The Ascent’s PC Game Pass Version Is Missing Difficulty Modes, DLSS

The Ascent’s PC Game Pass Version Is Missing Difficulty Modes, DLSS
Image: Neon Giant

The Ascent is a blast when you get into it — but for those trying to play the Xbox Game Pass for PC version, The Ascent has offered a markedly different experience than what’s available on Steam.

Neon Giant’s twin-stick shooter launched last week across Xbox and PC. For PC, users had two options: play the game through Steam, or use the Windows Store version, which was the only way to enjoy crossplay lobbies with their Xbox brethren.

However, there was a small problem: the Windows Store version was outdated compared to the Steam build. Along with severe stuttering — more so than what’s in the version available on Steam — the Windows Store version of the game was missing Nvidia’s DLSS upscaling, difficulty settings, and ray-tracing options didn’t appear to work.

Here’s shots of the game’s menu options from the Xbox Game Pass version:

Image: Kotaku Australia
Image: Kotaku Australia

If you’re playing on Steam, you’ll get access to a difficulty mode and DLSS, the latter of which can at least mitigate the stuttering to some degree.

Image: Kotaku Australia

Image: Kotaku Australia

The creative director of Neon Giant has publicly confirmed that an upcoming patch will correct some of the issues, particularly the stuttering. “Patch cadence is different for Game Pass, but on its way,” Tor Frick wrote on the Steam forums.

“The rest of it we are working on with our partners, to bring it up to parity. Totally understand your frustration.”

Frick also explained a core reason behind the stuttering is due to how The Ascent caches everything. “The stutters are bit different for everyone, but basically it’s related to shader caching. They only happen the first time something caches, so eventually the framerate smooths out,” they wrote.

Of course, that’s not helpful to people trying to play The Ascent through Game Pass — who are left wondering why the experience is so vastly different from those playing on Steam. It’s not helped by the fact that Xbox Series S and X owners are also having less issues, too. I’ve also found co-op lobbies can be a pain to get going with the Xbox Game Pass for PC version, as the Xbox invite interface didn’t integrate as smoothly as it does on Steam.

A patch for The Ascent should drop later this week. In the meantime, fans have already found a neat workaround to effectively create a New Game+ mode by tricking the game into resetting progress without deleting your character progression. If that sounds interesting, here’s how to do that.


  • A staggering… I mean stuttering… 7.5/10 masterpiece? Just out of curiosity – why is the patch cadence different for Game Pass vs Steam (I wonder… hmmmm).

  • Both versions also have bad support for ultrawide or super-ultrawide screens. But a single person was able to fix that with a tool within hours of the game’s release (which makes it even more disappointing and perplexing that the devs couldn’t do it in years). Other than having to use that tool it’s been an incredible game so far easily 9/10, imagine if Hellgate: London was more like this, yeah I’m still sore about that lol.

Show more comments

Log in to comment on this story!