The PC release of Horizon Zero Dawn wasn’t exactly met with the kind of praise that we were all hoping for. Whilst some of us are fine to run the game without any issues whatsoever, a lot of us are also experiencing numerous issues, and they’re not always easy to identify why. Some of us see perfect performance with a few crashes, others just have major stuttering, whilst many have reported several graphics bugs.

Luckily, the first V1.01 update for Horizon: Zero Dawn is here and aims to fix… some of the issues already encountered. Unfortunately it doesn’t solve all of them but it can help for some people at least. So we’ve listed all the known issues we could find online and compiled them here, with any bug fixes or performance improvements that we could discover.

If you have any other bug reports, performance issues, or fixes then please do let us know! We’ll update this article as it goes along to ensure the most up to date information on these problems.

Horizon Zero Dawn PC performance report - Graphics card benchmarks

First of all though, here’s the latest patch and what issues it addresses…

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Horizon Zero Dawn Update V1.01 Patch Notes

Crash/Hang fixes:

  • Fixed an issue where the game would crash if the SteamUI didn’t initialize properly on startup.

Functionality Issue Fixes:

  • Fixed an issue where Concentration and other slowdown mechanics wouldn’t work for everyone.
  • Fixed an issue where Windows/Steam profile names containing special characters would prevent some players from saving the game. We are still investigating other saved game issues as well.
  • Fixed an issue where Windows/Steam profile names containing special characters would prevent some players from saving screenshots in Photo Mode.

Other Fixes:

  • Added improved diagnostic data collection when submitting a crash report.
  • Fixed several backend issues.
  • Fixed a video corruption issue for specific hardware. We’re continuing to look at other hardware configurations as well.

Known Issues:

  • Some players are experiencing startup crashes. Patch 1.01 fixes a few, but not all, of these crashes.
  • Some players are experiencing GPU-related hangs during gameplay. The improved diagnostic data collection added in Patch 1.01 is aimed at making it easier to track these down.
  • Some players are experiencing graphical settings issues, such as Anisotropic Filtering not working, 4K not displaying correctly, or HDR not working correctly.
  • Some players are experiencing performance issues on specific GPUs or hardware combinations.
  • We're aware of and continue to investigate all issues in this list on Reddit as well. Thank you to u/EvilMonkeySlayer for compiling this for us.

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Horizon: Zero Dawn all known bugs, performance issues, and fixes listed

Horizon Zero Dawn Lost save games from Update V1.01:

Some players have reported losing their save game thanks to the latest update, luckily this doesn’t mean their saves are entirely gone. This seems to be only an issue with those who have Microsoft’s OneDrive setup on their system, as there have been no reports from those using Steam Cloud Sync.

If you downloaded the latest update and lost your save games then don’t fret, your old save files have been backed up into your OneDrive folder which you can find via: “C:\Users\[User Name]\OneDrive” then in there, you should find a folder labelled with weird characters and letters (it seems to be different for everybody which is why I haven’t listed it).

When you find that folder with the weird characters, open it and you’ll find a folder titled “Horizon Zero Dawn.” From there navigate to the “Saved Game” folder and move those to the new Saved Game location:

“C:\Users\[User Name]\OneDrive\Documents\Horizon Zero Dawn\Saved Game” for those who still have OneDrive installed,

Or…

“C:\Users\[User Name]\Documents\Horizon Zero Dawn\Saved Game” for those who have uninstalled it or don’t want to use OneDrive anymore.

Major stuttering and frame drops whilst playing Horizon Zero Dawn:

By far one of the biggest issues reported includes unstable frame rates and lots of stuttering. Guerrilla Games are aware of this and consider it a “high priority”, the latest patch may help out with this, but if you’re still experiencing issues then the only suggestion at the moment is to download the handy SpecialK.

Check out the SpecialK mod in action in Horizon ZD (Thanks to YouTube user Ahmlet):

Unfortunately it does require a bit of technical know-how in order to implement properly, so a forum post and discussion area detailing exactly what you have to do has been set up on the official SpecialK website.

Horizon: Zero Dawn uses too much memory

There seems to be a common issue where the game ends up using too much memory than it really should (some users reported a whopping 17GB of RAM were being used!), this apparently happens to a lot of users after the initial hardware optimization screen that starts on your first time launching the game. After which the game will be using a lot of memory without actually freeing any of it and can lead to worse performance and many graphical issues.

Thankfully, there seems to be an easy fix for this: just restart the game. So if you’re experiencing high memory usage after launching the game for the first time, try this and see if it helps.

How to remove pillarboxing in Horizon Zero Dawn:

Horizon Zero Dawn’s PC release came with ultra wide monitor support, which is great for a lot of us! Unfortunately the cutscenes in-game were not designed with this support in mind and can result in some rather annoying pillarboxing (black bars on the left and right, not to be confused with letterboxing where black bars appear on the top and bottom) and some very weird blurring effects.

There’s a very handy subreddit page that explains exactly how to fix this and get the cutscenes running in Ultrawide aspect ratio. (Note: some cutscenes are pre-rendered and will not be affected by this fix unfortunately, but most in-game cutscenes can be fixed with this)

Horizon: Zero Dawn crashes due to memory write errors:

Many users have reported crashes during their time playing the game, unfortunately lots of these crashes are for different reasons, and some of them may be fixed thanks to the latest update. However, if you’re still experiencing crashes due to a memory write error then this handy mod should help until Guerrilla fix the issue themselves.

Note: the modder has specifically stated to only use this fix if you are experiencing crashes specifically due to memory write errors.

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So there we have it, that’s all the bugs and performance issues we could find online as well as the various fixes that are out there as well. Hopefully some of these will help you and your system, otherwise we may just have to wait until another fix from a community member online or another official patch from Guerrilla Games themselves.

Once again, if there are other issues you have experienced, or have any fixes for any of the issues mentioned, then please do let us know so we can update this article and help everyone else enjoy this game! We’ll update this article with every major bug/performance fix for Horizon: Zero Dawn when they release.

What do you think? Have you experienced any of the problems mentioned? What about any issues not listed here? Have you found any handy fixes online? Let us know!

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