Seven patches later, the PC port is still not fit for purpose.
When Star Wars Jedi: Survivor launched, we described its PC version as the worst triple-A port we’d seen in 2023. However, since then, multiple patches have been deployed and in the latest revision, an entire revamp of the 60fps performance mode was gifted to console players. So how has the PC version fared?
Well, we’ve talked about several iterative improvements to performance across the month in prior patches, but this one is potentially more impactful. Finally, Nvidia DLSS has been added, alongside a pretty poor implementation of AMD’s FSR 2. Unfortunately, performance still isn’t good enough and numerous problems have not been addressed. Jedi: Survivor is still the worst triple-A port of 2023.
Let’s begin at the beginning. Just like its launch version, Jedi: Survivor boots each and every time with a shader pre-compilation step. It shows up every time you load the game, even though it doesn’t seem to do anything after the first launch – needless friction for the user that looks very much like a bug, still present five months after the game’s debut. What’s especially strange about this is that if the game is indeed pre-caching shaders, it’s not doing a particularly good job of it. Star Wars Jedi: Survivor still has a bunch of shader compilation stutters throughout play.
In terms of the user experience, the game’s menus have changed – partially. The mouse does actually work more consistently, unlike launch, so you can quit the game now, for example. However, it’s still not working properly. It’s impossible to change in-game display resolution with keyboard and mouse, for example. Clicking on a new resolution doesn’t work, and neither does pressing space on the keyboard as the game asks. Remarkably, it’s still the case that only the use of a game pad allows you to fully navigate the menu system.
And those menus are still just as bad in terms of functionality as they were at launch. There are no good descriptions of what the options actually do or the performance implications of selecting them. There are also no preview images to demonstrate exactly what changing the option will do. Still, at least toggling RT on and off no longer breaks performance, but even so, this is menu set-up is nowhere near as good as a triple-A game should be.
Image quality was also borked at launch, with the game’s TAA and FSR 2 implementations looking exceptionally ropey. This is still the case, but owners of RTX GPUs can now use DLSS – though Intel XeSS is not brought to the party, despite Unreal Engine plug-ins being available to make that happen. DLSS does wonders for the game’s image quality: any object in movement now actually retains detail instead of being followed by smears, pixelisation and disocclusion fizzle. Particles also no longer are just blurry smudges with FSR 2, while ghosting is vastly improved. DLSS 3 frame generation is also integrated.
In-game though, performance is still a struggle. Traversal stutter kicks in regardless of settings or hardware, the CPU is still vastly under-utilised, and of course, there’s shader compilation stutter. If you watch the video above, you’ll see that I tested the game across multiple patches on the lowest settings, noting gradual improvements over time. On a Ryzen 5 3600, the game now runs around 25 percent faster in CPU-limited scenarios. Unfortunately, on higher settings with RT enabled, performance is just as bad as it was at launch. My Core i9 12900K-powered PC with RTX 4090 is still unable to consistently run the game at a 60fps minimum across the experience.
Can DLSS 3 frame generation help? Absolutely, as it excels in CPU-limited scenarios, but the point is that frame-gen still requires good frame-times on input to deliver a smooth presentation on the output. Jedi: Survivor’s inputs are still highly irregular, making good, clean frame-pacing on the output practically impossible. Jedi: Survivor also has broken animation playback, where spikes in frame-time cause a momentary speed-up of the game engine that results in a sudden ‘lurch’ forward in animation, something that happens even if you manage to lock the game to 60 frames per second.
This is somewhat difficult to describe in text, but watch the video and you’ll see what I mean. Regardless of what you do in Jedi: Survivor, its internally metered animation smoothness is broken and the animation and camera stutters are off-putting. Even locking the game down externally to a perfectly frame-paced 30fps, it is possible to see how this behaviour still happens on a 12900K.
There are other things I could talk about, like how the game has white flashing when spinning the camera due to an overaggressive culling of geometry on the camera edges, or how the DLSS 3 frame generation implementation is blending and blurring UI elements – an artefacting issue Nvidia fixed months ago.
The bottom line is that even on my high-end gaming system, you are CPU-limited at reasonable graphics settings and especially with ray tracing. On an older mid-range processor, the game is still a disaster. Technically, the game is better, but it barely matters when core problems there since launch have not been addressed.
Ominously, the patch notes lack any mention of further updates but we know that development on the game continues – last-gen console versions are coming, after all. Maybe it’s a forlorn hope this far down the line, but the PC version of Star Wars Jedi: Survivor can’t be left in this state. It’s still not fit for purpose.