Batman: Arkham Knight’s PC Version Is A Mess

Batman: Arkham Knight’s PC Version Is A Mess

Not all PC ports are created equal, and Batman: Arkham Knight seems to be an especially bad one. The morning after the PC version unlocked, Warner Bros confirmed it’s working on fixes.

The game’s community manager released a brief statement on the official forums:

Hi all

We’re aware that some users are reporting performance issues with the PC version of Batman: Arkham Knight. This is something that Rocksteady takes very seriously. We are working closely with our external PC development partner to make sure these issues get resolved as quickly as possible.

We’ll update this thread when we’ve got more info to share.

Some PC ports end up causing problems for users of one card manufacturer or the other. That’s pretty common, shitty as it might be. In this case, however, both Nvidia and ATI owners are reporting significant performance issues on anything but the most powerful machines around.

Kotaku‘s own Kirk Hamilton has played around with the PC version, and confirmed it’s not in good shape. He said the PlayStation 4 version, however, is rock solid.

Here’s a video from Rock Paper Shotgun illustrating some of the issues:

Generally speaking, though:

  • The batmobile sequences (of which there are many) cause the frame rate to tank.
  • The frame rate is locked to 30 frames-per-second, unless you modify an INI file.
  • There’s constant stuttering, which makes playing the game incredibly difficult.
  • When attempting to verity the game cache, sometimes it ends up deleting the game.

Warner Bros. ports have been all over the place lately. Shadow of Mordor was terrific. Batman: Arkham Origins was also great! Mortal Kombat X? Less said about the PC version, the better. As Warner Bros’ comment indicates, Rocksteady did not handle the PC port, and the game’s credits list Killer Instinct: Season Two developer Iron Galaxy as having provided “PC support.”

Steam users are, understandably, really pissed off. Take a look at the negative reviews so far:

This should prove an interesting test case for Steam’s refund system, and some users are already reporting Valve’s giving their money back:

They may simply be the first of many. Let us know how the PC version is faring for you!


  • Man, I’d be furious if I was a PC gamer. My most anticipated game of this year, failing on release.

    • I haven’t even picked up my copy yet, I had to go physical, so I’m really not looking forward to installing something I’m 90% sure it’s not going to work

      • Good luck.
        They really should have delayed the PC version – as much as that would have annoyed people, I’ll wager it would have annoyed a lot less than releasing a buggy piece of shit. I imagine the staff at Rocksteady are pretty pissed off as well.

        • It seems that WB only provided console copies for review, and they updated the minimum system requirements just hours before launch, so yeah, certainly seems like they were aware of these problems. Possibly too late to delay the launch, but some more warning might have been nice.

          The new Nvidia drivers released to coincide with the game seem to be causing as many problems as they are solving. Doesn’t seem to be much info on how the new AMD drivers are going just yet, since they didn’t come out as early as the Nvidia ones. Interestingly, both sets of drivers mention known issues to do with multi-GPU systems, with the Nvidia ones having multiple SLI problems, and the AMD drivers even disabling Crossfire for the game.

    • It’s another good reason to sit out game releases and wait 6 months to a year after release and pick up the games significantly cheaper with all the patches and DLC released.

      But yeah, it sucks if you were really looking forward to this game.

      • The problem is they make these f*cking massive games with various components: Well over 20 hours of single player content, multiplayer modes (although not in this case), day 1 patches….. and then they send out the best version for review and it’s given to a single reviewer to cover for each individual website.

        The end result is games which are enormously different on various platforms being given a single review. Skyrim PS3 is the best example, how many reviewers put the 50 hours into the PS3 version required to realise it was completely broken? Not many, instead it got sent out on the PC/360 and was reviewed on that. It wasn’t until gamers got their hands on the PS3 game that they realised that the “Game of the Year” was an unplayable mess.

        Project CARS is another example. It received good/very good reviews on all platforms and an assurance that it ran at a decent framerate on all platforms. The problem was that at launch the game couldn’t recognise 40% of the Xbone’s controller range and had a very common (ie every few minutes) glitch where the controller would jam at full lock while turning. If you saw it running you’d assume that it plays well because it runs well, you wouldn’t expect that the controls might be broken.
        As a racing sim the game was COMPLETELY broken for a solid month, I mean if you reviewed that game you’d have to give it <25%, it was completely unplayable.

        Maybe they need to consolidate all the best reviewers from all websites into some kind of cohesive game reviewing council that systematically reviews all versions. Also they mark developers down for delivering games too late for review or putting an embargo in place. 🙂

      • Yea, most smart PC gamers never preorder anymore. I wait on day 1 check it out, if its bad like Batman I check it a get in a month if its still bad I tend to forget about it.

        • Yeah, I learned my lesson with Battlefield 4 and it’s not one I’ll forget anytime soon.

        • I try not to, but the $36 dollar deal from Green Man seemed too good to be true… because it was. No steam refunds for me, just stuck with it until it gets fixed.

    • I’m not furious. The most anticipated game of the year is running and looking great on my PC, The Witcher 3.

      But yeah, in Batmans benchmark my results are pretty poor. I have 980ti and i7 4790k. Gameworks stuff off I get an average of 77FPS, on only 45.

  • So the PC version is a mess the PS4 version is Solid has anyone played the X1 version and able to tell me how it runs as I was planning on buying it on that. Cheers

    • apparently the xbox one version is “solid” according to eurogamer, not much info around other than that at the moment. if tou can hold off a few days till they have the DF analysis up you will know exaclty how it fares.

    • Everything I’ve read so far seems positive. It’s upscaled from 900p, but still meant to be a pretty solid game.

  • Yeah I went to the steam page this morning thinking to pick it up and saw the reviews are mostly negative….

  • Must be one of the lucky few. NO problems at all. There are a few times where I notice a bit of a slow down [and I really mean a miniscule slow down] during a more intense part where I’m doing donuts in the Batmobile blowing up smoke thanks to the nvidia gameworks options turned on.

    • I’m the same, no issues with the game on my machine.

      I feel really bad for all the people who are suffering the huge issues, but I’m afraid that this huge knee-jerk reaction is going to stick with the game, even when these problems are ironed out, leading to people passing on what is a great game because there’s the stigma of it being a bad port (which right now it definitely is).

      It’s basically the same thing that happened to Assassin’s Creed Unity, though Arkham Knight’s issues are nowhere near as bad as Unity’s were.

      • Except Unity is still a bad port, even this long after release. Hopefully they are actually able to fix this one eventually.

    • +1 another happy PC customer here. Getting a solid 50-60fps on my old 760. Not running the fancy fog/debris physx but I wasn’t expecting them to be stable on my card. I am running the enhanced rain and light shafts though.

    • I never had any problems at all with MKX. Besides when it lunched and there was that thing where no one could get into the Single player for a few hours. Other then that. I have been able to play it without a hitch.

  • I have a XboxOne , PS4 and Vary High End PC. I got BatmanAK for PC because of the Nvidia Effects, that the XboxOne and PS4 just don’t have the ability to produce. But the game just constantly crash’s every time I am in the batmobile. Never when I am on foot, just when I am in the batmobile. I also suffer from some frame rate drops. Pretty pissed that Rocksteady have outsourced the PC port to another Developer/studio for doing the final porting of the game. If it was done in house via Rocksteady, who are a diamond development team, it would have been done right.

    End of the day, 3rd party’s mean 3 things, saving money, time or man power. I have been in the games industry for 9 years as a 3D artist, I can say that this, unstable PC porting (even to a extent console porting) is getting out of hand.

  • When attempting to verity the game cache, sometimes it ends up deleting the game.

    Wow, that’s a crazy bug.

  • Of course the ratings are skewed. People having problems are far more likely to jump online to “review” it than people not having any problems, who are probably busy playing it.

    • true. but steam currently has 5158 reviews “mostly negative” with 31% positive. Suggests that the release is broken yes?

      • I mean I have had no issues with it, runs fine for me. Im not going to chuck up a review until I have beat the game tho.

    • Plenty of people in the PC gaming press experiencing these problems also. All the pre-launch reviews seem to have been with the console versions of the game, now RPS, Eurogamer etc all publishing stories about their own PC copies now that they’ve got their hands on them.

    • Frankly, that’s all you should need to warn you against buying it.

      That IS the point of a negative review. They’re not scored, it’s pass/fail. ‘Recommended’ or ‘Not recommended’.

      “We don’t recommend you buy this because it doesn’t fucking work,” is pretty damn valid.

  • This is why I do not pre-order. These publishers will never learn that it’s bad to knowingly release a game in an unfit state.

  • Ah crap. Thanks for the heads up. I was gifted a pre-order for my birthday (which isn’t for a few weeks, but they wanted to make sure they got in before I did). Looks like I’ll hold off installing it until at least the first wave of patches. I was a bit iffy about my specs as it was…

  • Won’t be playing this for a while anyway as I’m still not even 1/3 of the way through Witcher 3. Once I’ve finished hopefully AK will be patched up.

  • So glad I’m gaming on PS4 now.

    Arkham City was always a bit janky on performance with everything on max and they never patched it either.

  • The 30FPS cap is absurd. Even if you uncap it via the config file and let it run free it still stutters and drops on my 980Ti. ARrrrrggghghhh!

  • I don’t mind the FPS, you’ve just got to lower the settings. It looks amazing regardless (this video is nearly identical to my first experience for comparison’s sake). There are tips on how to dig into the .ini files if you want more graphical options. I know this might rub people the wrong way, but, honestly – if I’m playing a game with amazing graphical effects, a whole Gotham with a fully destructible environment for the Batmobile and a ridiculous amount of attention to detail, it doesn’t matter that much. I still remember playing games that looked like FF7 that took 5 minutes to load each screen.

    The Harley Quinn DLC is another issue…

  • Surprise surprise, this is why I got rid of my pc because of a string of issues like this and exclusively console game. You spend a fortune on your rig and get pitiful content that takes months to fix, if ever. Meanwhile consoles get fixed in a week; what a disgrace.

  • I really hope they’re getting burned on refunds, but I seriously doubt it.

    People just want the broken thing they’re excited about to WORK, and they’ll put up with a lot more than they should in hope of that happening.

    Additionally, there’s the question of losing those sweet, sweet preorder bonuses that publishers love to hold hostage.

    • I too really hope that refunds are getting a work out. It validates pre ordering now imo – you still are able to play it at the earliest possible time but if they don’t deliver on your expectations you can always just refund it. IMO it competes with the I’ll just download it from the seven seas just to check if its any good.

      Not that i’ll be pre ordering much aside from fallout 4, although i may yet hold off seeing as the black friday sales are just a week or two after release and that many teething problems will prolly be sorted by then. Pretty sure thats the only game i’ll be purchasing (unless others are heavily discounted) i have such a huge backlog of games to get through.

  • PC Master Race….. Of whining little bitches!

    To all those downvoting me… maybe you should suck it up. Game like this aren’t build for you self-stroking $3000+ PC gamers. They are built for the mass market, and guess which market has the mass appeal: CONSOLES!

    You are not developers favorites anymore, time to deal with it and become smarter consumers. PC ports are 99% of the time glitchy messes that require driver upgrades for multiple cards and system types. Developers don’t want to waste time developing for all the different rigs out there when it is much faster and cheaper to develop for 2 (or sometimes 3) consoles.

    So instead of bitching about a game not working for your PC on release day, wait a week or two for all the bugs to be fixed and then buy the game.

    • Most of us know this though. However there is a right way and a wrong way to do things. You can go down the Rockstar path of admitting shit will take time and do a delayed release in order to get things right and ensure you’re releasing a product to your standard, or you can fudge it up and push it out and watch the shit hit the fan as people with hardware that well exceeds a set and forget box have a questionable experience.

      I think I speak for most people who play stuff on PC in that we would rather wait for a polished product than a fucked up product that’s had no work put into it. A polished product on release with others is the best option of course but not always possible if you’re trying to push for multiple platforms for a fixed release date that has been set down by the publisher who’s holding the purse strings.

      EDIT: And yes consoles are meant to have the highest market share however the current gen stuff is all x86 with a different hat on. Sloppy ports aren’t an excuse anymore, in fact I thought the shift to similar architecture was a selling point in the sense of better quality versions across systems due to similar architecture.

    • Bullshit. Please look at The Witcher 3 and look at how optimized it is and was for all cards on the day of release, specifically the GTX 600 and 700 series of cards which are coming up 2-4 years old. There is no reason for a developer not to be able to efficiently release a game that is optimized for a wide range of gear.

      + Another point.
      The systems specs for the X1 and PS4 are significantly lower than anything that you could put together for $1500 +. The fact that the games can run on these lower spec’d systems dictate by logic that the newer pc’s should be able to handle it. Hence your $3000 comment is irrelevant.

  • After years of being a console gamer/mac user I finally hopped aboard the PC mastertrain a few weeks ago. It’s great, but holy moly is this kinda shit annoying. B:AK was supposed to my glorious introduction to world of maxed out PC gaming and don’t get me wrong, the game looks phenomenal, but that framerate is unforgivable. I’m still new to this realm but seeing how Nvidia has unique effects for hardware using their GPUs, it’s even more unacceptable that the PC version is this rough. I know this is nothing new, it’s just laziness. I’m glad that people will make a stand by getting refunds and hitting the devs where it hurts them, but I won’t be. Took me 2 days to download the damn thing and I do want to play it this way, they better fix this shit soon….

  • One of the things i really dont like in this is the film grain. its terrible and worst of all cant be turned off

  • Considering the mess that Arkham Origins was, I am entirely unsurprised. I still don’t know how that game ends because the 360 version of AO was so broken, I legitimately couldn’t finished it.

  • 30fps lock is interesting, doubly so because this is the first time anyone’s heard of it.

  • I think they should make it absolutely clear that the pc version is outsourced to a third party so the buyer is aware. Unfortunately I no longer preorder games as crossfire rarely works launch day…

  • Retail has been an absolute mess for PC for this title. We got offered stock at 18 Euro over at E3. We politely declined to take the high road. But that puts us @ $79 full price, $69 on sale. So now we are selling a sub standard version of a game for $69-79? That hurts.

  • Want to know how much of a mess the PC version is? Take a look at the fact that the retail version comes with 5 DVDs but only installs 7.7GB of the 33GB of the game, minus the 3.5 day 1 patch, and then makes you download the rest via Steam. How about we get an article on how fucking ridiculous this is?

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