Horrendous No Mans Sky performance

What we know:

  1. Totally GPU bound
  2. Bad performance not from what’s directly being rendered on screen.
  3. They ARE using culling
  4. Doing the fo4vr desktop windows dpi trick didn’t improve anything.
  5. Lowering steamvr ss makes game visuals unplayably blurry.
  6. Some devs hypothesize the gpu might be doing some unorthodox work because nms is a custom engine.
  7. Some flora and fx/smoke sprites are sideways or rendered at wrong depth.
  8. Setting all graphics settings to the lowest doesn’t help nearly enough.
  9. Nvidia control panel settings are not working and/or helping/ not impactful.
  10. Fullscreen vs windowed has no impact.
  11. Windows game mode disabled, all overlays disabled already.

Am I missing anything?


Well, Elite: Dangerous certainly uses compute shaders for generation of procedural content – would make sense for NMS to do the same. :7


What are compute shaders?

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I reckon it’s simply retaining the “shader” name for GPU code that does other things than drawing graphics, such as doing protein folding calculations, or mining cryptocurrency. -In our case, the probably in many ways not at all graphics-operations-dissimilar algorithms that generate heightmaps, normal maps, and diffuse-, and PBR effects maps, for planet surfaces, and perhaps other things, too, like greeble textures for stuff that is not terrain… :7

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HG put out 2 NMS patches yesterday and 2 today. A lot of the changes are VR related, I think Hello Games will sort a lot of this out. Nvidia will also probably release a further optimized driver. We will take a look at it as well.


What? Are you reading the same patch notes that I am? Nothing fixed is VR related. Almost everything is centered on fixing crashes and warnings, which of course makes sense for the worst issues to be tackled first. I do think they will fix these VR related problems but not before they fix the high priority things that affect everyone.

Sounds like a crappy release.


New release of SteamVR beta addresses part of the performance problem with NMS.

The SteamVR beta has been updated with the following changes.

If you encounter issues with this update, please post in the SteamVR Bug Report forum. If possible, please include a system report to aid in tracking down your issue. Replies to this post are not tracked for bug reporting purposes. Please use the forum linked above to report issues.


  • Fixed keyboard placement relative to overlays so it will stop obscuring the overlay that the input is going to.

SteamVR Home:

  • Fixed sorting issues with screenshot/image panels

  • Fixed vrwebhelper apps showing up in recent games panel


  • Motion Smoothing no longer throttles applications that are primarily cpu bound (e.g. No Man’s Sky).

Also, requires PP apparently… which is awful.

The important thing is the speed of patching in this context, rather than the specific details. It’s just a bad release because they ran out of time. But it looks like they are going going full steam ahead to fix it. They will get round to fixing VR performance. Just leave the game alone for a month or two and then come back to it would be my take on it.


There is a Steam discount, I will buy it and let you know how it works on 2080ti and 8k.

It will work badly like all the other graphics cards and headsets atm.

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Please encourage the dev team to fix the controller issues that happen when not in parallel projections. I can deal with some visual issues with grass not appearing correctly in exchange for solid performance.

To give you an idea, running 9900k@5ghz + 2080ti@2205mhz + 32gb ram@3000, I get 50-65 fps when parallel projections is on. Off, I can hold 90 fps no problem but the controller doesn’t work so I can’t play like that.

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What a mess. I really hope pimax is reaching out to them for fixes @PimaxUSA @pimax @Sean.Huang @Matthew.Xu @anon23564932
This game is the biggest thing for vr, please help get it working on our beautiful system performantly.


I haven’t got the use of a pimax headset anymore but I’ve tried NMS on the index, I think we can all agree the performance is heavy on systems and there’s quite a few graphical bugs currently. I’m going to wait and see how it progresses over the next few weeks. It reminds me of skyrim without mods, the way grass and scenery fade in, the aliasing especially on scenery on the horizon and the lod fade in on trees . if you were desperate to play it, you could but I think it will improve once hello have serviced the ps4 and xbox seeing as they’ve got more users than us. I also read on twitter that 2 valve engineers have commented that NMS is wasting about 20% performance on rendering that isn’t seen. NMS was really good in 2d, I’m waiting for the same to be the case in vr.

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Bump bu,p bump bump bump bump

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I’m not sure if it just applies to index, here’s the conversation.

Wht don’t you use smart smoorhing. 45 fps becomes 90.

Interesting, Since day of beyond release I have played and I have had 0 issues smooth as ice and sharp on my 8k. I am running a 1900x threadripper and RTX2080ti. In-fact this game is the first i have played that has made me go wow i need to use my 8k. I will say I was not impressed with 8k when I was using 1080ti but once I upgraded to 2080ti it was a night and day difference for me. I have not experimented with setting changes I am playing NMS with all defaults in steam and Pitools with settings in NMS on ultra and it looks fantastic. I just wish the 8k was more comfortable can only play for like an hour before it hurts and need to take a break.


I have been playing with PP off due to the performance increase so I’m not sure if this applies with PP on but here are two other issue to add to the list:

  1. At the outer edges of the screen in Normal FOV, things pop in and out of existence.
  2. Shadows seem to render differently based on where you’re looking.

I submitted a bug report to HG about billboards rendering differently in each eye (grass, smoke, trees at low LOD, etc.). I’m sure I’m not the first one to send it in but I figured I should send it just in case.