the most comprehensive tool out there. It gives us access to a whole bunch of options that Bethesda seemingly overlooked, like toggling vsync (which can actually mess things up without enabling adaptive vsync like in Tayten’s fix), giving FO4 a high CPU priority, and a bunch of other settings that affect both gameplay as well as performance. There are a lot of options to play around with, and I think this tool is worth having regardless.

Turning off vsync is going to give you the most noticeable drop in stuttering, but it will also mess with certain things like consoles and holotape games in a negative way. There is a way to fix this though, and it’s actually pretty simple. What I’m talking about is enabling “Adaptive Vsync”, which yes, is an Nvidia thing, but there’s a similar solution for AMD users.

By enabling Adaptive vsync (or it’s AMD alternative) things will function like when “normal” vsync is turned on, and when you would otherwise exceed 60fps you’ll be capped to 60fps (on 60hz monitors), but vsync will turn off whenever you drop below 60fps; effectively killing a huge portion of the stutter in Fallout 4, while maintaining the integrity of the minigames and consoles.

Nvidia – Adaptive Vsync

  1. Open “Nvidia Control Panel” (right click on desktop)
  2. Go into “Manage 3D setting”
  3. From “Global Settings” scroll down to “Vertical sync” and toggle it to “Adaptive”. You can also do it for just Fallout 4 via “Program Settings” instead of global.

AMD – Dynamic Vsync

  1. Download & install RadeonPro (it’s the only option to enable “Dynamic Vsync”)
  2. Open RadeonPro and go into the “Tweaks” tab
  3. Enable “Dynamic Vsync” under “Vsync Control”

If All Else Fails…

If you’ve tried everything above, and you still can’t get Fallout 4 to run smoothly, but you’re able to constantly exceed 60fps due to powerful hardware, then you have one option left to try, one option that I know of at least.

Your last ditch effort should be to download a program like RTSS (Rivatuner Statistics Server) and set your FPS cap to 60 while running Fallout4 with its in-game vsync turned off. Heck, this might even be a good solution to start with, but then you won’t know about Adaptive Vsync which is a really useful setting to know about anyways.

Conclusion

See? Super easy, right? Using Tayten’s modified .ini files and turning on adaptive vsync seemed to clear up ALL of the stuttering and lag issues I was having, and I’m hoping that it will do the same for you! In fact, I was actually able to crank everything that was set to “high” up to “Ultra” while still maintaining between 40-60 fps depending on where I am.

But, if you want more control over other settings like field of view, making all NPCs killable, tweaking shadow resolutions and turning mouse acceleration on/off, then you’re going to need a config tool like the Fallout 4 Tweaker, or whichever tool you find that looks good. Just don’t forget to enable a variation of Adaptive Vsync to avoid breaking Fallout 4’s physics.

At the end of the day, either of these solutions will help clean up a ton of lag & stutter in Fallout 4, and you’ll have a much more enjoyable experience because of it. No one likes random lag spikes and choppy gameplay, especially me, so I really hope this post helped you out!

If this worked for you, or if you have anything to add, let us know in the comment section!

Author

Branton

The first game I ever played on PC was Ultima Online way back in 1999, since then I've been hooked on PC gaming and putting together awesome builds! Thanks for stopping by!

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31 Comments on “Fallout 4’s Stuttering and Lag Issue & How I Fixed Them – Nvidia / AMD GPU”

  1. radeon pro is such a useful program and i didnt even know about it until about 10 minutes ago! oh, and disabling fallout’s v sync and enabling dynamic v sync worked perfect, no more stutter at all. thanks!

  2. I’m trying this as soon as I get home, the lagging is really ruining this game for me. It goes from 60 fps to 4-6 (yes, that is FOUR or up to SIX) when I get into the game, UGH! If this works I’m hunting you down and kissing you, right on the kisser. 😉

    Thanks!

    1. These solutions have fixed Fallout for a lot of people, so I’ll just pucker up now and wait here on standby 🙂

      1. can you do one for a intel celeron cpu 1007 running intel hd graphics with two cores for now i will try what you have

        1. Hey Josue,

          You’re going to have a really hard time trying to run FO4 on your dual-core laptop… There isn’t much I can do about that. Sorry.

          1. leve me some ini tweaks that might help i saw some tips to help kill the lag that affects outside in my game and that helps i just get lag indoors i need help with that

          2. what if i use the Fallout 4 Tweaker to set it to 4 cores would that make it think that i have 4 cores if not than send me some ini tweaks to help with the indoor lag because the game runs well outside

          3. is there a way to cap fallout at at 60fps i have a 60hz monitor on my pc i run hd intel any ideas

            1. There are lots of low-spec tweaks out there if you look, Josue. Here’s one, just as an example. But there are really no guarantees that any low-spec tweak will work in your specific scenario.

              Fallout 4 is already capped at 60fps, unless you’ve manually disabled vsync. That said, you can only hit the 60fps cap if your laptop is powerful enough to do so – which it doesn’t sound like yours is. There’s really no way to do what you’re asking without upgrading your system.

              To put it bluntly, your laptop is well under FO4’s minimum requirements, and there isn’t much that I can do about that unfortunately.

              Good luck moving forward!

              1. LowSpecGamer this guy is well known for getting games to run under the minimum requirements he has a worse pc then me lol he did fallout 4 video the graphics so low game looks like a ps3 or ps2 game lol

                  1. i discovered something insane i replaced the fallout 4 low graphics ini with the fallout 3 low graphics one it worked i did not think it would work i can even play it with shadows

                    1. That’s good to know, Josue! That info could help a lot of people with similar setups to yours.

  3. Can someone please help me with RadeonPro? I’m not sure how to open it. It keeps giving me errors? Thanks in advance

    1. I’ll have to take a look, but there should be a lot. I haven’t touched this post in almost a year 🙂

  4. I tried the first one, the link didn’t work, which I know is an occurring problem.

    I tried the second one, and it seemed to work, but everything, like the mini games, was sped up as well. I guess it s user error on my part, but I thought I did everything correctly in Radeonpro.

    The last one, I thought it worked, but I’m still getting lag and microstutters, but with screen tearing.

    So, I’m not sure what to do. Any ideas?

  5. I did all of this and also tried borderless and I still get alot of jitter my fps when vsync is off is always near the 130s unless im loading city areas like diamond city where it can dip down to 50 but none of this helped me whatsoever and im very frustrated, any suggestions?

    1. Hey Blake,

      You have to turn dynamic vsync on (adaptive vysnc on AMD) so your FPS is locked at 60 when it would otherwise go above (so the engine doesn’t break), if that’s not turned on you’ll still have lots of issues. Just part of how they built FO4 with the engine essentially tied to fps..

  6. can someone help me i play on low settings in fallout 4 and i get 60fps but as soon as i move i lag about 5 to 10 seconds and its very irritating my laptop specs are

    i7 7700HQ
    4gb ram ddr4
    gtx 950m
    1TB HDD

    now i know what ure thinking 4GB RAM bruh change it. thing is someone in youtube was using a pc called the “potato masher” and it uses 4gb ram . 30fps but NO insane stutters and lag spikes.

    can anybody help plez?

    1. Hey Stephen,

      It definitely sounds like you should be able to run FO4 with better performance than you’re getting, even with just 4GB of RAM. Have you tried any of the steps above?

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