Monster Hunter: World finally came out on PC last week. It’s a hell of a fun game, but the PC version has some frustrating technical problems. Fortunately, fans and modders have been working on unofficial fixes to improve things while we wait for official ones.
I’ve been playing the PC version of Monster Hunter: World for a few weeks now. The game is in better shape than it was when Capcom first sent out codes, but it still has some significant problems. The most widespread relate to performance, online connectivity, and crashes, the third of which can apparently corrupt your save and cause you to lose all your hard-earned progress. Here are a few things I’ve done to get the game running better.
1. Install Kaldaien’s ‘Special K’ mod.
Kaldaien, the same modder who made that brilliant graphics fix for the PC version of Nier: Automata, is back with a far-reaching remedy for many of Monster Hunter: World’s performance and stability issues. (Hat-tip to PC Gamer for catching this one.) It’s called “Special K” and it’s a cinch to install; you can find a download link and instructions on Steam.
I installed the mod last night and was impressed with how many small improvements it brought. It made my game run stably on the newest Nvidia drivers when it previously hadn’t. After several hours of sustained play I never once had the ERR12 graphics driver crashes that previously caused me to roll back to an older driver.
Special K also aims to rework how the game uses your CPU cores, which might give smoother performance for some. I noticed improvements on my end, but it could just be that I was finally using the optimized driver. (Others have reported that the game-optimized Nvidia driver actually gives them worse performance, so your mileage may vary.) Special K also adds the ability to take HUD-free screenshots, and finally (hooray!) makes it possible to alt-tab out of the game to check other apps without everything going to hell.
2. Try port forwarding to improve connectivity.
Most people playing MH: World on PC are having connectivity issues, and during busy times it can be all but impossible to get into a multiplayer session with other people. Capcom acknowledged the widespread reports of connection issues yesterday on Steam, saying it is “currently investigating the cause of this and are working with Valve to resolve the issue as soon as possible.”
I like playing Monster Hunter solo as much as anyone, but I’ve reached the part of the late-game where I’m spending more and more time farming monsters for parts, which is far easier and more enjoyable with others. So it was frustrating when, yesterday, I got “error code 50382-mw1” over and over and was unable to connect.
While looking through forum threads filled with other people discussing similar error messages, I saw several folks suggesting setting up router port forwarding to make it easier to connect. I am not a networking expert, but my understanding is that port forwarding has your router designate which incoming ports are talking to which outgoing ones, and can sometimes clear up networking issues in multiplayer games. I figured it couldn’t hurt to give it a shot, so I did. I followed the instructions over at portforward.com, which wasn’t too difficult.
I set up port forwarding after an hour of consistent failure to matchmake, and immediately got into a session on my next attempt. That’s anecdotal, of course, and I’ve seen others say that port forwarding didn’t help them get online. I’ve also had a few mid-session disconnects since setting it up, so it’s definitely not a cure-all. But if you’re getting connection failures as often as I was, it’s worth a shot.
3. Lower “Volume Rendering Quality” to improve your frame-rate.
I mentioned this in my initial impressions of the PC port a little while back, but it bears repeating: if you’re having trouble getting the game to stay above 60fps, start by lowering the Volume Rendering Quality setting. That’ll remove some of the hazy sheen the game puts on everything, and should get you a healthy frame-rate boost. I have mine set to low, but some people hate the way the effect looks and turn it off altogether.
I’ve also seen some people say they get smoother performance by switching to borderless fullscreen, and some Nvidia users say that they got improved performance by rolling back to Nvidia’s 398.36 driver.
4. Backup your save.
As is usually the case, the most worrying concerns from players involve the game corrupting or deleting their save files. It’s not clear if any specific thing in the game causes this to happen, but it seems like if the game crashes while in the middle of saving, you could lose all your progress.
As with Dark Souls Remastered earlier this year, the question is really, why take the risk? You can manually back up your save pretty easily. It’s located here:
C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\userdata\[Your Steam ID]\582010\remote
There are also a number of ways to get Windows to automatically copy a file every so often, and one Reddit user has made a script that’ll do it for you. Since it takes all of a minute to back up your save, there’s no good reason not to.
Hopefully Capcom will release some game updates with official fixes for some of the problems outlined here, and hopefully the game’s servers will get more stable and consistent as we get a little further from launch. Until then, these tweaks should help get things running more smoothly.