Elder Scrolls Online To Get DX12 Upgrade, PS4 7th Core Usage For Performance Improvements

Alessio Palumbo
Posted 9 months ago

Zenimax Online Studios, the developer of Elder Scrolls Online, is working on bringing performance improvements to the game.

While the game runs pretty well considering the graphics pushed, Elder Scrolls Online is an MMORPG where hundreds of players can potentially join in the same fight while roaming the PvP region of Cyrodiil. In those cases, every frame rate boost is very much welcome and Zenimax clearly understand that.

For instance, during an ESO Live stream on Twitch they announced to be working on a DirectX 12 upgrade for the PC version of Elder Scrolls Online. While there is no ETA yet, they expect performance improvements, which makes sense with the greatly increased ability to handle draw calls under DX12.

Yes, we are planning on a DX12 upgrade and expect that this will give us a number of graphics performance improvements. We cannot provide an ETA at this time, but it is something we’re working towards.

In the same ESO Live, they commented on the fog/limited draw distance topic, which is also being worked albeit on a lower priority.


In certain situations, the fog is intended to be heavy and thick to contribute to the mood and atmosphere of the region. Aldcroft in Glenumbra, for example, is a spooky and moody place – as are many areas of Tamriel. The fog distances do change based on weather and time of day, and yes, we are able to change them. But, we have set maximum fog distances in each environment to hide other immersion-breaking issues such as LOD (line of distance) transitions, and very low-detail terrain, the worst culprits being the mountains and large rock features in the geography. This is an old issue and something we have been slowly working on addressing.
Additional LODs for all of the environment assets is somewhat prohibitive, but we are working through the problem. We have improved our tree LOD system and our skybox system so that we can have trees draw further in the distance and create the illusion of extended background mountain ranges, so the fog distance in Orsinium (the zone for our next upcoming DLC game pack), is set somewhat farther back than other zones. We would like to go back through the older zones and update them accordingly, but that work is currently lower priority than creating new DLC zones.

Zenimax also plans to exploit the recently unlocked seventh CPU core on PlayStation 4, as outlined here:

We do have plans to take advantage of the 7th processor core in some capacity, and are still discussing the exact details internally.

The PS4 version of Elder Scrolls Online runs at 1080P@30FPS and it’s unlikely that this would mean an increase to 60FPS. More realistically, they’ll try to keep the 30FPS target more steady during heavy load situations.

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In the meantime, the next major update due to go live alongside the Thieves Guild DLC (scheduled for release on March 7 for PC&Mac, March 22 for Xbox One and March 23 for PlayStation 4) will also add a 64 bit client on PC&Mac, which should also help solve some performance issues.

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