How to fix performance issues in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet
A few tools for your bug-swatting.
As grand as an open world mainline Pokémon Game is, Scarlet and Violet have some tremendous technical issues. A miserable framerate in almost every situation, pop-in at short ranges, graphical hangups, the world loading oddly, partially, or not at all — the list goes on. There are also missing or downgraded features and a host of other smaller gripes the community is quickly discovering. While some of the game’s worst technical offenses will need to be patched or otherwise addressed by Nintendo, there are some things you can do to have a better experience.
Related: Pokémon fans are in an uproar over Scarlet and Violet’s performance and lacking features
Performance fixes for Pokémon Scarlet and Violet
The first and easiest step you can take to improve the performance of Pokémon Scarlet and Violet is to play in docked mode. Handheld mode is already lower-performance, given the lack of additional power, but things are especially heinous this time. Playing in docked mode will let your switch pull on more power to drive its GPU. This isn’t a foolproof solution, as there are bigger issues you’ll inevitably see as well.
According to Centro Pokemon on Twitter, the game has a memory leak whenever you enter a city — something you’ll do very early in the story — tanking the performance. Centro Pokemon has done testing and can confirm that the only way to fix the issue reliably is to restart the game when you leave a city. They don’t specify how big the city needs to be to cause the memory leak, but just to be safe, when you head back into the fields from any settlement, restart the game.
Unfortunately, there’s no way anyone except Nintendo and Game Freak can do anything to fix the memory leak problem. That will need to come as part of a larger patch in the future, and as the game just released, we’re unlikely to see anything substantial for at least a few days at least. If the issue is widespread and problematic enough, the developers might buckle down to get a patch out sooner than later, but we’re left to bear with it for now.