After what seemed like an eternity, Mass Effect Legendary Edition finally got released, and the fans who had been eagerly anticipating it couldn’t hide their excitement.
The new-gen remaster of the epic Mass Effect trilogy has been earning generally favorable reviews from fans and critics alike. BioWare have probably spent the days since the game’s release patting themselves on the back for a job well done. After all, it’s not easy to bring an old classic to new consoles and gamers while staying true to everything that made the original space thriller a cult classic.
As far as ambitious remasters go, Mass Effect Legendary Edition can be counted as a winner. The improved graphics, combat mechanics and vehicle handling especially scored high with critics.
Still, the game doesn’t escape its share of launch issues. This is something that has become common with new game releases, never mind a 3-in-1 package like Mass Effect Legendary Edition.
In particular, users are reporting that Mass Effect Legendary Edition suffers severe frame drops during gameplay. Hopefully, BioWare will soon release a patch that works for everyone. In the meantime, affected users will have to content themselves with trying some workarounds.
If you’re having issues with low FPS in Mass Effect Legendary Edition, you can try the solutions given in this guide for a possible fix.
Why Is FPS So Low in Mass Effect Legendary Edition?
Since the launch of Mass Effect Legendary Edition, players have been talking about the game on different online forums. A common complaint is that the frame rate keeps dropping for some reason.
Some players who encountered the issue said that the game stuttered whenever they navigated to certain areas of the game, only for the FPS to return to normal after leaving that section. Others claimed that the frame rate dropped in the game menu before they even loaded a save.
Which brings us to the following question: Why does Mass Effect Legendary Edition suffer from frame drops?
One possible reason for the lower frame rates might be an underpowered PC. Certainly, the hardware requirements for the Mass Effect remaster aren’t too high. A PC with decent specs and an average GPU will run the game just fine.
Still, if you’re using an old PC, it’s worth checking that it meets the system requirements for the game. If at least one piece of hardware, especially the GPU, is lacking, this might be why the game is stuttering for you.
Mass Effect Legendary Edition PC Minimum System Requirements
OS: 64-bit Windows 10
Processor: Intel Core i5 3570 or AMD FX-8350
Memory: 8 GB RAM
Graphics: GPU: NVIDIA GTX 760, AMD Radeon 7970 / R9280X GPU RAM: 2 GB Video Memory
DirectX: Version 11
Storage: 120 GB
Mass Effect Legendary Edition PC Recommended System Requirements
OS: 64-bit Windows 10
Processor: Intel Core i7-7700 or AMD Ryzen 7 3700X
Memory: 16 GB RAM
Graphics: GPU: NVIDIA GTX 1070 / RTX 200, Radeon Vega 56, GPU RAM: 4 GB Video Memory
DirectX: Version 11
Storage: 120 GB
Does your system surpass these requirements? If so, then the cause of your frame drop issue is something else.
That “something else” could be the game using the integrated video card rather than the dedicated AMD or Nvidia graphics card. If this is the case, there will definitely be massive frame drops because the integrated graphics processor isn’t designed to handle games like Mass Effect Legendary Edition. And, just to be clear, nor should it.
If this is the case, rectifying it is both obvious and easy: switch to the discrete GPU permanently. Follow the steps below to do so for Mass Effect Legendary Edition on Windows 10:
- Press the Windows logo key and choose Settings from the side menu.
- Go to System and select Display from the side menu. You can also right-click any empty space on your desktop and select Display Settings to quickly jump there.
- On the Display screen, click the “Graphics settings” link.
- On the Graphics Settings screen, click the Browse button under “Choose an app to set preferences”.
- Navigate to the location of the game on your hard drive or SSD and select the .exe file of Mass Effect Legendary Edition.
- When the game is added in Graphics Settings, click the Options button.
- In the “Graphics preference” pop-up, select “High performance” and click Save.
In addition, you can use the control center for your graphics card to make changes to how the hardware renders graphics. Just select the discrete GPU as your preferred graphics processor and everything should be fine.
Using Nvidia Control Panel
- Right-click anywhere on your desktop and select Nvidia Control Panel.
- When the tool launches, select Manage 3D Settings in the left pane.
- Head over to the right pane and make sure that the Global Settings tab is selected.
- Click the “Preferred graphics processor” tab and select “High performance Nvidia processor”.
- Click Apply to save the change and exit the Nvidia Control Panel.
The steps for AMD Radeon Settings are similar.
Now that you’ve chosen the gaming processor to run the game, you should get an instant boost in FPS on your next playthrough.
If after these initial checks, you’re still looking for how to increase FPS in Mass Effect Legendary Edition on Windows 10, don’t worry. At least one of the fixes below should help with that.
You can also try PC enhancement software like Auslogics BoostSpeed to potentially solve the frame dropping issue. Features like Game Mode will fine-tune the system to give the best performance during gameplay.
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How to Fix Mass Effect Legendary Edition FPS Drops
Before you attempt the solutions, it’s not a bad idea to reboot the system at least once in case the game is experiencing FPS drops because of system memory bottlenecks. A restart will clear the RAM and allow Mass Effect Legendary Edition to have most of the memory to itself when you load the game.
You can also try disconnecting all unneeded peripherals and check if the game renders better. A user on Reddit recounted how unplugging their flight stick had fixed the issue for them.
- Disable the In-Game Overlay
An overlay is a software interface component that enables the user to carry out certain actions on top of another running program. Overlays are popular with gamers who want to chat, talk and share stuff with other people during gameplay.
Most AAA and online games provide support for at least one in-game overlay, while the majority are compatible with the overlays of Steam and Origin.
Mass Effect Legendary Edition being a recent release, many fans of it immediately took advantage of the overlay feature. However, many of them complained that this had caused the frame rate to drop beyond an acceptable level.
If you’re in this boat, try turning off the overlay you’re using. The Origin overlay in particular has been known to trigger performance issues.
Turn Off Origin In-Game Overlay
Origin is a distribution platform developed by Electronic Arts. All the EA games are on this platform, and other developers release their games on Origin. It’s less popular than Steam, though slowly gaining more share of the PC game distribution market.
When Playing Mass Effect Legendary Edition, you might not know whether the in-game overlay is enabled in Origin. Press Shift + F1 to find out. If a menu pops up while playing the game, then the in-game overlay is enabled.
You can turn the overlay feature off for Mass Effect Legendary Edition alone or for all games on Origin.
- Launch the Origin desktop client.
- Select My Game Library in the left pane.
- Head over to the right, right-click Mass Effect Legendary Edition and select Game Properties.
- When the Mass Effect Legendary Edition Properties screen opens, head over to the General tab.
- Untick the “Enable Origin In Game for Mass Effect Legendary Edition” checkbox and click Save.
- Exit any game you’re playing in Origin.
- On the Origin home page, select Origin on the sidebar and select Application Settings from the drop-down menu.
- Switch to the Origin In-Game tab. If you don’t see it, click More and then select Origin In-Game.
- Move the Enable Origin In-Game toggle to the Off position.
The second method disables the in-game overlay for all games within Origin.
If this doesn’t work and the overlay feature is still active in Mass Effect Legendary Edition, navigate to C:\Program Files (x86)\Origin\ and delete or rename the igo64.dll file to permanently disable the Origin overlay.
Turn Off Steam in-Game Overlay
You can use the Steam overlay to purchase in-game upgrades, invite friends, take screenshots, share stuff, and trade. However, if it’s causing frame drops, you can turn it off for one or all games on Steam.
- Launch Steam and head over to Library.
- Right-click Mass Effect Legendary Edition and select Properties.
- In the General tab, untick the “Enable the Steam Overlay while in-game” checkbox and click OK.
- Launch Steam and click the Steam tab on the sidebar.
- Select Settings.
- Select the In-Game tab in the Settings side pane.
- Head over to the right and untick the “Enable the Steam Overlay while in-game” option.
- Click OK to save the change.
If turning off the in-game and global overlay in Steam or Origin doesn’t solve the issue, try another solution.
- Check the Integrity of Game Files
A missing or corrupted game file can cause issues, including, but not limited to, low frame rates and rapid frame drops. This is the case with Mass Effect Legendary Edition and any other game.
Obviously, a modern game like Mass Effect Legendary Edition is composed of hundreds of individual files, so manually checking each one for corruption is a fool’s errand. Fortunately, there’s software to the rescue.
Game distribution clients like Steam and Origin have embedded file checkers that can be used to verify that a game’s files are intact. The tool you have will scan the files of the game stored on the computer. If it detects a missing or corrupted file, it will replace it with a fresh copy from the corresponding platform’s online servers. Therefore, before using this method, ensure your computer has an internet connection.
Verify Mass Effect Legendary Edition Files on Origin
- Launch Origin and select My Game Library on the vertical pane.
- Right-click Mass Effect Legendary Edition and select Repair.
Wait while the tool scans the game files and applies the necessary fixes. When it’s done, restart Origin and run the game again.
Verify Mass Effect Legendary Edition Files on Steam
- Launch Steam and select Library.
- Find and right-click the game and select Properties.
- In the game’s Properties window, select Local Files in the side menu.
- Select “Verify integrity of game files” to run the tool.
Wait while the tool scans the game files and applies the necessary fixes. On completion, restart Steam and run the game again.
This should solve the issue if it’s because of corrupted or missing files. If the files of Mass Effect Legendary Edition are intact, use another solution.
- Set the Game to Run in High Priority
A computer is always doing multiple things at any given time. You may not notice the activities going on under the hood, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t there.
When you launch a game, you give the CPU more work to do. While a high-end processor won’t have any issues handling the average AAA game along with the more mundane computer tasks, it may still give the game a little less priority than it could, and this can affect performance.
If you want to get the best possible FPS your PC is capable of (or even if you just want to solve the frame drops problem), you can make the game a high priority for the processor.
Doing this will make the system assign more CPU power to the game. Here’s how to set Mass Effect Legendary Edition to run in high priority for your processor:
- Load Mass Effect Legendary Edition and let it run, then minimize the window.
- Right-click any empty area on your taskbar and select Task Manager.
- In the Task Manager, switch to the Details tab and look for the Mass Effect Legendary Edition executable.
- When you find MassEffectLegendaryEdition.exe, right-click it and select Set Priority > High.
- You will get the “Do you want to change the priority of MassEffectLegendaryEdition.exe?” pop-up from the Task Manager. Click the “Change priority” button to confirm.
With the game set to high priority, the CPU will give it plenty of attention whenever you’re playing it. This should help with the FPS drops issue. Otherwise, try the next fix.
- Update or Reinstall the GPU Driver
Several factors can be responsible for frame drops, low FPS, bad graphics, and similar issues in Mass Effect Legendary Edition and any other game. The most common issue relates to the graphics card driver that the system uses to interact with the GPU.
A driver update will fix many issues caused by a broken, corrupt, incompatible, or missing driver. If your driver is somehow absent, the latest version will replace it. The same goes for broken or corrupted driver software. And in the case that the operating system isn’t compatible with a driver carried over from a previous OS, updating the driver will apply the latest compatible version.
Furthermore, for the latest games like Mass Effect Legendary Edition, Nvidia and AMD release new drivers so that players can enjoy all the latest features. If your driver isn’t updated, you may miss these features and optimizations, and this can cause FPS drops.
All in all, updating your GPU driver is a good idea and more so when dealing with issues in a new game. You can choose one of the procedures below to update your driver.
- Use Windows Update
Microsoft has added driver updates to Windows Update. Certain hardware drivers can now be updated directly without recourse to any other tool.
Open Settings, navigate to Update & Security > Windows Update and check if any update is available for your dedicated graphics card. You may need to click the “Check for updates” button to discover and download any pending updates.
- Update Your Driver through Device Manager
In Device Manager, you can view all the hardware connected to your PC. All your devices are arranged into groups, and expanding a group will reveal the individual devices it houses.
If you want to update your GPU driver with Device Manager, be aware that this tool is often unreliable and may fail to download the necessary driver even though it is available.
Here are the instructions you should follow:
- Right-click the Start menu and select Device Manager.
- Locate and expand the “Sound, video and game controllers” group.
- Right-click your Nvidia or AMD hardware and select Update Driver.
- Choose “Search automatically for drivers” in the pop-up window.
Windows will download and install the latest version of the GPU driver if one is found and inform you that the update was completed successfully. If it doesn’t find a newer driver version, it will notify you that you’re already using the latest version of the driver.
You can also use Device Manager to reinstall a driver that runs into issues. This approach is useful if you’re actually using the latest driver and an update would be pointless.
Follow the steps below:
- Open the Power User menu with Win + X and select Device Manager.
- Find and expand the “Display adapters” node in Device Manager.
- Double-click your Nvidia or AMD hardware to open its Properties window.
- Switch to the Driver tab.
- Click the Uninstall Device button.
Confirm the uninstallation and reboot the system.
- Update Your Driver Manually
If you want to be in control of the update process, you can get the driver installation files you need from the device manufacturer’s official website. As long as you know what you’re doing, there shouldn’t be any issues.
Make sure that you know your GPU’s model name and driver version so that you can choose the version appropriate for your hardware.
If you’re using an Nvidia graphics card, head over to the Nvidia driver download page
and fill out the fields to get and download the driver you need. If your PC comes with a Radeon driver from AMD, visit the
AMD Drivers and Support
page to do the same.
After downloading the driver file to your desktop, extract and run it as you would a normal program installation file.
- Use Third-Party Software
If you’re not the type that wants to spend so much time looking for the correct drivers, there’s software made for this purpose that you can pass the buck to.
Auslogics Driver Updater can save you the time and effort you might otherwise have to spend on driver-hunting. It will scan your PC and display a list of missing and obsolete drivers (as well as those that are up to date). All you have to do is click a button to update the ones you want.
Resolve PC Issues with Driver Updater
Unstable PC performance is often caused by outdated or corrupt drivers. Auslogics Driver Updater diagnoses driver issues and lets you update old drivers all at once or one at a time to get your PC running smoother
You can download Auslogics Driver Updater here. Once you install the tool and scan your computer with it, the rest is easy.
Remember that you must restart the operating system after updating a driver. Once you’ve done that, run Mass Effect Legendary Edition again and check whether the new driver has helped to solve the FPS drops issue in the game.
- Disable Hardware Acceleration
The dedicated GPU on your computer is specialized hardware that is designed to carry out a specialized activity — graphics rendering.
When performing normal tasks on a computer, the main processor handles things. When the workload increases beyond what it can comfortably handle, it can offload some of it onto the dedicated hardware.
The running application or operating system delegates the work in order to “accelerate” the task and get better results. This is how the term “hardware acceleration” came to be used.
When hardware acceleration is enabled, the two processors share the burden, and this can help with games like Mass Effect Legendary Edition. Even though it runs mainly on the discrete video card, the normal CPU is still involved. If it cannot even perform its function at a high enough level, enabling hardware acceleration can help increase performance and stop the frame drops.
The flip side is that enabling this feature causes the GPU to work harder, leading to faster battery drain and less memory to handle resource-heavy games. If the GPU is able to focus solely on the game it is running — rather than keeping some resources for hardware-accelerated programs — FPS drops are less likely to happen.
You can turn hardware acceleration on or off depending on its current status on your PC and then check if that helps with the game.
Here’s how to enable or disable the feature in Windows 10:
- Press the Windows logo and X keyboard combination and select Settings from the Power User menu.
- When Settings opens, select the System group and then select Display from the side menu.
- On the Display screen on the right, click the “Graphics settings” link.
- On the “Graphics settings” screen, switch the “Hardware-accelerated GPU scheduling” toggle to On or Off.
Reboot the computer and check whether you can now play Mass Effect Legendary Edition with 60 FPS or better.
Turn Off Certain Graphics Settings
Mass Effect Legendary Edition, like pretty much every other game, has in-game graphics presets that the developer believes are best for your hardware. Graphics settings like shadows, HDR and v-sync are automatically adjusted based on your computer’s specs.
Some people go ahead and turn up the graphics options to max settings when they’re playing the game for the first time. This is all well and good if you’re using a machine with decent specs, but the possibility that this impacts the FPS cannot be discounted.
If you’re using a PC that just about meets the specifications for playing the game, disabling certain graphics options can help you improve the frames per second and avoid glitches and cracking as well.
So, load the game as usual and navigate to the graphics options screen and turn off/lower shadows, HDR, Ambient Occlusion, v-sync, and other settings. You can adjust one setting at a time and then check if the situation improves.
If you’ve found the specific setting that causes the frame drops, you can keep it lowered or disabled and restore the other settings to their default values.
Turn Off Gaming Features in Windows 10
Game Mode is a Windows 10 feature that adjusts the system resources to eke out better performance when playing a game. Following the explosion in PC games, Microsoft added the feature to optimize the system for gaming.
Good intentions can often have bad consequences. Many people pay zero attention to Game Mode, and this is because it often worsens the issues it was created to solve. For example, background recording can make the system laggy and drag down the game’s frame rate.
You may need to turn off Game Mode to get rid of FPS drops in Mass Effect Legendary Edition. Here’s how:
- Open Settings and select Gaming.
- On the Xbox Game Bar screen, switch the “Enable Xbox Game Bar for things like recording game clips, chatting with friends, and receiving game invites…” toggle to Off.
- Head over to the Captures tab and switch the “Record in the background while I’m playing a game” toggle to Off if it’s enabled.
- Head over to the Game Mode tab and switch the Game Mode toggle to Off.
The next time you load Mass Effect Legendary Edition, you should be getting higher FPS.
Run the Game in Full-Screen Mode
Modern gaming, especially online gaming, is a multitasking experience. It isn’t uncommon to play a game in windowed mode as other apps, like Twitch and Discord, stay open in another window.
Doing things this way lets gamers share gameplay highlights in real time and communicate with team members and fans. However, it could also cause issues like low FPS in games like Mass Effect Legendary Edition.
If you’re still trying to solve the issue after going through the methods above and you play the game in bordered windowed mode, try full-screen mode and see what happens.
When you run a game in complete full-screen mode, it then has complete control over the screen output instead of sharing it with other open apps. So, try this and you might just start seeing high FPS in the game.
Tweak AMD Graphics Settings
If your computer uses an AMD GPU, the low FPS in Mass Effect Legendary Edition could be due to the hardware settings. Tweaking a few settings in the Radeon Control Panel could restore the high FPS you expect when playing the game.
To open the Settings window for your graphics card, right-click any empty space on your desktop and select AMD Radeon Settings Control Panel. When the window opens, select the Global Graphics option. This option contains hardware settings that the system will apply to all games and programs that use the AMD graphics card on the machine.
In the Global Graphics tab, find and disable all the proprietary options enabled by default. These include Radeon Boost, Radeon Chill, and Radeon Anti-Flag. Find all the settings with “Radeon” in their names and turn them off.
Next, locate and disable the following settings: OpenGL Triple Buffering, Frame Rate Target Control, Image Sharpening, Maximum Tessellation Level, and Anisotropic Filtering, Vertical Refresh, Surface Format Optimization.
Next, locate GPU Workload and select Graphics Mode. After that, find the Texture Filtering Quality option and select High Performance.
Finally, locate Tessellation and Shader Cache and change both settings to AMD Optimized mode.
Even though many graphical options are being disabled here, it does not mean that the gameplay quality will reduce. The graphics enhancements that the game needs will still be enabled by default when you run Mass Effect Legendary Edition. What you are doing here is turning off global settings that might be dragging down the FPS unduly.
Mass Effect Legendary Edition brought new graphics and improved some gameplay aspects of the classic trilogy. Since its launch, the game has enjoyed almost universal adulation.
Still, there are complaints that rise out of the hubbub of praise. Many users have written and talked about their annoyance because of sudden frame rate drops even though their gaming rigs meet the requirements to play the game.
This guide has explained how to increase Mass Effect Legendary Edition FPS when it starts dropping or is low. Having gone through this guide, we hope you no longer experience the issue.