Does the new Pokémon Scarlet and Violet update improve performance?
Eke out some more power from the Switch.
Nintendo followed through on its promise of a new patch for Pokémon Scarlet and Violet at the end of February, bringing with it some new features and some subtle changes to other gameplay elements too. One question has been on the minds of Pokéfans ever since the games released — will any of these patches actually improve the notoriously lackluster performance of the latest Pokémon titles?
Related: Will Pokémon Scarlet and Violet be patched for better performance?
Does the 1.2.0 update improve performance in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet?
The short answer to this important question is…sort of. Judging from the 1.2.0 patch notes, there’s little that specifically addresses the problems that many players faced on the games’ release, such as crashes, frame rate issues, and visual glitches like pop-in. However, one point under “Bug Fixes” does raise a little flutter of hope: “We have addressed an issue that made the game prone to forcibly closing at certain locations. As a result of this fix, there may be fewer Pokémon and people displayed in certain towns or in the wild.”
This point does directly addresses the crashes that some users have experienced, and the fix — essentially despawning several NPCs and wild Pokémon, making them appear less frequently — will hopefully have knock-on effects for the general performance and stability of the games. Many of the issues that players found are likely a result of simply overtaxing the Switch’s hardware, and so with less to process, the games should theoretically run a little smoother.
However, the patch doesn’t necessarily make any further attempts at optimization, unless they are hidden under the catch-all “A number of other bug fixes have been implemented.” As such, it remains to be seen how much of an impact these changes will have on general play. Luckily, there are at least a few options for those who want to improve their experience of Pokémon Scarlet and Violet until the issues are addressed more substantially.