It looks like Red Dead Redemption 2 has fallen victim to the ol’ tying-game-logic-to-framerate bug.
The PC port of Red Dead Redemption 2 is far from perfect, that much is clear. But, even knowing the game’s questionable technical state, players didn’t count on seeing the return of this classic bug.
Reddit user Jimmyoneshot has discovered a link between the game’s framerate, and how quickly Arthur’s cores drain. Red Dead Redemption 2, as anyone who played it will know, keeps track of your overall health and fitness, represented in three cores: health, stamina, and Dead Eye.
Food and exercise greatly affect the first two. Eating too much without exercising will cause Arthur to visibly gain weight, which increases his stamina consumption. By the same token, not eating enough will slow health regeneration.
That said, players started to notice that cores are draining much faster on PC than they do on consoles. After picking up on this disparity, Jimmyoneshot decided to perform a few tests. They created a new save file that starts off at the beginning of Chapter 2, and proceeded to play the same missions and eat four steaks at the exact point during the day.
Then, Jimmyoneshot locked the framerate to 30fps, well below his usual 100-130fps, and it was then they saw a massive gulf in weight loss rate. Playing at a high framerate, Arthur lost 0.75 of his weight the next day. When locking the framerate to 30fps, Arthur gained 1.5, all from the same routine of food and activity.
The Reddit thread where Jimmyoneshot shared their findings is full of other examples of how the passage of time is different on PC compared to consoles. Time of day progresses much faster on PC, and weather conditions such as lightning and rain don’t last very long.
In fact, I myself noticed how shadows appeared to be moving too fast when riding across open plains, which I assumed was a bug in shadow draw distance. Many others also pointed out that the time of day would change multiple times in long journeys, which didn’t happen on consoles.
Something is clearly wrong with how Red Dead Redemption 2 calculates time on PC – which, for now, appears to be tied to your framerate.
This particular problem should be familiar to PC players, who more recently had faced it with the PC port of Dark Souls 2, which rant at 60fps compared to consoles’ 30fps, causing weapon durability to degrade twice as fast.