FPS lower than it should be.

CPU: i7 9700k
GPU: GTX 970
Game is installed on an SSD. Temps are fine under load.
Already reinstalled the game and, as part of PC upgrade, reinstalled Windows 10.

Lowest settings: 25-35FPS
High settings: 15-20FPS

I have tried every conceivable setting, edit, guide, trick, and animal sacrifice to no avail. I've asked in the NWI Discord and talked with friends, but no one can figure it out. As much as I want to love this game and play it I just can't do it. Please, can anyone help me figure this out? Could any devs give some insight?

Settings below. Texture streaming pool is set to low in these screenshots, but I've tried all three settings with no change.


Hmmmm , that´s a weird thing.
Do you only have that low FPS in COOP games or also on versus matches with just a few players only ?

Your display driver settings are ok and also your ingame graphics settings are on low.
There is a bottleneck somewhere. Difficult to find.

Did you already try to use MSI Afterburner to find hardware bottlenecks ?
It´s a freeware monitoring and overclocking tool which runs with any hardware.
In that installation package it also includes the Riva Tuner Statistics Server.
Install both and let your Hardware temperature and workload "from each CPU core" monitor on the screen
In the Riva Tuner you can choose the exact place on your monitor where to have that information.

You also can choose GPU temp/ workload , RAM workload , SWAP file size, Voltages, etc.

Also try the command -USEALLAVAILABLECORES in the startline of Sandstorm ( in Steam you can edit the startoption settings for your game )

For comparison i made screenshots from my settings in this guide i made :

Here is another Guide in the steam from to get a better game performance :

I know you wrote that you tried so many guides etc. but may be you didn´t have these.
Worth a try.
In the second guide there are some differences to mine ( PhysX setting in driver and Super sampling off in video settings ingame ) so may be that settings work better ?

I wanted to have maximum performance with a nice flicker free video quality.
What i didn´t like in Sandstorm were the flickering textures in the far distances.
The human eye reacts on any movement in the periphery and those flickering textures made me crazy thinking there are some bots moving but it was just bad graphics settings.
On my solution the picture quality is good enough and i have not a single flickering texture.
To achieve that i have super sampling on x1,25 ( ingame ) and edited the Engine.ini

last edited by GSG_9_LIGHTNING

Yup, you will have to get some hard data on what's going on, so install that monitoring tool. Also, tried reducing the resolution?

Already have -USEALLAVAILABLECORES in the launch options. Changed the PhysX setting to CPU. Supersampling already off. Both guides present no other improvements, really. No change in FPS.

Afterburner doesn't want to bring up the OSD in-game, but GPU is being maxed out from the time the game launches. Even in the main menu it immediately hits 100%. I haven't seen it happen in any other game. CPU is doing just fine, sits around 30-40%, with each of the eight cores varying.

The GPU seems comfortable with other games, just not Sandstorm. Drivers are updated, of course.

So reduce resolution? If that 100% GPU usage is real - even in main menu which is limited to 60fps automatically - than that might be a good point to start.
I find this odd though, in another thread here the guy has alot less CPU power but uses a 970 too, with alot more fps, running at 1920x1080 though. Maybe the WQHD resolution kicks your card far too hard in this game.

last edited by Feuerholz

The FPS does increase the further I reduce resolution, though on the lowest graphics looks especially garbage the more I do so (obviously). I also can't use borderless windowed on lower resolutions without just playing in a window, which sucks.

If I run it at 1366x768 I can hit 55-60fps at lowest settings, which I can consider playable I guess. Looks like it's being rendered on a Dreamcast, but oh well. 1600x900 gets about 45-50fps. 1080p gets about 40. I suppose I could just use 640x480 and have all the frames but, God, at what cost? I find it unbelievable that the 970 requires it, but it is what it is. No other game presents this kind of problem, though, which perplexes me. No other game is anywhere near the league of demanding the highest to barely achieve the minimum of the lowest.

The 970 should be capable of more. You will not find any answers without going into a detailed analysis. So get MSI Afterburner running and post a couple of screenshots of the CPU & GPU values. Also try a hard settings reset (delete all config files), then set Video preset to Low, and run in fullscreen.