when I started playing Star Citizen again, I had huge problems. I could not believe that the performance of my PC was so bad. I made some mistakes and learned a lot that I want to share here. So I have put together a small collection of tips on what you can do if you feel that Star Citizen is not running as smoothly or as well as it should be.

Preliminary note

Lower your expectations, as Star Citizen is still in heavy development and far from being optimised. You won't get performance results comparable to other games, no matter how good your rig is. If you get 50-70 FPS, that's perfectly normal. You won't get a 144Hz / 144 FPS setup, that's not possible at the current state of the game. However, there are things that you can do to try and improve the situation.

Minimum Requirements

You can find Star Citizen official min. system requirements here.

In a Nutshell for playable performance:
  • Quadcore CPU (should be minimum a 5 Gen i7)16 GB RAM
  • SSD (the faster the better)
  • GTX 1070 or better (min 4 GB GPU Ram)
  • A good ressource is also the official Telemetry page, here you can see your personal performance (after playing +/- 24h) and some numbers about good or bad configs for the game.

Your System Hardware


When it comes to performance, running SC from an SSD is 100% required. The faster, the better. The game's constantly loading stuff from giant files in your games folder. If your system is too slow, especially on old spinning HDDs or slow SATA SSDs, many bugs, glitches and performance issues will occur. So the best thing to do would be to get a fast NVMe SSD.


Many users confirm that 32GB is more or less a requirement for a good experience at this stage. Star Citizen will run with 16 GB, but I would not try it with less than 16 GB of RAM. The same applies here - the faster the RAM, the better. Make sure you have enabled the RAM XMP (Extreme Memory Performance) profile in your BIOS or AMD DOCP or EOCP if you have the option. This will ensure that your RAM is running at its optimum speed.
Do not disable the Windows swap file, even if you have 32GB of RAM or more! You can find a Guide for setting it here. It's recommended that you put it on the fastest drive in your system, if you're going to set a fixed size make sure it's at least 8,000MB, but you could just let the system manage it. Most importantly, make sure it is not disabled. Again, even with lots of RAM, disabling the swapfile will cause problems!


This goes without saying, but you should make sure that you have an up to date driver installed. For Nvidia, it may be helpful to make the following settings in the Nvidia Control Panel in the Application Settings for SC section:
  • Vertical sync: if you dont need it force it off, if you have tearing set to "Fast"
  • Power Management: Prefer Max Performance
  • Low Latency Mode: off  (If you running on a low end Machine it may help to set it to on or ultra)
  • Threaded Opt.: On
  • Shader Cache (global setting): 10 GB
  • Tripple Buffering: On if you use vsync, otherwise off
More Specific Info is available in the official Guide to Graphic Issues


If you have a 12th generation Intel or newer (the ones with both efficiency and performance cores), there have been some discussions about very poor performance until the efficiency cores are disabled in the BIOS. An alternative is to use the Software Process Lasso to manually stop Star Citizen from using the Efficiency Cores. (guide on Reddit)


It is known that SC isn't playing well with some Software, if you have issues try to deactivate it first:
  • Citrix Clients
  • Some Active Scanning Antivirus Software
  • Any Game Overlay / Capturing Software like Overwolf, X-Box Gamebar, Elgato Gamecapture
What also helped some people is to turn off windows 10 Feature for Fullscreen Optimization. You can find a guide here.

In-Game Settings

It may sound strange, but LOW graphics settings can make things worse. Often the bottleneck is the CPU, and playing at low settings puts even more pressure on your CPU, away from the GPU. Try these settings in the game:
  • Graphics: HIGH
  • Volumetric Clouds: OFF  
    (still in development, can cause issues, if later is stable try to turn them back on)
  • Chromatic Aberration: OFF
  • Motion Blur: OFF
  • Film Grain: OFF
  • Sharpening: OFF
  • Vsync: matching your NVIDIA Setting but for start better go with OFF
This is a starting Point, if everything is OK you can try to tweak around later.

General recommendations


Not a bad joke; after you log into Star Citizen for the first time, the shaders need to build up, which will affect performance. Give it time, get up, grab a drink, do the laundry, whatever - really - give it a few minutes before you leave your cosy wakeup room. I can recommend waiting until you have loaded the Wakeup Room into your bed the first time you log in, get up and leave it there for 10 minutes. This usually fixes things like buggy or unloaded lifts, missing textures, stuttering. And remember, every time you enter a new area, planet, station, whatever, the game will build new shaders. Once they are built, the next time you visit the same area it will be faster.

Glitches and Bugs

In rare conditions those mentioned shader files can be corrupted somehow. Sometimes it helps to clear them out manually. You can find the Shader folder in your Game installation Directory:
Make sure the Game Client and Launcher are completely closed and delete the shaders folder. Keep in Mind after you delete that folder the Game need to rebuild the Shaders next time - see Patience. 

Advanced Editing of USER.cfg

This is Advanced and you can break things, so I suggest first try all of the above before you even start thinking of editing Config Files by hand. As said, this is only for Advanced users and if you have time to really experiment with it. I do only recommend to do this as last resort. Because of this, I do not write anything "guide" or recommendations here. Rather I give you a Link to a reddit post where a citizen tried some of those settings and provide his best result.

Sometimes it is not your fault

A thing I needed to learn by myself is that sometimes the Issue is Serverside. In current SC (3.16 as writing) there is no Server Meshing, so each Server can only handle a limited amount of player per Instance and depending what is going on around you it may impact performance. Also same as for the client goes for the Servers, it's an Alpha, bugs can cause server performance to degrade. Sometimes if you have very weird things or really bad performance it may help to logout and login to another server (Area USA->EU).

Closing note

This document just covers the main often "have you tried too" things. It is not ment to give help for specific errors or cases. For myself I found the SC Community very helpful in nature. So if you have any issues or questions go ahead and ask. A good place to start is the official community "Spectrum" volunteer help channel #helpdesk-volunteers there are often very knowledgeable players around, who most time can give you a hint or find a solution. Keep in mind, this is a volunteer helpdesk channel, so be respectful and patience. If you have a Question there give as much detail as possible, what is your Operation System (Win 10, Win 11), CPU, RAM, SSD and so on. Most time a Solution can be found.

Feel free to link, copy & paste, copy & modify this Page at any time. As long as it helps someone in the Verse it fulfilled its purpose.




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