Star Citizen has announced major improvements for the Gen12 renderer in patch 3.17, including significant increases in frame rates and performance benchmarks. While some areas still require further development, the update brings optimism for the game’s future and the potential for players to enjoy better performance and experiences.
Star Citizen has announced exciting news and improvements for the Gen12 renderer in patch 3.17. Data charts comparing version 3.16 and 3.17 show significant increases in frame rates, both in offline free flight and in servers with real players. The improvements are particularly noticeable on a high-end rig running a 5950x with a 3080 Ti. The gains are also evident in performance benchmarks, with frame rates improving across different server locations and player counts.
The Gen12 renderer update in patch 3.17 has achieved a major milestone by doubling the render thread performance of opaque static geometry such as brushes and objects on planets and asteroids. While this does not directly impact overall frame rates, it ensures that the render thread is not limiting performance and allows for future performance improvements on the main thread to translate into higher frame rates. Furthermore, internally, render proxies like ships, characters, and planets are already going through the Gen12 pipeline, with further improvements expected in patch 3.18.
Ship meetups and events with numerous ships on screen are known to be heavy on the render thread, and the Gen12 update promises benefits in these situations. However, there are still areas where Gen12 improvements are yet to be implemented, such as cube maps, render-to-texture (RTT), planet atmospheres, GPU skinning, and gas cloud rendering. Major work is also ongoing for transparent geometry, which is the final milestone before Gen12 is fully realized. This milestone is not expected to be completed in patch 3.18, and worst-case estimates suggest it may be introduced in patch 3.20.
Despite these ongoing developments, the improvements introduced in patch 3.17 are already significant, with RT performance more than doubling. The full potential of Gen12 will be realized once legacy code is phased out and the engine can solely utilize Gen12 rendering. These improvements hint at the game becoming more like a “normal” game soon, offering better performance and potentially allowing players to experience games like Squadron 42 on their current PCs. Overall, the update brings optimism for the future of Star Citizen and invites players to share their thoughts and experiences with the improvements.