Pokemon Scarlet and Violet’s Performance Benchmark on Overclocked Switch Explained

Pokemon Scarlet and Violet’s Performance Benchmark on Overclocked Switch Explained

Some fans have found that Pokemon Scarlet and Violet’s performance issues disappear when run on an overclocked Switch and are speculating as to why.


Pokemon Scarlet and Violet has made headlines by running poorly on the Nintendo Switch. While many players have managed to overlook the performance issues to have a great time with the games, it’s still pretty miserable as low frame rates, glitches, and graphical issues hurt the game’s immersion at almost any given point.


But the general opinion about how Pokemon Scarlet and Violet performance has changed, as many of these issues have been shown to be improved when the Nintendo Switch is overclocked. “Overclocking” means that players have managed to hack their device and control the processing power to run at maximum capacity. Nintendo has made it so that the Switch cannot run at these speeds normally to help preserve the overall health of the system. Still, it begs the question of why Scarlett and VioletMany problems shrink with higher processing power.

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How Pokemon Scarlet and Violet are optimized

pokemon-scarlet-violet-miraidon

Despite these Pokemon game that suffers from some pretty serious issues, it’s not for lack of trying. Many different techniques are implemented to keep the game as smooth as possible. One of these methods was also used in Pokemon Legends: Arceus, where Pokémon far away had a slower frame rate and were scaled up after they were brought closer to the players. But, Scarlett and Violet seems unable to handle all the models being used, leading to things like classrooms with 3 FPS students.

Hackers have also managed to figure out that the direction the camera is facing determines which part of the world is loaded. For example, in Casseroya Lake, players only have the lake that they see on screen loaded into the world, with the other half unloaded. However, the distance feature of the body of water causes all the shapes in the distance to be loaded as well, which may be why the lake is one of the worst areas in the game. It feels like Game Freak exceeded how much the Switch could handle in terms of scope Scarlett and Violet.

Why Pokemon Scarlet and Violet run better on an overclocked Switch

A male player riding a Koraidon in glide form in Scarlet & Violet

These optimization features scale with how the Switch’s CPU and GPU run at a slower than normal speed. This is because Nintendo cares about making sure games work the same way they do when docked, as they would in handheld mode. Because of this, the chip inside the Nintendo Switch is underclocked at all times. That is, when players get through Pokemon Scarlet and Violetthey don’t play it at the highest performance already.

Keeping the settings as low as they are by default still gives decent performance with other Switch games without the console overheating in any of the modes. This leads fans to question why overclocking the system wipes out most, if not all Scarlett and Violets performance issues. One theory the fans have is that Scarlett and Violet was tested on overclocked platforms and it was this version that was approved for release either with or without realizing that it would perform so terribly without a higher CPU and GPU.

However, Nintendo would have needed a reason to allow a game to be developed beyond the Switch’s current capabilities. Fans have speculated that either a Switch 2 or Switch Pro was or is in development, and that was the device Pokemon Scarlet and Violet was tested on. This would make sense for a number of reasons, and the fact that a Pokemon employee listed “next generation hardware experience” on their resume almost serves as proof of this. The current chip shortage due to Covid-19 may have prevented this console from being released on time Scarlett and Violetthe launch.

While there may be some evidence to support this claim, it all still boils down to just being fan speculation. After all, Switch 2 and Switch Pro rumors have been circulating among fans and supposed leakers as far back as 2019. Nintendo has also denied many of these rumors in its own press statements, meaning that this overclocked benchmark could simply show that Scarlett and Violet has the potential but not the resources to perform as intended.

Pokemon Scarlet and Violet is available now for Nintendo Switch.

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