RUMOR - Zelda: Breath of the Wild's framerate issues are related to software bugs, not hardware power

Coming from a dev at Bplus Games...

Most of the frame-rate issues in Zelda are just programming failures. If Nintendo sets the right people to it they can totally fix them.

Some dev friends and I have the same feeling about that. Because sometimes it is just a specific zoom ratio that makes the frame-rate drop. Just zoom in a bit closer or further away and it runs super smooth.

The problem is that the game wants to show both near and far LOD (Level of Detail) objects. This is a frame-rate killer if two objects are in each other. To show that, it would need around 10 times the power.

And if you see Kakariko Village, the framerate hell there, and then the more beautiful Hateno Village, which runs super smoothly, you see that doesn’t make sense. So something else is going wrong there.

Yet another wrinkle in the discussion of Breath of the Wild's framerate hiccups. There's even more said by the unnamed Bplus dev, which you can check out right here. If this is indeed true, it'll be interesting to see if Nintendo sends out a patch that fixes the hiccups. I'm not anywhere near qualified to discuss whether this bug discussion is a valid one or not, but it's certainly interesting.


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It also doesn't help that this is basically a Wii U game ported to the Switch. I bet BotW would have run much better if it was built from the ground up for Switch.

It also doesn't help that this is basically a Wii U game ported to the Switch. I bet BotW would have run much better if it was built from the ground up for Switch.

AFAIK, console specific optimizations aren't nearly as much a thing as they used to be. I could be wrong in that I have no experience coding for GPUs, but mid-gen performance increases we used to see were due to a combo of really wacky hardware (e.g. cartridges with extra processors or the PS3's cell architecture) and limited computational power. TEGRA/ARM isn't a new architecture, and unlike with PS3's cell, taking advantage of specific features isn't required to get good performance. We may see performance improvements in future patches-- but I think it'll be the kind of thing that applies equally to the Wii U and Switch version.

The Wii U was still based on the Gamecube architecture, so there should be some of the old type of problems left.

I believe it. The frame-rates do seem to drop in rather un-consistently which doesn't make a lot of sense. I'd also believe that it originally ran at 60fps because the game is buttery smooth at some points with no issues at all, even in areas where the game should be stressing the Switch a lot.

Sadly it was a quick port, somewhere inside me I'm really hoping that there are devs working on optimizing the Switch further and having it fix framerate issues as well as a potential 60fps patch. To me the whole situation seems rather PS4 vs PS4 Pro. With the game just needing updates to really delve into the power of the Switch.

If there's anyone who should be schooling Nintendo about how to program their graphically intensive games, it's Bplus Games! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMaez8P5T0w

I've noticed on my Switch version. If that's the case then I'm sure that Nintendo will fix it

Thu Mar 23 17 02:53pm
Rating: 1

Lead Software Engineer, Takuhiro Dohta, mentioned this directly in the Zelda presentation at GDC 2017.

See: https://youtu.be/QyMsF31NdNc?t=51m24s

They were given the task of making it cross-platform for the Switch. The first thing they did was move the Wii U game to Switch with no optimizations. They said they got "as good or better performance" with no optimizations. It is implied from the way they present the Switch cross-platform reveal, a series of emails, that they got this request late. Perhaps they simply didn't have enough time to do much optimizing for Switch.

It's true that the hiccups are inconsistent and a bit random to be honest so that could be it I guess.

But really, it's not that bad. I love Kakariko village, it's nowhere near unplayable, I hang out there all the time. There is no place or moment in this game where the occasional framerate drops hinder the playability. Also games like FFXV or Witcher 3 get the same kind of framerate issues so it's not like it doesn't exist in games that are comparable in terms of genre. Knowing that the key-word here is the genre of the game, not graphical fidelity.

I usually don't have much of a problem with the framerate on the Wii U version that affects the gameplay but whenever there is a thunderstorm in the jungle areas of the game (which happen more frequently there) the framerate can dip quite a lot depending on how much is being rendered on the screen at one time. It wasn't even a huge problem there except when I was at the peak of Eventide Island during a thunderstorm and the game got so slow that I couldn't even tell where I was going or what I was doing for several seconds. I can easily tell how the Wii U was pushed to its limits with all of the shadows and the lighting at that time but it was quite annoying


Well then. If this is all true. We might get a patch from Nintendo some time. Here's hoping.

I'm glad I just don't notice this stuff. I've played for 80 hours and only maybe noticed it chug for a couple seconds.

Maybe by the time I get a Switch these issues will be resolved. I'd like to have the best Zelda experience possible.

Thu Mar 23 17 03:55pm
(Updated 2 times)

I'm okay with the fps issues, usually. But, fighting Thunder boss, in the camel beast, is so annoying. With the rooms bad FPS issue. I knew it had to be some weird screw up. Because, I look up at the sky, in Kakariko. And it still lags. But walking threw the main open areas. And it's fine. It makes no sense.

I've got the game to freeze for a few seconds when going up against a single blue Moblin. Not sure if it's related to the framerate issue here, but always afraid the game is going to lock up when it happens.

Sometimes I wonder if it's a blessing or a curse (as in: I notice things many others do not), but I notice framerate drops in BotW pretty much every 30 seconds. Kakariko and the jungle area are the most prominent places in that regard. But Hateno doesn't run "super smoothly" either.

Of course, it never got to the point of being unplayable. But it's really unpleasant. I've resorted to cutting most of the gras in some places to maintain a more steady framerate.

Thu Mar 23 17 05:55pm
Rating: 1

Are we playing the same game? I get the occasional slight drop in framerate and had one bad hiccup where it almost froze for like two seconds. But no where near as bad as you make it out to be. Have you tried turning off wi-fi? I remember hearing that helps with some users.

I'll give it a try, thanks. Smile

Thu Mar 23 17 08:23pm
(Updated 1 time)

Is it even possible to turn off wi-fi in TV mode? At least without deleting the whole internet connection setup? Airplan mode doesn't work while the Switch is docked.

Disregard that, I found the solution by turning off the 'automatic connection'.

I wouldn't call this a rumor, but more an opinion based on observation. It doesn't mean much.


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