How To Fix Borderlands 2’s PC Performance-Killing DLC Bug

How To Fix Borderlands 2’s PC Performance-Killing DLC Bug

Many of us here at Kotaku are fans of Borderlands 2‘s first downloadable content, Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate’s Booty. The sand skiff is great, the new loot is poppin, and the bosses are super challenging.

But as I played the new content on my PC, I began to notice a problem — anytime I’d enter a big area in the DLC and get into a firefight, the framerate would begin to chug. At first, it wasn’t consistent enough to be a problem, but a few hours into the DLC, I hit the rustyards, and things went well and truly off the rails.

It would appear I’m not alone — in this thread in the gearbox forums, plenty of users who report a similar problem. All seem to be using Nvidia cards. I use an Nvidia GTX 660Ti, which previously had given me glorious 60fps gameplay with nifty PhysX effects on top.

In the thread, a Gearbox spokesman reports that “We’re working with NVIDIA on this now. A potential fix has been identified and will start testing soon.” The problem is also now in Gearbox’s support knowledge base, which recommends turning PhysX to “Low” until there’s a patch.

That solution worked for me — my game may no longer have those super-cool physics effects, but it does run at a consistent framerate. That said, it’s a bummer to have to turn PhysX off — loot-showers look so much better with it on! A Gearbox rep assured me via email that they are indeed working on getting a fix up asap, and mentioned that one of the nice things about Steam is that it’s generally less than 24 hours between when a patch finishees testing and when it’s deployed.

This isn’t the only bug to hit Borderlands 2, but at least it’s an easy one to work around.


  • Even with PhysX on low, it still chugs a bit in those areas. I’ve had PhysX on low for pretty much the entire time I’ve been playing (PhysX objects keep getting drawn into the Siren’s Phase Lock ability, making it impossible to aim) and it was still causing issues for me.

  • i have a 660ti too and i never noticed it, i ran at a smooth 72fps, the only time i lagged was when i turned physX up, you need a second dedicated card to run physX efficiently.

    • might not be the exact same issue, but I’m running AMD (HD6990) & in large open areas with a firefight going on, my framerate chugs. (caustic caverns is the main problem spot)

      going through with physx on medium. never dropped below 60fps anywhere else.

      its odd.

        • Yeah that’s odd that it’s grayed out for you.
          I have a single Sapphire 6950 (had it unlocked to a 6970 but changed it back) and it lets me change it although the performance hit makes it unplayable.
          Gonna pop in a 8800GT 512 and use it for physx since it’s not being used.

          As for the fps chugging, I had it a little bit of fps stuttering in Oasis, but not to make unplayable. However once I hit Washburne Refinery the light sources are killing the fps. I think in some places I definitely below 25, and this is the only place that’s killing it :-\
          I’m hoping for a patch soon, they really need to implement an HDR option in video settings.

  • This is happening to me in the normal game. My first play through was before dlc and my frame rate never went below 60 fps. I just started a second play through and now my frame is dropping to 20fps. This is with PhysX on max.
    Gtx 570 gpu btw.

  • gearbox has alot of work on borderlands 2 left to fix up all the bugs,
    iv had a thread going for a while over there with no sucess to resolution, and from what iv read, there are alot of people waiting on a response from gbox, so will they actually get off ther ass?
    i say boo

  • You will find the framerate at it’s worse while moving through Washburne Refinery. Unfortunately the same area needed to kill Hyperius. I had turned PhysX off at this point but still found it terrible. Also in line with Trex, my second charactor’s run was worse, I dont think i am brave enought to take my third.

  • Anyone having any problems with FPS dropping when respawning? I’m running AMD HD7970 X-Fire and FPS drops down to roughly 30fps and slowly increases, takes 2-3mins for it to reach 100+ again :S

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