The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is a masterpiece, but like the original title Breath of the Wild, it does suffer from some serious performance dips during more heated gameplay moments – with the frame rate dropping from around 30 to the low 20s.
If you’re wondering what a more consistent frame rate would look like in busier parts of Tears of the Kingdom, there are already a number of videos online showcasing the game running at 30fps locked and even going as high as 60fps.
As can be seen in the video below, game developer and YouTuber MVG has uploaded his own footage – demonstrating a Tears of the Kingdom overclock using a modified Nintendo Switch system. He does manage to achieve a “locked” 30fps in the end with a memory clock. He labels this as the “culprit when it comes to performance in docked mode”.
While MVG doesn’t go into specifics about how exactly to overclock the Switch, he does warn anyone who wants to do it themselves to take caution:
“I will also make the disclaimer if you are wanting to overclock your Nintendo Switch, there are risks involved, you could potentially damage your Switch, you could potentially fry it, all sorts of [bad] things could happen…”
So, there you go – Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom running at a consistent 30fps (and higher than this) on actual Switch hardware.
To learn more about the performance of this title, check out Digital Foundry’s analysis. John Linneman was quite impressed, but did find ways to trigger frame rate drops in Link’s new adventure:
“Nearly every instance of major performance loss has been corrected resulting in a game that holds very closely to its 30fps target. The majority of my entire run of capture managed to maintain a solid 30 frames per second in most instances which, for the Switch running a game this vast and emergent, is impressive. It’s not 100 percent perfect, however, and I found ways to trigger a drop in frame-rate.
“In most instances, it’s the result of using the Ultrahand feature. When you toggle this in a busy area, the frame-rate is sure to dip and, when it does, it drops to 20 fps – again, thanks to the use of a double buffer v-sync. The performance reminds me of an old school game in some ways – slowdown only occurs in busy scenes, similar to how a shooter might start slowing down when the action heats up. And like those games, Zelda is smooth in terms of frame-pacing and lacks any significant stutter or hitching.”