Sea of Thieves performance (with possible solution)

EDIT:

The problem was encountered even on a different PC. While using DX11 (or a different version) can improve the performance noticeably, it is recommended to experiment with different versions if you are playing on a different system than the Legion Go (or the Ally or similar). The main improvement was seen after making sure Riot's software is off before launching SoT. You can just follow the steps mentioned below for the best result:)  

Hi all,

I am wondering what is your experience with playing Sea of Thieves on the Legion Go. I have picked up this game on Steam yesterday because it was on sale but when I tried playing it, I was quite surprised with how bad the game runs on the Go considering it's already 6 years+ old.

I tried jumping right into the tutorial before tinkering with any of the graphics/video settings and the performnce was really awful - I got around 20 fps max with an average around 13 fps. I have noticed that by default, the graphics settings were set basicallly to the maximum level so I tried switching to the lowest possible settings (everyhing "Cursed", lowest possible resolution, lowest resolution scaling,..) to see what I can get out of the system. The difference between the highest and the lowest graphics/video settings was like +/- 3 fps with another slight difference across the TDP settings (+/- 3 fps going from "Quiet" mode to 30W custom). This is a very unusual behaviour and it most likely means there is some problem with the game itself or with some drivers/other software related stuff.

I have gone through possibly all places I could find on the internet mentioning such issues and it seems I am by far not the only one experiencing poor performance with this game. I have been able to filter out some information which actually really did improve the fps count (read below) but I still can't get over a feeling that I should be getting more out of the Legion Go (based for example on this footage: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ika2FcuO3I&t=512s&ab_channel=SeaOfCheaters or this one for the ROG Ally which is basically the same as LeGo from the hardware side: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hGKvcvYAi5M&ab_channel=MGT-MaxGamesTech). 

I am curious about what you guys got out of the Legion Go while playing Sea of Thieves and which steps have you followed to achieve such performance. Side question - have you tried rolling back to the previous graphics drivers and noticed better performance across the games you play? I am considering trying out older driver versions as well but if someone has already tried that and can tell me that it leads nowhere, I will happily pass on those 2 hours of Windows experience.

My system info: UMA buffer size: 6GB, drivers: up to date official releases (graphics: 31.0.24028.1001, chipset: 5.09.16.731/1.1.0.16, BIOS: N3CN32WW), latest Windows update (as of 11th of June 2024). 

In game settings: Everything reset to default (see included images for complete settings)

Additional steps/Notes: I have turned off RIOT Vanguard anti-cheat (you can do this manually but I recommend setting it not to launch after boot as well as it is eating up resources anytime you boot otherwise). In game, I set Direct3D version to 11 instead of 12 or 13 (which was there by default). After doing this, close the game and restart your Legion Go and try to launch the game again, you should be better now. 
                                      I have also reinstalled graphics and chipset drivers and installed some Windows update but that didn't do much on its own so you probably don't need to do that

With Vanguard off and using DX11, I am now getting stable 37fps average (dropping to 30, reaching 60 at certain points) with the graphics/video settings you can see on the pictures. The game is definitely playable now and on lower settings, I definitely get a stable 60 fps (it seems it could be more but in game fps counter stops at 60) on the "Performance" mode. At 15W, the average is somewhere under 30 fps and at 30W custom, It is 45 average going higher most of the times. This should also apply for ROG Ally users.

Finally I can get on board of the tutorial ship without the fear of a laggy gameplay:) Please let me know if this helped you or if you got a similar problem and been able to solve it with even better outcome as I believe LeGo has the power to squeeze more fps out of SoT. 

I will update the post if I can get any more information/tips/in game settings as I get outside of the tutorial island.

Thanks for any feedback!

UPDATE:

Further in-game performance summary (same settings as on images, "Performance" mode):
On sea performance seems solid, maybe even better than on land with fps around 53-57 most of the time with just a few fps drops (47 or so) when another ship is nearby, stormy weather and a kraken are present at the same time. On the "shops island" (I didn't remember the name yet), the fps stays around 43-50 with an overall smooth perfrormance. If you want to play on 15W or lower, you will probably need to lower the graphics settings as the fps will drop to 24-30 in certain areas. On an island with multiple NPCs and objects, the fps stayed around 50 with no dips, combat is also smooth.

Setting screen resolution to 1280x800 (via Legion Space) gives you a few fps and will actually make the game look better as resolution scaling fails to smooth out texture edges if you upscale to 2560x1600. 

Sea of Thieves seems to be using some kind of lag compensation methods which I haven't been able to turn off . That means, you need to ensure your internet connection is very good, otherwise you will experience lots of micro-lags that are pain in the ass - if you encounter these micro lags, set the "on screen counter" to "FPS and Ping" and check your connection. A <50ms Ping is required for the game to run smooth.

  • I have seen similar issues on others games. Not sure what the cause is. Perhaps changing the UMA to something smaller or larger would help. I always assumed they were just poorly optimized. Great resource for those that have the game. 

  • play at 1280x800p and enable interger scaling in adrenaline 

  • I've heard AMD Adrenalin is a pain in the ass often... Is it so much better with integer scaling?

  • Interger scaling takes the 800p image and cleans it up so it looks nice.

    Open adrenaline - gaming - display

    gpu scaling enabled

    interger scaling enabled

    scaling mode full panel

    set legion go to 800p and launch the game. Make sure borderless is enabled and not full screen or interger will not work.

  • Do you have any updates pending?

  • Hi, I do, I will also include this in the post.

    I am still investigating the root cause of the performance issues and I will update the post when I find out. So far, I can only recommend making sure RIOT games launcher and RIOT's Vanguard to be shut down if you want to play Sea of Thieves (for me, it was enough to exit these manually from the system tray and then launch SoT). DX11 seems to have the biggest impact.

    Further in-game performance summary (same settings as on images, "Performance" mode):
    On sea performance seems solid, maybe even better than on land with fps around 53-57 most of the time with just a few fps drops (47 or so) when another ship is nearby, stormy weather and a kraken are present at the same time. On the "shops island" (I didn't remember the name yet), the fps stays around 43-50 with an overall smooth perfrormance. If you want to play on 15W or lower, you will probably need to lower the graphics settings as the fps will drop to 24-30 in certain areas. On an island with multiple NPCs and objects, the fps stayed around 50 with no dips, combat is also smooth.

    Setting screen resolution to 1280x800 (via Legion Space) gives you a few fps and will actually make the game look better as resolution scaling fails to smooth out texture edges if you upscale to 2560x1600. 

    Sea of Thieves seems to be using some kind of lag compensation methods which I haven't been able to turn off . That means, you need to ensure your internet connection is very good, otherwise you will experience lots of micro-lags that are pain in the ass - if you encounter these micro lags, set the "on screen counter" to "FPS and Ping" and check your connection. A <50ms Ping is required for the game to run smooth. 

    If you got any other questions, feel free to ask:) When I find out more, I will let you know

  • Thanks! In which games have you found this to improve the performance the most?

  • To be honest, I think you already have the best solution available at the moment. Thanks for sharing!

    Hope someone from Lenovo listens and gets back to us with an update! 

  • Every single game. Some games like resident evil 7/8 you can get up to 144hz 

    I like to use it just to keep the temps low even if I know I can push the game at a higher resolution.

    Here is my YouTube channel. You don’t need to subscribe as I just post videos for fun. 
    all games are run at 800p with interger scaling using AMD official drivers (780m) and MSI afterburner as the overlay for FPS, clock speed, and wattage.

    youtube.com/@cperl79

  • I don't have any experience with this game on the Legion Go.