Digital Foundry today posted its performance analysis for No Man's Sky, and while the overall take is positive, the site found that the space game's frame rate could drop significantly in some places.
30FPS is the target on PlayStation 4, but it can dip well below this -- Digital Foundry reported one sequence when it fell to 13FPS -- when the game engine is stressed. This can happen when you land on a new planet and then immediately boost across the surface, near to the ground.
"In this case, the PS4 is struggling to meet the 33.3ms per-frame render time, while generating new scenery and details on the fly," the report said. "These are calculations made a split-second before revealing the new terrain or object, and when it can't keep up, we see dips to the 20FPS line, and sometimes even lower."
According to Digital Foundry, this drop in frame rate is not always related to what's going on in the environment. Instances of lower frame run for as long as players boost full speed in any one direction. There is quite a simple workaround for this, it seems.
"Once you double back on yourself with a full 180 turn, or even slow down, suddenly we're back to an even 30FPS again. From here, the frame rate issues disappear once you start moving again," Digital Foundry said.
Why does the frame rate drop like this? Digital Foundry believes that it might have something to do with No Man's Sky's procedurally generated worlds.
"Everything has to be calculated ad hoc. These drops are essentially a trade-off for not having any loading times, and letting everything render in seamlessly," it said. "It's a distraction for sure, but equally, it does takes a very deliberate course of action to make it happen. Bringing the game back to 30FPS is also easy, and overall, it's worth putting up with to enjoy the game's unique, seamless approach to exploration."
Elsewhere in the performance analysis piece, Digital Foundry said No Man's Sky holds on to its 30FPS target well throughout the game (except for what was mentioned above). Additionally, the game runs at a native 1080p resolution.
You can read Digital Foundry's full No Man's Sky performance analysis here; note that it's only for the PS4 edition.
Earlier this week, Hello Games boss Sean Murray said No Man's Sky is a "weird" and "niche" game that "might not be for everyone." He also stressed that No Man's Sky "is not a multiplayer game." The chances of two players meeting in the universe is "pretty much zero," Murray explained.