What you need to know
- Horizon Zero Dawn Patch 1.11 is available now on PC.
- DLSS from NVIDIA: "Deep Learning Super Sampling" image upscaling technology provides high-resolution gaming at higher frame rates.
- FSR from AMD: "FidelityFX Super Resolution" provides a similar upscaling method.
Horizon Zero Dawn is a former PlayStation exclusive, now available on PC as part of Sony's push onto Windows. The game is a critically-acclaimed open-world action title, set in a strange future where humanity has returned to tribalism, and the world is now dominated by mysterious mechanized dinosaurs and other monsters.
Today, Horizon Zero Dawn developers Guerilla Games took to the dedicated subreddit (via Twitter) to detail the latest 1.11 PC patch. Among the list of improvements is the addition of support for image upscaling technology on NVIDIA and AMD graphics cards.
First, we have NVIDIA's DLSS upscaling tech. DLSS or "Deep Learning Super Sampling" is supported by all NVIDIA RTX GPUs at all resolutions. DLSS boosts frame rates by offering a more efficient alternative to traditional anti-aliasing, smoothing out jagged edges in games. Effectively running the game at a lower resolution, then upscaling to your preferred setting. RTX cards can often double the frame rate of the native display.
Additionally, we've now got AMD's FidelityFX Super Resolution, which is designed to be AMD's answer to DLSS. Though it operates slightly differently, the results are very similar. The most striking difference is that FSR works on just about any GPU, including NVIDIA cards, surprisingly. Both provide a fantastic visual boost to games without much stress on the GPU.
Alongside visual upscaling, changes to the UI and general performance are included in the latest patch.
- Adjusted settings screen to facilitate the addition of DLSS and FSR.
- Render Scale option has been removed but same result can now be accomplished by adjusting setting Upscale Method to Simple and adjusting Upscale Quality.
- Improvement to the shader management system. This will result in a few noticeable differences:
- There is no longer a shader pre-compilation step on startup. The game will always compile shaders during loading and in the background.
- Stutters during gameplay that used to occur due to background shader compilation have now been significantly reduced.
- Because shader compilation is still happening in the background you may notice the game having a higher CPU utilization while that is happening.
- Loading screens will wait for the required shaders to be fully compiled. This may cause loading screens to take somewhat longer on certain systems.
- On higher spec machines with faster CPUs the loading screens will typically be shorter, due to more efficient shader compilation that better leverages high-end CPUs.
The reduction of stuttering is a welcome improvement, at the cost of a potential increase in loading times. The 1.11 update is available automatically through Steam and other digital storefronts.
Futuristic dino combat
Horizon Zero Dawn is a third-person action-adventure game developed by Guerilla Games. You play Aloy, a machine monster hunter in a futuristic world looking to uncover her past.
Get the Windows Central Newsletter
All the latest news, reviews, and guides for Windows and Xbox diehards.
Ben is the channel editor for all things tech-related at Windows Central. That includes PCs, the components inside, and any accessory you can connect to a Windows desktop or Xbox console. Not restricted to one platform, he also has a keen interest in Valve's Steam Deck handheld and the Linux-based operating system inside. Fueling this career with coffee since 2021, you can usually find him behind one screen or another. Find him on Mastodon @firstname.lastname@example.org to ask questions or share opinions.