A New Last Of Us Part I Patch Is Packed Full With Optimizations And Bug Fixes For PC

Shotgun blast in The Last of Us Part I.
For those of you who have been keeping count, prior to this week there had been eight patches for the PC version of The Last of Us Part I, a game that got off to a rocky start to say the least. Developer Naughty Dog is now pushing out a ninth patch for the PC port, version, and with it comes a bunch more optimizations and bug fixes, including a couple of AMD-specific tweaks.

Naughty Dog and publisher Sony have not been without criticism for rolling out a port plagued with issues, and rightfully so—it's why the game debuted with a 'Mostly Negative' rating on Steam. However, the folks at Naughty Dog deserve credit for responding with a barrage of updates after taking it on the chin. The developer is averaging more than one update per week since the game launch six weeks ago.

That's not to say all is forgiven for launching The Last of Us Part I on PC in a state that clearly wasn't ready for prime time. But what's done is done. As much as Naughty Dog might like to go back in time and get it right from the outset, it's still managing to take a mulligan by working tirelessly to stomp out bugs and improve the overall experience.

The latest patch is another significant step in that direction. According to the patch notes, the update primarily focuses on performance improvements, reduced shader building times, and texture fidelity on low and medium presets. It's somewhat of an overhaul, in that Naughty Dog says downing the patch will trigger a full shader rebuild.

The Last of Us Part I banner for patch

Here's an extensive list of changes and fixes...
  • Reduced shader building times
  • Optimized code to improve global CPU performance
  • Optimized content to improve performance across several levels
  • Improved level loading to help reduce the amount of 'Please Wait' and loading screens
  • Added a new Effects Density setting, which adjusts the density and number of non-critical visual effects (Options > Graphics)
  • Increased crowd sizes on Low and Medium Ambient Character Density settings and added a Very Low option (Options > Graphics)
  • Implemented additional scalability tuning for Low and Medium in-game Graphics settings
  • Reduced the VRAM impact of texture quality settings, allowing most players to increase their texture quality settings or experience improved performance with their current settings
  • Fixed a crash that would occur on boot on Windows 11
  • Fixed a crash that could occur on Intel Arc
  • Fixed a crash that may occur when starting a New Game in Left Behind prior to the completion of shader building
  • Corrected an issue where pointing the camera at the floor while aiming would cause the player and camera to visually stutter
  • Fixed an issue where Sniping Sensitivity settings were not applying to all scoped weapons. Additionally, Sniping Sensitivity has been renamed to Scoped Sensitivity (Options > Controls > Mouse Camera Sensitivity)
  • Fixed an issue where players could not click on 'Jump To Unbound' when prompted in the custom controls settings (Options > Controls > Input > Customize Controls)
  • Fixed an issue where changing Graphics settings (Options > Graphics > Graphics Preset) during gameplay wouldn't restart the player at the correct checkpoint
  • Fixed an issue where adjustments to Lens Flare (Options > Graphics > Visual Effects Settings > Lens Flare) were not not applied
  • [Pittsburgh] Fixed an issue where players may consistently fall out-of-world when restarting at the checkpoint in the bookstore
  • [Left Behind] Fixed an issue where players may get soft locked when jumping into the electrified water
That's 18 bullet points, again for those who like to keep tally. It's also not the full list. There are two additional bullets aimed at AMD setups. The first one notes that the update implements improvements to load times, and the second one says the patch fixes an issue where shaders may take an abnormally long time to load.

Players have complained about unexpectedly long shader load times since launch and several patches have tried to tackle the issue. More work needs to be done, though, as Naughty Dog still lists it as one of the known issues.

In addition to applying the latest game patch, Naughty Dog makes it a point to suggest ensuring you're running the latest GPU driver for your graphics card "for optimal improvements to your experience."

For AMD Radeon owners, that would be the Adrenalin Edition 23.4.3 release, which includes a fix specific to long shader loads in The Last of Us Part I. If you're running a GeForce GPU, the latest driver is version 531.79. And while not highlighted in the patch notes, the most recent Intel Arc and Iris Xe graphics driver is version (beta).