Destiny 2 PC: a few issues to know before you play

destiny-pc-problems

Destiny 2’s out on PC at last, and a whole red legion full of people are currently enjoying their first rides on its conveyor belt of deadly death. While, by and large, this seems to be a very well-done PC edition of a console shooter – and one that runs very well on minimum hardwware too – there are a few flies in Bungie’s latest ointment that might give you pause if you’re considering putting your Guardian hat on this close to launch. And I don’t just mean the mystery bans. Below are a bunch of issues that make life a little harder than it ought to be, and suggestions for what to do about most of them.

Transcending first-world problems this one, but there is no cross-platform save or character support – i.e. if you’ve been playing on console and now want to hop over to where all the cool kids are at, you’ll have to start a fresh campaign with a fresh Guardian. No progress, gear or anything else is carried over between platforms. On the face of things, it’s a full-Picard facepalm move on Bungie’s part, as it’s going to actively dissuade people from picking up two copies of the game (e.g. people with different friends using different games-o-tron devices).

I can sympathise a little more if I think about it closely, though – too many mega-gods running about in the early days of Destiny 2 PC seems a tad unfair, while conversely the superior aim controls of mouse arguably gives you a way to progress more rapidly with a character you may ultimately plan to use on console. However, we’re not talking about cross-platform play here, just sharing of data, so I still come down on thinking this is a silly oversight. Or perhaps a tricky technical hurdle. It may be that it’s corrected in time, when there will be legions of well-established players on both console and PC – though I wouldnt’ be terribly surprised if, were it to happen, it involved some nickle’n’diming on Activision-Blizzard’s part.

destiny-2-pc-issues

The anti-aliasing ain’t great. You’ve a choice of FXAA or SMAA flavours of AA, both of which are relatively low-cost in terms of performance, but neither of which are hugely effective at stomping out the jaggies in this particular instance. A shame, as Destiny 2 presents some grand vistas (even if what you can do with ’em is extremely limited) and, on a crisp monitor with your face unhealthily close against it, the ol’ staircase effect on edges – particularly of objects in the distance – does upset the party just a little. In my experience (on a GeForce card), the supposedly superior SMAA does very little compared to having AA off entirely, while the supposedly inferior FXAA does tone things down a little more but makes some detail seem softer. Manually forcing better anti-aliasing in NVIDIA settings hasn’t worked either, though again I can’t speak to AMD as I don’t have a suitable card to hand right now.

To meaningfully get rid of the problem the only thing I’ve found to work so far is bumping up the render resolution to 130% or higher, which basically makes the game run at a higher resolution than your screen, but this takes a very heavy toll on framerate so I’ve not stuck with it. Perhaps an MSAA option will be added in time – this too can harm performance significantly, but it usually does the trick when it comes to jaggies.

Here’re some comparison screenshots. Honestly, I don’t normally do this sort of thing, but I found the aliasing particularly noticeable in this game – not an objection in principle, but rather that it was genuinely distracting given how lovely many of the environments are. These are all direct crops from a 3440×1440 image – no resizing or other tampering involved. I appreciate that, presented like this, it seems like nit-picking of one small part of the screen, but I’m merely using it as an example of stuff I’m noticing constantly. It’s a shame in a pretty game, is all I’m saying – no tub-thumping here.

No AA

No AA

FXAA

FXAA

SMAA

SMAA

150% render resolution, no AA

150% render resolution, no AA

150% render resolution, FXAA

150% render resolution, FXAA

Screenshotting is hard work, due to Destiny 2 aggressively blocking many third-party applications as part of its anti-cheating measures. There’s no built-in feature for it, Fraps isn’t supported, neither is rigging the game up to launch via Steam and thus use its overlay, the Windows 10 Gamebar doesn’t work in my experience, and even olde worlde print screen is highly temperamental depending on if you’re playing on in fullscreen mode, borderless window and so forth. Something I was able to do was use NVIDIA’s GeForce Experience application – something I usually avoid as it’s got a whole load of bloat – to take screens, but two problems there. First is that the default Alt-F1 command unfortunately conflicts with F1 being hard-bound to the inventory screen in Destiny 2, so I just ended up with a load of that, but I was able to rebind the shortcut in GeForce Experience. Problem 2, less surmountable, is that folk with AMD cards or GeForces older than a GTX 660 are out of luck there.

There are two ways around this (also relevant if you prefer not to have GeForce Experience installed): Print Screen, but you may find that this only works in Windowed, Borderless Window, or Borderless Fullscreen, and by default it involves a great deal of manual faff pasting the image into an editing application. Some third-party applications, such as Dropbox, will automatically export a screen capture to file, however. A second option is freebie photo editing app Irfanview, which you can set keyboard shortcuts for (but not one-button ones, sadly) or set to automatically capture every few seconds – won’t work in fullscreen mode, however.

If you were hoping player-to-player communication options would be improved for the PC version of Destiny 2, prepare for disappointment. Despite this being essentially an MMO and one in which all the best stuff is designed to be played in a group, there’s no public chat channel, no option to natter at players you encounter while out in the open and you’re even pretty limited in your private communications with people you’re not already friends with. This is a boon in that you’re spared noise while running around very picturesque hub areas such as The Farm, but it makes forming groups or making friends a whole lot harder than you may be used to. This is a weirdly silent game. Expect out-of-game tools such as Discord to play a big part in solving the ol’ LFG problem, unless Bungie have a change of heart. In-game for the time being, you’re basically limited to mime options via the starkly-restricted Emote system.

With the above in mind, be very, very careful about what you use with the game. Though Bungie currently deny that some applications which use screen overlays, such as the aforementioned Discord, are responsible for the recent wave of mystery Destiny 2 account bans, there is some anecdotal correlation. Hopefully Bungie will explain the situation very soon, but in the meantime just do a quick bit of checking that nothing you habitually use with your games, such as OBS, is associated with any problems. Many are blocked due to anti-cheat-related fears about code modification, hence the screenshotting woes I mentioned, but in theory don’t mean a ban – but do check, just in case.

On top of those, there are a few officially-recognised issues, which I’ll quote Bungie verbatim on, but it’s worth monitoring their official Destiny 2 support page, which is sporadically adding new problems/solutions:

 

• Fullscreen on Laptops: Fullscreen mode is unable to be selected on some laptops. Affected players may use Windowed Fullscreen mode to work around this issue.
• SSSE3 Required: Destiny 2 will not run on processors without Supplemental Streaming SIMD Extensions 3 (SSSE3).
PLEASE NOTE: We’ve seen a number of reports of crashes on CPUs that fall below our stated minimum specs (E.G. AMD Phenom II series). We are investigating the issue and will attempt to fix the crash, but these CPUs are below minimum spec and are not officially supported.
• TRUMPET Errors: Players who are encountering TRUMPET errors on PC may attempt to work around this issue by changing Blizzard Region. We are investigating.
• Clan Roster: We are aware of player reports describing the Clan Roster not appearing in Destiny 2 on PC. We are investigating this issue.
• Continuous Sign On: We are actively investigating reports of players blocked from signing in to Destiny 2.
• Windows Updates: Before playing Destiny 2 on PC, players should ensure that their version of Windows is up-to-date. The player experience may vary on versions of Windows that are not up-to-date.
• SLI, HDR, and VSYNC: Players may experience some rare issues when enabling SLI, HDR, or disabling VSYNC in some non-native resolutions. For the best experience, players are encouraged to use these features while running at their display’s maximum available resolution.
• Crash after Task Switching: The Destiny 2 client may crash after switching tasks (ALT+TAB) when AMD Crossfire is enabled. To avoid this issue, players should avoid switching tasks for extended periods of time when the AMD Crossfire feature is enabled.
• Saxophone Errors when Launching: Players may erroneously encounter Saxophone errors when launching the Destiny 2 application directly from the .exe file. Players who encounter this issue must close the application and relaunch through Blizzard’s Battle.net app.
• Idling to Title Screen: In some activities, players who are returned to the title screen due to idling may be unable to log back in. Players who encounter this issue must close and relaunch the Destiny 2 application.
• Login after Disconnects: A generic error code may appear to players who lose internet connection, which may block an affected player from logging back in even after reconnecting. Players who believe they are encountering this issue should close the Destiny 2 application and relaunch.
• Buffalo Errors on multiple PCs: Players may encounter Buffalo errors when logging in to Destiny 2 on multiple PCs at the same time. To prevent this issue, players must ensure that they are logged out of Destiny 2 on any PC that they do not currently intend to play on.
• Cursor in Tri-Monitor Configurations: Changing resolution between 5760×1080, 4080×768, and 3072×768 may trap the mouse cursor in the right-most monitor. Players who encounter this issue should ALT+TAB out of the Destiny 2 application, then back. Players may also toggle Windowed Mode by pressing ALT+ENTER.
• Tri-Monitor Depth of Field: DOF effects may be overly aggressive on some tri-monitor configurations. Players who encounter issues with DOF can disable this feature in the Graphics Settings.
• Windows 10 Game Bar: The Windows 10 game bar may not work in Fullscreen Mode. Affected players who wish to use this feature should use Windowed or Windowed Fullscreen Mode.
• NumPad Binding: Players are not able to bind controls to most NumPad keys.
• Screen Bounds on AZERTY Keyboards: Players may receive an incorrect key prompt when adjusting screen bounds on an AZERTY keyboard.
• IME in Fullscreen: Players who are running Input Method Editors may encounter a black screen or delay when inputting characters in Fullscreen Mode. For the best experience, these players are encouraged to play in Windowed or Windowed Fullscreen Modes.
• Closing Application: When closing Destiny 2 on PC, players must close the application via mouse input. Controllers cannot select the in-game button to close the Destiny 2 application.
• Corporate and University Networks: Some players may be unable to play Destiny 2 on corporate or university networks. Players who encounter this issue must contact their IT department, to meet the connectivity standards outlined in our url=https://www.bungie.net/en/Help/Troubleshoot?oid=13602#University]Network Troubleshooting Guide[/url].

45 Comments

  1. FizicsMcmanus says:

    I can understand the no cross-platforming it would make a run to the end-game faster and I have heard mostly negative thoughts about the end-game.

    I guess watch, see how it evolves.

    • welverin says:

      No cross platform transform is par for the course, they didn’t allow for it with the original Destiny (upgrading from last gen to current gen was allowed, but only with in brand PS3=>PS$, 360=>Xbox One only). Same thing for transferring characters, same platform only.

      No chatting with other players outside your friends list is also standard operating procedure, so expecting that to change was unrealistic. It’s how the first game worked and how the second works on console.

      The consistency of in how both of these issues have been dealt with makes it clear they are deliberate design choices and expecting them to change all of a sudden rather pointless.

    • mascarpwn says:

      But is this game cross-platform in general? Are there console people running around in the pc version too?

      And more importantly, do they have access to aim assist?

      If so, I won’t touch this game with a ten foot pole.

      • barelyhomosapien says:

        No but if people play with a controller on PC they have auto aim on so that they aren’t at a severe disadvantage through the M+KB players.

        But honestly, the PC has much better and better balanced PvP shooters, Destiny is mostly about the PvE content, so if you’re buying it for PvP you would be better off spending it on the multitude of existing titles anyway!

        • mascarpwn says:

          I wasn’t planning on buying it, but I did consider it for half a second.

          Thanks for your reply though; no game with a free auto-aim option will ever enter this house. We’ve all seen how that worked out in games like AW and BO3. It basically allows you to ignore core mechanics like boosting and flinch plus it’s easily exploitable without even having to buy a xim or similar device.

  2. GenialityOfEvil says:

    Forcing AA in drivers doesn’t work on DX10+ games, except for a handful of exceptions where Nvidia created special microcodes for them.

  3. Spuzzell says:

    I love RPS, I have absolute faith in the communal RPS editorial judgment being FAR superior to mine, and it’s just been released, so crack on.

    I’d just very politely like to say that it’s been quite nice having RPS as a place that doesn’t have 3 out of every 5 articles on Destiny, and I’d very much prefer it to stay that way.

    I’m happy for everyone that’s happy about Destiny, but. Even if I’m wrong to find it an utterly mediocre shooter cut and pasted from Halo flavourings with added loot boxes, it’s still wildly over covered on certain sites.

    • trashmyego says:

      Easy solution. Don’t click on articles you don’t have interest in reading.

      • popej says:

        Spuzzell addressed this issue in as polite a way as I’ve ever seen. Your response was typical of the internet (i.e. not constructive).

        He is right to be at least slightly concerned about the quantity of editorial space given to this game. The fact that it’s everywhere (like it’s studio ilk Overwatch) is off putting to some people. Then there’s the fair assumption that a lot of time is being spent writing about one game rather than focusing on RPS’s usual varied interests.

        That said, it isn’t a huge problem by any stretch of the imagination and I’m sure it’ll die down in a few days.

        • trashmyego says:

          The game just launched on the platform this site covers. It’s easily the best selling game of the year so far. These sites purposefully write about the games the most people are playing. That includes Overwatch. The games receive regular updates and content cycles, do you really expect websites not to cover it?

          I don’t see any difference in the coverage of Destiny 2 than any other highly popular release in the past. He highlights his own bias towards the articles as not being wholly worry about editorial integrity but his opinion about the title.

          • Doomlord says:

            TrashMyego said, “The game just launched on the platform this site covers. It’s easily the best selling game of the year so far.”

            Um, wrong. PUBG has blown it away a while back. Get yer facts straight.

          • trashmyego says:

            I was speaking universally, across all platforms. I thought the differentiation of ‘just now’ and ‘so far’ would separate the two things enough to make this clear. If I was intentionally referring to just the PC platform, I would have used something like ‘already’ to make the chronological references between the two statements equal. Or I’d not use the universal ‘game’ and instead specify the platform.

            It’s currently the top selling game of the year. That’s a fact, so get yours straight. And it’s only going to sell more now that it’s been released on PC.

          • Horg says:

            ”It’s currently the top selling game of the year. That’s a fact”

            A ”fact”, backed up by no official sales data, as Activision refuse to release that information. You have no idea how many copies D2 has sold, and neither does anyone else outside Activision.

          • barelyhomosapien says:

            And it’s fair to say there has been a ton of Plunkbat content on RPS and the Podcast, I couldn’t give a hoot about the game, but it’s big and they are playing it so they write about it.

          • trashmyego says:

            @Horg, Same source all sales rankings come from. Activision isn’t in the minority in not releasing sales figures/player numbers anywhere close to release.

        • drewski says:

          RPS have always had an ethos of “we write about what we’re interested in” though.

          I appreciate that not everyone is interested in the same things and some people might be disappointed that RPS is interested in Destiny 2, but to complain about what the writers are covering goes against what RPS stands for.

        • Asurmen says:

          Their suggestion looks entirely constructive to me.

          • Daymare says:

            “I see a problem in something I enjoy.”

            “Why don’t you look away? Problem solved.”

            See why this suggestion has never worked in the history of everything? Because it’s pretty much exactly the opposite of constructive.

          • trashmyego says:

            It’s not about looking away. It’s about growing up and realizing the world doesn’t revolve around your perspective and whatever hurt you feel seeing something popular you don’t like covered. Were the same complaints leveled against Stellaris around its release? To Witcher 3? To PUBG? GTAV? Rocket League? Cities: Skylines? Stardew Valley?

    • Daymare says:

      Yeah, I’m currently giving RPS the benefit of doubt because it was JUST released on PC.

      However, irritatingly specific and frequent Destiny articles are what drove me away from Eurogamer some years ago. Yes, I can simply not click on them, but there’s quite a few reasons why that doesn’t change what’s so irritating about it (some outlined by Spuzzell.)

      If RPS starts ‘liking’ Destiny 2 as much as EG apparently does, I’d be quite disappointed. But then I’m just some random internet person so why would that matter.

  4. trashmyego says:

    The ‘mystery’ bans have been addressed – link to bungie.net

    • popej says:

      Not really no.

      The ‘mystery’ bans as you put it will have been addressed once they offer assurances to prospective buyers and owners alike, that they know what the cause is and that they’re working on fixing it. As assured as you may be by their combative and deliberately vague statement, many potential buyers (including me) are not.

      On the basis that there’s a distinct possibility that at least one of those banned players is legitimately innocent, you don’t put out this kind of statement. It’s rude frankly.

      • Creeping Death says:

        “Rude” seems to be a pretty apt descriptor for Bungie’s PR attitude, honestly.

      • trashmyego says:

        There’s nothing to ‘fix’ though like a bug. As they restated in that release – bans are not automated.

      • drewski says:

        They’re claiming that there were no mystery bans and that everyone banned was banned deliberately. Some of those were found to be erroneous on review and reversed.

        That might not address your concerns to your satisfaction, but it does entirely address the issue. If your concern is that you will only buy Destiny 2 if Bungie can categorically guarantee that you won’t be erroneously banned then you will never be satisfied by anything they say.

  5. Sakkura says:

    I don’t know, that SMAA looks decent to me. Certainly better than no AA and the soft/blurred image typical of FXAA.

    If you look at the missiles, it handles the middle section well, while the fins on the front and rear are more problematic. So it does help, it’s just not perfect.

    Some games let you mix SMAA with classic MSAA, which is in my opinion the best overall combination of image quality and performance.

  6. waltC says:

    “Problem 2, less surmountable, is that folk with AMD cards or GeForces older than a GTX 660 are out of luck there.”

    Does this mean that AMD cards can’t run GeForce Experience? (Of course it does…;)) Well, I’m actually glad about that…;)

    “There are two ways around this (also relevant if you prefer not to have GeForce Experience installed): Print Screen, but you may find that this only works in Windowed, Borderless Window, or Borderless Fullscreen, and by default it involves a great deal of manual faff pasting the image into an editing application.”

    Here’s how I take screen shots. It’s incredibly simple and easy. In the game I hit Print Scrn, then ALT-TAB out to Windows 10, where on the task bar I have conveniently placed the icon for the old, reliable “Paint” program that still ships with Windows (the 2d standard version, not the newer 3d Paint.) I single-left-click the Paint taskbar icon and the Paint program immediately runs. At the top left of the Paint screen that opens is a big button labeled “Paste”–I single-left-click that button and the screen shot automatically is pasted to the Paint screen (from the Windows clipboard, where Print Scrn puts it), full size, immediately. Then you may save the image to disk–or crop it–whatever you wish, etc. And ALT-TAB back into your game. Takes 10 seconds or less. I’ve never had it fail to work, really. Although, there is always a first time, I suppose…;)

    • malkav11 says:

      That method is in fact mentioned in the article. It’s pretty clunky compared to the Steam overlay or other similar software though.

    • Asurmen says:

      Good old sarcasm or patronising, when this exact method was mentioned in the post, because everyone knows about it.

  7. waltC says:

    Had to add that I have never in my entire life seen a “Trumpet” error, or a “saxophone” error, or a “Buffalo error,” whatever those may be…;)

    OTOH, rhinoceros errors abound and are tough little buggers, and then elephant errors tend to be very large if not too complex; but really the ostrich errors–those darn things will run you silly!…;) [j/k-couldn’t resist!]

  8. Glentoran says:

    “NumPad Binding: Players are not able to bind controls to most NumPad keys.” – Once again, another kick in the bollox for both left-handed laptop users and players with physical disabilities. Well done Bungie. 20% of your potential gaming base ruled out of playing due to your reticent incompetence and lack of thought.

    Same goes for hard-coding key binds. You’re almost as bad as Bethesda.

    • Kasjer says:

      While I agree that this is unacceptable in PC space (like lack of simple sshot bind and the fact youcannot quit the game using gamepad) I don’t think this actually will prevent any left-handed player from playing. I’m left handed myself and I have never used numpad for playing games – ijkl is much better surrogate for wasd as it mirrors key placement in relation to space and gives you much more keys around to bind. Actually, I don’t think that most laptops even have separate numpad, so unless Bungie dropped the ball completely and prevent people from doing re-binds to the keys which serve as numpad on laptop, this isn’t a big deal.

  9. malkav11 says:

    I haven’t noticed any aliasing at all at 4K, and it runs like butter at that resolution on a GTX 970, for what it’s worth. I imagine that running a higher internal res at 1440p is probably hitting around the same level of fidelity.

  10. Siimon says:

    If you have a CPU older than Core2Duo and you can’t play a AAA game released in late 2017, you really can’t complaint.

    SSSE3 support on Intel CPUs:
    Xeon 5100 Series
    Xeon 5300 Series
    Xeon 5400 Series
    Xeon 3000 Series
    Core 2 Duo
    Core 2 Extreme
    Core 2 Quad
    Core i7
    Core i5
    Core i3
    Pentium Dual Core
    Celeron 4xx Sequence Conroe-L
    Celeron Dual Core E1200
    Celeron M 500 series
    Atom

  11. Premium User Badge

    Serrit says:

    Trumpet, Saxophone, and Buffalo? Did you just sneak them in to see if we were paying attention? :-)

  12. Gordon Shock says:

    The more I know about this game the less I want to play it. Not that my interest was high to begin with. It seems that for every cool thing this game has there a caveat to consider. At the end of the day aren’t we settling for mediocrity?

    • barelyhomosapien says:

      Not really. The FPS isn’t my genre of choice. But the core game play is great, and it nails that elusive “feel” aspect. It’s not a mediocre game at all, and I’m not exactly thrilled to admit that as someone who is not exactly Activision’s biggest fan.

  13. drewski says:

    These all seem like incredibly niche problems to me. Doesn’t AA perfectly at ultra-HD? Screenshotting is a pain? I can see why a games journo might be annoyed but for most people the alien shooting is great and you hopefully won’t die from cringing at the story too much.

  14. Doomlord says:

    Not to mention the whole idiocy surrounding their refusal to remove Aim Assist for knuckleheads who insist on using an inferior control scheme on the PC in PvP (gamepads). Because nothing says you understand how to make a PC port of a console game like keeping Aim Assist on. SMH

    • trashmyego says:

      I don’t understand why that’s a problem if you consider the mechanics that surround Destiny’s aim assist for controllers? It’s not an advantage compared to what you gain in precision with M+KB plus the increased gun stability you also get. And Bungie has already made it clear they’ll ban players who use programs to make their M+KB read as a controller to gain the setting with them.

    • Asurmen says:

      Mmm, that tasty tasty ego you have there.

      If the M+K is so superior, why worry about an auto aim? You know what is dumb? Not allowing the auto aim at all for people who do prefer using pad. Last I knew,yoy weren’t the PC Control Police.

  15. geldonyetich says:

    Destiny 2 PC has been lingering like a bad temptation. A shiny new FPS by Bungie, who I remember from as far back as Marathon as making excellent FPS, but they ran off to the apparently greener pastures of consoles for quite some time, so I don’t really know what they’re up to these days.

    But hey, anyone want to play this fancy new PC FPS made by Bungie that is also an MMORPG? The olive branch is out! Grasp it! Grasp it and bring Bungie home!

    Well, I would, but this olive branch plays in an overwhelmingly derivative reminder that AAA gaming hates taking chances, has an advancement mechanic which might have been fine on consoles but is less interesting and varied compared to better PC alternatives, and has a storytelling method that seems to be targeting a young conservative demographic.

    Run with wolves, and you’ll learn to howl. Run with console games, and you’ll forget what sets PC gaming apart.

    Ah, but who am I kidding? Destiny 2 will be fine. It’s over on Blizzard’s launcher, and they’ve an audience that is only too eager to plop down $60-$100 on it. Not my bag, though, as much as I might have liked it to be. I might have been fished in by a far lower barrier of entry, but for now I just can’t see the appeal.

    • Ragnar says:

      “has a storytelling method that seems to be targeting a young conservative demographic”

      Wait, what? Is the Destiny 2 story about nationalism, and foreigners taking our jobs and opportunities? Is the campaign about building a wall?

  16. Ragnar says:

    I’m impressed that it had native support for multi-monitor Eyefinity and Surround configurations. With native PC games lacking that feature, it’s great to see it included in a console port.

    If Bungie can do it with their first PC game in a decade, then so can everyone who has been consistently putting out PC games.

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