Check Out These Magical Tips For Faster Frames In Hogwarts Legacy On PC

hogwarts school
As we wrote yesterday, Hogwarts Legacy is a bear of a game to run. GeForce RTX 3080 cards struggle in 2560×1440, even with DLSS enabled, and Radeon cards can't run the game playably at all with ray-tracing turned on. Arguably the real problem is the game's incredibly inconsistent performance, though. Players who have tried the game on PC will no doubt be familiar with bizarre gulfs in framerate and massive stuttering at points.

If you've got powerful hardware and are seeing symptoms similar to the above, we may have some good news. There are a few fixes that have improved things for your author and numerous others, especially with regards to consistency. We'll detail those below, as well as some other tweaks you can try and things you can check to see if you're getting the best performance possible in Hogwarts Legacy.

base requirements

Before we get started, make sure you check the minimum and recommended system requirements. Hogwarts Legacy wants a powerful PC, and triply so if you want to try ray-tracing. Tablets, portable PCs, and anything but the very latest thin & light laptops need not apply—at least, not without considerable user mods to uglify the game. The recommended specs strongly encourage you to put the game on an SSD, and we saw small but noticeable load time differences between SATA and NVMe SSDs in our testing.

Don't discount the CPU requirement. Hogwarts Legacy can easily be CPU-limited on processors as new as 10th-gen Intel Core and 3rd-gen AMD Ryzen, especially when using ray-tracing. If you're still running an older CPU, or even a newer one with fewer than six cores, you'll want to go easy on the settings—particularly Effects Quality, View Distance, and Population Quality.

combined settings hogwarts legacy
Video settings on the left, and graphics settings on the right. Click to enlarge.

Meanwhile, 8 GB GPUs should probably stick to "High" for Texture Quality, and if you've got less than that, you'll want to be on Medium or even Low. To use ray-tracing, you'll need a GeForce RTX or Intel ARC graphics card, and probably at least an RTX 2060 SUPER or Arc A750 to achieve anything approaching playable performance. You're almost certainly going to have to use upscaling for whatever your usual resolution would be. We struggle to maintain 30 FPS in native 4K with Ultra ray-tracing on a GeForce RTX 4080.

Of course, that's with all of these fixes applied. Without the fixes in place, the game barely runs at all with ray-tracing enabled, as we demonstrated yesterday. To be clear, these fixes are not going to completely resolve all of your performance problems in Hogwarts Legacy, but they can drastically improve performance, at least for a while. The game seems to have some kind of memory leak, and performance definitely degrades over time; you'll probably want to restart it every couple of hours.

exploit protection

With all of that out of the way, let's get to the tweaks. There are two main tweaks for Hogwarts Legacy: a Windows Exploit Protection change, and some INI file modifications. The Exploit Protection change is easy; just perform a Start search for "exploit protection", and in the dialog that pops up, you want to head over to "Program Settings", add a program, and point it to HogwartsLegacy.exe. You can just use the filename.

Once you've done that, scroll down to Control Flow Guard (CFG), check "Override system settings", and then turn it off. You can also disable CFG globally if you want, but we don't recommend that. Click Apply, and then close the window; you're done with this tweak. This tweak does slightly reduce your system's security while you're playing Hogwarts Legacy, but it's a pretty small risk considering that this is not an online game.

Hold the Windows key and press "R" to open this dialog quickly.

The INI file modification is a little more involved. You'll need to have run the game at least once, and then browse to "%localappdata%\Hogwarts Legacy\Saved\Config\WindowsNoEditor\". (You can paste that string into the Run dialog, including the quotes, to open the folder.) Once there, find the Engine.ini file, open it, and at the bottom, add a blank line follow by these lines:

r.Streaming.PoolSize=<SEE BELOW FOR VALUE>

For the PoolSize value, the default value is one half of your video RAM, in megabytes. You can do the math: take your video RAM number in gigabytes, divide by two, multiply by 1024. However, some users recommend using lower settings, like 3072 or 2048. It's possible that the main benefit from these configuration settings is reducing the video RAM pool available to the texture streaming engine. You can expect that these aggressive texture streaming settings will cause additional texture pop-in, most notably when you first load into the game, but we found the trade-off in smoothness to be very well worth it.

corrupted shoes
You may see occasional corrupted textures, but that happens regardless, even on the stock game.

With both of these tweaks in place, we found performance improved tremendously on a GeForce RTX 4080, GeForce RTX 3080, GeForce RTX 3060, and on a Radeon RX 6800 XT. The biggest improvement was on the Radeon RX 6800 XT, which could barely run the game at all before the tweaks, but comes out smelling like roses afterward. However, some users have reported that neither of these two tweaks did anything for them at all.

Additional, more general tweaks that you could try include making sure Resizable BAR is enabled on your PC, enabling the "Hardware-Accelerated Graphics Scheduling" setting in Windows, and for NVIDIA users, updating to DLSS 2.5.1 as well as setting the size of your Shader Cache (in the NVIDIA control panel's 3D settings) to "Unlimited." Users have variously reported that these tweaks helped or didn't, so once again, your mileage may vary.

original vs tweaked hogwarts legacy benchmarks
Note that the top two cards weren't using ray-tracing.

One final note we want to make regards NVIDIA's DLSS 3 Frame Generation technology. It's actually enabled by default on systems that support it, and there's a confusing quality to the UI where if you disable DLSS upscaling, you also disable the ability to toggle DLSS 3 FG. However, DLSS 3 FG remains enabled, despite being greyed-out. To disable it, you have to enable DLSS upscaling. You can once again disable upscaling after, if you choose.

While we've been fond of DLSS 3 in other games, like Cyberpunk 2077 and F1 2022, the implementation in this game seems problematic. When the game stutters—which it still does occasionally even with all of these tweaks in place—Frame Generation exaggerates the effect quite severely, and also makes it last longer. Disabling Frame Generation visibly worsened motion quality due to the lower output framerate, but it drastically reduced the severity and duration of stutters in the game.

pensieve hogwarts legacy

Ultimately, Hogwarts Legacy is a game that is desperately in need of optimization efforts, and game-focused driver optimizations from AMD and NVIDIA couldn't hurt either. We wouldn't blame anyone for waiting on a patch before making a purchase at this point. With the tweaks above and some dialed-in settings, the game is eminently playable, but it's far from flawless.

Fortunately for Avalanche Software and Portkey Games, the game itself is actually fantastic. Even if you have absolutely no love for the Wizarding World or the Harry Potter series, if you have any love for Victorian fantasy at all, it's a good time. Of course, if you do have love for the setting, you're probably already playing it.

If you try these tweaks, let us know how you come out. Likewise, if you're already playing with no problems, we want to hear about that too. Post your thoughts in the comments below.