Horizon Zero Dawn

Fix Horizon Zero Dawn Lag, FPS Drop, and Stuttering

Fix Horizon Zero Dawn Stuttering and FPS Drop

After a long wait, we finally have the incredible game Horizon Zero Dawn, but the game is turning out to be demanding on PC even when systems meet the minimum specifications leading to Horizon Zero Dawn stuttering and FPS drop. It’s not uncommon for games to have such problems. Thankfully, there are a range of proven fix that resolves the lagging, stuttering, and FPS drop problems on PC. Before you start with the fixes, ensure your system meets the minimum recommendations to play the game. Here are they:

  • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
  • OS: Windows 10 64-bits
  • Processor: Intel Core [email protected] or AMD FX [email protected]
  • Memory: 8 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 (3 GB) or AMD Radeon R9 290 (4GB)
  • DirectX: Version 12
  • Storage: 100 GB available space

If you meet the specifications, here are some fixes you can try.

How to Fix Horizon Zero Dawn Lagging and Stuttering

In order to fix the stuttering problem in Horizon Zero Dawn, we have a range of fix that we have divided into two sections, the primary fix and the other fixes you can try. The other fixes will help you resolve other game stutters and overall boost the PC performance.

Fix 1: Terminate Unnecessary Applications

With so many games, third-party software that forcefully inject themselves between operations cause crash in the game. Hence, the first thing we must do to resolve the Horizon Zero Dawn stuttering and FPS drop is suspend all unnecessary programs and then launch the game. Here are the steps you can follow.

  1. Press Windows Key + R and type msconfig, hit Enter
  2. In General tab, uncheck Load startup items
  3. Go to the Services tab
  4. Check Hide all Microsoft services
  5. Now, click Disable all
  6. Click on Apply and OK.

Try launching the game, check if the error still occurs.

Fix 2: Enable Fullscreen Mode

Running the game after enabling the in-game fullscreen mode seems to fix a lot of stuttering problem in the game. users who ran the game on Windowed mode encountered lag and stuttering problem. SO, head over to the Settings and enable the fullscreen mode.

Fix 3: Update the Graphics Card

It’s a gamer’s modus operandi to keep the graphics card and all the other software on the system updated. The graphics card in particular is important because it directly impacts your game performance. Nvidia and AMD both release updates for their driver fairly regularly. Go to the official website of your graphics card manufacturer and check if a new driver is available or use GeForce Experience to check for the driver. Download and install the new drivers. If the stuttering in Horizon Zero Dawn started after a driver update, consider rolling back.

Fix 4: Find the Ideal Graphics Settings

If you are playing the game on high system specifications, it’s most likely to crash, stutter, drop FPS, and lag. As such, you should set the graphics settings from the in-game graphics settings to the lowest and increase the settings by one until the game starts to Sutter. When the stuttering start to occurs, the previous settings is the best for your system.

Other Fixes for Horizon Zero Dawn Stuttering

Here are the other fixes we recommend.

Fix 1: Change Nvidia Settings

In the next step to fix Horizon Zero Dawn Stuttering, FPS Drop, and Performance Issues, we will set the Nvidia for performance. Here are the steps.

  1. Right-click on Desktop and select NVIDIA Control Panel
  2. Expand 3D Settings and click on Adjust image settings with preview
  3. Check Use my preference emphasizing: Quality (for users who have a powerful PC, you can allow the app to decide and select Let the 3D application decide)
  4. Drag the bar to Performance (there are three options Performance – Balanced – Quality)
  5. Click on Apply to implement the changes
  6. Next, go to the Manage 3D settings under 3D Settings
  7. Click on Program Settings and select Horizon Zero Dawn (if the game is not in the drop-down list, click Add, browse and add the game)
  8. Under 2. Select the preferred graphics processor for this program: choose High-performance NVIDIA processor
  9. Under 3. Specify the settings for this program, set Power management mode to Prefer maximum performance and Virtual Reality pre-rendered frames to 1.

Fix 2: Alter the Power Options in Window 10

For users who do not have an effective CPU cooler, you may want to skip this step as it would increase the CPU temperature by a few degrees. Without proper cooling, it may harm your system. Here are the steps to follow.

  1. Click on the battery icon in the System Tray and drag the button to Best Performance
  2. Right-click on the battery icon and select Power Options
  3. Click on the Change plan settings link
  4. Click on Change advanced power settings
  5. Locate Processor power management and click on the plus sign to expand
  6. Expand Minimum processor state and set it to 100%, next expand Maximum processor state and set it to 100%
  7. Click on Apply and OK to save the changes.

Fix 3: Configure Game Settings from the Registry

This fix will not just resolve your FPS drop, lag, and stuttering with Horizon Zero Dawn, but with all other games and applications. However, before you proceed do take a backup of the registry. Here are the steps:

  1. Type Regedit in the Windows Search tab and select Run as administrator
  2. Click on Files > Export. Name the backup and save it at your desired location
  3. Expand HKEY_CURRENT_USER > System > GameConfigStore
  4. From the right panel, double-click on GameDVR_Enabled
  5. Set the Value data to 0, Base as Hexadecimal and click OK
  6. Next, double-click on GameDVR_FSEBehaviorMode
  7. Set the Value data as 2 and Base as Hexadecimal and click OK
  8. Go back and expand HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > Software > Microsoft > PolicyManager > default > ApplicationManagement > AllowGameDVR
  9. From the right panel, double-click on value
  10. Delete 1 and set it to 0, click Ok and restart your computer.

Fix 4: Toggle Off the Game Mode on Window 10

Often times, the game mode that helps you capture and record game images and videos causes problems like FPS drop, and stuttering with games. Turn it off, it does not have much use unless you are recording a video. To turn it off, press Windows Key + I > Gaming > toggle Off the switch below record game clips, screenshots, and broadcast using Game bar.

Fix 5: Set Windows for Best Performance

In the Windows search tab, type performance and select Adjust the appearance and performance of Windows. Check Adjust for best performance. Click Apply and OK.

Fix 6: Delete Temporary Files from Windows

Again, this is another general step to speed up the system and ultimately fix the Horizon Zero Dawn FPS drop, stuttering, and other performance problems. Here are the steps you can follow to clear the temporary files on PC.

  1. Open the Run dialogue box by pressing on Windows Key + R
  2. Type %temp% in the field and hit Enter
  3. Press Ctrl + A and hit Delete (if you cannot delete some files, let them be and close the Window)
  4. Again, press Windows Key + R and type temp, hit Enter
  5. When prompted provide the permission. Delete everything in this folder as well.
  6. Again, press Windows Key + R and type prefetch, hit Enter
  7. Press Ctrl + A to select everything and hit the Delete key (skip files that do not delete)

After you are done with the above three processes, empty the Recycle Bin.

Hopefully, after you have tried the above fix the game does not stutter anymore.   

Harsh Clif
He is caught in a loop between writing about games and playing them. It's a vicious cycle. Harsh also runs a successful recipe blog with 700K monthly visitors and is an avid SEO participating actively in SEO groups and forums.

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