Wreckfest: Performance Improvements Coming Next Update

Wreckfest Update News.png

Bugbear Entertainment have confirmed performance updates are heading to the game as part of the next update.

Having gone through quite the impressive development journey over recent months, Bugbear Entertainment have today confirmed their Wreckfest title is about to receive some rather solid looking performance improvements as part of the next build - which in a game where lots of things happen at the same time is certainly a good thing!

In other Wreckfest news, and certainly a cheeky tag into this thread, but we are delighted to welcome a new staff member here at RaceDepartment - @TTupsi has joined our staff to take the lead of our RaceDepartment Wreckfest Racing Club! Yes, you got it.. smash 'em and crash 'em racing is returning to RaceDepartment! More information on that one in the coming days...

So, back on topic, let's here what Bugbear have to say about the upcoming new build release...

Howdy friends,

As you know, we've been working with the console versions of Wreckfest ever since the launch of the game's PC version. One major task that we've been keeping ourselves busy with is improving the performance on both console and on PC. Needless to say that whatever your platform, maintaining a smashing framerate is almost as critical in a fast-paced racing game as it is in a first-person shooter, and sure enough, improvements in this regard is something that we know many of you have been looking forward.

We're happy to let you know that much work has been completed already. For instance, the optimization of the rendering engine has yielded immediate gains in the raw rendering performance, instancing is now used for billboard trees as well as spectators, saving valuable memory, and vehicles now have multiple levels of detail that are used based on the distance to the camera – and the new vehicle detail setting that you can change according to how much grunt your gaming rig has.

While optimization is an on-going process, and yes, we know that there are still further gains to be had, we thought this would be a good opportunity to take a look what kind of performance improvements you can expect in future. To do that, we decided that the best way to show you the goods is to go old-school and simply compare the Minimum, Maximum and Average framerate between the latest Steam release and our current internal developer build.

The comparison was performed by doing three laps with exactly the same event settings: Midwest Motocenter, manually selected Mixed Class AI Set, 24 cars and Noon time of day, and while doing our best to ape the gameplay in both runs. The graphics quality options were set to Medium with V-Sync naturally disabled. This is of course not a scientific analysis at all (just look at how hardcore the lads over at Digital Foundry are doing it), but nevertheless, we'll let the numbers speak for themselves:

Wreckfest Update News 2.png

As you can see, there's a considerable performance improvement with the average framerate seeing a whopping 37% increase after switching to the new build. The minimum framerate naturally occurs at the race start with most of the other cars still in the viewport, and while it's still a taxing situation, the new numbers look much healthier with almost a 50% improvement over the Steam build. The best part of all this is that all this improvement is gained without needing to dial back the game's visuals.

While we were at it, we also compared the system and video memory usage between the Steam build and latest developer build, with results as follows:

Wreckfest Update News 3.png

The difference is not as striking as was the case with framerate, but even so we can see roughly a 10% reduction in the memory consumption, no doubt thanks to instancing support and track specific optimizations that we've been doing. This track is probably one of the tracks benefiting the least from the latter, seeing as it has never been very resource hungry compared to certain other tracks. Incidentally, this track was chosen for this performance comparison exactly because it's one of the tracks that has not seen much work done on it since the last Steam release due to not really needing much optimization.

This comparison was performed in single-player, with proper multiplayer benchmarking with a full grid being obviously much more difficult to arrange. That said, we expect most gains here to trickle down to online side of things as well and help with performance. Furthermore, we have implemented certain multiplayer specific optimizations like dead reckoning for remote cars which will reduce the CPU load in multiplayer, something we know is a sore point for most players. Also consider that this test was performed on a single system, and naturally your mileage will vary depending on what your rig is bottlenecked by. All things considered, we're hopeful that these improvements will make the game more accessible and make it possible for more players to enjoy the game the way it was meant, no matter what kind of system they have.

So – that's that, folks. As for the release of the next update (yes, we know that's what everyone is hoping for soon), we need to ask for more patience. The console versions are nearing a critical stage, and rushing out a PC update right now would not only mean using time to make that happen in the first place but also that we would need to do post-update support to address the bugs – especially with so many changes to the game, and multiplayer in particular, no doubt there will be some nasties we won't be able to catch before the release. So, our thinking is that, seeing as the current build is pretty robust, it's best to stay on that until we're sure we have the resources to attack the new issues and support the update properly. That being said, we expect to be able to share more news and a rough target soon so please stay tuned.

Wreckfest is available now on PC, with console release expected to follow during 2019.

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RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief, occasional YouTuber, commentator and broadcaster, with a passion for motorsport on both the real and virtual racetrack.


Aug 18, 2015
Holy crap, that's impressive FPS gain :confused: I thought it has pretty good performance even now...

I guess they had no choice but to pull off a little miracle, to make it run smoothly on consoles :D


Feb 22, 2019
It would be cool to add a data out for motion platforms
This title is perfect for them
Oh and VR too while they’re at it


Oct 29, 2009
Too bad head-tracking (TrackIr/Ed Tracker, etc) support was not coded in.
Wish someone had mod-skills and spare time to create one.
Imagine seeing someone lining you up, only to miss because you were ready for it. Cheater! :sneaky:

Glad Bugbear is still improving a pretty darn-fun title.
  • Like
Reactions: M D Gourley
Jun 13, 2011
Every other developer of the games we like should read this and rush to their desks, ashamed and inspired.

I will not name these games, but everyone will think of their favorite list.

Keep it up Bugbear, top job !


I know, for I told me so
Feb 14, 2015
It's still a hell of a game online! I'm sure something will click and the numbers will come flooding in.


Jul 15, 2017
Great news. Also this game works great with SLI apart from one bug that makes brad line appear on the screen as you enter menu in between races or when you are in garage, maybe this could be fixed as well.
Dec 10, 2018
Awesome and very impressive from the devs! It already ran just fine on my PC, but this has inspired me to pick it up and play it again as it’s a lot of fun.
Apr 25, 2017
Switch to the rally simulator.
The potential of the physics engine is excellent.
This position is empty after RBR...Get first.
Rank competition, damage ... Interesting but not sustainable.
After 10 hours, there is nothing I can do in the game anymore.


Aug 18, 2015
Position for good open world cop chase game is empty too. After NFS has been uninspired crap for ages and glory days of Driver series is long gone. Just sayin' :p

The more realistic handling of Wreckfest would bring interesting flair to that genre


Jul 15, 2017
Yeah! That would very cool. I was thinking why there isn't a game like NFS, but sim. Actually I was thinking about assetto corsa level of realism in NFS style racing, that would be perfect, but it also would be very good with Wreckfest type handling.
  • Like
Reactions: ShredatorFIN


Aug 18, 2015
Yeah! That would very cool. I was thinking why there isn't a game like NFS, but sim. Actually I was thinking about assetto corsa level of realism in NFS style racing, that would be perfect, but it also would be very good with Wreckfest type handling.
Yeah Wreckfest engine would be perfect for wrecking some "black and whites". Also you could have some lighthearted "nobody gets really hurt" arcade liberties, like Wreckfest.

With totally AC-realistic cop chases there comes the question of what happens if you hit pedestrians, and at which point police starts using guns to stop you. Which would make it a bit grim. While, of course the driving model realism doesn't need to mean other kind of realism necessarily

What intrigues me about the cop chase theme, is the strategic element (finding routes and thinking quick, in an open world city) combined with driving skill/crashing element. Kind of more "creative" driving than normal racing disciplines. Making the traffic (lots of cars with soft body physics) could be technically challenging though


Jun 24, 2017
Just waiting for a steam sale.
I had a try on an early access version some time ago and I really liked it even at that state.
Supports OSW steering wheels and triple screens in an acceptable way. It's great fun to drive.
All I miss is telemetry for SimHub. With that, it would be my third most played game next to AC and rF2.
I'm guessing there would be cleaner races, too, as a side effect. :D